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· MONDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2011 · 32 Pages Rs. 4.00 City Edition Delhi

ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 134 No. 305

Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 RNI No. 1001/57









Printed at Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madurai, Noida, Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Vijayawada, Mangalore, Tiruchirapalli, Kolkata, Hubli, Mohali and Allahabad

Team Anna wants “best possible” anti-corruption law In open letter to Prime Minister and MPs, it suggests measures to strengthen Lokpal Bill Vinay Kumar NEW DELHI: Two days before

Parliament meets for a threeday extended winter session to discuss the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2011, Team Anna wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and all MPs on Sunday, urging them to make the “best possible” anti-graft law and give the Lokpal independent investigative powers. Anna Hazare is preparing to go on a three-day fast in Mumbai to demand a strong Lokpal Bill. The Bill, tabled in the Lok Sabha on December 22, proposes to create an antigraft ombudsman with constitutional status. It also wants to refer complaints of corruption against all government employees, including the Prime Minister, to the Lokpal, though with some exceptions. In the open letter, Mr. Hazare and his team at India Against Corruption said their yearlong anti-corruption campaign had brought people close to a piece of legislation capable of tackling the menace effectively. “Sensing the national mood, Parliament has also taken upon itself the task of fostering a significant debate on the issues within the Bill, and for this we thank our elected representatives. While we are on record with our displeasure at the current draft of the Bill, we are also keen that the best possible law now emerge from the debate in the people’s Houses,” the letter said. “We urge Parliament’s consideration and adoption of these points to give the country a real anti-corruption law. Our opposition to various other provisions of the draft

Anna Hazare Bill remains, and we will take up the fight for improvements to the legislation in the months and years ahead,” it said. The letter urged the MPs to ensure that the Lokpal and the Lokayuktas are able to initiate investigations suo motu, without a complaint or reference from anyone. It should also not be required to alert the accused through preliminary enquiry or hearing before filing of a first information report as recommended by the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which vetted the Bill. Team Anna suggested three formulae for the MPs to consider: The first was that the anticorruption branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should be merged with the Lokpal, and the anticorruption bureaus and the Vigilance Departments of the State governments with the Lokayuktas. The second was that the Lokpal and the Lokayuktas should have their own investigative wings with exclusive jurisdiction over cases filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act. “The government’s previous draft

of the Bill included the second provision,” the letter pointed out. The third was that the Lokpal should have administrative and financial control over the CBI, and the appointment of the CBI Director should be independent of any political control. Team Anna also demanded that the jurisdiction of the Lokpal and the Lokayukta should cover Class C and D officers directly. The government’s Bill has mentioned that the Lokpal would direct complaints against the lower bureaucracy to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). India Against Corruption said the Lokpal should be chosen through consensus of the selection committee. And the committee should comprise the Prime Minister; the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha; two judges to be nominated by the Collegium of the Supreme Court judges; the Comptroller and Auditor-General; the Central Vigilance Commissioner; and the Chief Election Commissioner. “The search committee to suggest nominees should consist of the former Chief Justices; the former Comptroller and AuditorGeneral; the former Central Vigilance Commissioner; and the former Chief Election Commissioner,” the letter said. Without such provisions, “the Lokpal Bill would be just another law — one among the many that have proven ineffective so far.” Ensure that andolan doesn’t turn violent, says Anna; Bill only offers free legal help to corrupt, says Kejriwal: Page 12

Advise Kerala to honour court order on dam, Jayalalithaa tells Manmohan ‘Ask it not to venture upon the construction of a new dam’ Special Correspondent CHENNAI: Shortly after receiv-

ing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Chennai airport on Sunday evening, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa went to the Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum to him on six issues, including the Mullaperiyar dam, the National Food Security Bill, protection of the traditional fishing rights of Indian fishermen in the Palk Bay and a special package for Tamil Nadu to overcome the present financial crisis. The Chief Minister, along with Governor K. Rosaiah, walked up to the special aircraft to receive the Prime Minister, after he touched down around 6.40 p.m. She was accompanied by her Cabinet colleagues. Union Minister M.K. Alagiri and Minister of State for Finance S.S. Palanimanickam, representing the DMK, a constituent of the Congressled UPA, also welcomed the Prime Minister. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president B.S. Gnanadesikan, the former presidents, E.V.K.S. Elangovan and K.V. Thangkabalu, and Union Minister Jayanthi Natarajan were also present. In her memorandum, Ms. Jayalalithaa urged Dr. Singh to advise the Kerala government to honour the Supreme Court’s February 27, 2006 order, allowing the raising of the water level initially from 136 to 142 feet. She sought his intervention to make appropriate amendments to the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation (Amendment) Act, 2006.

BRIEFLY No problem in budget presentation: Pranab KOLKATA: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said there will not be any problem in presenting the Union budget on schedule because of the announcement of the Assembly election dates He, however, said the date for the presentation of the budget will be fixed after discussions at various levels. Page 13

Three CRPF jawans killed in Kashmir SRINAGAR: Three CRPF jawans died in an incident of fratricidal killing on Saturday night in the barracks of the 18th Battalion at Kulgam in south Kashmir. Head constables Suman Pillay and P. Sibbu died on the spot. Javed Hussain died while being taken to hospital.

WARM WELCOME: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa receives Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Chennai airport on Sunday. Also seen is Governor K. Rosaiah. —PHOTO: DIPR Authority to withdraw its notification forming a team of experts to prepare a contingency response plan. She also wanted Tamil Nadu to be exempted from the purview of the proposed

Food Security Bill. Ms. Jayalalithaa sought a special assistance package, similar to the one extended to West Bengal. Dr. Singh will attend the inaugural ceremony of the

125th birth anniversary celebrations of mathematics genius Srinivasa Ramanujan at the University of Madras on Monday. He will also declare 2012 as National Mathematics Year.


FEATURE ON SRINIVASA RAMANUJAN 125TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY — 8 pages (Editorial Feature) (in select areas)

SUDOKU — Sports Page

‘Withdraw notification’ Ms. Jayalalithaa said Dr. Singh should advise Kerala not to venture upon the construction of a new dam, since the retrofitted dam was safe and functioning well. Besides asking for the deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force and removal of all encroachments in the leased area, she said the Prime Minister should order the National Disaster Management

Mayawati sacks four Ministers Some more heads likely to roll in Uttar Pradesh Atiq Khan tion Commission announced the schedule for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Chief Minister Mayawati sacked four Ministers, including two of the Cabinet rank, on Sunday. With the ouster of these four Ministers, the number of Ministers sacked by Ms. Mayawati has gone up to nine. Those sacked are the Higher Education Minister Rakesh Dhar Tripathi, Agricultural Education and

Agricultural Research Minister Rajpal Tyagi, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Backward Classes Welfare Avdesh Kumar Verma and Minister of State for Home Guards and Prantiya Rakshak Dal (PRD) Hari Om. No official reason has been assigned for the ouster of the Ministers. A notification issued by Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said that Governor B.L. Joshi, on the advice of the Chief Minister, had relieved the four of their charge. The notification said that

Uttarakhand date change not possible : CEC

Don’t allow change through force, Zardari tells people

Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Against the backdrop of a row between Pakistan’s civilian government and the military over a memo alleging an army plot to seize power, President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday asked people not to allow any change through “force and intimidation.” The ballot should be respected as the instrument of change, he said. Mr. Zardari has been facing

LUCKNOW: A day after the Elec-

NEW DELHI: The Election Com-

mission has expressed its inability to change the date of the Uttarakhand Assembly polls, January 30, 2012, as it has been decided on after considering various factors, including weather. Details on page 13

additional charge of the departments held by the sacked Ministers have been given to the PWD and Irrigation Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui, Social Welfare Minister Indrajit Saroj and Agriculture Minister Chaudhary Laxmi Narain respectively. Ms. Mayawati’s decision caught the ruling party circles by surprise and according to sources, some more heads are likely to roll in the days to come as the Chief Minister ventured to weed out the controversial figures in her ministry and government.

pressure from the military since Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz made public the memo that sought U.S. help to stave off a coup in May. In a message to mark the 136th birth anniversary of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Mr. Zardari said: “The Quaid [Jinnah] believed that any change must be brought about by ballot and

Sources claimed that the four Ministers, through their activities, had tarnished the image of the government and none of them had been given ticket for the Assembly polls. Sources said these Ministers, reportedly, were also in touch with the leaders of other parties. Earlier, Ms. Mayawati had dismissed Rajesh Tripathi, Rangnath Mishra, Avadhpal Singh Yadav, Badshah Singh and Ratan Lal Ahirwar following their indictment by the U.P. Lokayukta on alleged corruption charges.

rejected change by bullet.” “Let us pledge that we will not allow any change through force and intimidation and respect the power of ballot as the instrument of change.” — PTI Judiciary, Army should work within limits, says Gilani: International Page Editorial: Instability in Pakistan








Kids losing sleep over hi-tech toys

Pratibha Patil in Hyderabad

36,000 died in Mumbai train mishaps in 10 years

Children of 10 to 18 years spend about seven hours a day using some electronic device in metros leading to social isolation, insomnia, depression: Page 4

President Pratibha Patil arrived to a warm welcome in Hyderabad on Sunday afternoon. She is on a 10-day visit to the South: Page 9

Travelling by crowded Mumbai locals is increasingly turning out to be dangerous with 36,152 people dying on the tracks and 36,688 getting injured in one deacade, say RTI figures.

Heart diseases set to fall in India: Cardiologist

SEEING DOUBLE: President Pratibha Patil and her US counterpart President Barack Obama flank artist Anil Kumarr’s portrait of Mr. Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan during his India visit. Also seen are their spouses Devisingh Patil and Michelle Obama. At right, the artist gifting Ms. Patil her portrait on her birthday recently. — PHOTOS: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

“Obama said it was one of his most life-like replicas” Artist T. Anil Kumarr tells Vijetha S.N. a thing or two about painting Rashtrapati Bhavan red….


hen US President Barack Obama came to India, there was, besides diplomatic visits and talks, something else that awaited him at Rashtrapati Bhavan — a portrait painstakingly created by artist T. Anil Kumarr. “The President and the First Lady were surprised by the portrait. Mr. Obama said it was one of the most life-like replicas of himself he had seen,” says the artist, who has drawn portraits of almost every famous person during the past decade or so. However, the 40-year-old artist’s tryst with art began only a few years ago. “I used to be in the advertising business and was pretty good at it.

Drawing portraits was a hobby. Some of my friends suggested that I exhibit my works and the response was so good that there was no looking back.” Since then, Kumarr has made portraits of Mother Theresa, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, actors Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee among several others. However, the portrait of President Pratiba Patil seems to be his favourite. “My last portrait of hers was on her birthday. However, my portrayal of a 23-year-old Ms. Patil giving her first speech took her by surprise,” he says, adding that the President has commissioned several paintings since then. “She presented my portraits to leaders in South Korea, Mongolia and Mauritius during her diplomatic trips and they

really appreciated it, even sending me personal letters of thanks.” Kumarr has a special style of painting one person’s look through several stages in life before drawing all stages on one canvas, the number depending on the age of the person. He is quick to explain: “I have drawn 58 paintings of Bill Gates; each painting is a portrait of him at some stage in his life, as a student or as the CEO. The 58th painting has 58 portraits of him in one canvas standing next to each other. The background is a staircase leading to a small window… represent his creation — Windows.” There are similar avatars of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Amitabh, Shah Rukh, actor Amir Khan and the Dalai Lama. “There are 76 paintings of the Dalai Lama, the 76th has all of his portraits posing for a convocation photo,” he says, adding that he never gives the same background

for any one person. “There has to be some meaning behind every portrait that can be connected to the person’s life.” His next ambitious project is to paint Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore at every stage in his life, but the going has been difficult so far. “There are no reference pictures and I am appealing to anyone who has a picture of Tagore to give it to me.” However, his current project on the Kannada language is to use art and colour to transcend the barriers of language. “Each letter of the Kannada alphabet will be drawn on the canvas along with an abstract of a peacock. Each alphabet will have a word representing a person who has contributed to the Kannada language. It can be a ruler who encouraged the language or a litterateur that we are proud of,” he says. “The paintings will be a

confluence of the artist’s vision and the Kavi’s…talks are on with Kannada poet Chandrashekhara Kambara to contribute the words.” Once the project is completed, Kumarr hopes to permanently display the entire set of paintings in Delhi. “I will be doing other languages too for permanent display in the Capital, which has so many tourists. Indians looking at these paintings will at least become acquainted with different languages from their country,” he says, adding that government buildings should have Indian numerals instead of English ones. “This will also bring about a certain familiarity with other languages.” There are several paintings that have a special place in the artist’s heart. “There is this colour Gyarah Murti that I have drawn.” Gyarah Murti is the depiction of Mahatma

Gandhi and his followers during his Dandi March, which appears in 500-rupee currency notes and is depicted in black and white. “I have met Mr. Mukherjee, whose portrait I have drawn, and suggested the use of my painting for the notes,” he says. “Maybe when currency notes become plastic that will actually happen.” Other exciting projects are also in the pipeline. “I want to depict Lord Ganesha as every professional…like an artist or a lawyer or a doctor,” he says showing an almost completed painting of Lord Ganesha standing casually in front of an easel, with a paint brush in his hand and just about to add the first strokes.” Abstract art and portraits are the artist’s forte, but he is trying to venture into other arenas. “There is this series on the Mahabharata and Ramayana and also one on tigers.”

NEW DELHI: There is good news on the health front. A leading cardiologist says incidents of heart disease in India are set to plateau in seven to eight years and then fall due to greater awareness about a healthy lifestyle and more effective drugs. “People are cutting down their salt intake, a development that is sure to bring down the now-rampant cases of high blood pressure,” Fortis Escorts Hospital’s Vinay Sanghi told IANS. “More patient-friendly medication with fewer sideeffects is also available now,” he said. “People also understand the necessity of exercising every day. All these three factors should cut down the number of those who face the risk of heart ailment,” he said. Heart disease is considered a sign of prosperity, mostly accruing to those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Heart

diseases have now become the number one killer in India, replacing communicable diseases from that slot. A quarter of those who get heart attacks are in the 25-69 age group. Increasingly, heart ailments are killing Indians both in urban and rural areas, although fatalities are in cities and towns are higher. “All of us will see a definite change in a decade,” Dr. Sanghi said. For now, the number of heart diseases is “rising alarmingly”. The total number of cases is more than in the developed world, he said. “Heart diseases occur mostly in tier-I and tier-II cities. New cases are very high — for now. The good news is people are realising the need to maintain healthy lifestyle. There is increasing awareness.” “More than anything else, it is this self-realisation that will help India in the long run.” — IANS

World education culture congress from January 12 Staff Reporter NEW DELHI: A four-day-long an-

nual cultural and educational event featuring talks, workshops and dance performances begins in the Capital on January 12. To be hosted by Shruti Foundation in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the “II We ASC World Education Culture Congress-2012” will see participation of eminent international personalities. It will be held at ICCR from January 12 to 13 and at India Habitat Centre from January 14 to 15. “We ASC World Education Culture Congress” seeks to examine new experiments in education and cultural systems with a view to develop

practical solutions and formats for self-development, leadership, sustainable progress and human empowerment. The event will begin with a keynote plenary address by Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia at ICCR. ICCR president Karan Singh will preside over the inaugural function, in which eminent personalities from different field of specialisation will be present. Dancer Sonal Mansingh will perform “Nayika” at ICCR on the occasion. Knowledge guru Sam Pitroda will deliver a special plenary address at IHC on January 14. Delegates from over 40 countries participated in the first edition of the event in the Capital in January this year.







Pages 6 & 7 More Regional Advertisements: Pages 5, 6 & 7

An icy Christmas for Delhi Temperature dips to 2.9 degrees Celsius on Sunday

Boy injured in lintel collapse NEW DELHI: A 12-year-old boy sustained minor injuries after a portion of an under-construction building collapsed at Sarai Rohilla here on Sunday. The incident took place around 1 p.m. when the lintel of the underconstruction fourth floor of the building housing a factory caved in and fell on nearby shanties. “Azmat, 12, suffered injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital from where he was discharged after treatment,” said a police officer. The police have registered a case of causing injury to negligence against owner Imran.

SEPs committed more suicides than farmers NEW DELHI: India may pride itself on the ‘animal spirit’ of its entrepreneurs, but as many as 28,152 selfemployed persons committed suicide this year, 76 per cent more than farmers’ suicides (15,968 , according to official figures. Self-employed persons (SEPs) have the dubious distinction of committing the maximum number of suicides, followed by housewives (25,058), as per the data compiled by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB). Others who resorted to the extreme step included the unemployed (10,033). In all, 1,34,599 Indians committed suicides last year, according to NCRB.

Sheila inaugurates ICU, Neo Natal ICU NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday inaugurated a super-specialty Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Neo Natal ICU at Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital here. She also unveiled a portrait of Pandit Malviya on the hospital premises. “An ICU with ix beds has been provided with all life-saving units with ventilators etc. It is a step forward towards providing comprehensive medical care facilities to the South Delhi population in the capacity of District Hospital,” a release said. Ms. Dikshit also said that patients should co-operate in keeping the hospital, taken over by the Delhi Government from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in 1996, clean, it said.

Now insure marriage against losses! NEW DELHI: Marriages are made in heaven, but they can very well turn sour on earth by way of getting cancelled or not proving to be fruitful after being consummated. Sensing a business opportunity, insurance companies have come out with an innovative proposition, wherein they will insure the weddings against postponement or cancellations for certain reasons. The catch is that the insurer will not pay for marriages turning sour due to differences between the bride and the groom, and the claims would be entertained only for losses due to external factors like accidents, catastrophes or unintentional man-made disasters or disruptions. At least two insurance companies, ICICI Lombard and Bajaj Allianz, have come out with the exclusive ‘Wedding Insurance’ products.

DELHI December Mon (26) Tue (27) Wed (28) Mon (26) Tue (27) Wed (28)

Happy New Year!

Staff Reporter

Rise 07 12 07 12 07 13 08 18 09 02 09 41

Set 17 31 17 32 17 33 19 21 20 22 21 21

NEW DELHI: There was no relief

from the freezing cold as the temperature dipped to 2.9 degrees Celsius here on Sunday, making it the season’s coldest day so far. According to the Meteorological Department, the minimum temperature was five degrees below normal for this time of the year, while the maximum temperature of 20.3 degrees was one degree below normal. However, there will no letup as the weatherman has predicted a further dip in the Capital’s temperature. The minimum on Monday is expected to be a chilling two degrees. The weatherman has also forecast mainly clear skies with shallow fog on Monday morning, which may provide some cheer to the city’s residents who have had to deal with overcast grey skies for several days. Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to register a slight rise in the minimum temperature to about four degrees, while Thursday promises a further relief with the minimum temperature expected to be a comparatively better five degrees. Delhiites, however, have been experiencing the chill for

WINTER BLUES: Delhi is prepared to battle this season’s bone-chilling winter. — PHOTO: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

sometime now as Saturday recorded a low of 3.3 degrees and were better prepared to face it. “We have everything in place now. Room heaters have been tested and repaired and we have stocked medicines for the elderly and children,” said a housewife in West Patel

Nagar. According to Northern Railway, fog conditions affected railway services severely. About 58 trains were cancelled, 30 delayed and around 10 re-scheduled. This seems to be the coldest Christmas in more than five

years as the lowest minimum temperature for the month was recorded at 3.3 degrees Celsius on December 12, 2005, and the highest maximum temperature was 28.4 degrees on December 15, 2003. On 22 December last year, the minimum had come down to 5.2.

‘110 drunk drivers fined on Saturday’ Traffic Police to keep close watch on places serving liquor as year ends Staff Reporter NEW DELHI: Revellers visiting luxury hotels, bars, pubs and clubs serving liquor on the eve of New Year celebrations across the city will be under close watch of Delhi Traffic Police as part of its sustained drive against drunk driving this year. As Delhiites plunge into celebratory mode, the traffic police have intensified vigil on the Capital’s roads to check drunk and dangerous driving, apart from other traffic violations.

“We issued challans to 170 drivers for driving in an inebriated state two days ago. For the same offence, 110 people were prosecuted during an exercise carried out in one-third of the city between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday. The drive will continue today [Sunday] as well,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Satyendra Garg. He said more emphasis would be placed in areas housing hotels, restaurants, pubs and clubs serving liquor. Wine shops will also be under the police radar.

“The message and clear and simple: do not drink and drive. It may land you in jail. If you have consumed liquor, engage a driver instead,” Mr. Garg said, referring to the recently-launched awareness campaign “From bar to behind bars.” This year so far, the traffic police have issued challans to nearly 17,100 people for drunk driving in different parts of the Capital. “Nearly 400 people have been prosecuted since December 15.” In all, 2,986 violators have been awarded jail terms and

driving licences of 2,170 people have been suspended. The licences can be cancelled on commission of second offence. “As we approach the year end, I would like to share some thoughts: why did 29,28,388 people have to be hauled up for violation of traffic rules? Why did 8, 29,666 people jump the red light? Why did 37,884 two wheelers have three or more pillion riders? Why were 3, 18,804 people riding twowheelers without helmets?,” he said.

Talk of the New Year and people will jump to tell you where they are going to party. While some rush to hotels and restaurants, others will turn their homes into a party hub. So come the 31st, and everyone will be binging, drinking and dancing into the wee hours. And then there will be scuffles, driving accidents, and hangovers on the first day of the year. Is this the way to start the New Year? Personally I feel we all must try and make a bright and promising start to 2012. The day should start with prayers for communal harmony. It should be a day for giving to the underprivileged. Think of the poor sleeping on the pavements and shivering in this chilling cold. It should also be the time to mend fences with our kith and kin, colleagues and friends.Moreover, we must go to our work places on time, at least on New Year’s Day. En route give a smile to the traffic policeman, wish the rickshaw puller, and greet the office boy. Whatever job we are assigned, let’s give it our 100 per cent. Finally, let’s end New Year’s Day with an evening with our families. Happy New Year! Colonel R. D. Singh, House No. 96, Sector D, Defence Colony, Ambala Cantt (Haryana).

Hello, New Year….. All of us have been making and breaking New Year resolutions all our lives. With yet another New Year round the corner, why not make a resolution which is difficult to break? This resolution needs no extra effort; only patience, tolerance and genuine interest in the well-being of others. This resolution is about the art of listening. The art of listening helps one and all to have better relations

Vijetha S.N NEW DELHI: Delhi, a city defined

by variety and conspicuous consumerism, promises not to disappoint this New Year’s Eve. As its people gear up to herald the coming year, the city’s clubs, restaurants and discos are busy trying to outdo each other with spectacular parties, concerts and events to attract the discerning Delhiite. If you are young and want to drink and dance the night away, there are a number of nightclubs that have promised to stay open beyond 1.a.m. Aside from the numerous pubs around Gurgaon and Noida, Central and South Delhi’s pubs have attractive offers too. The average cost can vary between Rs. 2,000 per couple to around Rs.15,000 depending on what is being offered. The cover charges generally include food and liquor. “We will be heading toward Pandemonium in Chattarpur, which has [Singer] Hard Kaur performing in addition to a dance floor and DJ with unlimited drinks, I think we are paying about Rs. 4,000 per

READY TO PARTY: The Royal Plaza Hotel is decked up for Christmas and New Year celebrations. — PHOTO: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

couple” said Saurabh, 28. However, most independent discos in the city will not allow stags (single men) to enter unless part of a group. Most discos also said that since passes are already being sold it is better to plan the evening in advance to avoid disappointment. The city also has a lot of hotels that have planned their New Year packages with families in mind.



Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, Tirupati, Alwar Divya Prabandha Project: Tiruppavai Discourses during Dhanurmasam — By Dr. K. Ananthachari at Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha Mandir, Karol Bagh; By A. S. Aravamudachariar, Sri Vinayaka Temple, Mayur Vihar, 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. respectively.

Shree Dharma Sastha Sewa Samithi: 23rd Mandalam-cumSastha Preethi Celebrations, Shree Ganesh Temple premises, Pocket-A, Mayur Vihar Phase-II, 7 p.m. to 10.15 p.m.

Ayyappa Sewa Samithi: Mandalam —Makara Vilakku festival to feature Bharatanatyam recital by Aishwarya Nair of Kalakshetra, Chennai, Ayyappa Temple, Sector-2 R. K. Puram, 6.30 p.m. ●


India Habitat Centre: Exhibition, “100 Capital Years Delhi 1911-2011”, India Habitat Centre Plaza, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Lalit Kala Akademi: 47th Annual Exhibition of Calcutta Painters; Digital Art Show by Mahinder Singh, Rabindra Bhavan, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

India International Rural

Most five-star hotels have opened all their restaurants with different entertainments on offer. The Lalit’s 24x7 restaurant will be allowing children above eight years with an additional charge of Rs.1,750 with couple charges being Rs.8, 600 which covers unlimited liquor and food. Tarot card readings and live band performances are also on offer. Cultural Centre: Folk dances of Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh, IRCEN Bhawan, 7, Nelson Mandela Road, Institutional Area, C-1, Vasant Kunj, 6-30 p.m. All-India Fine Arts and Crafts Society: 84th Annual All-India Art Exhibition 2011, 1 Rafi Marg, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Latitude 28: Group show exploring feminism, “And the falchion passed through his neck”, F-208, Old MB Road, Lado Sarai, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Shakuntalam Theatre: Screening of Hindi film, “Don 2 — The Chase Continues”, Pragati Maidan, 12 noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Meetings — Aakarshan Group: Paschim Vihar: Delhi Government dispensary, GA2, Block, opposite

From Punjab with love Dev Anand embodied a lifelong passion for acting and film-making. He was a phenomenon. Whatever he did on screen became the benchmark for every youngster. He was an icon. He took love and romance to dizzying heights on the silver screen though he never gave any intimate scenes in his films and never kissed his heroines. The whole of Punjab salutes this son of the soil. He will be missed forever. Dr. Naresh Raj, CMO, 132 New Majithia Enclave, Patiala – 147 001 (Punjab).

House of lords The decision to hold elections for three Rajya Sabha seats from Delhi at three different times on the same day is unjustified. The system should be to hold all regular Rajya Sabha elections and byelections simultaneously. Persons getting the maximum votes may be declared elected for the full term, while those next in line may be declared elected part-term members. To prevent the Rajya Sabha being reduced to a dumping ground for rejected politicians, no one who has lost an election in the past six years may be allowed to contest. The good old system of secret voting for Rajya Sabha elections should be reintroduced to prevent elected

Teacher held for allegedly raping former student Staff Reporter

Delhi spoilt for choice this New Year Eve

whether between spouses, siblings, mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law, neighbours, classmates, office colleagues and what have you. The gentle art of listening to others generates positive vibes, a congenial atmosphere, cordial relations and all-round cheer. So shall we resolve just now to “listen more and talk less” in the New Year? T. V. A. Ram, A-206, Pandara Road, New Delhi – 110 003.

A 40-year-old teacher has been arrested at Ambedkar Nagar here for alThe Imperial has also legedly raping one of his foropened around five restau- mer students on several rants with its Royal Ballroom occasions by threatening to being off-limits to children make public a video clip below eight years. The showing her in a compromisRs.13,700 cost is inclusive of ing position. The victim was in school taxes and covers beverages and snacks. The other restau- when she took tuitions from rants come cheaper at around the accused. She completed Rs.4,000 to Rs.5,000 with live her schooling and, encourbands and ghazal perform- aged by the teacher, her gradances. The hotel also offers uation and also obtained a the option to switch over to degree in a professional its Royal Ballroom celebra- course. tions should the patrons change their mind. Most other five-star hotels are also offering the same fare of à la carte menus or buffets with accompanying performances like ghazals, live bands with popular celebrity singers and dance floors with DJs. Staff Reporter The cost, depending on the liquor on offer or the per- NEW DELHI: Delhi Mayor Rajni formances promised, vary Abbi on Sunday laid the founfrom around Rs.3,500 to dation of a three-storey unabout Rs.17,000 per couple. derground parking at New Most hotels have already reg- Friends Colony which will be istered substantial bookings. able to accommodate over Many bars and restaurants in 500 cars at a time. She said the work on the these hotels also do not allow underground children, so it is better to en- multi-level quire in advance. Enquires parking, which will be conabout special arrangements structed at a cost of Rs.40 for parking will also have to crore, has already begun and the project will be completed be made in advance. by September 30. The Mayor added that the underground Radha Krishna Temple; Living parking will be spread over Sober Group: Rohini Sector-13, 12,089 sq. mt. and a green Delhi Govt. dispensary, near cover or park will be provided Bhagwati Hospital; Jeevandhara over it. Group: Khyber Pass, Civil Lines, NEW DELHI:

In 2004, the accused teacher took her to Rajasthan on some pretext where he allegedly raped her in a hotel room. He also allegedly made a video clip of her and threatened to make it public if she revealed anything to her family. The accused sexually abused the victim on several occasions. The traumatised woman finally narrated her woes to a relative, at whose insistence she lodged a complaint with the police. Subsequently the police registered a case and arrested the teacher.

representatives (MLAs) becoming bonded persons of party bosses, and also to prevent party bosses from “selling” en bloc votes of party MLAs. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan once rightly described the Rajya Sabha as a House for the rich who could afford to buy MLAs. Even the Election Commission once had to direct the Jharkhand Government to file an FIR against MLAs demanding cash for votes during a Rajya Sabha election. Madhu Agrawal, 1775, Kucha Lattushah, Dariba, Chandni Chowk, Delhi – 110 006.

Ticket trouble The Indian Railways’ website opened the Internet Reservation Portal in June-July this year. During that period, I reserved two 2nd AC tickets costing about Rs.1,700 on July 15. The amount for one ticket was deducted from my account, but I didn’t get the ticket. With the other, I was not allowed to board the train. I couldn’t file a TDR because the original portal redirected me to Whenever I complained to their Customer Care, the reply was that the matter would be taken care of within a few days. It wasn’t. I request the Railway authorities to resolve this now. Dr. Hasibuddin, Reader, Institute of Applied Sciences & Humanities, GLA University, Mathura – 281 406 (Uttar Pradesh).

To our readers Letters for this weekly column may be e-mailed to They should be short and crisp and must include the writer’s name and postal address.

Man arrested for bludgeoning wife to death Staff Reporter NEW DELHI: A young man who

allegedly bludgeoned his wife to death at his house in Jahangirpuri here was arrested on Sunday. The incident came to light in the morning when Dilip Kumar, a driver in Narela, informed the police that his 22year-old wife Poonam had been murdered by robbers. He claimed that some criminals killed her when she offered resistance. However, circumstantial evidence suggested Dilip’s role in her murder. During interrogation, he broke down and purportedly confessed to having killed her with a rod. Dilip married Poonam about seven months ago. He had frequent altercation with her over his alleged relationship city.” with another woman. Ms. Abbi said she expected The police suspect that he construction work to be com- repeatedly hit her with a rod pleted on time. on Sunday morning with an “The rise in number of ve- intention to get rid of her.The hicles has increased parking murder weapon has been problem in the city. However, seized. the MCD is working hard in this regard. This multi-level parking at New Friends Colony is an effort to ease out the pressure of parking from an area which has two big hospitals and a hotel in its vicinity.” MCD Standing Committee NEW DELHI: A man charged with chairman Yogendra Chando- sodomising a 14-year-old boy lia said the project will be a has been let off by a Delhi “milestone for the civic court on the suspicion that he might have been falsely implibody”. Mentioning the proposed cated by the victim’s uncle trifurcation of the civic body, who allegedly wanted to take MCD Works Committee over his job. Additional Sessions Jugde chairman Jagdish Mamgain said the MCD had not intro- Sanjay Sharma absolved Birju duced any new taxes in the Patel, 23, of the charge saying: past five years, but with the “The possibility of the accused proposal of three corpora- having been falsely implicated tions, “there are chances that by them for removing him new taxes would be intro- from his job cannot be ruled duced. Even then, citizens out.” According to the prosecuwould be devoid of many facilities as the revenue tion, Patel had allegedly sodothrough these tax collections mised the boy on April 18, would not be enough in the 2010, in a canteen at the wake of three-fold rise in ex- Anand Vihar Railway Station, penditure of the three where the boy’s uncle was also employed.— PTI corporations.”

MCD underground parking foundation laid

St. Thomas Baptist Church; Programme of Recovery Group: Dwarka Health Centre, Sector-12; Prashant Group: Lord Mahavir School, Sector-29, adjacent to Brahmaputra Shopping Complex; Svikar Group: Old Seemapuri, Delhi Govt. dispensary, Gole Chakkar; Suhk Sagar Group: Vishwas Nagar, 100-Foot Road; A.A. Ujala Group: Masihgarh Church, Sukhdev Vihar, near Escorts Heart Institute; A.A. Ashadeep Group: C-1, Safdarjang Development Area, Sahoday School; Jagriti Group: St. Columbas School, Bhai Vir Singh Marg, near Gole Dak Khana; Muktidaan Group: St Marks Church, Punjabi Bagh West, 7 p.m.

Completion on time Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who was present at the event, said: “The problem of parking is emerging as a great challenge in Delhi, the solution for which lies in the vision and commitment of the Governments. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi in the past almost five years has worked hard to provide systematic and spacious parking spaces across the

Absolved of sodomy charges

Published by N. Ram at Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 and Printed by S. Ramanujam at HT Media Limited, B-2, Sector 63, Noida, Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P., on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor-in-Chief: N. Ram (Editor responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act).






Sreedharan confident of Metro reaching other cities

BRIEFLY Madan Mohan Malviya remembered

The man who gave India a world class transport system is set to finish a remarkable journey by this year-end

NEW DELHI: A function was

organised by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in Malviya Nagar here on Sunday. Leader of the Opposition in Delhi Assembly Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, former Delhi Mayors Arti Mehra and Kedar Nath Sahni and other senior leaders paid respect at the freedom fighter’s statue installed at the site. “Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya spent his life for the welfare of the downtrodden sections of society. He was a great crusader of secularism.” said an MCD press statement.

Neha Alawadhi

Pankaj Udhas brings alive Jagjit magic NEW DELHI: To pay a tribute

to the king of ghazals, Jagjit Singh, Prayas, an organisation committed to the cause of marginalised children, joined hands with eminent ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas to organise a ghazal evening here over the weekend. Pankaj Udhas rendered a series of heart-warming ghazals in the memory of Jagjit Singh, who passed away earlier this year. Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai was the chief guest on the occasion.

NEW DELHI: As the “Metro Man”, the Managing Director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Dr. E. Sreedharan, prepares to hang up his boots at the end of this year, he says he is reasonably satisfied with his experience of giving Delhi a world class public transport system, and over how the Delhi Metro has become the model inspiring similar systems in all parts of the country. “On the whole, not only have we been able to give a good transportation system, we are doing so at a very low price to the Government. We have been able to keep down congestion on roads and also low pollution levels. Delhi Metro is the only metro in the world earning carbon credits. I have good reason to be proud of the system I have created,” says Dr. Sreedharan. With the success of the metro in the Capital, most other States in the country took to the idea of having such a system in place. Bangalore’s Namma Metro opened for commuters in October

this year: “Their model is practically the same as the Delhi model, so it will succeed; I have no doubt about it. They are a little behind schedule, and their cost is going up a little bit, but…ultimately…it will be a great asset to the city,” he says. Several other cities including Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Jaipur and Kochi are working on building their own rapid transit system. Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath recently announced that a metro system will come up in all cities with population of over 20 lakh. Will metro models in other States be as successful? The key, says Dr. Sreedharan, lies in having the right kind of organisation: “You require a dedicated, committed team. If the man in-charge is only on deputation for a small period, what dedication will he have? There should be someone full time, completely cut off from State Government politics.” He says further: “[Building a] metro requires very dynamic situations…because each day is so expensive. Each

A PROUD MAN: Outgoing Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Managing Director E. Sreedharan at his office in New Delhi. PHOTO: V. V. KRISHNAN day in a metro is in terms of crores. A delay of one day leads to a loss of one to one and a half crore.” Speaking about the Chennai metro rail project, for which DMRC was initially the interim consultant and later took over the role of prime consultants, Dr. Sreedharan says that while Phase- I of the project took off well, the proposed Phase-II has come to a standstill after the change of Government earlier this year: “Things picked up well [in Phase- I], contracts have been awarded, there are problems

here and there, but by and large, the Chennai project has been doing well. We [DMRC] told them [Chennai] immediately, once you start planning Phase-I, you have to start planning for Phase-II also.” Last year, the DMRC submitted a detailed project report to Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) for a 9 km extension of line 1 between Washerman Pet and Wimco Nagar, but the proposal has not been processed yet. In a letter written to the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu earlier this month, a copy of

Staff Reporter NEW DELHI: Children aged be-

NEW DELHI: Tarun Mitra

Parishad distributed tricycles, sewing machines and scholarships to physically-challenged persons, widows and needy students at a function held at Pearey Lal Bhawan here on Sunday. The function was inaugurated by Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief J. P. Agarwal. According to Parishad general secretary Ashok Jain, 150 needy students were awarded scholarships and presented books. Meritorious students were also honoured with “Srikishan Gupta Memorial Awards” and ‘Subodh Chand Jain Memorial Awards”.

A Christmas mass in progress at the Cathedral Church of Redemption in New Delhi on Sunday. — PHOTO: V. V. KRISHNAN

Delhi’s first construction academy to open in March To roll out skilled workers who would respect building by-laws, ensure structural stability Special Correspondent

trainings and bring about a cultural change and ensure NEW DELHI: Delhi Labour and constructions as per building Industries Minister Rama- by-laws and approved plankant Goswami has announced s. It will prove to be a step that a construction academy, towards planned a first of its kind, would start development. functioning in the Capital The Minister said confrom March 2012. It would fa- struction of buildings by uncilitate quality construction trained persons often activities to ensure structural rendered the structures unstability and overcome the in- safe and resulted in loss of life cidents of building collapse. and property. According to Mr. Goswami, During a visit to the Labour the academy would undertake Welfare Centre in Kalkaji

along with senior officials of the Labour Department this past week, the Minister evaluated the existing infrastructure and facilities for providing skill enhancement to construction workers. He was also accompanied by officials of the Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC), a body set up by the Planning Commission for imparting skills in various vocations and trades related to the construction sector.

WEATHER Max 19 20 18 19 13 15 20 5 19 19 22 25 22 22 23 20 17 30 29 26 27 28 15 31 21 33 29 21 30 32 22 17

Min R 3 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 -2 0 6 0 4 0 -5 0 -1 0 3 0 6 0 8 0 8 0 3 0 6 0 5 0 12 0 13 0 13 0 13 0 11 0 19 0 11 0 12 0 11 0 20 0 11 0 5 0 10 0 20 82 9 0 7 0

Cold wave NEW DELHI: Cold wave conditions are prevailing at most parts of Haryana, Punjab and east Uttar Pradesh and at many parts of Rajasthan and west Uttar Pradesh. They are severe over many parts of Haryana, Punjab and east Uttar Pradesh and some parts of north Rajasthan and west Uttar Pradesh. Cold wave conditions are also

Mr. Goswami said while primary infrastructure for development of a construction academy at this site was already there, there was a need to upgrade the infrastructure within 45 days to enable the Labour Department to commission it. The Academy would be able to impart skill development to around 2,000 workers per annum and the number would be increased substantially at a later stage. Functioning as a

Staff Reporter NEW DELHI: Jawaharlal Nehru

University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sudhir K. Sopory released seasoned journalist M. L. Kak’s book “Jailed without crime: The untold story of Emergency” at a function here on Sunday. Mr. Kak, who has reported on Jammu and Kashmir for over three decades, was among the senior journalists and political leaders who were arrested on June 26, 1975, and detained in a Hisar jail. The book narrates the sto-

residential skill centre, it would provide the workers with boarding and lodging facilities during training. The Minister said the new academy will also pay a stipend to the trainees to compensate for loss of workers’ wages during the training period, which would vary from 15 days to two months. The CIDC has also assured other support to make the first construction academy a Staff Reporter centre of excellence. NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has acquitted four persons in a murder case, saying there is no perversity in the trial court judgment nor has it ry of how Mr. Kak was arrest- ignored any vital evidence ed and later shifted from the while deciding the case. A Division Bench of the Hisar jail to the Central Jail in Srinagar, as a result of the in- Court comprising Justice B.D. tervention by the then Chief Ahmed and Justice Veena BiMinister late Sheikh rabal passed the judgment on an appeal by the victim’s son Abdullah. In the book, Mr. Kak has against the trial court judgshared his experience while ment acquitting the four he served his time in prison accused. In his appeal, the appellant, and the efforts that were made to secure his release. Mohammad Hammad, subThe book also dwells on the mitted that the trial court had socio-political scene in the ignored the place where the Kashmir Valley before the murder of his father was comonset of terrorism in the late mitted as pointed out by one 1980s and the exodus of the accused, the recovery of Kashmiri Pandits in the early the weapon of offence and the motive of the crime. 1990s.

Rajasthan and normal in the rest of the region. The lowest minimum temperature in the plains was -1.4°C recorded at Churu (Rajasthan). FORECAST VALID UNTIL THE MORNING OF 27th DECEMBER 2011: Weather will be mainly dry over the region. FORECAST FOR DELHI AND NEIGHBOURHOOD VALID UNTIL THE MORNING OF 27th DECEMBER 2011: Mainly clear sky. Mist/shallow fog in the morning. Chilly winds during day time.

he has also been stressing the importance of looking at “innovative method of funding” and promoting the involvement of private players. Dr. Sreedharan has a different view: “I go by simple common sense and logic. A metro is a social service. We have to provide metro at lowest fare to largest number of people. Unless a business is financially viable, no private party will get involved…[A private party] wants a return of 16-18 per cent, while in a metro the IRR [internal rate of return] is only 2 per cent and 3 per cent…Sometimes they will succeed, sometimes it will not succeed. In Hyderabad, a lot of land has been promised to them. In Mumbai, no land has been promised. I don’t know how they will make two ends meet.” Even in a public private partnership model, he says, the PPP operator “is not going to pay from his pocket. He will have to make money from the public”. On the whole though, Dr. Sreedharan is optimistic about the future of metro systems in India: “I am very optimistic that the metro will

reach all cities of India, but it has to be the Delhi Metro model if it has to spread fast. If left to the State Governments, things will not take off.” The DMRC is looking forward to the beginning of Phase- III construction within the coming month. “The Delhi Metro has excellent future” according to the Metro Man. “We have already started the DPR for Phase- IV, we have identified the corridors and [will soon] send it to the Delhi Government for approval. As soon as it is cleared, we will begin the survey.” But a truly public transport system, he adds, will depend on integration of the Delhi Metro with a good bus service and feeder bus system. As he retires as the chief of the DMRC on December 31, the architect of the Delhi Metro network says he wants to lead a quiet life post retirement: “After 58 years of professional life, I think I have to hang my boots. I have decided to go back to my ancestral village property and lead a quiet life away from all professional activity,” he concludes.

DON 2 (New Release – Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta): Delite, Shiela, Regal, Delite Diamond, Liberty, Amba, PVR (Plaza, Rivoli, Priya, Saket, Select CityWalk, Naraina, Vikaspuri, Prashant Vihar, East Delhi Mall, Mahagun, Opulent), DT (Saket, Shalimar, Vasant Kunj), Satyam (Patel Nagar, Janakpuri, Nehru Place), M2K (Rohini, Pitampura), Movie Time (Raja Garden, Pitampura), Fun (Moti Nagar, Pitampura, Laxmi Nagar, Vaishali, Karkardooma), Big (Odeon, Noida, Vaishali,

ASSOCHAM survey: Children spend sleep time by watching TV, browsing Internet and SMSing Sleep deprivation causing headaches, impaired concentration, weakened immune systems to those whose single parent was engaged in employment. This trend was abundant in metros where normally both the parents are employed, the survey revealed. The survey was conducted in the 10 major cities -- Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur and 2,500 tech-savvy children were randomly interviewed by an ASSOCHAM team. The survey revealed that new technologies such as cell phones and social networking sites give teenagers easy access to their friends 24 hours a day. Over half of those interviewed reportedly said that they accessed Internet and mobile phones for over seven hours a day. Significantly, boys reported excessive internet browsing compared to girls. According to ASSOCHAM Health Committee chairman Dr. B. K. Rao, school-age children and adolescents need at least nine hours of sleep a night. Dr. Rao said cell phones are not the only culprits of sleep deprivation, video games and computers contribute to teenagers’ inclination to stay up all night. The trend of sleep deprivation is leading to many daytime problems for teenagers,

including headaches, impaired concentration, weakened immune systems, crankiness, increased use of nicotine or caffeine and hyperactive behaviour often misconstrued as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The survey showed that 88 per cent of students are up late doing homework or studying. Other late-night activities include watching television, surfing the Internet or chatting online Around 86 per cent said they have a phone, music system, computer or television in their bedroom and two-thirds have all three. Majority of respondent said they keep their phone by the bedside in case a friend calls or messages in the middle of night. Sometimes, they receive calls or messages as late as 4 a.m. The survey warns that excessive use of mobile phones makes teenagers more restless and can exacerbate sleep problems and stress. They also consumed more stimulating drinks, suffered from disrupted sleep or insomnia and are more susceptible to stress and fatigue than young people. Dr. Rao further said youngsters need to be informed of the negative effects of excessive technology use.

Court acquits four murder accused

CINEMA INSAT PICTURE AT 14.00 hrs. Observations recorded at 8.30 a.m. on December 25. prevailing over some parts over Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand. They are likely to continue during next two days RAINFALL: Weather was dry over the region. MINIMUM TEMPERATURE: The minimum temperatures changed little over the region. They were markedly below normal in Haryana, appreciably below normal in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, west Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, below normal in Himachal Pradesh and east

tween 10 and 18 are spending an average of six to seven hours a day using some kind of electronic device in big cities which can lead to negative outcomes such as social isolation, insomnia, depression, anxiety and obesity, according to Social Development Foundation of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). A countrywide survey, “Tech toy addictions: A rising trend in metros”, conducted during September-November has revealed that children are spending their sleeping time with other things -- watching television, playing video games, browsing computer and texting messages on mobile phones. Easy availability of technology with lack of parental supervision is a significant reason for this ever-increasing menace of technology addiction, the survey noted. “Activities like watching TV and chatting online have greatly cut into teenagers’ sleeping time. The teen sleep survey showed that 80 per cent of school students are getting less than eight hours of sleep on school days. More than any other group 10-18 years old are the most vulnerable to such risks.” An aspect which emerged out of this survey is that children of working parents were found to be more technology addictive in the absence of parental supervision compared

Book on Emergency released

TR 0 1 11 0 33 36 13 86 7 10 0 0 0 1 0 44 65 0 228 27 0 851 9 78 23 64 1 3 207 482 27 100

The columns show maximum and minimum temperature in Celsius, rainfall during last 24 hours (trtrace) and total rainfall in mm since 1st October.

which he shared with The Hindu, Dr. Sreedharan noted: “Chennai has a population of 8.30 million as of 2008…For this level of population a large metro network is inevitable as the public transport system in the city. Unfortunately, after the new Government has come into power there has been a violent shift in policy and it is understood that the State Government is now planning monorail systems to cover the entire city. Being closely associated with urban transport planning for 14 years I have to caution the Government that monorail is not an ideal choice for urban transport. At best it can only function as a feeder system.” Speaking further, he said: “Now Mumbai has started with monorail, they are finding it so difficult. Chennai also will have the same difficulties. They should take advice from transportation planners.” He also says it is the right time for Tamil Nadu to start planning for metro systems in “big cities” like Coimbatore and Madurai. While Union Minister Kamal Nath is encouraging the coming up of metro systems,

‘Kids losing sleep over tech toys’

Prayers to the Lord

Scholarships given to the needy

New Delhi (Plm) New Delhi (Sfd) Chandigarh Hissar Bhuntar Shimla Jammu Srinagar Amritsar Patiala Jaipur Udaipur Allahabad Lucknow Varanasi Dehradun Agartala Ahmedabad Bangalore Bhubaneshwar Bhopal Chennai Guwahati Hyderabad Kolkata Mumbai Nagpur Patna Pune Thiruvananthapuram Imphal Shillong


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He also argued that the police had not examined a prosecution witness, Shakil, who had accompanied his father to his village. His father had gone missing on way to his village and Shakil had not informed about it to the appellant when the latter had enquired from him. The appellant submitted that the motive of the murder of his father was political rivalry as his father had lost an election to the post of the village pradhan to the brother of two of the accused. Later, the accused person’s brother had been murdered. Therefore, they wanted to take revenge for the murder of their brother as they suspected the hand of his father. However, the appellant failed to prove the charge. The accused persons had also

lodged a complaint against the appellant and his father alleging that there was a threat to their life from them. The recovery of the weapon of offence was also not proved to the effect that the murder was committed with it, as the weapon, a razor, had an identification mark on it but the forensic laboratory was provided a razor without the identification mark. The prosecution also failed to prove the place of occurrence as the public witness in whose presence the police had prepared the memo of the spot was not examined during trial. Dismissing the appeal, the Bench said: “In the light of the above discussion, the learned trial court has rightly discarded the circumstantial evidence alleged against the respondents.”

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(Vaishali), Galaxie, M4U, Movie Magic, Movie World, Silver City (Ghaziabad), Inox (Faridabad). DESI BOYZ (Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone): PVR (Moti Nagar, Pitampura, Laxmi Nagar, Karkardooma), M2K (Rohini, Pitampura), Satyam (Patel Nagar, Janakpuri, Nehru Place), Movie Time (Raja Garden, Pitampura), DT (Saket, Shalimar Bagh, Vasant Kunj), Big (Noida, Vaishali, Kaushambi), Spice (Noida), Wave (Raja Garden, Noida, Kaushambi). (BOOKING ENQUIRIES: PVR 51513391; Spice Gold 9512043890000; Satyam Cinemas 25797385; Delite 23272903; Wave 51832222) ...ND-ND





North India shivers on Christmas

Gulmarg records - 9.8 degrees

CHANDIGARH: The Congress is

NEW DELHI: The bone-chilling

A WHITE CHRISTMAS: Tourists celebrating Christmas at the world’s highest ski resort of Gulmarg on Sunday. – PHOTO: NISSAR AHMAD

The tourist resort of Gulcold intensified across north marg recorded a low of miIndia on Sunday providing nus 9.8, while in the remote no respite to people soaked Leh district of Ladakh rein the yuletide spirit even as gion the minimum temperthe extreme weather ature dropped by a degree to claimed three more lives, settle at minus 16.2, the Metaking the country-wide toll teorological Department this winter to 131. said. In the desert State of RaThree deaths in U.P. jasthan, Churu continued to The deaths were reported remain the coldest place at overnight from Uttar Pra- minus 1.4 degrees, followed desh, which has so far ac- by Pilani at 0.3. counted for 91 fatalities. Sriganganagar recorded a Hisar in Haryana and Am- low of 0.6 degrees, while ritsar in Punjab recorded Phalodi, Bikaner, Sikar and minimum temperatures of 0 Jaisalmer touched 4, 4.2, 4.8 degrees and 0.6 degrees re- and 5.4 degrees respectively. spectively, both readings beOther places in the State ing a few notches below also recorded minimum normal. temperatures in the range of Narnaul recorded a low of 6.1 to 13.2, according to the 0.5, down by five degrees, Meteorological Department while the minimum at Am- here. Meanwhile, most parts bala settled at three, down of Himachal Pradesh confour notches, the local tinued to reel under the seweather office said. vere cold wave conditions In the Kashmir Valley, but a ‘white Christmas’ Srinagar recorded a mini- eluded State capital Shimla, mum temperature of minus disappointing locals and 4.8, making it the season’s thousands of tourists who coldest night in the city so have thronged the town to far this season. enjoy the snow. — PTI

Jayalalithaa seeks special financial package Special Correspondent CHENNAI: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has sought a special financial package from the Prime Minister for Tamil Nadu to help the State overcome its present financial crisis. In a 18-page memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister at the Raj Bhavan on Sunday evening, she said the State’s revenue deficit was over Rs 3,000 crore and debt burden was over Rs 1 lakh crore, which was severely hampering the State’s development works. The Centre should provide additional financial support under specific programmes like Backward Regions Grant (BRG) and infrastructural development schemes, similar to special package extended to

the West Bengal government recently. The Centre has kept pending the State’s request for sanction of Debt Relief pertaining to reduction of interest rates on loans sanctioned from the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) and write-off of outstanding loans due to various Union Ministries and departments. The State was entitled to Interest Relief on NSSF loans to an extent of Rs.228 crore and Debt waiver relief of Rs.212 crore. This must be implemented with effect from April 1, 2010 as recommended by the 13th Finance Commission, Ms. Jayalalithaa said. In the forthcoming talks with Sri Lanka, proposed to be held in January, 2012, the Centre should strongly take

up the issue of attacks against Indian fishermen. All efforts must be taken to protect the traditional fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen in the Palk Bay area and to ensure their safety and security, she demanded. Ms. Jayalalithaa also reminded the Prime Minister of her demand for a Special Package for conversion of bottom trawlers into deep sea tuna Long Liners suitable for deep sea fishing to reduce the trawling fishing pressure in the disputed waters of the Palk Bay area and the request for an assistance of Rs.10 crore every year for dredging of fishing harbours and bar mouths. The Chief Minister sought a special package for the financial revival of power utilities with the Tamil

Congress yet to announce candidates for Punjab polls

Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) on the brink of financial collapse with an accumulated loss of over Rs.40,000 crore and an unmanageable debt amounting to more than Rs.50,000 crore. In the package, Ms. Jayalalithaa asked for a grant-inaid of Rs 455.16 crore for grid connected renewable energy; additional allocation of 1000 MW from the Central pool; special financial assistance under Clean Energy Fund for wind energy development; reduction of transmission and distribution losses and measures for supply-side management; additional allocation of power from the capacity addition under joint sectors and long term coal linkage for new projects.

yet to announce its candidates for the January 30 Punjab Assembly polls, even as ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has already announced its first list of candidates. “We will announce the candidates’ name in the next 3-4 days,” Congress in-charge for Punjab, Gulchain Singh Charak said here on Sunday. When asked if the delay would give an edge to the ruling party, he said, “Akali Dal is a regional party, while Congress is a national party where several processes are followed before the candidates are finally selected. There are twothree meetings more to be

“Several processes are followed in the Congress before candidates are selected” held after which we will come out with the names.” Mr. Charak also dismissed speculation of internal wrangling in the party. “We had received 1,500 applications (for 117 seats). But there is no internal wrangling. The consultation process is on and we have to keep winnability factor in mind,” he said.

According to political analysts, Congress faces the tricky task of adjusting some of the defectors, including PPP’s Kushaldeep Dhillon, while at the same time avoiding ruffling feathers of its own members who would be aspiring for the tickets. SAD had already announced names of 48 candidates for the polls. The party led by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is contesting on 94 seats, while the remaining 23 seats would be contested by its ally the BJP. Punjab will have singlephase elections in 117 constituencies. The counting will be on March 4. - PTI


Bus falls into gorge, 5 kids die DHAR (M.P.): Five school-chil-

dren were killed and 45 others injured when a school-bus fell into a gorge near the tourist town of Mandu, 33 km from here, on Sunday morning. “The mishap took place at 5-30 a.m. The bus was carrying students of Satyasiddhi Public School, Khachrod, and was heading to Mandu,” SubDivisional Magistrate Ravindra Choudhary said. The bus had left Khachrod, in Ujjain district, on Saturday night and fell into the gorge when the driver lost control on the steering wheel near Aalam Ka Darwaja, he said. Eight children, who were in serious condition, were sent to Indore. - PTI

Security of VVIPs being reviewed: Punjab DGP CHANDIGARH: The security of

VVIPs in Punjab is being reviewed in the wake of the arrest by Delhi Police of two suspected Babbar Khalsa International terrorists who had plans to assassinate some religious and political leaders. “Yes, we are in the process of reviewing security of the VVIPs,” Punjab’s DirectorGeneral of Police Anil Kaushik said over phone on Sunday. Without disclosing the names of the VVIPs, mostly top politicians, Mr. Kaushik said they had viewed seriously the development leading to the arrest of the two terrorists in the national Capital. Asked if Delhi Police had written to Punjab Police ask-

ing it to beef up security of top VVIPs in the State, Mr. Kaushik said so far they had not received any such letter. Assembly polls in Punjab are scheduled to be held on January 30 and over the next month there is going to be hectic movement of the VVIPs across the State for campaigning. After the arrest of two BKI terrorists on Friday, Delhi Police had claimed that the module had been tasked by BKI chief Wadhawa Singh and an operative Kulbir Singh to assassinate three religious leaders in Punjab and Haryana and some political leaders in Punjab during the upcoming Assembly elections. — PTI

23 babies die in 10 days in hospital SURI (WEST BENGAL): Twentythree babies have died in the past 10 days at a governmentrun hospital here in West Bengal’s Birbhum district. Suri Sadar Hospital Superintendent Manabendra Ghosh said 23 babies died between December 15 to 24, while 49 infants have died in the past one month in the hospital. Of the 49, only three were about a

year old. They were suffering from pneumonia or septicaemia, Mr. Ghosh said. The others were in the age group of 0-7 days and born underweight. As the number of deliveries increased in the hospital, the number of baby deaths also went up, he said. While there were 9,500 deliveries in the hospital last year, the figure reached 15,000 this year. — PTI






Adarsh, a classic case of fence eating crop, says CAG Rahi Gaikwad MUMBAI: The Adarsh Housing Society scam is a case of how State and Central government departments across the board failed to uphold the very rules they were in charge of implementing, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India has concluded. However, the CAG is not in favour of demolishing the building in Mumbai and has recommended that the houses be given to deserving exservicemen and war widows. Adarsh “is a classic example of the fence eating the crops; of those holding fiduciary responsibility betraying the same for personal aggrandisement. It reflects a consistent failure across all departments, State and Central government and a cross-section of the officialdom. It is an example of how a group of select and powerful elite could collude to subvert rules and regulations for personal benefit,” says the CAG report given out at a press conference here on Saturday. A series of letters for concessions, extra FSI and approvals, sent by the society to the State [Maharashtra] and the Centre “liberally” used phrases such as “members who are from the Armed forces and serving the motherland,” and “reward for heroes of Kargil operations who bravely fought at Kargil and protected our motherland.” However, on the final list of 102 members of 2010, the largest share of the residences went to the kith and kin of the powerful. There were 37 defence officers includ-

Adarsh is a classic example of the fence eating the crops: CAG In the 2010 final list, chunk of houses went to kin of the powerful ing civilians, 15 serving and retired government servants, 8 MPs or MLAs, and 42 individuals, who were mostly relatives of government officers and politicians. Eligibility conditions were also relaxed in favour of the members. “The government of Maharashtra amended [February 15, 2005] the provisions of the GR of July 1999 by raising the income limit of all and waiving the requirement of domicile in respect of retired State government employees and serving and retired service personnel from Maharashtra,” the CAG found. It also stated how certain memberships in Adarsh were linked to the decisions or approvals given by officials. For instance, the former Municipal Commissioner, Jairaj Phatak, accepted the society’s contention that there was no need to obtain a fresh no-objection certificate for construction of an additional floor. “However, the appropriate authority i.e. MMRDA’s approval may be obtained.” MMRDA [Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority] then issued the NOC. “The son of Jairaj Phatak eventually became a member of the society.” In another instance, the society forwarded eight names to the Collector to be included as members “if the additional FSI was sanctioned by the government.” This “con-

ditional membership was unusual,” the CAG observed. In the same letter, the society also “intimated the approval of membership of...I A Kundan, [who] on that date, [was] Collector, Mumbai City, and was directly dealing with the matters relating to the society.” The CAG noted that the society member and then Deputy Secretary, Urban Development, P.V. Deshmukh, issued a letter which was “misleading and indeed false.” He said: “The Ministry of Environment and Forests have communicated their ‘no objection’ to allow the said residential development since it falls within the Coastal Regulation Zone II area.” This letter “enabled the society to overcome a significant barrier of environmental clearance for the building.” Thus, “a building more than 100 metres tall could come up within a few kilometres of the Mantralaya without requisite clearance and also receive an occupancy certificate from the concerned local authorities.” The report has no mention of the missing Adarsh files. Mala Sinha, principal accountant general (Audit)-I said: “We have prepared the report on the basis of the records available to us.” In light of the “glaring examples of dereliction of duty and severe lack of probity and accountability,” the CAG has called for a “detailed inquiry

and investigation.”

Kalmadi in the dock The Third Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG), 2008, held in Pune was a fitting precursor to the Commonwealth Games scam of 2010. According to the CAG report, a series of irregularities took place in award of contracts and favours, which became a hallmark of the CWG. “Lack of effective planning and execution resulted in non-completion of many city infrastructure works before CYG. Commencement of work without ensuring clear sites resulted in blocking of funds and an avoidable expenditure of Rs. 177.04 crore,” the report says. The 2008 CYG was organised as a sub-event of CWG 2010 under the stewardship of Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi. The CAG found that “concerned rules and regulations were openly flouted in the award of contracts for construction and refurbishment of the sports complex and procurement of electronic, sports and other equipment.” One of the things the CAG found “serious deficiencies” in was the construction of a three-star hotel on a public-private partnership basis. “The tendering process…was severely flawed. The contract was awarded to Unity Infra Projects on a single financial bid with a net present value far below that recommended by the Finance Department. The Review Committee abdicated its responsibility in regard to this contract. Further, the entrepreneur did not pay the annual premium as per the agreement.”


Kolkata abuzz with X’mas revelry Ananya Dutta KOLKATA: As church bells tolled at the stroke of midnight, the city was wrapped up in the yuletide spirit over the Christmas weekend. The revelry spilled out onto the streets, with people out dressed in tinsel and lights. At the heart of the excitement, Park Street — the traditional hub of Christmas festivities in the city — was bathed in light. Hundreds had begun to pour into the area from Saturday evening. While stores were decked up in wreaths, bells, stars and fake snowflakes and holly, it was the sight of the massive Christmas tree further down the street that stole the show. Nearly everyone donned the ubiquitous red elf hat with a white bob at its end, providing brisk business for vendors. Bakers and confectioners in the city also had a busy weekend with some stores keeping their doors open all night to accommodate the huge demand for Christmas cakes. While traditional recipes remain a favourite, some chefs used the occasion to experiment, creating Bengali variants of the classic yuletide fare. Long queues were spotted at nearly all the stores.

The festivities were also in full swing at Bow Street, a colony of Anglo-Indian families in the heart of the city which is known for its signature style of Christmas celebration. It was an unusual Christmas for some children living in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal region of the State. A group of 30 under-16 cricketers from the region had been selected for a week-long coaching programme organised by the Cricket Association of Bengal. The coaching camp concluded on Sunday with a special Christmas celebration organised for them at the Eden Gardens. The holiday, which has been marked by a nip in the air, was an ideal occasion for many to visit the Alipore Zoological Gardens, Victoria Memorial, the Maidan grounds beside it, amusement parks, and the Hooghly riverfront, all of which noted a surge in footfall during the day.

Traffic snarls However, the flush of excitement and the huge rush to these several hotspots soon clogged up the important thoroughfares — leading to traffic snarls for long hours. See also Back Page






Adarsh, a classic case of fence eating crop, says CAG Rahi Gaikwad MUMBAI: The Adarsh Housing Society scam is a case of how State and Central government departments across the board failed to uphold the very rules they were in charge of implementing, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India has concluded. However, the CAG is not in favour of demolishing the building in Mumbai and has recommended that the houses be given to deserving exservicemen and war widows. Adarsh “is a classic example of the fence eating the crops; of those holding fiduciary responsibility betraying the same for personal aggrandisement. It reflects a consistent failure across all departments, State and Central government and a cross-section of the officialdom. It is an example of how a group of select and powerful elite could collude to subvert rules and regulations for personal benefit,” says the CAG report given out at a press conference here on Saturday. A series of letters for concessions, extra FSI and approvals, sent by the society to the State [Maharashtra] and the Centre “liberally” used phrases such as “members who are from the Armed forces and serving the motherland,” and “reward for heroes of Kargil operations who bravely fought at Kargil and protected our motherland.” However, on the final list of 102 members of 2010, the largest share of the residences went to the kith and kin of the powerful. There were 37 defence officers includ-

Adarsh is a classic example of the fence eating the crops: CAG In the 2010 final list, chunk of houses went to kin of the powerful ing civilians, 15 serving and retired government servants, 8 MPs or MLAs, and 42 individuals, who were mostly relatives of government officers and politicians. Eligibility conditions were also relaxed in favour of the members. “The government of Maharashtra amended [February 15, 2005] the provisions of the GR of July 1999 by raising the income limit of all and waiving the requirement of domicile in respect of retired State government employees and serving and retired service personnel from Maharashtra,” the CAG found. It also stated how certain memberships in Adarsh were linked to the decisions or approvals given by officials. For instance, the former Municipal Commissioner, Jairaj Phatak, accepted the society’s contention that there was no need to obtain a fresh no-objection certificate for construction of an additional floor. “However, the appropriate authority i.e. MMRDA’s approval may be obtained.” MMRDA [Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority] then issued the NOC. “The son of Jairaj Phatak eventually became a member of the society.” In another instance, the society forwarded eight names to the Collector to be included as members “if the additional FSI was sanctioned by the government.” This “con-

ditional membership was unusual,” the CAG observed. In the same letter, the society also “intimated the approval of membership of...I A Kundan, [who] on that date, [was] Collector, Mumbai City, and was directly dealing with the matters relating to the society.” The CAG noted that the society member and then Deputy Secretary, Urban Development, P.V. Deshmukh, issued a letter which was “misleading and indeed false.” He said: “The Ministry of Environment and Forests have communicated their ‘no objection’ to allow the said residential development since it falls within the Coastal Regulation Zone II area.” This letter “enabled the society to overcome a significant barrier of environmental clearance for the building.” Thus, “a building more than 100 metres tall could come up within a few kilometres of the Mantralaya without requisite clearance and also receive an occupancy certificate from the concerned local authorities.” The report has no mention of the missing Adarsh files. Mala Sinha, principal accountant general (Audit)-I said: “We have prepared the report on the basis of the records available to us.” In light of the “glaring examples of dereliction of duty and severe lack of probity and accountability,” the CAG has called for a “detailed inquiry

and investigation.”

Kalmadi in the dock The Third Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG), 2008, held in Pune was a fitting precursor to the Commonwealth Games scam of 2010. According to the CAG report, a series of irregularities took place in award of contracts and favours, which became a hallmark of the CWG. “Lack of effective planning and execution resulted in non-completion of many city infrastructure works before CYG. Commencement of work without ensuring clear sites resulted in blocking of funds and an avoidable expenditure of Rs. 177.04 crore,” the report says. The 2008 CYG was organised as a sub-event of CWG 2010 under the stewardship of Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi. The CAG found that “concerned rules and regulations were openly flouted in the award of contracts for construction and refurbishment of the sports complex and procurement of electronic, sports and other equipment.” One of the things the CAG found “serious deficiencies” in was the construction of a three-star hotel on a public-private partnership basis. “The tendering process…was severely flawed. The contract was awarded to Unity Infra Projects on a single financial bid with a net present value far below that recommended by the Finance Department. The Review Committee abdicated its responsibility in regard to this contract. Further, the entrepreneur did not pay the annual premium as per the agreement.”


Kolkata abuzz with X’mas revelry Ananya Dutta KOLKATA: As church bells tolled at the stroke of midnight, the city was wrapped up in the yuletide spirit over the Christmas weekend. The revelry spilled out onto the streets, with people out dressed in tinsel and lights. At the heart of the excitement, Park Street — the traditional hub of Christmas festivities in the city — was bathed in light. Hundreds had begun to pour into the area from Saturday evening. While stores were decked up in wreaths, bells, stars and fake snowflakes and holly, it was the sight of the massive Christmas tree further down the street that stole the show. Nearly everyone donned the ubiquitous red elf hat with a white bob at its end, providing brisk business for vendors. Bakers and confectioners in the city also had a busy weekend with some stores keeping their doors open all night to accommodate the huge demand for Christmas cakes. While traditional recipes remain a favourite, some chefs used the occasion to experiment, creating Bengali variants of the classic yuletide fare. Long queues were spotted at nearly all the stores.

The festivities were also in full swing at Bow Street, a colony of Anglo-Indian families in the heart of the city which is known for its signature style of Christmas celebration. It was an unusual Christmas for some children living in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal region of the State. A group of 30 under-16 cricketers from the region had been selected for a week-long coaching programme organised by the Cricket Association of Bengal. The coaching camp concluded on Sunday with a special Christmas celebration organised for them at the Eden Gardens. The holiday, which has been marked by a nip in the air, was an ideal occasion for many to visit the Alipore Zoological Gardens, Victoria Memorial, the Maidan grounds beside it, amusement parks, and the Hooghly riverfront, all of which noted a surge in footfall during the day.

Traffic snarls However, the flush of excitement and the huge rush to these several hotspots soon clogged up the important thoroughfares — leading to traffic snarls for long hours. See also Back Page







Pratibha Patil arrives in Hyderabad Uttarakhand parties begin Handlooms Minister Shankar Rao complains of protocol breach Special Correspondent HYDERABAD: The President,

‘SUSWAGATHAM’: A young girl greets President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on her arrival in Hyderabad on Sunday. – PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU

Pratibha Devisingh Patil, arrived here on Sunday afternoon to a warm welcome, on a 10-day visit to the South. Those present at the ceremonial reception at the Begumpet airport included Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chairman of the Legislative Council, A. Chakrapani, and Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and several Cabinet Ministers. Also present at the reception were Deputy Chairman of the National Disaster Management Agency M. Sashidhar Reddy. The Ministers included Sabita Reddy and Mukesh Goud, while the officialdom was represented by Chief Secretary Pankaj Dwivedi, Director-General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy and City Police Commissioner A.K. Khan, and a host of other officials. After the reception, Ms. Patil drove to the Rashtrapati Nilayam, escorted by the Minis-

ter-in-Waiting, Sunita Laxma Reddy. Soon after the President left for Rashtrapathi Nilayam, the Handlooms and Textiles Minister, P. Shankar Rao, spoke to waiting presspersons, complaining of a lapse in protocol. He alleged that officials had goofed up again and regretted that as Secunderabad Cantonment MLA, his name should have been on the protocol list. He said he would take up the issue with Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy or if necessary, even with the party high command. During her stay here, she is expected to take part in the International Kuchipudi Festival at Ravindra Bharathi on December 30. On January 2, she will fly to Chennai and after fulfilling a couple of engagements there, proceed to Sriharikota to attend a programme of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). She will then come back here for a day, before returning to Delhi on January 4.

homework for early polls C. K. Chandramohan

DEHRA DUN: The announcement of the Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha poll schedule giving roughly a month for the finale has taken political parties including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the main Opposition Congress leaders by surprise. Though putting up a brave face saying that they were ready for the polls, senior leaders admitted that they were expecting the polls to be held sometime after midFebruary and would have to work overtime to come out with the election manifesto, finalise candidates as well as decide seats for senior leaders whose traditional bastions had been undone by the delimitation of Assembly constituencies. The BJP seems to be battling with fears of sabotage by the dethroned Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and the old time veteran and

Announcement of early poll schedule takes senior leaders by surprise Meanwhile, Anna Hazare’s proposed tour of the State causing confusion former Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshiary. Worse, the party cadres are sore at the leaders for not having paid heed to the village or locality-level development they had sought. The Congress seems to be forging ahead amidst polarization of local leaders for or against the probable candidates for the top job in case the party returns to power. Both the BJP and Congress are open to a coalition with the BSP or the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal or independents in the event of a fractured verdict, well-placed sources said. Amidst the confusion, an-

ti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s proposed tour of seems to be causing concern among the Congress leaders. “Mr. Hazare should raise the issue of large-scale corruption, loot of public money and land scams by the BJP Governments here and other BJP-ruled States,” said Congress spokesman Surendra Kumar. The delimitation has resulted in six seats from the hills coming down to the plains. Now the hills will have 34 Assembly constituencies and the plains have 36. The process has affected poll prospects of leaders in about 24 constituencies. The worst af-

fected leaders whose constituencies have vanished include the Chief Minister and his arch rival former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank who represented Dhumakot and Thailisen seats respectively in Pauri district. The new constituencies created are Haridwar (rural) and BHEL Ranipur in Haridwar district, Nanakmatta and Kichcha in Udham Singh Nagar, Lalkuan in Nainital and Raipur in Dehra Dun district. Polling for the single phase elections will be held on January 30 next year and counting of votes will be done on March 4. According to the Chief Electoral Officer, Uttarakhand, Radha Raturi the notification will be issued on January 5. The last date for filing nominations is January 12. They will be scrutinised on January 13 and the last date for withdrawing nominations is January 16.

Manu Sharma Supreme Court-appointed panel inspects Vaigai dam donates Rs.50 lakh for handicapped Staff Reporter

Siddhartha Vashishta alias Manu Sharma, serving a life term in Tihar jail for killing ramp model Jessica Lall in 1999, has donated Rs. 50 lakh for the poor and handicapped, a church priest said here on Sunday. “Manu Sharma made a generous donation of Rs. 50 lakh for the poor and handicapped staying in a home run by the Missionaries of Charity in Chandigarh,” Thomas Anchanikal, parish priest of Christ the King Cathedral here, told PTI by telephone. “We remain grateful to you for your generous donation...and we wish you all the best for your humanitarian activities,” Mr. Anchanikal said in a letter to Manu. Manu Sharma is the son of Congress leader and party MLA from Ambala, Venod Sharma. Manu Sharma also sponsored the community lunch at the Cathedral on the occasion of Christmas.


“The office-bearers of the church extend a warm thanks to Manu Sharma for his gesture,” a church representative, Anil Ghazan, said in a signed statement here. When asked if the Cathedral or the Missionaries of Charity would accept donations from other convicts charged with serious crimes, Father Anchanikal said: “I don’t think there is a problem when the man is trying to reform himself and repents what he has done.” On November 16, the Delhi High Court had granted five days parole to Sharma after allowing his plea to attend his younger brother’s marriage and related functions in Karnal, Ambala and Chandigarh. Sharma was awarded life imprisonment by the Delhi High Court in December 2006 for shooting dead Jessica during a late night party in South Delhi in 1999. The life term was upheld by the Supreme Court last year. - PTI

THENI: The Supreme Court appointed Empowered Committee on Sunday inspected Tamil Nadu Hydel Power generation station at Lower camp and Vaigai dam as part of its inspection of Mullaperiyar dam here.

Drinking water, irrigation are concerns Kerala Irrigation Department engineers accompanied the panel during inspection. The panel’s main objective was to assess utilisation of water, including drinking water and irrigation purposes, and to inspect the ayacut areas. The panel comprising C.D. Thatte and D.K. Mehta, first inspected the Four Bay dam and power station at Lower Camp near Goodalur and enquired with officials representing Tamil Nadu. Later, it inspected a limestone quarry, situated on the Supreme Court-appointed way to the Sri Mangaladevi — PHOTO: G. KARTHIKEYAN Kannagi Amman Temple near Lower camp. (LimeThe panel then checked stones present at this site the condition of the Vaigai were used for construction dam. The members asked of the Periyar dam 120 years the officials to lift one of the ago). main shutters to check the

22 of family drown as boat capsizes Ajai Sreevatsan PULICAT: A Christmas pleasure ride turned into a tragedy for 22 members of a family, when a boat capsized near the sea mouth of the Pulicat lake backwaters on Sunday afternoon. Only three boys were rescued out of the 25 present on the boat. A dozen bodies were fished out by rescuers by late evening. The search operations were set to go on into the night. Ashok, an alert fisherman who was on a boat in the vicinity, rescued Paul Dinakar (10), Ponraj (12), and Janakaraj (13). They were admitted to the Ponneri government hospital. All the passengers on board belonged to one family. The head of the family, Soundarapandian annachi, ran a hotel on the Gummidipoondi bypass road. His grandson was baptized on Sunday morning. Many relatives had joined them for the joyous occasion and a group of over 20 family members made the trip to the Pulicat lake. Official sources said though the boat could hold no more

CHENNAI: In a Christmas gift to the faithful among all denominations, the State government announced financial assistance ranging from Rs. 20,000 to 24,000 to those embarking on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. While participating in Christmas celebrations on December 21, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had said that in the first phase, 500 persons would be given assistance for

functioning of the electricpowered shutters. When they saw the flow chart of Vaigai dam, they enquired about distribution of

water for irrigation and drinking water supply at various points. The Tamil Nadu Public Works engineers, who ac-

companied the team, explained the flow chart and utilisation pattern of Vaigai dam water in five southern districts.

Dhumal wants Bharat Ratna for Vajpayee Staff Correspondent SHIMLA: Himachal Chief Min-

ister Prem Kumar Dhumal has requested the Union Government to confer the prestigious Bharat Ratna on former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in recognition of his services to the nation. Observing Mr. Vajpayee’s birthday as “Sushasan Diwas” on Sunday, the Chief Minister also inaugurated a mega-conference hall named after the senior BJP leader, at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and State Hospital in Shimla. Mr. Dhumal reminded the audience about the ambitious schemes launched and conceived by the former Prime Minister including interlinBody of boy recovered from Pulicat lake by villagers king of rivers, Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sarak Yojna and and police personnel on Sunday.PHOTO : R.RAGU construction of various exthan 10 passengers, there in Gummidipoondi, are also press highways. He also were 25 on board when the feared dead. talked about a slew of grand accident happened. schemes named after Mr. VajThe boat was not equipped Solatium announced payee in the hill State includChief Minister Jayalalithaa ing the Atal Awas Yojna, Atal with life vests. The boat driver Ansari (19) and his wife Na- on Sunday announced an ex Bijli Bachat Yojna and the sirin Begam, who until gratia of Rs. 1 lakh each to the flagship health scheme – the recently worked in the hotel families of the 22 victims. Atal Swasthya Ambulance Yojna that is proving to be a great success in the State’s difficult hilly terrain.

A gift for pilgrims to Jerusalem Special Correspondent

Empowered Committee members inspecting Vaigai dam near Theni on Sunday.

The officials said the water was used for irrigation of several lakh acres of land under its ayacut in Madurai, Theni and Dindigul districts and to fill tanks in Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts for irrigating several acres. The team also inspected the dam’s tunnel to check seepage levels. The team also visited Mudalakkampatti village and inspected the pick-up weir to study distribution of drinking water to Madurai city and for the Sedapatti drinking water scheme. Mr. Mehta and Mr. Datte came to Dindigul district in the evening and inspected Peranai, one of the main drinking water supply sources to Dindigul, and many wayside villages. The team will inspect Vaigai ayacut areas in Melur and Kallandhiri areas tomorrow. Kerala State Irrigation Department Chief Engineers P. Lathika and Mullaperiyar Cell member James Wilson, Technical Expert in Kerala Leena George, Cauvery Technical Cell Chairman R. Subramanian and TN Engineering Chief Rajagopal, Chief Engineer Sampath Kumar accompanied the panel.

the pilgrimage. Taking a cue from the Centre’s assistance to Haj pilgrims, an order issued by the Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Minorities Department, said the travel would be organised through Israel Airlines and Air India. A total of Rs. 1 crore has been allotted for 500 pilgrims. The order said the Commissioner of Minorities’ Welfare was consulted on this issue and he had suggested that the government could al-

lot Rs 2 crore for 1000 pilgrims. The pilgrims will be selected by draw of lots after inviting applications from them. The government will also set up a Pilgrimage Committee for Christians. The Commissioner for Minorities’ Welfare had informed the government that Israel Airlines would charge between Rs 32,640 and Rs 35,524 as two-way fare per pilgrim from Mumbai to Jerusalem.

FIR against Facebook, scribe LUCKNOW: A social activist has

filed an FIR against social networking site Facebook and a journalist based in Jalandhar for allegedly asking people to burn the Bhagwad Gita. In her FIR, Nutan alleged the journalist, who calls himself the Editor-in-Chief of a Punjabi daily newspaper, had on Facebook asked people to burn the Bhagwad Gita. -PTI ...ND-ND





India’s secret war in Bangladesh F Praveen Swami


Instability in Pakistan he alarm call sounded by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani of a conspiracy to oust his government has brought out in the open the rift between Pakistan’s elected civilian government and the military. As long as this was confined to whispers in the corridor, there was a possibility that the differences could be papered over. Chances of this are now slim. A public denial by the Army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, of a coup in the making and his pledge of support to the democratic process have failed to clear the air. A military takeover does seem unlikely — the Pakistan Army has learnt that coups work badly for it in the long run. Moreover, General Kayani and the ISI chief, Lt. General Shuja Pasha, both on extended tenures, are hardly popular in the prevailing anti-American environment marked by their failure to prevent U.S. military incursions, notably to kill Osama bin Laden. But the military’s loathing for President Asif Ali Zardari could still see it manoeuvring against him through other means. The opening could come from the Supreme Court, which is considering a petition by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader, Nawaz Sharif, asking it to investigate ‘memogate’. This is the controversy stirred up by a Pakistani-American businessman’s allegation that, on behalf of the Pakistan government, he carried a ‘memo’ to a top American general asking for help to stave off a possible military coup in the aftermath of the Osama raid. Mr. Zardari’s opponents, including former cricketer Imran Khan, blame him for this ‘conspiracy’ against the Pakistan military. The Army has added its voice to the demand that the Supreme Court hear the case. But Prime Minister Gilani’s extraordinary speech makes it clear there can be no selective removal — if the President goes, the government will go too. That would precipitate a political crisis much worse than the present standoff. Unfortunately, Pakistan will continue to be politically unstable as long as its civilian-military relations remain weighted in favour of the latter. For the region and the world, that means negotiating relations with Islamabad will stay complicated. Indeed, one reason for the present turmoil is the struggle between the Pakistan People’s Party government and the military on who will reset relations with the U.S. after the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border by NATO. For New Delhi, which recently restarted dialogue with Islamabad after more than two years of a ‘pause’ over the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the priority is to ensure that the turmoil in Pakistan does not pose any security risks for India and that constructive bilateral engagement can go on despite the political uncertainty across the border.


orty-five minutes before 12.00 pm on December 14, 1971, Indian Air Force pilots at Hashimpara and Gauhati received instructions to attack an unusual target: a sprawling colonialera building in the middle of Dacca that had no apparent military value whatsoever. There were nothing but tourist maps available to guide the pilots to their target — but the results were still lethal. The first wave of combat jets, four MiG21 jets armed with rockets, destroyed a conference hall; two more MiGs and two Hunter bombers levelled a third of the main building. Inside the building — the Government House — East Pakistan’s Cabinet had begun an emergency meeting to discuss the political measures to avoid the looming surrender of their army at Dacca 55 minutes before the bombs hit. It turned out to be the last-ever meeting of the Cabinet. A.M. Malik, head of the East Pakistan government, survived the bombing along with his Cabinet — but resigned on the spot, among the burning ruins; the nervous system, as it were, of decisionmaking had been destroyed. For years now, military historians have wondered precisely how the Government House was targeted with such precision; rumours that a spy was present have proliferated. From the still-classified official history of the 1971 war, we now know the answer. Indian cryptanalysts, or code-breakers, had succeeded in breaking Pakistan’s military cipher — giving the country’s intelligence services real-time information on the enemy’s strategic decision-making. India’s Army, Navy and Air Force were lauded, during the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence, for their role in ending a genocide and giving birth to a new nation. The enormous strategic contribution of India’s intelligence services, however, has gone largely unacknowledged. Seven months before the December 3 Pa-

Even as the role of the Indian military in giving birth to the new nation is celebrated, the role of its intelligence services remains largely unknown. kistan Air Force raid that marked the beginning of the war, India’s Chief of Army Staff issued a secret order to the General Officer Commanding, Eastern Command, initiating the campaign that would end with the dismemberment of Pakistan. Operation Instruction 52 formally committed the Indian forces to “assist the Provisional Government of Bangladesh to rally the people of East Bengal in support of the liberation movement,” and “to raise, equip and train East Bengal cadres for guerrilla operations for employment in their own native land.” The Eastern Command was to ensure that the guerrilla forces were to work towards “tying down the Pak [Pakistan] Military forces in protective tasks in East Bengal,” “sap and corrode the morale of the Pak forces in the Eastern theatre and simultaneously to impair their logistic capability for undertaking any offensive against Assam and West Bengal,” and, finally, be used along with the regular Indian troops “in the event of Pakistan initiating hostilities against us.”

Secret army The task of realising these orders fell on Sujan Singh Uban. Brigadier — later MajorGeneral — Uban was an artillery officer who had been handpicked to lead the Special Frontier Force, a secret army set up decades earlier with the assistance of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency to harry the Chinese forces in Tibet. The SFF, which until recently served as a kind of armed wing of India’s external covert service, the Research and Analysis Wing, never did fight in China. In Bangladesh, the contributions of

its men and officers would be invaluable. Brigadier Uban — whose enthusiasm for irregular warfare was rivalled, contemporaries recall, only by his eccentric spiritualism — later said he had received a year’s advance warning of the task that lay ahead from the Bengali mystic, Baba Onkarnath.

Less-than-holy war The war he waged, though, was less-thanholy. In July 1971, India’s war history records, the first Bangladesh irregulars were infiltrated across the border at Madaripur. This first group of 110 guerrillas destroyed tea gardens, riverboats and railway tracks — acts that tied down troops, undermined East Pakistan’s economy and, the history says, destroyed “communications between Dhaka, Comilla and Chittagong.” Much of the guerrilla war, however, was waged by the volunteers of the Gano Bahini, a volunteer force. The Indian forces initially set up six camps for recruiting and training volunteers, which were soon swamped. At one camp, some 3,000 young men had to wait up to two months for induction, although the “hygienic condition was pitiable and food and water supply almost non-existent.” By September 1971, though, Indian training operations had expanded dramatically in scale, processing a staggering 20,000 guerrillas each month. Eight Indian soldiers were committed to every 100 trainees at 10 camps. On the eve of the war, at the end of November 1971, over 83,000 Gano Bahini fighters had been trained, 51,000 of whom were operating in East Pakistan — a guerrilla operation perhaps unrivalled in scale until that


Thinking after acting he United States government, which funded two teams of scientists to research if the H5N1 influenza virus has the potential to trigger a pandemic, has developed cold feet — after reviewing papers containing detailed descriptions of the lethal strains. The papers have already been sent to two journals, Nature and Science. In an unprecedented move, the government has recommended to the authors and to the editors of the journals that they publish only sanitised versions excising sensitive details of the study. This is a typical instance of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. The results of the study were presented recently at a scientific conference in Malta by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Center at Rotterdam, one of the research teams funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). The details were also shared with journalists covering the event. New Scientist and Scientific American reported in detail how the team went about creating the killer virus. According to these reports, the scientists first introduced three mutations to the virus. This was sufficient to kill the ferrets (the best animal models for influenza research), but lacked transmissibility. So they used a time-tested technique to make the pathogens adapt to a new host — taking the virus from a sick ferret and infecting the healthy ones, and repeating the cycle. After the tenth repetition, the virus became infectious and easily transmissible by air. Shockingly, all the five mutations (three created in the lab and two produced naturally) are found in nature. Their combined presence in the same strain was all it took to make the virus highly contagious and lethal in ferrets. This, in turn, indicates the ease with which the virus could spread among humans. Though people can misuse this information, there is a compelling need for scientists to be aware of these mutations so that effective drugs and vaccines can be developed. Little wonder that both editors have reacted strongly to censorship and demanded that a mechanism be put in place to ensure that bona fide scientists have full and complete access to the results. This has finally prompted the U.S. government to act. It is also working on an oversight policy to evaluate dual-use research proposals prior to approval and funding. But the biggest concern is the risk of the new strain escaping from the labs. According to Nature, scientists working on SARS at four “high-containment labs” in China, Taiwan, and Singapore were “infected.” And the 395 bio-safety breaches in the U.S. between 2003 and 2009 could have resulted in the “accidental release of dangerous pathogens from high-containment labs.”




time. In the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Brigadier Uban sent in Indian soldiers or, to be more exact, CIA-trained, Indian-funded Tibetans using hastily-imported Bulgarian assault rifles and U.S.-manufactured carbines to obscure their links to India. Fighting under the direct command of RAW’s legendary spymaster Rameshwar Kao, Brig. Uban’s forces engaged in a series of low-grade border skirmishes. Founded in 1962, the SFF had originally been called Establishment 22 — and still has a road named after it in New Delhi, next to the headquarters of the Defence Ministry. The organisation received extensive special operations training from the U.S., as part of a package of military assistance. In September 1967, the control of these assets was formally handed over to RAW — and used in Bangladesh to lethal effect. From December 3, 1971, Brig. Uban’s force began an extraordinary campaign of sabotage and harassment. At the cost of just 56 dead and 190 wounded, the SFF succeeded in destroying several key bridges, and in ensuring that Pakistan’s 97 Independent Brigade and crack 2 Commando Battalion remained bogged down in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Some 580 members of Brig. Uban’s covert force were awarded cash, medals and prizes by the Government of India. November 1971 saw the Indian-backed low-intensity war in East Pakistan escalate to levels Pakistan found intolerable — pushing it to act. On December 3, Pakistan attempted to relieve the pressure on its eastern wing by carrying out strikes on major Indian airbases. India retaliated with an offensive of extraordinary speed that has been described as a “blitzkrieg without tanks.” Rejecting an offer for conditional surrender in the East, the Indian forces entered Dacca on December 15. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi promptly ordered a ceasefire on the western front as well: “if I don’t do so today,” she said of the decision to end the war, “I shall not be able to do so tomorrow.” How important was the covert war to this victory, and what cost did it come at? India’s new communications intelligence technologies were clearly critical; three decades on, the government would be advised to make fuller accounts public, and publicly honour the anonymous cryptanalysts who achieved so much. The 1971 war history records that their efforts meant “several important communications and projections of the Pak[istani] high command were intercepted, decoded and suitable action [was] taken.” Indian communications interception, the history states, even prevented a last-minute effort to evacuate the Pakistani troops from Dacca, using five disguised merchant ships. The role of irregular forces, though, needs a more nuanced assessment. There is no doubt that they served to tie down Pakistani troops, and derail their logistical backbone. They were also, however, responsible for large-scale human rights abuses targeting Pakistani sympathisers and the ethnic Bihari population. There is no moral equivalence between these crimes and those of the Pakistani armed forces in 1971 — but the fact also is that the irregular forces bequeathed to Bangladesh a militarised political culture that would have deadly consequences of its own. India’s secret war in Bangladesh would have served little purpose without a conventional, disciplined military force to secure a decisive victory — a lesson of the utility and limitations of sub-conventional warfare that ought to be closely studied today by the several states that rely on these tactics.

Letters emailed to must carry the full postal address and the full name or the name with initials.

be a devout Hindu. But he approve the provision. Thus it can safely blame the Opposition for not remained a rationalist at heart. Hats off to The Hindu’s Archives Col C.V. Venugopalan (retd.), supporting the Bill. department for preserving the Palakkad Piyush Upadhyay, letter titled “A missing boy” Allahabad written by Seenivasa Raghava Ayangar on mathematics genius The editorial “One step forward, You can lead a horse to water but Srinivasa Ramanujan leaving home two steps back” (Dec. 24) clearly you cannot make it drink. This on “some misunderstanding” in brings out the contradictions and idiom describes Anna Hazare’s deficiencies in the Lokpal Bill plight. He succeeded in creating 1905! We, the regular contributors to the tabled in Parliament. The UPA awareness of corruption and letters column, are delighted to government’s efforts, after a forcing the government to fulfil its learn that the letter helped get the serpentine process of consultation commitment to introduce the at various levels, to draft the Bill Lokpal Bill. What can he do when boy back home within days. J.P. Reddy, are laudable. But its operation is the government refuses to accept Nalgonda bound to become ineffective the provisions of his Jan Lokpal because of its weak provisions. It is Bill? The letter reproduced on Sunday, true that some demands of Team The Constitution has vested in December 25, provided an Anna are unacceptable but they are Parliament the absolute authority interesting piece of information on reflective of people’s sentiment to enact a law. The Opposition can Ramanujan. That his guardian against corruption. force some amendments and try to P. Jegadish Gandhi, make the Bill effective. Team Anna sought The Hindu’s help through the letters column is indeed Vellore should understand this and direct significant proof that the its energies to improving the newspaper has always been a big The hoopla over the Bill has debate on the Bill. S. Suryanarayanan, source of information to people, engulfed every section of society. Chennai and has rendered valuable Although the debate on it has brought forth many constructive assistance to them in many ways. J. Anantha Padmanabhan, ideas, it has stretched on for too Mr. Hazare is wrong in demanding Srirangam long. It has overshadowed the that the CBI be controlled by the more important issue of dealing Lokpal. Who can assure us that the Ramanujan is widely known with day-to-day corruption, which Lokpal will not misuse the CBI in through biographies or references has penetrated every aspect of our the same way the ruling party at about his work in newspapers and social life, moving well beyond the the Centre allegedly does? journals. But the letter published realms of administration and Whoever controls the agency in The Hindu — a day before the politics. A strong anti-corruption controls all investigations. It inauguration of The Ramanujan @ law will certainly go a long way in should be supervised by the 125 celebrations — was a real dealing with the evil but it can Supreme Court and it should be thriller. never form the core of the struggle accountable only to Parliament. P.U. Krishnan, against the menace. People’s The Lokpal’s dealings with the CBI Udhagamandalam mindset should change. Zero should be limited to cases for tolerance of corruption can come recommending Ramanujan was a bit of a maverick. about only then. investigation. David Leavitt’s The Indian Clerk — Anshul Garg, Matthew Adukanil a brilliant work on “an unknownPatiala Dharmapuri unschooled-mathematical genius,” the “mysterious Ramanujam” and Reservation in the Lokpal, the efforts to get him to Cambridge including a minority quota, makes Thanks for the excellent Op-Ed — talks about the influence of his no sense. One wonders how other article on C. Rajagopalachari by mother Komalatammal on his life. constitutional bodies would have Gopalkrishna Gandhi (Dec. 24). She was “clever and possessive.” It been formed had today’s pro- After the passing of Gandhiji and was his mother who first saw “the reservation politicians been our Sardar Patel, the two great leaders signs of mathematical precocity” in lawmakers. The UPA government who led our country were Rajaji her son. She wanted Ramanujan to knows that the BJP will not and Nehru. They held divergent


Lokpal Bill

Thiruchengodu CR

views on many political issues which led Rajaji to form the Swatantra Party. The gulf between them became so wide that Monica Felton, Rajaji’s biographer, once told him: “If I were the mother of you and the Prime Minister, I would bang your heads together and tell you to stop arguing, settle down and run the country.” In spite of their differences, the two leaders had great regard for each other. When Nehru passed away, Rajaji wrote the following obituary in Swarajya: “Eleven years younger than I, eleven times more important to the nation, eleven hundred times more beloved of the nation, Sri Nehru has suddenly departed from our midst and I remain alive to hear the sad news from Delhi and bear the shock. The old guardroom is completely empty now. I have been fighting Nehru all these ten years over what I consider faults in public policies. But I knew all along that he alone could get them corrected. No one else would dare to do it and he is gone, leaving me weaker than before in my fight. But fighting apart, a beloved friend is gone, the most civilised person among all of us.” B.M.N. Murthy, Bangalore I thank Mr. Gandhi, grandson of the two great souls, Gandhiji and Rajaji, for his write-up on the correspondence between his grandfathers. The Hindu deserves equal praise for publishing a rare photograph of Rajaji. CR was not very happy in his last days because of the lifting of prohibition by the DMK government. However, he derived solace from the service he had rendered to the depressed classes since the 1910s. P.S. Chandraprabhu, Rajapalayam The article took me down memory

lane. As a student in the early 1950s, I used to attend all public meetings of Rajaji. His campaign against the BCG vaccine literally sent the entire medical fraternity into a tizzy. His opposition to the formation of linguistic states, which he described as a tribal idea, irked Nehru. When CR was Chief Minister of the Madras State, Nehru addressed a public meeting on the Island Grounds and confessed his hesitation in speaking to CR, who was a much wiser man and more experienced than himself! Versatile CR wrote not only the Ramayana and the Mahabharata for the layman but also an article in The Hindu, explaining the Raman Effect. I still preserve the letters he wrote to me 60 years ago — in one letter, he cautioned me against developing a passion for politics and, in the other, he felicitated me on my marriage, with the sharp advice: “Don’t try to teach her but be an example in all things. You will realise it as you go along.” Neduntheru S. Kannan, Chennai

All the best Hearty congratulations to The Hindu on forging ahead again as south India’s number 1 English daily (Dec. 23). We, the people of south India, are used to beginning the day with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand, and the fresh and crisp newspaper, in the other. We miss The Hindu badly when we travel north. Once, in Pune, I was disappointed when I was served my morning coffee without The Hindu. What an incomplete morning and imperfect beginning to the day! Even after a frantic hunt, I could lay my hands only on the previous day’s issue. One hopes The Hindu will penetrate the north Indian market as well. All the best! Gulnar Raheem Khan, Chennai ...ND-ND





‘The women of Egypt are a red line’ Mona Eltahawy, who was trapped, beaten and sexually assaulted by Egyptian security forces, tells her extraordinary story for the first time. Mona Eltahawy


he last thing I remember before the riot police surrounded me was punching a man who had groped me. Who the hell thinks of copping a feel as you’re taking shelter from bullets? Another man tried to protect him by standing between us, but I was enraged, and kept going back for more. A third man was trying to snatch my smart phone out of my other hand. He was the one who had pulled my friend Maged Butter and me into an abandoned shop — supposedly for safety’s sake — and he wouldn’t let go of my hand. It was November. Maged and I had come from Tahrir Square to Mohamed Mahmoud Street, the frontline of clashes between protesters and the military, following a violent invasion of Tahrir by police and soldiers a few days earlier. Almost 40 people had died — including a distant relative — and 3,000 were wounded. Maged tried to pull me away. “Enough smacking the groper, let the phone go.” It’s clear to us both now that those men we’d met among the protesters on Mohamed Mahmoud Street had entrapped us. They worked with the security services, who were a few metres away, just beyond no man’s land, and their job was to hold on to us until the riot police came. And when they did come, I was the only one left in the deserted shop. I thought Maged had managed to escape, but he later told me he was nearby being beaten, able to see riot police beat me, too. “You were smart to defend your head,” he said. He needed stitches to his face, and still has contusions to his head and chest. I suffered a broken left arm and right hand. The Egyptian security forces’ brutality is always ugly, often random and occasionally poetic. Initially, I assumed my experience was random, but a veteran human rights activist told me they knew exactly who I was and what they were doing to my writing arms when they sent riot police conscripts to that deserted shop. Bashar al-Assad’s henchmen stomped on the hands of famed Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat. Our dictators tailor wounds to suit their victims’ occupations. As the nightsticks whacked at my arms, legs and the top of my head (in the week that followed, I would discover new bruises every day), two things were at the front of my mind: the pain and my smart phone. The viciousness of their attack took me aback. Yes, I confess, this feminist thought they wouldn’t beat a woman so hard. But I wasn’t just a woman. My body had become Tahrir Square, and it was time for revenge against the revolution that had broken and humiliated Hosni Mubarak’s police. And it continues. We’ve all seen that painfully iconic photograph of the woman who was beaten and stripped to her underwear by soldiers in Tahrir Square. My phone fell as the four or five riot policemen beat me and then started to drag me towards no man’s land. “My phone, I have to get my phone,” I said, and reached down to try to retrieve it. It wasn’t the Twitterholic in me that threw herself after the phone, but the survivor. For the first three or four hours of detention, I knew they could do anything and no one would know. In the event, it was near-miraculous that, while I was at the Ministry, an activist with a smartphone came to discuss setting up a truce between protesters and security. As soon as he signed me in to Twitter, I sent out, “beaten arrested at Interior Ministry.” And then his phone battery died. Most people detained the same week I was taken in ended up at a police station or jail, but for some reason I was taken to the Interior Ministry and was then handed over to military intelligence for almost 12 hours. The sexual assault couldn’t have lasted more than a few minutes, but the psychic bruise remains the freshest. The orange midnight air — a cocktail of street lights, an adjacent school on fire, and air that was more tear gas than oxygen — and the black outlines of the helmeted riot policemen invade my thoughts every day, but I feel as though I have dissociated myself from what happened. I read news reports about a journalist whose arms were broken by Egyptian police, but I don’t connect them to the splints around my arms that allow only onefinger typing on a touchpad, nor with the titanium plate that will remain in my left arm for a year, to help a displaced fracture align and fuse. But the groping hands — that, I know, happened to me. Sometimes I think of them as ravens plucking at my body. At one point I fell. Eye-level with their boots, all I thought was: “Get up or you will die.” They dragged me to the Interior Ministry, past men in plain clothes who were wearing the same surgical masks that we Tahrirside civilians had worn against the tear gas. I almost shouted out, “Are you friend or foe?” Their eyes, dead to my assault, were my answer. I began to panic. “They’re probably going to charge me with spying.” I had lived in Israel for a period, where I

had worked as a Reuters correspondent. “You’re safe now, I’ll protect you.” A senior plainclothes officer reassured me. “If I wasn’t here, there would be no one protecting you from them. See them, over there? Do you know what they’d do to you?” He was pointing to a mob just steps away. Even as the officer offered hollow protection, he did nothing. It was an older man, from the military, who ended it. “Get her out.” “Why are you at war with the people?” I asked him. He looked me square in the eyes, fought his tears and swallowed. He couldn’t speak. Others asked me again and again: “Why were you there?” “I’m a journalist, I’m a writer, I’m an analyst,” I said. But really I wanted to tell them I had longed to touch courage. It lived on Mohamed Mahmoud Street where young men — just boys in many cases, with their mothers’ numbers written on their forearms in case they ended up in a morgue — would face off with security forces. Some of those who survived the tear gas and the bullets — rubber-coated and live — lost eyes. Security sharpshooters liked to aim for the head. For months, Tahrir Square had been my mental touchstone: in New York City, where I live, and wherever I travelled to lecture on the revolution. But it was impossible just to stand by in the square and watch as the Motorbike Angels — volunteers who came on bikes to aid the overworked medics — zipped towards the field hospitals with their unconscious passengers, asphyxiated from the tear gas — and often worse — from the Mohamed Mahmoud frontline. “If I die, I want to be buried in my Moroccan djellaba. It’s laid out on my bed, ready,” tweeted blogger and activist Mohamed “Gemyhood” Beshir. The hits of tear gas he inhaled pushed him back, so younger men would break his fall and fill in for him on the frontline until he recovered. Throughout my detention, I demanded medical care for my arms, and showed my captors the increasingly dramatic bruises developing on my hand and arm. Most asked me to make a fist. “See, it’s just a bruise. You wouldn’t be able to make a fist if you had a fracture.” And I told them deliberately graphic details about the sexual assault. Eyes would twitch and look away. No one wanted to hear. I’ll be damned if I carry this alone, I thought. And so I went on and on, until finally they heard, and one of them yelled out: “Our society has a sickness. Those riot police conscripts who assaulted you, do you know what we’ve done for them? We’ve lifted them out of their villages, scrubbed them clean and opened a tiny door in their minds.” “That’s exactly why we’re having a revolution,” I responded. “No one should have to live like that. Who created that misery they live in that you ‘rescued’ them from?” I also let it be known that I was a U.S. citizen, and asked for a consular representative to be called. I knew that, as an Egyptian-American (I moved to the U.S. in 2000), I would be spared many horrors that countless unnamed Egyptians suffer. But I also anticipated the flip side. “Aren’t you proud of being Egyptian? Do you want to renounce your citizenship,” the military intelligence officer asked me. Blindfolded, bone-tired and in agony from my fractures, I replied: “If your fellow Egyptians break your arms and sexually assault you, you’d want someone in the room you can trust.” Last week’s images from Egypt of the woman stripped down to her underwear and beaten have further unmasked the brutality of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the military junta that runs Egypt and which must be tried with crimes against the Egyptian people. I’m unable to look at any of those images of beatings because I feel the nightsticks fracturing my arms all over again. If I hadn’t got up when I fell, they would have stomped on me as they stomped on that woman. I spent the first two weeks back in New York on a painkiller high. It numbed the pain, as well as my ability to write. Once a week, I see a psychologist who specialises in trauma; an orthopaedic surgeon has operated on my left arm to realign the ulnar shaft and fix it in place with a titanium plate and screws, and I have regular physiotherapy. But this week’s massive women’s march in Tahrir has sharpened my focus once again. When a woman who took part wrote to tell me I’d helped to inspire the march because I’d spoken out on Egyptian TV about my beating and assault, I was finally able to cry. They were the tears of a survivor. The Mubarak regime used systematic sexual violence against female activists and journalists, and here’s the SCAF upholding that ignoble legacy. But to quote the women in Tahrir this week: “The women of Egypt are a red line.” My body, and mind, belong to me. That’s the gem at the heart of the revolution. And until I return to Egypt in January, healed once again, I will tell that to the SCAF over and over. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2011


‘I think some people really are a few steps beyond where the rest of us live’ There is much more to Ramanujan than his mathematics, says Robert Kanigel. was producing there?

Robert Kanigel is the author of The Man Who Knew Infinity (1991), the acclaimed biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan. Mr. Kanigel, a writer and journalist who has written several books and taught science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is currently in India on an invitation from the Indian Academy of Sciences to give lectures as part of the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Ramanujan. He will be honoured for his “superb biography” and his service to mathematics in India at the Inaugural Ceremony on December 26 in Chennai, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will declare 2012 to be the National Mathematics Year. Ahead of the Chennai event, Mr. Kanigel spoke to Science Correspondent R. Ramachandran in Mumbai about how he went about the research on, and writing about, the life of Ramanujan. Excerpts from the interview:

I don’t know. Certainly we all have problematic relationships of one kind or another with our parents. A tension is in there. Some parents are more distant and separate and not involved and have very high expectations of their children. And the children, maybe they don’t feel that close to their parents, but they respond to their expectations. I think it might have been a little bit like that between Ramanujan and Hardy. I am just making a vague connection, not a one-toone. I don’t think Hardy was the ideal friend that Ramanujan could have had. Maybe he was the ideal taskmaster to extract the mathematics out of him. I don’t know. But I think Ramanujan certainly felt he had to produce, at least he wanted to. And he [Hardy] was the man, in all of Europe maybe, that Ramanujan was closest to mathematically and it would be natural that he wanted to please him.

In the Preface, you have said the publisher suggested that you write about Ramanujan when you had not even heard of Ramanujan. What caught your fascination that propelled you to get into it and produce this book? When the editor first approached my agent, and the agent approached me, my first reaction was that this was not going to work. I didn’t know about [G. H.] Hardy. I had some background in mathematics, not a lot, but some. But I didn’t close my mind to the idea. I started doing a little initial research at Johns Hopkins University. Then I got hold of a BBC documentary on Ramanujan. Until then I hadn’t known anything about Hardy. And somehow in there, the idea of it being not only about Ramanujan but about the kind of tension between Ramanujan and Hardy — the friendship, the mentoring, and the relationship between two men working at the very highest levels — that attracted me more. At that time, I knew very little about Ramanujan, about South Indian culture, about anything. But at that very early stage of my interest, it was that idea of friendship and collaboration at the very highest level that really intrigued me. But you have dealt at length with the psychology of Ramanujan — the way his character was built, the temple town atmosphere in which he grew, his religiosity — as if to probe the psychology of the man to understand his mathematics, which seems to give an impression that his spiritual bent of mind had an impact on the kind of mathematics he did. Do you believe that?

No connection I don’t think that had an influence on the mathematics per se. None. Zero. What I tried to describe was the world from which Ramanujan came. If somebody wishes to try to trace a connection between any of that and the mathematics, they can try but I don’t think they are going to get anywhere. Nonetheless, if we try to understand his personality and his character, and the way he was in the world, we would want to know about his upbringing, about the religious influences, about South India and his relationship with his parents as best as we can. So I would deny any relationship between that and the mathematics itself. There is much more to Ramanujan than his mathematics. He is a human being. What I meant was, for example, the book title itself, and your reference to the fact that he related zero and infinity to something divine and, for instance, your example of values that 2n – 1 took as an equation that Ramanujan talked of representing the thought of God…

Role of social ethos That is one story, one anecdote. It is not me but some South Indians in the world that he grew up with who saw some direct connection between his religiosity and his mathematics. I am telling that story. I am giving it a place in the book. But that is different from saying that there is itself direct intimate connection between his religiosity and his mathematics. If you are writing a biography or reading a biography I think, it’s a mistake to be too quick to make direct one-to-one correspondences between A and B. I think in something like a biography, you can’t say that A caused B. You can say that it is one of the influences upon his personality, on his life, on his character. Do we understand Ramanujan now or does he still remain mysterious? I think he does. I think you could say the same thing about literature, the arts. What is the genius of Picasso? People will try to explain it in an easy way but I think they are unjustified in doing it. I think some people really are a few steps beyond where the rest of us live. We are forced to view those intellects, those artistic sensibilities, as a little bit mysterious or a little beyond what is the common realm. There is a second aspect. There are many people out there, very smart, bril-

New approaches Are there still some pieces in your story that remain unexplored for you to understand them better, together and individually? Sometimes book reviews churn out phrases like ‘This is the definitive biography of…’ I don’t believe in that idea. I think there is always another approach to take, more research avenues to pursue, other directions, other things to look at, other aspects — just as when you take a photograph, by the very act of framing, you exclude other things that are not in your frame. It is like that in any kind of ambitious writing. I expect that someday some other biographer will come around and take another approach to the story of Ramanujan and Hardy and bring new insights that are not there yet.

ROBERT KANIGEL: ‘In the case of Ramanujan, what I wrote was the first western biography.’ — PHOTO: V. GANESAN

liant in some [areas], and they don’t do anything with their lives. They are just stuck there. There are personal characteristics that propel people to do what they do, that is beyond the actual work that they are doing — a kind of an ambition, a kind of a drive, a kind of pushing force — “I am going to make something of myself and nothing is going to get in my way.” And I think that’s part of an understanding of how a Picasso or a Ramanujan come into the world.

described — boring, tedious, simple statement of facts — to blow true stories out of what we know from facts. I consider myself something like that, in that tradition.

Film option Maybe that’s why people are trying to turn your book into a film now. What’s happening to that film proposal?

For six or seven years now a screenwriter has purchased something called Did that push in his case come from... an ‘option’, where he has access to use my book and the title and the informa…it came from his mother…a dynamic tion there to make a film. He has written character. the screenplay through many versions, through many iterations, and the efforts Did you have a pre-conceived plan when of the last six years have been to secure you came down here to explore? Or did financing. It’s now very, very close to you let the information come to you as signing on the dotted line and my underyou went around and structured the standing is that the Indian actor, Madbook accordingly? havan, has agreed to play Ramanujan and the screenwriter and the producer, I had done a fair amount of reading Edward Pressman, have been negotiatbefore I came over here and I had spent ing with possible financiers. two or three weeks, I think, in Cam- Hardy & Ramanujan bridge. Basically I structured my time to Before you get to Ramanujan’s life in go to the places which figured in RamaCambridge, you devote a lot of pages to nujan’s life. I did my best to observe describing Hardy himself — his world, the something of Ramanujan’s world by visCambridge life, even the Apostles iting those places, making allowances all Society to which he belonged, and his the time that this was 1988 and Ramanupersonal life. jan had lived in the early years of the 20th century. So things change but I had In some respects, I consider this alto start somewhere and that was my approach to visiting those places he had most a dual biography about Ramanujan and Hardy. Let’s say you have other auvisited. thors writing the biography. All of them Narrative non-fiction would have included Hardy as a major Your description of places and events character in the book. The question is would almost seem as if you were there how much. For me Hardy played such an and met Ramanujan. For example, you important role that their chemistry, describe how Ramanujan walked. their tension, their friendship, their relationship played a central role mathematOther people had written about Rama- ically and personally in Ramanujan’s life. nujan and there were stories. [S. R.] And I felt it was really important for the Ranganathan, [P. V.] Seshu Iyer, [R.] Ra- reader to come to understand Hardy as machandra Rao, [E. H.]Neville, Hardy well as Ramanujan. himself and there were other people. However, towards the end you do say These people had taken little snippets of that while Hardy was interested in the Ramanujan and I absorbed all these mathematics of Ramanujan, there was no snippets and I tried to put them togethemotional attachment between the two er. Always looking for areas where they even as friendship — in the sense Hardy agreed and areas where they didn’t and did not care so much personally, as a tried to make sense of that. So I know human being, for Ramanujan. He treated how Ramanujan waddled down the him more for his mathematics, as a kind street. I have been doing this for a long of master, and Ramanujan wanted to time. I have been a professional writer obey him. for 40 years and this is what I do for a living. I agree with everything you said up Trying to somehow create worlds out of disparate material and trying to make until the end. I don’t know about the it vivid for my reader, all the while hav- ‘master’ and ‘obey’. But Hardy’s relationing respect for what is true and not going ship with Ramanujan was a little bit beyond that slippery line between non- problematic for me. I think it does come across in the book; and I think I was fiction and fiction. more explicit in that case than in some In that sense, The Man Who Knew Infinity other areas. is certainly different from other As much as Hardy did for Ramanujan, biographies that are dry accounts of life and as good a person that he basically and events… was — and he cared in his own way — nonetheless I don’t think he was the best There has been a movement at least in friend that Ramanujan could have had in the U.S. — I don’t know whether it is so in England. Somebody emotionally more India or elsewhere — for the last 30 compatible might have been better for years. It gets called new journalism, Ramanujan in those days. emerging journalism, or narrative nonDo you think this absence of a real fiction, all of which represents an atfriendship affected the mathematics he tempt to move away from what you just

Did you come across other things you had missed, which could have lent a different perspective to the whole thing?

What was the fatal illness? After the book came out, there was new theorising about what Ramanujan actually died from. That would have been interesting to bring to it. Other than that, I don’t know myself whether new material has been brought to light. But I expect it will come to light. You have written other biographies. How do you compare this effort with the others? Every subject presents its own problems. In the case of Taylor [The One Best Way: Frederick Winslaw Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency by Robert Kanigel], one of the problems was that he was not such a nice, friendly personality. He was a complicated character but there are plenty of resources about him. In the case of Ramanujan, I was facing a three-part problem. India, England, and mathematics. Mathematics is hard, an American coming to India presents difficulties. It’s all across a 75-year historical gap. And England too. People think that for an American, that should be easy. It’s not. So all of these were part of the complications in writing this particular biography. But every biography presents its own problems. In the case of Ramanujan, what I wrote was the first western biography. Some people write biographies of Charles Dickens or Isaac Newton where 20 biographies have come before and their problem is to find something new to write. I didn’t have that problem but I had these other problems. If you ask if it was a more difficult biography than the others, I wouldn’t say so. But would you say the barriers this presented were more challenging than the others? I guess I will have to say that. The fact that the mathematics is so difficult. The fact of trying, obviously with not much success, of penetrating South Indian culture plus the English culture. If you started out today, how different would this biography be? That’s a great question. Well, I will start with The Man Who Knew Infinity. Of course it will be different, no question about that. Twenty-five years have elapsed. I am a much older person. I might see things differently. Frankly, it depends in part on your financial resources, whether you can spend more time. I don’t know. I would be interested in laying my hands on the letters that Neville might have written about Ramanujan to various people. I still think I would devote so much on Hardy. Berndt has made it his life’s work and he has published several books in English that contain nothing more than some of this new material that he has located in English and some in Tamil about Ramanujan. I would probably start with those new materials. I make a distinction in my own mind between the raw material and the final product itself. Some of that material is good raw material. ...ND-ND






Committee inspects Sunburn fest venue in Goa Special Correspondent PANAJI: A special committee of the Goa government on Saturday inspected the Sunburn festival venue at Candolim and reviewed arrangements. The Sunburn 2011, is scheduled to be held from Tuesday to Thursday on the Candolim beach, around 10 km away from Panaji. Several Bollywood celebrities are expected to attend the fifth edition of the festival. “With focus on security, safety, and traffic situation, all documents and plans have been submitted to the Collector,” said a spokesman of the festival here on Sunday. “We were awaiting approvals from authorities. Since it is a Sunday, permissions cannot be issued. Hence, all relevant documents shall be processed on Monday,” said Shailendra Singh, Percept Limited, speaking on behalf of organisers. When contacted by The Hindu, Collector Mihir Vardhan said the committee headed by him visited the festival site and the organisers were asked to submit compliance reports. “Once they submit these, the committee will submit the same to the government,” he said.

Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare with his supporters in Ralegan Siddhi, Ahmednagar on Sunday. (Right) Constables stand guard as arrangements are under way for Mr. Hazare’s fast planned in Mumbai on Tuesday. — PHOTOS: PTI

Ensure andolan doesn’t turn violent: Hazare “There are people waiting for an opportunity to pounce upon us” Amruta Byatnal

RALEGAN SIDDHI: A day before leaving for Mumbai, social activist Anna Hazare said on Sunday the agitation for a strong Lokpal Bill should not turn violent at any cost, as there were people waiting for violence to happen. He was speaking to the public after two days — he was unwell, suffering from cold and cough. Addressing a gram sabha here, Mr. Hazare, who still seemed frail, set the tone for the andolan. “There are people waiting SATNA (M.P.): Notorious dacoit for an opportunity to pounce Sundar Patel alias Ragia, who upon us, so we will ensure was carrying a cash reward of that the entire agitation is Rs. 6 lakh, was killed along with his four accomplices in an encounter with the police in a forest near village Hardi in Satna district, police said on Sunday. A team of Satna and Rewa Staff Reporter police had laid a trap in the forest on Friday night. When MUMBAI: Alleging that the police challenged the dacoits, proposed Lokpal Bill would they fired around 200 rounds. do nothing but provide legal The police returned the fire help to persons accused of opening 250 rounds, they said. corruption, Arvind Kejriwal, Besides Sundar, the other key aide of Anna Hazare, on slain dacoits were identified as Sunday said the present Khardooshan, Natthu Mawa- draft was a tool to ensure si, Bhola Mawasi and Shripal that “nothing ever changes.” Mawasi. Under the cover of Mr. Kejriwal was speaking at darkness, some of the gang the Mumbai Metropolitan members fled. Region Development AuThe Madhya Pradesh Gov- thority ground at suburban ernment had announced a re- Bandra-Kurla Complex. ward of Rs. 5 lakh on Sundar’s “The government has onhead, while the neighbouring ly labelled the bill as antiUttar Pradesh Government graft, in reality the bill prohad declared a reward of Rs. 1 vides free legal help to the lakh, officials said. person accused of corrupKhardooshan was carrying tion. a reward of Rs. 75,000 while Instead of being strict on there was a reward of Rs. each act of corruption, the 15,000 each on the three oth- Bill covers only five per cent ers. A large quantity of ammu- of government servants and nition, four country-made 10 per cent politicians and rifles and a semi-automatic the strictness is only on gun were recovered from NGOs, temples, clubs, them. schools,” Mr. Kejriwal said. More than two dozen cases Maharashtra Pradesh of murder and kidnapping Congress Committee were registered against Sun- spokesman Sachin Sawant dar in various police stations said Team Anna was “misof Madhya Pradesh and UP, directing public sentiment police said. Sundar was active and encouraging people to since 1986 inUP and the bor- participate in a badly conder district of Satna in Mad- ceived plan which has no hya Pradesh. - PTI clear aim”.

Notorious dacoit killed in encounter

non-violent.” He appealed to the people to participate in the andolan in whichever way they could. Mr. Hazare said he would stage a dharna in front of the houses of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi. “People should be spoken to in the language they understand. It has been almost a year since the non-violent struggle started.”

“Follow ahimsa” The anti-corruption crusader would leave for Mumbai on Monday afternoon. He would observe a fast for three days and then the “jail bharo” andolan would start.

“Be ready to face lathis of the police, but the entire agitation should follow ahimsa,” he said. Mr. Hazare’s physician Daulat Kothe said that though he was ready for a three-day fast, it could not be extended beyond that period. Vrinda Malik writes from Mumbai: In Mumbai, hundreds of volunteers gathered in the Bandra-Kurla Complex, the venue of the fast, to plan the protest amid police protection. Over 600 constables marched to the venue to inspect the area, where they are to be deputed for the

next few days. “At no cost should anyone be rude; politely ask people to cooperate so that there is no unpleasantness,” a group of constables was instructed at one of the corners of the 30,000sqm ground. Over 50,000 people are expected to turn up for the fast every day. “We are not going to register every person as it will be very difficult to keep a count. Only people observing fast with Annaji will be registered,” said Mayank Gandhi, Mumbai coordinator of India Against Corruption.

Huge support Mr. Gandhi said while

there had been a huge support for the movement, the IAC would not accept any financial aid from anyone this time round. “I am glad to say that people have volunteered to sponsor food, water, CCTV cameras, and rent for the venue. Within few hours of our submitting application with the MMRDA, people pledged over Rs. 70 lakh. But we are not accepting any cash or cheque this time. “We have lived our lives under forced corruption; our only demand is that the government come up with a strong anti-graft Bill so that the coming generation will have a choice to be corrupt

or not. We are still expecting the government to give an actual anti-graft law and that will be a victory for us and the country, but there is little hope from politicians,” one of the volunteers said. “I am going to be here for as long as it takes ... my business will get affected but the country has been hurt more,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Over 84,000 register In a related development, 84,487 people from all over the country had registered their names till now on, website set up by the IAC for registering the names of volunteers who expressed their

readiness to go to jail as part of its ‘jail bharo andolan’ slated for December 30, 31 and January 1 in the cause of the Jan Lokpal. Nearly 8,000 people from Mumbai and suburbs have got themselves registered. “This number is going to increase, we were expecting people to start registering after the 27th, when Annaji is here and the fast begins, but we already have over 80,000 people,” said Radhika Prashad Dubey, who has taken up catering responsibility at the venue. “We have not tried to estimate the number of people, we will feed every person that comes here,” Mr. Dubey added.

Lokpal Bill only offers free legal help to the corrupt, says Kejriwal ‘Centre provoking us’ MUMBAI: Denying reports

Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal ( right) and Mayank Gandhi speak to the media on Sunday on the MMRDA grounds, Mumbai, where they are looking after arrangements for Anna Hazare’s fast. — PHOTO: PTI

Trauma of tsunami continues for these women P.V. Srividya NAGAPATTINAM: In the fishing village of Tharangambadi in Nagapattinam, five women entered into a ‘pact’ that they will not agree to the remarriage of their husbands. These women had lost their children in the tsunami of December 2004. But, their solidarity fizzled out in the face of domestic pressure. One of them committed suicide, leaving behind two teenage daughters, unable to reconcile to the death of her two sons. Selvi succumbed to her inability to give birth to sons again and equally driven by her husband’s wish to remarry. Of the many traumatic consequences of the 2004 tsunami, a community of mothers-in-waiting was just another. They are women who lost all or some of their children in the tsunami, and could no more conceive as had they had undergone sterilisation (tubectomy) prior to the disaster. The government inter-

vened within days, and came up with a scheme to sponsor sterilization-reversal surgeries in government and notified private hospitals to enable them to conceive again. Seven years on, of the 67 recorded cases of recanalisation surgery, only 13 women have conceived, placing the success rate at 19 percent, says an independent microstudy by SNEHA, a district based women’s research organisation. The study – on the implications of recanalisation surgery on reproductive and sexual health rights of women in post-tsunami Nagapattinam – speaks of an intervention that reinforced patriarchal tendencies, providing no voice for women. Recanalisation surgery in the aftermath of tsunami was seen as a “socio-psychological support at that point and an intelligent solution” for the grieving families, but the view was contested by researchers and activists. “Our question was whether women could decide under trau-

A LUCKY FEW: A file photo of four fisherwomen of Keechankuppam and Akkaraipettai coastal hamlets in Nagapattinam who gave birth to babies after recanalisation surgery. ma, whether their choices were informed or if they had a choice at all. We tried to locate the entire vulnerability of women back to the family planning policy,” says Beulah Azariah, an independent researcher. Both the State and non-State actors focus on women, not exploring other possibilities, says Ms. Azariah. The intervention also spawned a spate of private fertility clinics that profiteered on the promise of

‘motherhood’ across affected districts. “Women’s bodies became a site of commercialization for private clinics and families spent a major chunk of death compensation on these private fertility clinics,” says Ms. Azariah. Today, their concerns hold ground in the face of a community of ‘recanalised women’, all from the fishing community, living with a sense of ‘failure’ and ‘inadequacy’. For the 12 women interviewed by The Hindu, the

decision to undergo recanalisation was not based on information and counselling, but was made out of desperation and on the euphoria generated by the first conception towards end of 2005. In their midst are those rendered destitute by husbands who went on to remarry. Many others continue to exist within the marriage as ‘second class’ women in a perpetual state of would-bemothers. The report based on focus group studies with the recanalised women over the past six years also revealed spousal infertility and spousal ailments that were ignored prior to the recanalisation. “While a few suffered ectopic pregnancies (an abnormal conception outside the uterus), many never conceived, and all of them were caught in a physical and psychological limbo,” says Vanaja, rights activist. These women were never given the time to mourn their loss, recover and heal. According to Kameshwari,

head of the women’s health unit, Life Health Reinforcement Group, Hyderabad, who has also placed her research as part of the study, such mass scale recanalisations ignored prior factors for success. The reproductive health of the woman, technique used to anastomose (join) the tube, and the effect of sterilization on the tube determined conception. “The site of tubal ligation, length of the fallopian tube after recanalisation, time interval between sterilization and its reversal are ignored. When these are not explored, recanalisation is not just viable and it further weakens women bodily and psychologically,” Dr.Kameshwari says. Recanalisation, feels Dr.Kameshwari, opened up a possibility as retrograde as sex selection, with 26 percent of surgeries done after the death of a son. “Our interventions can never go beyond nature and our reproductive health policy must shift the onus from women to men through vasectomies.”

that Anna Hazare had close connections with the late Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh, key Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the allegation was part of the Congress’ “tactics” to divert attention from the Lokpal Bill. A section of the media reported on Sunday that the social activist was closely associated with Deshmukh, a Sangh pracharak. “The Congress government is targeting Anna unnecessarily by spreading such rumours. Even the former President, Abdul Kalam, and Congress leader Digvijay Singh have been photographed with Deshmukh,” Mr. Kejriwal said, addressing the media on the MMRDA grounds in suburban Mumbai, where Mr. Hazare will observe fast from December 27. “What is the mistake of Anna Hazare? That he is

raising his voice against corruption? He has got medals from the Army,” Mr. Kejriwal said, adding a wrong message was being spread about the anticorruption crusader. Hitting out at the UPA government, Mr. Kejriwal said: “The government is provoking us by saying Anna is an RSS agent.” He alleged that the Central Bureau of Investigation was formed only to help and protect the government, and that it was not an agency meant to end corruption. “The CBI is under the government’s thumb. Whenever the government wants support from someone, they put CBI after them. Take the example of Mayawati and Mulayam Singh. The CBI should be taken out of the government,” Mr. Kejriwal said, adding that even in the 2G scam, the agency did not initiate any action until orders came from the Supreme Court. — PTI

Saudi plane makes emergency landing KARACHI: A Saudi chartered

plane with 72 people on board made an emergency belly landing here on Sunday after developing a nose wheel problem, forcing closure of the city airport for all domestic and international flights. The aircraft was flying from Tabuk in Saudi Arabia to Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province. It was diverted to Karachi after the pilot alerted authorities about the nose wheel

problem, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervez George said. After two attempts, the plane made a belly landing at Karachi airport shortly before 10 a.m. local time. The aircraft’s nose wheel failed to deploy and it remained on the airport’s main runway hours after the landing. Several flights were cancelled and some were diverted to other airports. — PTI






Sangrampur hooch kingpin’s wife held Staff Reporter KOLKATA: The West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department on Sunday arrested four persons in connection with the illicit liquor tragedy in the Sangrampur area, which claimed at least 170 lives. “We have arrested them from Canning in South 24 Parganas. Nurjahan [wife of the prime accused Noor Islam alias Khora Badshah], Bakkar and Chotu had taken shelter in the house of Sambhunath Patra,” Deputy Inspector-General (operations), CID, K. Jayaraman told The Hindu. They were produced in court and remanded in 14-day police custody.

Badshah still at large Mr. Jayaraman said Badshah was still absconding. According to the police, Badshah is the kingpin of the illicit liquor trade in the area. He ran breweries and was also involved in supply of liquor to various parts of the district. Recently, the police arrested 18 persons selling illicit liquor at various dens in Sangrampur. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered a CID probe into the hooch tragedy.

Create Telangana or get routed in polls, TRS tells Congress Special Correspondent NEW DELHI: The Telangana

Rashthra Samiti (TRS) has urged the Congress to create Telangana and said that it will be routed in the next elections if it did not. K.T. Rama Rao, son of TRS founder K. Chandrasekhara Rao, told The Hindu from Hyderabad on Sunday: “Not only in the next general election but also in the forthcoming Assembly byelections in the Telangana region, we will ensure that the Congress is defeated as has been happening since the past few elections. The choice is theirs. Now, the ball is in their court.” The Congress had promised a separate State during the elections, and it should fulfil the promise as the party was in power at the Centre and in Andhra Pradesh., he said. To a question, Mr. Rama Rao said if the Congress created Telangana, the TRS would even consider what kind of support that could be extended to that party. “We don’t want Telangana to remain a political issue in the coming days. If the Congress did not create the new State, the TRS would go it alone in the polls and defeat the ruling party,” he added. He dismissed as speculation talks on merger of the TRS with the Congress as a pre-condition for creating Telangana. He said: “We were told that there could be some decision on the Telananga demand in the next few days, and we will wait for the decision of the UPA-II government before deciding our next strategy in the fight for the separate state.”


No problem in presenting Budget as scheduled, says Pranab

Congress demands probe into West Bengal farmer suicides

If budget doesn’t have anything special for Goa, then there is no problem: Quraishi

Pradesh Congress Committee has demanded a “detailed investigation” into reports of farmer suicides in the State, president Pradip Bhattacharya said here on Sunday. “The State government should immediately order investigations on how many farmers have committed suicide and what problems they have faced,” Mr. Bhattacharya said. Pointing out that farmers producing paddy, potato and jute are in deep crisis, he said the situation is likely to worsen with the arrival of the new harvest. Mr. Bhattacharya claimed that while a minimum support price fixed by the Centre on one quintal of paddy is Rs. 1080, the farmers are selling their produce for as low as Rs. 600. He alleged that there were not enough rice mills where the farmers could sell their produce in various districts. The government should ensure that the farmers have bank accounts so they can receive payments through cheques. The Congress was ready to cooperate with the government, if the latter convened an all-party meeting to deal with the situation, he said. On the charge that increase in prices of fertilizers by the Centre in West Ben-

NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said that he did not think there was any problem in presenting the Budget for 2012-13 on schedule in the wake of the announcement of Assembly elections in five states. “The Union budget is usually presented on the last date of February. Next year being a leap year, the budget is likely to be placed on February 29. The elections to all the State Assemblies, except in Goa, will be over by that date. So, I don’t think there will be any problem,” he told PTI. Mr. Mukherjee, however, said the date for the presentation of the budget will be fixed after discussions at various levels. Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi shares a view similar to Mr. Mukherjee and does not see any problem in presentation of the general budget as per schedule. “Ideally, I should not comment on what the government does. As it is we have a lot of problems... seven to eight factors like climate, ex-

Pranab Mukherjee ams, law and order and festivals were taken into account. “Except in Goa, we will be completing the elections in all four States by February 28, leaving February 29 for the budget. I have nothing to do with it. Our feeling was that if the budget does not have anything special for Goa, then there is no problem [about presentation of budget],” Mr. Quraishi told PTI. However, he added that it is not as if the budget has not

He said the Model Code of acceptable. Asked whether he would Conduct applied to the States that go to the polls and like to caution Team Anna, he said: “No. I think it [caunot for the Centre. tion] will be a little strong ‘National activity’ word. I am hopeful that “Every normal national nothing will be done which activity must go on. The will disturb the election Union budget is a national process.” activity and elections cannot hinder it. Presentation of the ‘Don’t violate code’ Mr. Quraishi said: “We budget is a national function not a function of political don’t have any problem beparties,” Mr. Krishnamurthy cause in a democracy they have a right to oppose or said. Observers recall an in- support anybody. [But] it stance of the budget present- should not be in violation of ation being slightly delayed the model code of conduct. S.Y. Quraishi when the government ac- There should be no hate been postponed. “There has cepted the advice of the Elec- speech and anything that Commission, then leads to law and order probbeen a precedent once in the tion past of the budget having headed by T.N. Seshan, in the lems. These are issues we are been shifted to mid-March. mid-1990s, to defer the pre- watching. We will ensure absolutely that there is peace But, if there are no announ- sentation. and order.” The CEC said: cements specific to Goa, “At the same time, there is a there is no problem. It is for ‘Anna plan raises questions of ethics’ growing feeling of propriety the government,” he said. Team Anna’s proposal to and ethics, and whether this The Assembly elections for Goa are scheduled to be campaign against the Con- movement is entering into gress in the coming Assemb- politics. Then questions will held on March 3. Former Election Commis- ly polls in five States raises be raised. We feel that it is sioner G.V.G. Krishnamur- questions of “propriety and for the leaders of the movethy, however, is of the view ethics,” Mr. Quraishi said, ment that they should be vethat there is no need for the warning that anything that ry careful that they will not government to defer the came in the way of free and be on the wrong side of the fair elections was not law.” — PTI budget presentation.

Date change not possible in Uttarakhand: CEC Special Correspondent NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has expressed its inability to change the date of the Uttarakhand Assembly polls, January 30, 2012, as it has been decided on after considering various factors, including weather. Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi was reacting to the concern expressed by Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri and State Congress chief Yashpal Arya, who said there could be snowfall in some regions

March 13 and 14 and before that the elections had to be completed, results declared and the new Houses constituted. There should be some Various aspects including exams have been time gap between the declaconsidered: Quraishi ration of the results and the constitution of the Assembly during January-end and week of February. Moreover, after the new government hence, the polls should be if polling gets affected due to took over. Moreover, considering the postponed to the middle of snowfall in one or two places, February. “The Commission there is always a possibility huge geographical area, elechas fixed the date after con- of adjustment,” Mr. Quraishi toral strength, movement of sulting experts in the India told The Hindu here on Sun- security forces and the sensitive nature of Uttar Pradesh, Meteorological Department day. The terms of the present the election in that State too and it was informed by them that snowfall could be Assemblies in Uttarakhand should be held in multiphasmore only in the second and Punjab were ending on es. It could not be held sep-

IMD says snowfall can be more only in February second week

arately later as the pattern of polling/results in one State might affect the outcome in other States. “So the polling and counting of votes in all the five States — U.P., Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa — have to be completed by the first week of March to enable the constitution of the new Assemblies in Uttarakhand and Punjab by the second week of March and hence the polling date has been fixed as January 30, considering various aspects including examinations,” Mr. Quraishi said.

Supporters greet Vajpayee

Bharatiya Janata Party workers at a public meeting organised on the 87th birthday celebration of the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in New Delhi on Sunday. The party observed the veteran leader’s birthday as “good governance day”. — PHOTO: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Staff Reporter KOLKATA: The West Bengal

Crisis for paddy, potato and jute farmers likely to worsen Famers forced to sell produce at below-MSP rates gal was driving farmers to suicide, Mr. Bhattacharya said prices have been increased across the country. “I want to know from the government whether the fertilizers are properly distributed or not,” he said.

Call for protest The Congress has called for a sit-in demonstration in the city on January 4, to protest against the “apathy” of the government to the plight of farmers. Four Left peasant organisations have also called for bandh on the same day when there would be cessation of all agricultural activities across the State on the issue of farmer suicides.

‘Consider change of dates’ In a letter to chairperson of the Left Front Committee Biman Bose, Mr. Bhattacharya urged him to consider a change of dates. He claimed that the Congress had called for the demonstration before the announcement of the Left’s programme.

Woman dies after arrest of daughter for Maoist links Staff Reporter KOLKATA: A young Maoist

squad member, whose arrest was immediately followed by the death of her mother in their village in the West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district, was denied bail by a court in Jhargram on Sunday, but allowed to attend the funeral rites. Raimoni Soren, who is just over 20 and was preparing for her upcoming Class X Board examinations, was arrested from her village in the Lalgarh thana area on Saturday evening for her alleged involvement in Maoist activities. Soon after, her mother, Chandmoni Soren, became very ill and died of a cardiac arrest in the early hours of Sunday, Kaushik Sinha, Raimoni’s counsel, told The Hindu over telephone from Jhargram. While the police authorities maintained that Chandmoni Soren’s death was not related to the arrest, Mr. Sinha alleged that the ‘shock’ of the arrest of her daughter precipitated her death. “There is no connection between the death of the mother and the arrest,” said Pravin Tripathi, Superintendent of Police of Paschim Medinipur. During the day, Raimoni Soren was produced in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Rohan Sinha at Jhargram. The police have charged her with involvement in the murder of

20-yr-old Raimoni Soren charged with murder and sedition Police claims there is no connection between arrest and death Madan Patra in a Maoist attack in 2009 and another case of sedition, Mr. Sinha said. “The FIRs lodged in the two cases are against unknown persons. I submitted before the court that Raimoni’s name was not mentioned in either of the two FIRs, but she was denied bail,” he said, adding that she has been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. However, the court granted her permission to attend the last rites, directing the police authorities to make adequate security arrangements. Accordingly, she was taken to her village for the cremation of her mother, Mr. Sinha added.

Maoists surrender Meanwhile, four persons associated with Maoist activities surrendered at the Berhampore police station in the State’s Murshidabad district during the day. “The four persons were accused in a case of sedition registered in 2010. They are also close associates of Kambit Sarkar, a key local Maoist leader,” said B.L. Meena, Superintendent of Police.

Marathi-Hindi theatre legend Satyadev Dubey passes away Staff Reporter MUMBAI: Indian theatre on

Sunday lost Satyadev Dubey, 75-year-old theatre personality who inspired generations of actors and writers. He breathed his last after lying semi-conscious for more than three months. Mr. Dubey had suffered an uncontrolled seizure for 45 minutes in September which put him into a coma and led to a paralytic attack. “He passed away at 11.56 a.m. today [Sunday] at a private hospital with his wellwishers at his bedside. In the last one month, things looked better, but he could not talk or communicate. He couldn’t move his right side. After the uncontrolled seizure, there was damage to his brain, he slipped into coma, suffered

from residual paralysis and remained bedridden,” Pranav Shah, who treated Mr. Dubey for the past few months, told The Hindu. “He will celebrate Christmas with God,” one of Mr. Dubey’s students said. Renowned theatre and film personalities remembered his contribution towards the growth and vibrancy of not just Hindi theatre, but also Marathi, Bengali and Kannada theatre, and paid tribute to his passion. “He used to provoke his actors. Being with him was like bungee jumping. You would never know what to expect,” actor Meeta Vasisht said. “He was very provocative. He used to push his actors to do things that they never thought they would,” said Sulabha Deshpande, veteran Marathi actor

Dubey took up the challenge of reviving Hindi theatre “He was mad about theatre…lived for that madness”

Satyadev Dubey and director. Mr. Dubey was awarded Padma Bhushan by the government this year. “He was not just a director, or a writer. He was active on all

fronts of theatre. For him, the- said. atre was joy. He wanted to enRemembering his contriburich it, spread it around. In tion since the 1960s, she said 1960s, when Hindi theatre that he was a catalyst who was dormant, he took up the worked as a bridge between challenge of reviving it as a Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and part of the nationalistic pro- Bengali theatre. “He was a ject. It wasn’t just an outlet for mentor to the writers. There is his personal expression. He a whole string of writers revived the Hindi theatre whom he groomed to write. where it would compete and For example, G.P. Deshpande far surpass the English theatre never thought he was a playthat was being done in Mum- wright, but he inspired him bai at that time. His contribu- and we got Uddhvastha Dhartion to Indian theatre can be mashala. Directors didn’t do listed at various levels,” Shan- such things, but he was a directa Gokhale, renowned writer, tor, writer, translator and translator and theatre critic much more,” Ms. Gokhale

said. “His earliest play was from European modern classics. He translated, directed and acted in Sartre’s play No Exit, which he translated as Band Darwaze. The play just blew everyone’s mind. He was the one who said that Dharam Vir Bharti’s Andha Yug, which was written for radio, should be staged. He sent it to Ebrahim Alkazi who performed it [in Delhi]. That is how it became known to the entire country,” she said. Ms. Gokhale said Mr. Dubey created an audience for theatre that was “off-mainstream.” “He created an atmosphere through his plays and got new audience. Even English theatre benefitted from it. He touched every generation. In fact, he always looked around him for the younger generation

who could be injected with his madness for theatre.” She refused to call him a maverick. “When you call him a maverick, you push him on the margin. Whereas, he was very much at the centre-stage and influenced things.” he said. Shyam Benegal, renowned film director, remembered Mr. Dubey as an “extremely talented and wonderful human being, kind and loyal friend.” “He was very close to me, my wife, my entire family. I met him for the first time way back in 1962. He wrote the dialogues of the first eight feature films that I made. After that, he said he wanted to do only theatre. But we always remained very close friends,” he said. Vinay Apte, actor and director of many Marathi plays,

said Mr. Dubey was an ideal theatre personality. “He was mad about theatre. He lived for that madness. His plays were always ahead of time. He gave a new direction to Indian theatre. Future generations will have to find a new theatre guru now.” Alyque Padamsee, theatre personality, said the theatre has lost a great experimental theatre director. “His contribution to modern Hindi theatre will always be remembered.” Film director Mahesh Bhatt remembered him as an icon in theatre. “He was our guru. We had learnt a lot from him.” Many film personalities like Govind Nihalani, Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna PathakShah, Jayant Kriplani, Dolly Thakur, Sulabha Arya, Ashutosh Rana, paid their last respects to Mr. Dubey at Shivaji Park crematorium. ...ND-ND






The digital picture: from reel to HD Digitisation ensures better clarity, enhanced image projection, but it has to play a key role in preservation of films Vasudha Venugopal CHENNAI: With the promise of better clarity, enhanced projection of images and an array of technologically advanced tools to shoot with, digital cinema, most would agree, is the future. But behind the screen, there is another area in which digitisation has a key role to play: preservation of films and archiving. Noted film director Balu Mahendra says the two movies he made from his heart, Veedu and Sandhya Raagam were lost, as was Shyam Benegal’s Trikaal. The National Film Archives of India, Pune, has space for storing just 4,000 prints. “So unless the movie is really well known or has won some awards, there is no way of getting [it] into the archives,” says filmmaker K. Hariharan, who has directed movies, including Ezhavathu Manithan and Dubashi. Officials of the National Film Archives of India (NFAI) point out that due to the space occupied by the film rolls, producers and distrib-

utors even abandon prints in railway warehouses. A few years ago, the NFAI received 500 cans of films, including 12 Hindi ones, from the Railways’ lost property warehouses. “Even then, we get only parts of movies. The shortage of manpower is also why we cannot look at all the material available to us,” says an official. In spite of all this, the National Film Archives has managed to restore and digitise films of Dadasaheb Phalke, Satyajit Ray, Mehboob Khan, and V. Shantaram, among others. Many other filmmakers, however, have not been so lucky. Besides the National Film Archives, which stores movie prints, the 15-odd laboratories across the country store the negatives of 1,100 movies released annually in India. Most negatives are barely salvageable. “For the government, preserving the legacy of cinema does not seem to be important,” says Mr. Hariharan. And, storage doesn’t necessarily mean preservation,

he notes, given the poor conditions in which prints are maintained. And one can’t fault companies like Kodak or Fuji, since they never experience such weather problems in their countries, and Indian film stock business is not big enough, experts say.

Preserving of negatives is a humongous task, say experts. They have to be stored at 10 degrees Celsius and 20 degrees humidity. And since most ‘film’ cities, barring Hyderabad and Bangalore, are on the coast, the prevailing humidity acts as a deterrent. “When you open them

after a year, the reels are stuck to each other,” Mr. Hariharan explains. Western countries have devised elaborate preservation techniques. For instance, while Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, is a coastal city, the archiving is done in Nevada. Most are stored in air-condi-

tioned underground vaults with no humidity. A movie such as The Dark Knight had nearly 14,000 film prints released across the world. Almost all of them are useless now, ending up often in landfills and, being nonbiodegradable, become a huge hazard to the environment. It is in this context that ushering in a strategy would necessitate digital methods of archiving soon. The digital restoration and preservation has just started in most laboratories in India. “What most of us do now is scan the original prints and store them in digital files,” says S. Sivaraman, general manager, Prasad Film Labs. “For very high-end purposes, we store in 2k resolution.” Methods like Liner Tape Open Drive-4 (LTO 4) that help to store digital data in a tape format are also being used. However, there are impending dangers to digital archiving, too. For instance, files get corrupted and their shelf life is not as long as well-

preserved celluloid. “Digital archiving is an evolving technology. Decay for at least 1015 years can certainly be prevented, and it is also cheaper than earlier methods,” says Mr. Sivaraman. Rules of preservation apply to digital tapes too, including storing them in recommended temperatures, running them at least once every three years, and recopying them into the contemporary format. Film laboratories in western countries and some in India have started digital restoration with digital-tofilm recording. “The prints of old movies are taken and their colours enhanced, defects removed, after which they are transferred back to celluloid to be preserved for 100 more years,” says Mr. Sivaraman. With most digital devices giving way to modern advancements, there is also a need to standardise formats, say experts. With a host of formats, including beta, digibeta, different versions of jpegs and now, mpegs, filmmakers

say one standard format would really help the process. “The versions of the same format are not upgradable. They have to be redone again. And while a few archives are getting digitised, the resolution of digibeta is not so high as HD, often leading to an unsatisfactory experience,” says Mr. Hariharan.

Is cloud the answer? There are also questions of capacity. Raw files occupy a lot of space. So would the cloud provide the answer here and if so, what are the encryption methods necessary and what about the ownership concerns? After six years of hosting and playing videos, Google Videos is expected to shut down soon, hence the storage and licensing questions remain a concern. “IT companies and labs that store negatives, or even filmmakers need to work hand in hand to come up with an easier way of storing their films,” suggests Mr. Hariharan.


Jairam wants Jharkhand to expedite Saranda initiative

Daredevil act

State has been directed to set up a separate development authority K. Balchand NEW DELHI: The Centre has

Motorcycle riders display their skills on the last day of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Sainik School in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. — PHOTO: ASHOKE CHAKRABARTY

asked the Jharkhand government to show urgency on both security and development matters in the LeftWing-Extremism-affected Saranda forest. The State has been directed to set up a separate development authority to carry forward its initiative to provide basic amenities to 7,000 tribal families in the forest, and demanded early allocation of land for setting up 24 more CRPF camps in and around the region. Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh, in a letter to Chief Minister Arjun Munda, stressed the need to set up a separate “Saranda Development Authority” to implement the action plan drawn up for the region and to work in cooperation with Central forces. On the basis of the suggestions he had received from stakeholders during his recent visit to Saranda, Mr. Ramesh underlined the need to include the villages on the periphery of the forest under the “Saranda Action Plan” for better results on the development front as well as

Plan to provide basic amenities to 7,000 tribal families Appoint locals as forest guards, urges Minister checking the growth of the naxalite movement in the region. The State is expected to set up the authority under a dynamic young IAS officer, to whom all departments working in the region will report, so as to create a focussed approach towards the total development of the region. Representatives of the State and Central forces are also required to meet, monitor and coordinate their activities for achieving the various goals outlined for the region. Mr. Ramesh has called for a

realistic timeframe to achieve the targets set, which includes providing the tribals with houses, cycles, employment-oriented kits, solar lamps, and forest land rights, among other schemes. The MoRD has cleared 6,000 units of houses under the Indira Awaas Yojna (IAY) for the tribals living in the six gram panchayats in the forest besides six watershed programmes for the State’s West Singhbhum district. Mr. Ramesh asked Mr. Munda to initiate action on filling vacancies of forest guards, which posts had been in abeyance for over 18 years. The Minister suggested that local tribals be appointed to these posts, stressing that the measure would go a long way in protecting not only the forest but also the rights of its natural habitants. Mr. Ramesh brought to the notice of the Chief Minister the problems CRPF personnel were facing as a result of the delay in the allocation of land for setting up camps. He said the forces had already reached the State and it was imperative to station them at strategic points to improve the security situation in the forest region.

Was whistle-blower victimised for doing her job? PMO probe on as officials deny their own records Rahi Gaikwad

MP, told The Hindu.

MUMBAI: It could have been

CAT’s opinion

just another day at work. For IAS officer Smita Bharadwaj, it turned out to be anything but. The day she blew the whistle on financial irregularities and sought an inquiry, little did Ms. Bharadwaj know she had stirred up a hornet’s nest. Ms. Bharadwaj, a Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer, “joined on deputation” as Executive Director of the Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council in 2009. In the course of her job, she found that the assistant director (Finance) “had taken higher grade pay for himself without taking due approvals which would have financial implications for the SRTEPC,” as stated in the Bombay High Court order. The move ensured her swift and summary ouster. It provoked a welter of allegations and counter-allegations, an attempt to sully her service record and above all a string of peculiar denials from the government in courts of law. Everything but an official probe into the irregularities she had brought to notice. “This is a case of a whistleblower being victimised,” Nitish Bharadwaj, the officer’s husband and former

Ms. Bharadwaj was prematurely repatriated; her deputation cancelled on grounds of poor performance. Noting that no explanation was sought before repatriating her, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), where she challenged her repatriation, observed: “It was as if the applicant was seen as a stumbling block against smooth functioning of the SRTEPC and her summary removal from the scene was seen as the solution. That was done.” The October 8, 2010, order concludes: “ ... we find that the impugned repatriation order is not sustainable in the eyes of law for being illegal.” The High Court and the Supreme Court upheld the CAT order for reinstating Ms. Bharadwaj. However, till date she has not been reinstated in her position, compelling her to initiate contempt proceedings. In line with the CAT order, the High Court observed that the Council found Ms. Bharadwaj to be “an inconvenient officer” and sought her “ouster.” “There is no material on record even to reach a prima facie conclusion that the applicant was proved to be

dishonest, high-handed or whimsical in her approach or that while discharging her duties she acted against the interests of the Council.” Deputation denied, Ms. Bharadwaj’s case stood legal scrutiny, but the government went to astonishing lengths to put its foot in its mouth. Consider this. The Council and the Ministry of Textiles, on whose request Ms. Bharadwaj was deputed, told the courts she was never deputed in the first place. Charging her with “suppressing” facts before the CAT, the Council contended Ms. Bharadwaj was a “direct entrant.” However, records of the Government of India’s (GoI) Ministry of Textiles (MoT) and Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) obtained under the Right to Information Act by Mr. Bharadwaj prove otherwise. The “Department has ‘no objection’ to the proposed deputation ... for a period of five years,” wrote the DoPT in a letter dated January 23, 2009. An earlier office memorandum of the MoT stated that her “selection procedure” was to be “in conformity with the provision of para 1.2.1 of the Consolidated Deputation Guidelines.” What’s more, Ms. Bharadwaj’s salary slip even shows a “deputation allowance,” paid

Deputationist Smita Bharadwaj prematurely repatriated Textiles Ministry, Council have spent colossal amount of time and money in undoing their own records by the SRTEPC every month. And the Council’s request letters to the MoT asked for “cancellation of deputation.” Upholding the appointment as deputation, the CAT noted, “... the sheer fact of her appointment in SRTEPC having been considered and treated as a case of deputation and cadre clearance ... her limited rights as a deputationist cannot be whittled down by the respondents by turning back and saying that hers was not a case of deputation.”

Private company In another surprising twist, the Council contended that it was a private company. It countered nearly six decades of claims that it was set up by the Union government in 1954. The nature of the Council is now a matter pending before courts. However, there lies a bizarre prelude of flipflops whereby the Council is seen to owe allegiance to the GoI and deny it at will. For instance, a year ago, when Council Chairman Ganesh Kumar Gupta’s car was stopped from entering the of-

fice premises he shot off a letter to the director of DB Realty (which has the building’s ownership rights). “The Council,” Mr. Gupta said in the letter, “is an allIndia apex organisation of around 4,000 exporters set up by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.” A copy of the letter dated November 9, 2010, obtained under the RTI, was furnished to the Tribunal. The phrase ‘Set up by the Government of India, Ministry of Textiles’ also finds a proud mention on Mr. Gupta’s visiting card. Plus, a list of public authorities downloaded from the MoT’s website by Mr. Bharadwaj and submitted to the court includes SRTEPC. Currently, SRTEPC is absent from this list. In the Supreme Court, however, the Council did a stunning U-turn. “It may be clarified at this stage that, on account of some oversight in the past, inadvertently, on some of the official documents, including letterhead ... it came to be historically written that it is ‘Set up by the Government of India, Ministry of Textiles’,” says

the Special Leave Petition filed by the Council on April 4, 2011. When The Hindu spoke to Vinod Kumar Ladia, current Chairman of the Council, he said: “We are a private company, never set up by the GoI. We are only promoted by the GoI. We were set up under Section 25 of the Companies Act. The GoI does not hold a single share in the company ... She [Ms. Bharadwaj] was sent by the MoT. The matter is sub judice. There are legal points to be decided.” Annual reports of the Council are tabled in Parliament. Its primary objectives of export promotion are akin to performing a government function for which the Council receives grants. As the courts have observed, it has “multiple trappings of a ‘State’.”


non, “on all the allegations levelled in the complaint.” When contacted over the phone, Ms. Menon refused to comment saying the matter was sub judice. “I can’t say anything. I have not heard of the Supreme Court order. I don’t wish to say anything about the case,” she said. It is apparent from the mountain of litigation in the case that the Ministry and the Council, which receives government funds, have spent a colossal amount of time and, expectedly, money in simply undoing their own records.

Refusal to comply On condition of anonymity, an official from the Ministry said in an emailed response, “[The] government’s position on the matter is that the case is sub judice and we have no comments to offer on the subject at this stage.” “Any publication citing government officials other than the above would be rebutted by the government in the light of the above clarification.” Mr. Bharadwaj refuted the stand that the matter is sub judice. “It is not. The Supreme Court has dismissed SRTEPC’s SLP and its order was served to the MoT. A contempt notice has also been sent,” he said.

Contempt proceedings are under way, in the absence of compliance with the CAT order. In addition, Mr. Bharadwaj has written to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking an inquiry against Textile Secretary Rita Menon and the Council, for “an unnecessary legal battle ... [and] wasting of public money and precious time of the judiciary as well as gross misconduct of senior IAS officers.” Subsequently, in May, the Cabinet Secretariat sought Misrepresentation Smelling a rat in the whole “comments” from Ms. Me-

affair, the DoPT, which acted on the MoT’s requests for deputation and repatriation, asked the MoT to present the correct facts. “The contention of the Respondents No. 3 [the MoT], 4 and 5 [SRTEPC] that the appointment of Ms. Smita Bharadwaj is not a deputation does not appear to be fully correct … The Ministry of Textiles is, therefore, requested to discuss the matter with the government standing counsel in Mumbai and apprise the Hon’ble CAT of the factual position,” as per the DoPT’s letter obtained under the RTI. Its internal note sheet dated November 15, 2010, clearly states, “…it appears that Ministry of Textiles has suppressed these documents [obtained under RTI] from the Hon’ble Tribunal and completely misrepresented DoPT.” The CAT too pulled up the MoT for producing only “part of” the official records. “It does not give us any pleasure,” the CAT observed, “to mention that complete official records have not been produced before us.” In the wake of the ongoing PMO inquiry, the MoT’s position and its vain attempt at suppressing its records have been put under the scanner. But at the heart of the matter is the question: Was Ms. Bharadwaj victimised for being a whistle-blower? ...ND-ND






Imran Khan pledges to rid country of graft KARACHI: Tens of thousands,

including women and children, rallied in support of cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan here on Sunday, showcasing his party as a rising force in the country’s politics. Mr. Khan’s “tsunami” rally swept Pakistan’s biggest city as approximately 1,00,000 people converged near the mausoleum of Pakistan’s founding leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah to hear the excricketer pledge a new beginning for the country if his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, came to power in the next election. “I pledge to rid this country of corruption and injustice and to make it a truly Islamic welfare state just like the Quaid-e-Azam envisioned for our country,” he said at the gathering, which he described as a bigger rally than the one held in Lahore in October. “I will give you change. My party wants a Pakistan where not only human beings but animals also get justice. We want to establish a proper Islamic welfare state where there is no discrimination between the rich and the poor and where the state looks after its people,” Mr. Khan said. “This country has been ravaged by corrupt people and I am now ready to play any cricket match they want,” he said to the cheering crowd. Taking jibes at his main political foes, Mr. Khan challenged the former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, who is the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), and

28 killed in Nigeria church attacks MADALLA (NIGERIA): Bomb attacks on churches during Christmas services, including one outside the capital Abuja, have killed at least 28 people in Nigeria amid spiralling violence claimed by an Islamist group. The Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for theAbuja blast and violence in recent days that has stoked fear and anger in Africa’s most populous nation. Authorities have been seemingly unable to stop the attacks despite heavy-handed military crackdowns and claims of arrests of Boko Haram members. The area around the scene of the blast outside Abuja, which killed at least 27, degenerated into chaos, with angry youths starting fires and threatening to attack a n A bomb blast later hit outside an evangelical church hundreds of km away in the central city of Jos, killing a policeman, according to a spokesman for the governor. Another explosion targeted a church in the northeastern area of Gadaka on Christmas Eve, but no one was reported killed, while two other blasts hit the northeastern city of Damaturu on Christmas Day, including a suspected suicide bombing. — AFP

President Asif Ali Zardari. “I would tell Nawaz Sharif that if he wants to play a 10over match, he should do it quickly or he might not find the players to select his team. I also wanted to play a cricket match with Asif Zardari, but he is now retired hurt,” he said. The presence of a large number of women and youth indicated that Mr. Khan had been successful in reaching out to those in Pakistani society who had never bothered to cast votes or take politicians seriously. Mr. Khan’s message of coming down hard on corruption and standing up to the United States has found popular support in the country at a time when Pakistanis are fed up with the country’s economic malaise and chronic insecurity. “The sea of change has already begun. I didn’t think that we could hold a bigger rally than the one we had in Lahore, but today, Karachiites, I congratulate you as you have broken the record and not let me down,” Mr. Khan said. He said foreign investors had stopped investing in the country because of the law and order and security situation, particularly here in the financial hub. It was easily one of the biggest political rallies organised in the city in the last two decades, matching the ones held by the Mutthaida Qaumi Movement as the participants made it clear they wanted change in the country. — PTI

EVER-GROWING SUPPORT: A massive turnout for Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan at a rally in Karachi on Sunday. (Right) Mr. Khan greeting his supporters. — PHOTOS: AFP

Judiciary, Army should work within limits: Gilani No option but parliamentary democracy, says Premier Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday said all state institutions, including the judiciary and the Army, should work within their constitutional limits as tensions continued between the Pakistan’s civilian government and the powerful military over the Memogate row. “Parliament, judiciary and the Army — we respect all three and we want these three institutions to work while remaining within their constitutional limits,” said Mr. Gilani in televised concluding remarks at a special meeting of his Cabinet in the southern port city of Karachi.


“We are with them, we fully support them and we have no intention to see the fall of any institution,” he said. Mr. Gilani further said his government was committed to working with all state institutions. “We are the elected people of Pakistan. We should respect the judiciary, we should respect the military, we should respect Parliament and we should also respect the media. There is a thin line but we will take all of them along. This is our commitment,” he said. There has been widespread speculation that President Asif Ali Zardari, who spent almost a fortnight in Dubai ear-

lier this month for medical treatment, would be forced out by the military over the scandal. Sharp differences have emerged between the government and the Army over the alleged memo. The government has said Mr. Zardari and Mr. Gilani played no role in drafting or delivering the memo to the former U.S. military chief, Admiral Mike Mullen. On Thursday, Mr. Gilani sharply criticised the Army, saying it was unacceptable for the institution to act as a “state within a state”. He also questioned the Army’s failure to detect bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan. In an apparent response to Mr. Gilani’s remarks about conspiracies being hatched against the government, General Kayani has said the Army

would continue to support democracy. He dispelled speculation about a military takeover. The 100th meeting of Mr. Gilani’s Cabinet was held in Karachi to mark the birth anniversary of founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. “It’s an honour for the present government that it has completed 45 months and it will complete the five-year term given to it by the people of Pakistan,” Mr. Gilani told the 100th meeting of the federal Cabinet. He said there was now no other option available other than the parliamentary democracy. “Parliamentary form of democracy was closest to the heart of the founder of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam, and he also didn’t support the presidency form of governance,” he said. — PTI

Kayani absent at dinners ISLAMABAD: General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was conspicuous by his absence at an official dinner hosted by Mr. Zardari. The powerful Army chief stayed away from the dinner hosted by Mr. Zardari on Saturday in honour of China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Dai Bingguo, said official sources. The General was among those invited, the sources told PTI. He and other senior officers of the army’s General Headquarters did also not attend the banquet hosted on by Mr. Gilani and his

entourage. However, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chairman General Khalid Shameem Wynne and the air force and navy chiefs attended the event. The army chief’s office informed the Prime Minister’s House that he would be unavailable. The Chief of General Staff, Lt Gen Waheed Arshad, was to represent General Kayani but could not reach Islamabad from Rawalpindi as the highway connecting the two cities was blocked people protesting against a shortage of gas. — PTI

Pope calls for end to violence in Syria Saleh vows to leave VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict

XVI called for an end to violence in Syria and a resumption of West Asia peace talks on Sunday. The leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholics delivered his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message and blessing to tens of thousands of people in St Peter’s Square on a crisp but clear day as millions of others watched on television around the world. At the end of his address, the 84-year-old Pope, celebrating the seventh Christmas season of his pontificate, delivered Christmas greetings in 65 languages, including Turkish, Hebrew, Arabic, Swahili, Hindi, Urdu and Chinese. “May the Lord come to the aid of our world torn by so many conflicts which even today stain the earth with blood,” he said, speaking in Italian from the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica. “May the Prince of Peace grant peace and stability to that Land where he chose to come into the world, and encourage the resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. May he bring an end to the violence in Syria, where so much blood has already been shed,” he said in a firm, steady voice. At least 5,000 people have been killed in nine months of

for more help for those suffering from hunger, food shortages and displacement in the Horn of Africa, and for those affected by floods in Thailand and the Philippines. While his Christmas Day message took a partly political slant, mentioning some of the world’s flash points, the Pope’s Christmas Eve homily some 14 hours before lamented how the true meaning of the day had been overshadowed by materialism. In that homily, he urged humanity to see through the superficial glitter and commercialism of the season and rediscover the real significance of the humble birth of Jesus. “Today Christmas has become a commercial celebration, whose bright lights hide the mystery of God’s humility, which in turn calls us to humility and simplicity,” he said. “Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true BLESSING THE FAITHFUL: Pope Benedict XVI delivering the “Urbi et Orbi” (to the City and to the light.” “... let us strip away our fixWorld) message at the Vatican on Sunday. ation on what is material, on — PHOTO: AP what can be measured and grasped. Let us allow ourviolence that has rocked the ouster of President Bashar al- selves to be made simple by Arab nation in clashes be- Assad. Declaring “let us speak the God who reveals himself tween government forces and out for those who have no to the simple of heart," he protesters calling for the voice,” the pontiff also called said. — Reuters


Big wave hits Thai village Country was battered by a tsunami on December 26, 2004 BANGKOK: About one hundred people in southern Thailand were evacuated on Sunday and several tourists were stranded when a large wave flooded a coastal village, said a local official. The 10-to-13 feet high wave inundated a shore on the Gulf of Thailand, causing floods of one metre deep and damaging houses in a village in Chumphon province, according to Provincial Governor Pinich Charoenpanich. He said officials helped evacuate about a hundred people to a safe place farther inland, and were expected to return home when the waters had subsided and the wind dropped. There were no casualties reported. “This high wave would be normal for fisherman out at sea but this time it happened near the shore, so it caused flooding on the land,” Mr. Pinich told AFP. “There were a dozen local tourists stranded when the high wave hit this morning. They were staying at homestays

A Thai man takes a photo of a wave in Prachuap khiri khan province southern Thailand on Sunday. — PHOTO: AFP

SANA’A: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he would leave for the United States and give way to a successor, hours after his forces killed nine people demanding he be tried for killings over nearly a year of protests aimed at his ouster. But Mr. Saleh, who agreed to step down last month under a deal cut by his wealthier neighbours who fear civil war in Yemen will affect them, did not say when he would leave and vowed to play a political role again, this time opposed to a new government. The bloodshed and political uncertainty hinted at the chaos which oil giant Saudi

Arabia and Mr. Saleh’s former backers in Washington fear Yemen could slip into, giving the country’s al-Qaeda wing a foothold overlooking oil shipping routes. Troops from units led by Mr. Saleh’s son and nephew opened fire with guns, tear gas and water cannon against demonstrators who approached his compound in Sana’a after marching for days from the southern city of Taiz, chanting “No to immunity!” The marchers denounced the deal Saleh agreed last month giving him immunity from prosecution in exchange for handing power to his deputy. — AFP

Nine killed in protest violence Marchers demand immunity be lifted

Call for probe into Sri Lanka’s civil war R.K. Radhakrishnan COLOMBO: The Brussels-based

International Crisis Group (ICG) has criticised Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report for failing to provide “the thorough and independent investigation of alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that the UN and other partners of Sri Lanka have been asking for” during the Eelam War IV”. It called upon the interna-

tional community — through the U.N. Human Rights Council — “to establish an independent international investigation in 2012. Without such an investigation, accountability for the crimes committed at the end of the civil war is highly unlikely,” it said in a recent statement. The Tamil National Alliance, an umbrella group of Tamil political parties, has already called for an international accountability mechanism, saying the LLRC did not do justice to the vic-

tims of the war. The ICG said the “responsibility now falls on the international community to take up the task of ensuring post-war accountability.” It wants a formal discussion of the report and the U.N. Secretary-General’s panel report at the March 2012 session of the U.N. Human Rights Council. This should lead to an independent international mechanism to investigate all credible allegations and to monitor domestic efforts at accountability.

Darfur rebel leader killed Sudan’s Army killed Khalil Ibrahim, a key rebel leader from the Darfur region, on Sunday, state media reported, three days after anti-government forces said they had begun advancing on the capital. Ibrahim (54) headed the Justice and Equality Movement, once the most heavily armed group in the Darfur region, though its recent strength remains unclear. In July, the government signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur with the Liberation and Justice Movement, an alliance of rebel splinter factions. JEM and other key rebel groups did not join the pact. Ibrahim was a key player in the early days of the conflict which broke out


in 2003 between non-Arab rebels and the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime. In October, Ibrahim told AFP he had “returned to my country to fight for the rights of the people in all regions of Sudan”.According to United Nations, ,at least 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur. — AFP

in village houses located on the shore, but they were safe,” he added later. The country was battered by an Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26, 2004 that killed an estimated 5,400 people in Thailand alone. The tsunami, triggered by an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, sent giant waves crashing into countries around the Indian Ocean, killing more than 220,000 people. — AFP ...ND-ND





Coal India chalks out action plans to meet 440 million tonnes target


Coal India has drawn fresh action plans to meet the revised production target of 440 million tonnes for this fiscal. The production target, which was initially fixed at 452 million tonnes at the beginning of the financial year, was scaled down to 440 million tonnes last month, PTI reports from New Delhi.

Flip-flops in communication The steps taken by the RBI will have to be in harmony with existing macro policies


fter a long period of silence, the Reserve Bank of India took a number of steps to check the fall of the rupee. However, some of its recent moves have been intriguing and to some extent inconsistent as well.

FINANCIAL SCENE A strategy to combat the falling rupee on an urgent basis is welcome. However, it is important to take into account the likely impact of some of those measures on the macroeconomy. Boosting foreign exchange flows into India (to augment supply) is no doubt important, but specific steps in that direction will have to be in harmony with existing macro policies. If they do not, they may convey an impression of des-

peration, which the government and the RBI would most certainly like to avoid. Unfortunately, policymakers might well have fallen into that trap. The government has announced a number of relaxations such as enhancing the ceiling on investment in debt instruments (corporate bonds and gilts) by foreign institutional investors, reducing the lock-in period for foreign investment in infrastructure bond and removing the interest rate cap on external commercial borrowings by Indian companies. Each of these is significant by itself and would probably have found a place in the economic calendar over the next few years. The problem arises because of a possible miscommunication. These ought not to be projected as necessary, urgent steps for rescuing the rupee at this juncture.

Since these measures have come at a time when overseas investors’ belief in India’s growth story has been faltering — the declining stock markets and, of course, the falling rupee bear testimony to this — it is to be seen whether they would have the same impact that they would have had in more normal times. Encouraging foreign capital flows into debt markets is fraught with risks, a caution that the RBI has been heeding until now. There are existing concerns over the ballooning short-term external debt. Will not the greater leeway proposed for Indian corporates to borrow from abroad increase the risks?

NRE deposits and arbitrage The deregulation of interest rates on non-resident ex-

ternal accounts is intended to boost NRE deposits with Indian banks. The attraction is that these funds come in from abroad. Banks in India are now permitted to offer their non-resident customers the same rates they offer to their domestic customers. This opens the possibility of large-scale arbitrage: the overseas Indians can raise dollar loans at incredibly low rates from a bank abroad and deposit them in Indian banks under the NRE scheme to earn fabulous returns. The interest difference can be very large — even going up to 6 per cent. The risks are minimal. The NRE schemes generally guar-

............................................................ THE RUPEE’S FALL DOES NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE SLOWING ECONOMY. ..............................................................

Kodak struggles, Eastman thrives G

eorge Eastman is best known as the inventor of photographic film and founder of Eastman Kodak Co, but his century-old legacy of entrepreneurship now rides on the lesser-known Eastman Chemical Co. That was hardly the case in 1994, when Eastman Kodak spun off its chemicals business to help pay down debt. At that time, Kodak was still a colossus in photography whereas Eastman Chemical was a small player very much in its parent’s shadow. But because of a sea change in digital technology and different approaches to business, Eastman Chemical’s stock market value has since increased 71 per cent to $5.5 billion today, while Kodak’s has plummeted 99 per cent to about $185 million. Interviews with former executives, retirees and analysts describe two companies that were polar opposites in many ways, despite their shared heritage: where Eastman Chemical was swift to move into new markets, Kodak rested on its laurels for too long; where Chemical had a management team obsessed with the bottom line, Kodak retained cushy employee benefits even when the advent of digital cameras caused film demand to crater. Speculation flared in September that Kodak was on the verge of bankruptcy, after the Rochester, New York-based company hired restructuring experts. Last month, Kodak warned that unless it could raise $500 million in new debt or sell some patents in its portfolio, it might not survive 2012. George Eastman, a highschool dropout from rural New York, founded Eastman Kodak Co in the late 1880s and built it into the world’s biggest photographic film supplier and camera maker. He patented roll film when he was 30 and quickly became a wealthy man. In 1919, he gift-

............................................................. WHERE EASTMAN CHEMICAL WAS SWIFT TO MOVE INTO NEW MARKETS, KODAK RESTED ON ITS LAURELS FOR TOO LONG. ............................................................... ed one-third of his Kodak stock — worth roughly $10 million at the time — to employees. Eastman established a chemicals subsidiary in 1920 to supply acetic acid and other photographic chemicals to Kodak, a business that grew strongly in the next 50 years, gaining many customers beyond its sibling. After Eastman Chemical was spun off, it continued to expand and innovate by staking out new niche chemical markets, such as fibers for cigarette filters and plastic free of bisphenol A, a potential carcinogen. Kodak, on the other hand, invented the digital camera in 1975 when one of its engineers developed a prototype that was as big as a toaster and captured black and white images. But it failed to capitalise on that innovation, and it was only when Kodak’s film business began to decline a decade ago that it tried to catch up with rivals by launching mass-market digital cameras with the Easyshare line. “We had something that was so good, but now it’s deteriorated to the current state of affairs,’’ said Bob Shanebrook, a former Kodak executive who ran the professional film business and retired in 2003. “We thought $40 per share was a ridiculously low stock price, but now it’s below a dollar.’’ Kodak’s five-year credit default swaps were quoted at distressed levels earlier this month, reflecting a 92 per cent chance of default on its debt in the next five years.

The city of Rochester itself seems resigned to Kodak’s fate. At one point, the company employed more than 60,000 people in the area — now, that number is closer to 7,000.

A paternal history To be sure, Eastman Chemical has been fortunate to be in an industry that has changed little compared to the technology sector, which has forced other American icons including International Business Machines Corp and Corning Inc to reinvent themselves. The type of chemical products may change, but the science of producing them does not. Nonetheless, people familiar with both companies give Eastman Chemical credit for a corporate culture change that has helped it eschew the Kodak legacy. In March 2009, for example, Eastman Chemical asked all employees from the CEO down to take a 5 per cent pay cut to prevent widespread layoffs. The tactic worked, layoffs were averted, and the prior pay levels were restored later that year. “We needed to understand that we were not a family; we were a team,’’ Brian Ferguson, who joined Eastman Chemical in 1977 and was chief executive from 2002 through 2009, said in an email. "We had difficulties dealing with these issues due to the paternal history of Kodak, which implied employment for life, benefits forever unchanging and general conflict avoidance.’’ Kodak, in contrast, was

tracts, placed limits on hedging by traders and foreign institutional investors and reduced the amount of dollars that authorised dealers can hold overnight. In RBI’s view, speculation has had the effect of weakening the rupee As soon as these measures were announced on December 15, the rupee reversed its decline but by the beginning of the following week resumed its declining trend. Effective economic manTargeting speculation agement, including exchange In a surprise move, the RBI rate management, anywhere clamped down on speculation takes into account psychologin the forward foreign ex- ical factors that influence change markets. It has dis- market forces. allowed cancellation and The quality of central bank rebooking of forward con- communication to the markets has become crucial to the success of monetary and related policies. In India too, there have been occasions when policymakers have successfully ‘talked up’ the rupee’s external value. During

antee repatriation although they do not cover exchange rate risks. (FCNR accounts are maintained in foreign currency). Past experience should warn us against relying on such deposits. They are known to flit in and out of India. Drastic interest rate changes in India or abroad will impact immediately on the viability of the schemes built on arbitrage.

much more generous with its employee benefits. Even after the decline in its business forced massive layoffs — it has 18,800 global workers today, down from 86,000 in 1998 — the company offered lucrative severance packages. “They could have just said, ‘Thanks for coming, goodbye,’’’ said Shanebrook, the former Kodak executive. “Instead, they gave people at all levels separation packages based on how long they worked. They continue to provide medical coverage for retirees.’’ Kodak’s U.S. pension plans, which cover 65,000 people, were underfunded by nearly $200 million at the end of 2010. The funds slipped into the red after a surplus of more than $2 billion as recently as 2008, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. When asked for comment, Kodak spokesman Gerard Meuchner said in an-email that the company has cut its post-employment benefits by two-thirds since 2005 and lowered its severance benefits from two weeks per year of service to 1.5 weeks.

Contrasting CEOs The differences in Kodak and Eastman Chemical’s cultures are reflected in the management styles of their leaders. Eastman Chemical Chief Executive Jim Rogers, a former naval aviator and corporate treasurer, has a reputation for being pragmatic and low-key. Kodak CEO Antonio Perez is known for his charisma, but some of his spending decisions have raised eyebrows. As an independent company, Eastman Chemical had to learn to compete with Dow Chemical, BASF and other global chemical giants.

the recent bout of the rupee’s weakness, the statements of senior government and RBI officials that there are definite limits to intervention and that ,in any case, the central bank will not ‘sell too many dollars’ to defend the rupee, most probably undermined the central bank’s belated defence of the rupee. A more beneficial strategy would be to stress on the positives, which India still has in

plenty. The economy might be faltering but even a sub-7 per cent GDP growth rate will still be commendable. Foreign exchange reserves are comfortable. The recent upward revision by Moody’s, of three key Indian debt instruments, shows that the India’s economic performance is not all that bleak. C. R. L. NARASIMHAN

Two wrongs do not make a right S

ome weeks ago during a social dinner chat, the head of a well known nonbanking finance company headquartered in Chennai made an interesting comment. The subject was fuel pricing and the distortions in the economy caused by the widening gap between petrol and diesel prices. This gentleman, seeking to buy an upmarket car, went to one of the dealerships that his group owned but had to return empty handed because all the cars there were diesel models. He wanted to buy a petrol model and the reason he gave was striking: “How is it right for me to buy a luxury diesel car and pay Rs.45 a litre for fuel when the average Indian pays Rs.70 a litre for petrol to fuel his Rs.40,000 two-wheeler?’’ Whether this is an extreme definition of ethics or not is another matter but the comment certainly sums up very well the distortions that are being caused in the economy by the government’s flawed policy on fuel pricing. On the one hand, the oil companies are wailing over mounting ‘under-recoveries’, which by itself is a questionable concept. On the other, the benefit of lower diesel prices is enjoyed by those consumers who can actually afford to pay more.

Petro-diesel price gap

The gulf between petrol and diesel prices that has widened over the last year (see graph) has prompted a mass shift of car buyers to dieselengine vehicles from petrol. Between 4 and 5 of every ten cars sold in the country today — depending on whose estiERNEST SCHEYDER mate you want to believe — and LIANA B.BAKER are diesel engine ones. And Reuters this is despite the higher price

of diesel cars relative to petrol ones. Obviously, people like the gentleman above are a minority! ‘Dieselisation’ of the car market is happening slowly but surely and this has consequences for not just the automobile manufacturers and oil companies but also the government. According to the recent report of a Parliamentary panel on petroleum, diesel cars consume as much as 15 per cent of the total diesel sold in the country. It is not surprising therefore, that the panel has recommended a cess on all diesel cars to make them more expensive and deter buyers. That the panel’s, over-arching interest was to protect the oil companies is evident from its other recommendation that this cess should go to the oil companies to compensate them for their ‘under-recoveries’. Predictably, there is opposition to any such suggestion of higher duties on diesel cars from the wing of government responsible for the well-being of car companies. Heavy Industries Minister Mr. Praful Patel is supposed to have opposed it in a letter to the Finance Minister, Pra-

nab Mukherjee. Howsoever tempting it might be for Mr. Mukherjee in the context of raising revenues, such a cess, if imposed, will be akin to correcting one wrong with another. The basic problem is with the fuel pricing policy of the government and not with the car companies. That cannot be corrected with another flawed policy on taxing automobiles. A cess on diesel cars will surely put a brake on demand, slowing down sales of such cars. But how fair is it to change policies on such critical issues after car companies have already invested heavily depending on stability of policy? And again, what about the stock of diesel cars that are already on the road? Is it in the interest of the government to mess with an industry that is one of the biggest employers? There have been suggestions for a dual pricing policy for diesel. Cars will be charged a higher price than goods carriers and tractors. But this is not a workable suggestion; it is not possible to regulate price at the petrol pump based on the vehicle that comes for a refill. Nor is it logistically feasible to sepa-

rate dispensing outlets based on vehicles. So, what is the way out then? There is simply no alternative to completely overhauling the fuel pricing policy. We need market-determined, competitive prices for transportation fuels that are based on the cost of production. The present policy of linking domestic prices of petrol and diesel to the landed cost of imports when in reality not a litre is being imported needs to be done away with. Petrol and diesel cost almost the same to produce but the reason for the wide differential in their prices is taxes. While encouraging the oil companies to compete with each other and basing prices on their cost structures, the government should also take a holistic look at the taxation policies on petroleum products. Petrol suffers higher excise duty and sales tax compared to diesel. Duties on the two products need to be rationalised and made comparable with each other. In fact, it may be desirable to revisit the taxation policies for all petroleum products and rationalise them. These are important reform measures that, realistically speaking, are unlikely to happen in the near term. Come the Budget in February and we might well see the government imposing additional taxes on diesel cars. And the wide gap between petrol and diesel prices is not going to disappear any time soon. The likes of the gentleman mentioned in the beginning are unlikely to drive a diesel car in the near future. RAGHUVIR SRINIVASAN

Acquisition is the way to grow, says McLeod Russel CFO Nothing outside its multistoreyed façade betrays the history that is enveloped within its 115-year-old precincts. For McLeod Russel India Ltd (MRIL), the journey from 1869 to 2011, from a partnership firm owned by Britishers to a listed-Indian company, has been as eventful as it has been colourful, what with an east India merchant Brij Mohan Khaitan, a supplier of tea chests and fertilizers, being invited to join MRIL as a director and then eventually taking over the reins. With his rise, the company too morphed through sellouts and change of hand to emerge in its present form. With 47 tea estates in the Assam valley, six in West Bengal and estates and factories in Vietnam, Uganda and Rwanda, it is now the world’s largest producer of black tea. K. K. Baheti, whole-time director and CFO, McLeod Russel, shares his views with

Indrani Dutta about the tea industry and the company in particular. Excerpts:

Rs.150 against Rs.145 a kg last year. Our export prices too have been better this year.

How have the trends been so far this year? For our company, the year has been very good so far. We expect to cross the 100 million kg mark for the first time this year. Our production has been higher by 6.5 million kg and we expect to get a production of 80 million kg against 74 million kg last year. Additionally, we get 23 million kg from our three overseas estates in Vietnam, Uganda and Rwanda. Despite the situation of good supplies in the first-half of the year, prices have held firm. Our exports too are expected to be higher this year. As for the industry, belying initial optimism, the industry will miss the 1,000-million kg mark in production which

What is the share of boughtleaf in your total production? would, nevertheless, be higher than last year. But prices are stable. In many ways, we feel that this year would be marked as a fundamentally defining one for the Indian tea industry. Why do you say that? See, North India reaped its highest crop in the last decade between January and September when some of the best teas are made. Exports have been low due to the payment problem with Iran, so supply was at its peak. Consumption is growing at around 3 per cent annually. Yet, there were no correction in prices. The industry has found its level. This is the base-price level for the Indi-

The share of bought-leaf in our total production basket is set to increase this year from 10.56 million kg to 13 million kg. This share is on the rise as it is not possible to get increased production through higher acreage in India. Moreover, we are increasing the capacity of all our factories keeping in view our targeted increase of 5 million kg Plucking of tea leaves in progress at an estate in annually in India and abroad. Assam. — FILE PHOTO: PTI Any major increase in our an industry. since 2007, tea prices have in- own production can be We expect prices to remain creased by 70 per cent and we brought about only through firm as crop will be around feel further upward move- acquisition. these levels barring any ma- ments are likely. For us, acquisition is the jor factors affecting producAt MRIL, which produces way to grow and it is likely to tion, as land for tea good quality teas which are be mostly overseas since no cultivation is likely to remain majorly of the CTC variety, one is selling in India as they static. we are expecting to close the expect the sector to do well. Over a four-year period year with an average price of We are definitely looking at

overseas acquisition. Overseas operations are providing the thrust to the company now. So new buys are being negotiated? New buys are a function of opportunities that we get. But in Rwanda two more gardens are now opening up for bidding following their privatisation. We will put in a bid if our board okays the proposal. Other than Rwanda, we are interested in other African countries such as Malawi and Burundi. At present, as you know we have properties in Vietnam, Uganda and of course Rwanda.

hopes to achieve would come from its overseas operations. Uganda has given us a very pleasant surprise. When we took over in January 2010, its operational profit was $7 per million kg of tea, today it is expected to touch $11. How do you plan to fund your acquisitions — what is your debt position like?

New acquisitions, if any, would be funded through a mix of debt and our own internal accruals. Our reserve positions are good (at around Rs.900 crore) and tea prices as we have discussed, are also higher this year for MRIL. Our debt is expected to be What will their contribution around Rs.260 crore this be to your overall earnings year, down from Rs.316 crore, this fiscal? and we are expecting a decent growth in both our top line We expect that this year (Rs.1,274 crore consolidated, around Rs.60 crore out of the last fiscal) and the bottomRs.400 crore consolidated line this year (Rs.246 crore earnings that the company fiscal 2011). ...ND-ND





Taufiq Hidayat tames Sourabh Verma in final

BADMINTON / Wins his first title of the season Rakesh Rao LUCKNOW: With a young Indian up against a former World and Olympic champion, the result was probably easy to guess. However, a packed house at the Banarasi Das badminton stadium played an unexpected role in making the final evening of the $120,000 Syed Modi India Open Grand Prix Gold badminton championship a memorable one here on Sunday. Armed with the tri-colour and plenty of lung-power, the spectators backed Sourabh Verma all the way even though it was clear that Taufik Hidayat could not be denied his first title of the season in his final competition of the year. Hidayat ended his title drought with a 21-15, 21-18 triumph and collected $9,000 for his efforts. Generous in his praise for Sourabh, Hidayat said, “Sourabh is a good player and has the strokes to get much better.” The Indonesian shrugged off a slow start, as he used his experience to dictate the pace of the rallies and won the big points with ease.

Childhood dream

Sourabh, who lived his childhood dream of playing Hidayat, could not have asked a better setting for his maiden final appearance in a Grand Prix Gold event. In keeping with the popular demand, Sourabh raced away to an 8-2 lead, thanks to a high number of errors from Hidayat. But, once the Indonesian settled down, the script followed the anticipated course. Hidayat made it 8-all and finally broke away from 16-15, winning the last five points of the first game. In the second, Sourabh showed that he was not overawed by his famed rival as he led 17-14. However, Hidayat won six straight points and clinched the title on his second match point. Sourabh matched Hidayat stroke for stroke in the second game, winning a few long rallies

It’s Ashwa Shakti vs Sheer Genius HYDERABAD: Ashwa Shakti and Sheer Genius may fight out the finish of the Deccan Juvenile Million (1,200m), the chief event of the races to be held here on Monday (Dec. 26).

53.5, 9. Over Shadow (3) P. S. Chouhan 53.5 and 10. Smart Striker (5) N. Rawal 53.5. 1. Bold Attack, 2. Attenborough, 3. Benita

1 SINGH PLATE (1,400m), rated upto 25, 3-y-o & over (Cat. III), 12.40 p.m.: 1. Kohinoor Forever (8) Ajit Kumar 61, 2. Novaya Zemlya (3) P. S. Chouhan 61, 3. Shades Of Victory (7) C. Henrique 61, 4. Star Engagement (13) S. Nayak 61, 5. Pussy Galore (10) A. K. Pawar 59.5, 6. Sharp Single (12) N. Rawal 58, 7. Sun Ray (6) Kuldeep Singh 58, 8. Sharp Victor (4) J. Vikas 57, 9. Royal Quest (2) A. Ramana 56.5, 10. Hyderabad Hero (1) A. Imran Khan 56, 11. Renukas Pride (5) Uday Kiran 53.5, 12. White Wind (14) Ravinder Singh 53.5, 13. Hard Hit (9) Nitin Singh 51 and 14. Trigger Happy (11) Asbar 49. 1. Shades Of Victory, 2. Kohinoor Forever, 3. Trigger Happy

4 MEGHALAYA PLATE (Div. I), (1,200m), rated upto 75, 3-y-o & over (Cat. II), 2.10: 1. Yakshagana (9) Ravinder Singh 61.5, 2. Caligatae (4) Harinder Singh 60, 3. Sun Strikes (5) S. Fargeat 58, 4. China Pearl (6) A. K. Pawar 55, 5. Fine Racer (8) B. Shanker 52.5, 6. Valentine (3) C. Henrique 52.5, 7. Dream Deal (11) S. Nayak 52, 8. Glorious Bay (7) Deep Shanker 51.5, 9. Grand Connection (2) P. S. Chouhan 51.5, 10. Kathakali (10) Asbar 50.5, 11. All Pepper (12) R. Umesh 50 and 12. Devils Advocate (1) Sai Kumar 50. 1. Grand Connection, 2. Valentine, 3. Sun Strikes

2 MALVADO PLATE (Div. II), (1,000m), (Cat. II), maiden 2-y-o only (Terms), 1.10: 1. Architect (5) A. Joshi 55, 2. Baba’s Gift (4) Ravinder Singh 55, 3. Gold Coast (6) Nitin Singh 55, 4. Asta La Vista Babe (8) S. Fargeat 53.5, 5. Camacho Speed (3) Laxman 53.5, 6. Dakshayani (1) Asbar 53.5, 7. Enamour (10) R. Umesh 53.5, 8. Hidden Power (9) Sai Vamshi 53.5 and 9. Queens Necklace (7) A. Imran Khan 53.5 and 10. Win And Enjoy (2) P. S. Chouhan 53.5. 1. Win And Enjoy, 2. Hidden Power, 3. Enamour

RICH, RICHER: It was a memorable experience for Sourabh Verma in the Syed Modi India Open Grand Prix though he finished second best to Taufiq Hidayat. — PHOTO: SUBIR ROY Spectators backed Sourabh Verma all the way Coach Gopi Chand was proud of his trainee and seldom letting the champion use his feared forehand cross-courts. It was only when Sourabh’s energy level came down in the second game, Hidayat finished the mid-court returns with trademark smashes. Sourabh, for his part, retrieved far more shots than what Hidayat would have expected. It was the Indian’s strong defence that kept him in the contest that lasted 46 minutes. “I should have won the second game but I am happy with the way I played. It was a good learning experience,” said the Indian, who received $4,560. Coach Gopi Chand was proud of his trainee. “Sourabh played superbly. He carried out the plan well, but he was up against the class of Taufik, who had planned the big points so well.”

The women’s singles final was a non-starter. With second seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk down with fever, fellow Thai — third seed Inthanon Ratchanok — was assured of the $9,000 cheque that came with the title. The duo left for home even before the presentation ceremony. The doubles’ winners shared $9,450 and the runnersup split $4,560. The results (finals): Men: 2-Taufik Hidayat (Ina) bt Sourabh Verma (Ind) 21-15, 21-18. Women: 3-Inthanon Ratchanok (Tha) w/o 2-Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (Tha). Men’s doubles: 1-Naoki Kawamae & Shoji Sato (Jpn) bt Andrei Adistia (Ina) & Christopher Rusdianto 21-17, 12-21, 23-21. Women’s doubles: Shinta Mulia Sari & Lei Yao (Sin) bt 1-Miyuki Maeda & Satako Suetsuna (Jpn) 21-17, 2118. Mixed doubles: 1-Sudket Prapakamol & Saralee Thoungthongkam (Tha) bt Muhammad Rijal & Debby Susanto (Ina) 16-21, 21-18, 21-11.

3 MALVADO PLATE (Div. I), (1,000m), (Cat. II), maiden 2-y-o only (Terms), 1.40: 1. Amber Flame (10) S. Nayak 55, 2. Attenborough (8) Kuldeep Singh 55, 3. Bold Attack (4) A. Imran Khan 55, 4. Paradise Bay (7) Ravinder Singh 55, 5. Saint Louis (1) Laxman 55, 6. Anangalekha (2) Asbar 53.5, 7. Benita (6) R. Umesh 53.5, 8. Golden Jewel (9) Ajit Kumar

5 TRACK LIGHTNING PLATE (1,600m), rated upto 50, 3-y-o & over (Cat. III), 2.40: 1. Staccato (9) S. Nayak 60, 2. Lake King (3) P. S. Chouhan 59.5, 3. Thirteen Black (8) P. Trevor 58.5, 4. All The Fun (7) K. Anil 57, 5. Carson Troy (5) Sai Vamshi 57, 6. Nandanvanaa (1) Nitin Singh 57, 7. Midnight Beauty (2) A. Imran Khan 55, 8. Nano Angel (6) C. Henrique 53.5, 9. Mountain Stream (10) N. Rawal 51, 10. Cannon Gem (4) Asbar 50 and 11. Maximum Response (11) Sai Kumar 50. 1. Lake King, 2. Staccato, 3. All The Fun 6 TWIN CITIES CUP (1,000m), rated upto 50, 3-y-o & over (Cat. III), 3.15: 1. Ice Rain (4) B. Dileep 60, 2. Russian Rhytham (2) J. Vikas 60, 3. Ektto Ektto Ektto (1) S. Fargeat 56, 4. Art Dealer (7) Kuldeep Singh 52.5, 5. Home Coming (9) Ajit Kumar 52.5, 6. Cannon Ace (5) N. Rawal 51.5, 7. Rob Roy (3) Sai Vamshi 51.5, 8. Samvida (6) R. Umesh 51, 9. Ziv (10) Nitin Singh 50 and 10. Jaz Elle (8) Uday

Kiran 49.5. 1. Ektto Ektto Ektto, 2. Russian Rhytham, 3. Art Dealer 7 BAILE LALITHA PERSHAD MEMORIAL CUP (1,600m), (Cat. II), 3-y-o & over (Terms), 3.45: 1. Vijay Monarch (1) P. S. Chouhan 63.5, 2. Da Xia (4) Ajit Kumar 50, 3. Royal Shaan (6) Asbar 60, 4. Blazing Asian (3) A. Imran Khan 57.5, 5. Drayton (2) S. Sreekant 57.5, 6. Onera Onera Onera (5) S. Fargeat 57.5 and 7. Divine Ganges (7) A. Ramana 53. 1. Vijay Monarch, 2. Onera Onera Onera, 3. Divine Ganges 8 DECCAN JUVENILE MILLION (1,200m), 2-y-o only (Terms), 4.15: 1. Ashok Chakra (2) C. Henrique 55, 2. Ashwa Shakti (6) P. S. Chouhan 55, 3. Montpelier (1) S. Fargeat 55, 4. Sheer Genius (7) A. Imran Khan 55, 5. Glorious View (3) S. Nayak 51, 6. Green Bay (5) Sai Vamshi 51 and 7. Speedtosucceed (4) Asbar 51. 1. Ashwa Shakti, 2. Sheer Genius, 3. Ashok Chakra 9 MEGHALAYA PLATE (Div. II), (1,200m), rated upto 75, 3-y-o & over (Cat. II), 4.45: 1. Red River Rebel (1) Asbar 61, 2. Rajkumari (10) A. Imran Khan 59.5, 3. Corvette (11) P. Trevor 56.5, 4. Oru Oru Oru (9) P. S. Chouhan 53.5, 5. Anacosta (12) Kuldeep Singh 53, 6. Aarohan (7) N. Rawal 52.5, 7. Zero Tolerance (5) C. Henrique 51.5, 8. Naughty Gal (8) Deep Shanker 51, 9. Phenomenal Speed (4) Sai Kumar 50.5, 10. Tiara (3) A. K. Pawar 50.5, 11. Original Gladiator (2) J. Vikas 50 and 12. Exquisite Delight (6) Nitin Singh 49.5. 1. Rajkumari, 2. Oru Oru Oru, 3. Corvette Day’s best: Grand Connection Double: Bold Attack–Ashwa Shakti Jkt: 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9; Tr (i): 1, 2 & 3; (ii): 4, 5 & 6; (iii): 7, 8 & 9.

Sharaarat claims Macau Magic Million MUMBAI: Sharaarat ridden by C. Ra-

jendra won the Macau Magic Million, the feature event of Sunday’s (Dec. 25) races here. The winner is owned by Ms. Tarita Shankar, Mr. Chetan S.Wakalkar rep. Sahaan Infrastructure (India) Pvt Ltd. Dallas Todywalla trains the winner. 1. CHRISTMAS CUP (1,200m), Cl. IV, rated 20 to 46: Greatness (Trevor) 1, Banana Boy (Kharadi) 2, Star Blessings (D.K. Ashish) 3 and Marudhara Ratan (I.Pardeshi) 4. 1/2, 51/2, 3/4. 1m 13.31s. Rs. 36 (w), 13, 15 and 16 (p). SHP: Rs. 38, FP: Rs. 64, Q: Rs. 20, Tanala: Rs. 159 and Rs. 99. Favourite: Banana Boy. Owners: M/s. Gautam Lala, Partab Lala & Mrs. Laxmi P.Lala rep. Gainsville Stud & Agl Farm P.Ltd. Trainer: Narendra Lagad. 2. NAWABZADA RASHIDUZZAFAR KHAN TROPHY (2,000m), Cl. II, rated 60 to 86: Bling (Sandesh) 1, Marauder (Sreekanth) 2, Titian (Ruzaan) 3 and Dancing Dame (C.Rajendra) 4. 2-1/2, Nk, 7-1/2. 2m 10.72s. Rs. 23 (w), 13, 11 (p). SHP: Rs. 28, FP: Rs. 30, Q: Rs. 11, Tanala: Rs. 63 and Rs. 29. Favourite: Maruder. Owner: Mr. Inderraj Anand. Trainer: Sanjay Kolse. 3. RANJIT V. BHAT MEMORIAL GOLD TROPHY (1,000m), Cl. I, rated 80 and upward: Nefyn (Akshay) 1, Saints N Sinners (Sandesh) 2, Dovers Hill (Zervan) 3 and Bullet (Dashrath) 4. 1/2, 1-1/2, 3/4. 58.69s. Rs. 16 (w), 13 and 21 (p). SHP: Rs. 32,

FP: Rs. 57, Q: Rs. 44, Tanala: Rs. 70 and Rs. 31. Favourite: Nefyn. Owners: Mr. Dilip Thomas rep. Rajagiri Rubber & Produce Co Ltd & Mr. & Mrs. Shapoor P.Mistry rep. Manjri Horse Breeders’ Farm Pvt Ltd. Trainer: Bezan Chenoy. 4. MAHARAJA JIWAJIRAO SCINDIA TROPHY (1,800m), 3-y-o & over: Onassis (Zervan) 1, Native Knight (C.Rajendra) 2, Airplay (Anthony Crastus) 3 and Camacho (Trevor) 4. 1-1/4, Hd, 2. 1m 56.41s. Rs. 15 (w), 10 and 33 (p). SHP: Rs. 52, FP: Rs. 44, Q: Rs. 72, Tanala: Rs. 157 and Rs. 57. Favourite: Onassis. Owners: Mr. & Mrs. Vijay B.Shrike, Mr. K.N.Dhunjibhoy rep. Five Stars Shipping Co Pvt Ltd and Mr. Farouq K.Rattonsey rep. Hyperion Bloodstock Pvt Ltd. Trainer: P.Shroff. 5. JASDANWALLA CUP (1,400m), Cl. III, rated 40 to 66: Ranthambore (C.S.Jodha) 1, Vibgyor (David Allan) 2, Secret Service (S.Sunil) 3 and Snow Blaze (Neeraj) 4. 1-1/2, Sh, 3/4. 1m 25.15s. Rs. 44 (w), 18, 26 and 17 (p). SHP: Rs. 64, FP: Rs. 486, Q: Rs. 282, Tanala: Rs. 1,069 and Rs. 299. Favourite: Secret Service. Owners: Mrs. Magansingh P.Jodha, Mr. Gautam N.Rijhsinghani & Mrs Nomita G.Rijhsinghani. Trainer: Adhirajsingh Jodha. 6. MID DAY TROPHY (1,200m), Maiden, 3-y-o only: Ishpingo (Dashrath) 1, Sorrento (Kharadi) 2, Unknown Rebel (C.S.Jodha) 3 and O’

Princess (Sandesh) 4. 3-1/2, 1-3/4, 4. 1m 12.37s. Rs. 23 (w), 10, 10 and 30 (p). SHP: Rs. 25, FP: Rs. 27, Q: Rs. 10, Tanala: Rs. 201 and Rs. 164. Favourite: Sorrento. Owners: Mr. & Mrs. Shapoor P.Mistry rep. Manjri Horse Breeders Farm Pvt Ltd and M/s. Vinay Kumar & Gulamabbas E.Karachiwala. Trainer: Faisal Abbas. 7. MACAU MAGIC MILLION (1,000m), 2-y-o only: Sharaarat (C.Rajendra) 1, Naserian (David Allan) 2, Angels Quest (Sreekanth) 3 and Smart Strider (Neeraj) 4. Nk, 3/4, 1. 59.84s. Rs. 29 (w), 12, 14 and 14 (p). SHP: Rs. 42, FP: Rs. 41, Q: Rs. 41, Tanala: Rs. 125 and Rs. 49. Favourite: Sharaarat. Owners: Ms. Tarita Shankar & Mr. Chetan S.Wakalkar rep. Sahaan Infrastructure (India) Pvt Ltd. Trainer: Dallas Todywalla. 8. WHITE METAL PLATE (1,400m), Cl. V, rated 1 to 26: Augustus (C.Rajendra) 1, Atlantic Star (Trevor) 2, Daredevil (Agarwal) 3 and Bartimaeus (Kharadi) 4. Nk, 4, 1-1/4. 1m 26.99s. Rs. 23 (w), 12, 34 and 24 (p). SHP: Rs. 112, FP: Rs. 390, Q: Rs. 163, Tanala: Rs. 1,065 and Rs. 331. Favourite: Augutus. Owner: Mr. Rajesh Monga. Trainer: S.K. Sunderji. Jackpot: 70 per cent: Rs. 859 (964 tkts.) and 30 per cent: Rs. 183 (1,944 tkts.). Treble (i): Rs. 236 (102 tkts.); (ii): Rs. 131 (291 tkts.). Super Jackpot: 70 per cent: Rs. 936 (416 tkts.) and 30 per cent: Rs. 200 (835 tkts.).


Guiding Light wins feature HYDERABAD: M/s. M.V. Narayana Rao, Kasuganti Sriranga Rao & Leeladhar Sharma’s Guiding Light (P.S. Chouhan up) won the R. Raghupathi Reddy Memorial Cup, the main event of the races here on Sunday (Dec. 25). N. Rao trains the winner. 1. GRAND PARADE PLATE (1,200m), rated upto 50, 3-y-o & over (Cat. III): Mukhtar (P.S. Chouhan) 1, Sparkling Sapphire (R. Umesh) 2, Nano Star (C. Henrique) 3, The Himalayas (Ravinder S) 4. 1/2, 1/2 & 1. 1m 14.32s. Rs. 21 (w), 8, 30 & 11 (p), SHP: Rs. 142, FP: Rs. 436, Q: Rs. 308, Tanala: Rs. 1466. Favourite: Ache For Love. Owners: M/s Gulam Hussain Gulabi & Premanand Sugandhi. Trainer: Habeebullah. 2. FLIRTING VISION PLATE (Div. I), (1,200m), (Cat. II), maiden 2-y-o only (Terms): Hawkspring (A. Imran K) 1, Pakat Pakat Pakat (Ashhad Asbar) 2, Kohinoor Revanta (C.Henrique) 3, Golden Dash (Ajit Kumar) 4. 1-1/4, 1/2 & 2. 1m 14.95s. Rs. 7 (w), 5, 9 & 8 (p), SHP: Rs. 17, FP: Rs. 21, Q: Rs. 20, Tanala: Rs. 32. Favourite: Hawkspring. Owners: Mr B.S. Reddy. Miss Ameeta Mehra, M/s K.S.N. Murthy & P. Anil Kumar Kishen. Trainer: Prasad R. 3. FLIRTING VISION PLATE (Div. II), (1,200m), (Cat. II), maiden 2-y-o only (Terms): Strides Of Glory (A. Imran Khan) 1, Racing Tycoon (P.S. Chouhan) 2, Symbol Of Beauty (Ashhad Asbar) 3, Bold Reason (Laxman) 4. 1-3/4, 1-1/4 & 6. 1m 14.55s. Rs. 9 (w), 5, 5 & 7 (p), SHP: Rs. 15, FP: Rs. 14, Q: Rs. 9, Tanala: Rs. 21. Favourite: Strides Of Glory. Owners: M/s P. Anil Kumar Kishen & B.S. Reddy. Trainer: Prasad R. 4. R. RAGHUPATHI REDDY MEMORIAL CUP (1,200m), 3-y-o & over (Cat. I), (Terms): Guiding Light (P.S. Chouhan) 1, Kohinoor Mystic (Ravinder S) 2, Commanding Heights (P. Sai Kumar) 3, Kings Cruise (Deep Shanker) 4. 4, 1/2, & 2. 1m 11.55s. Rs. 6 (w), 5, 17 & 18 (p), SHP: Rs. 62, FP: Rs. 58, Q: Rs. 67, Tanala: Rs. 337. Favourite: Guiding Light. Owner: M/s M.V. Narayana Rao, Kasuganti Sriranga Rao & Leeladhar Sharma. Trainer: N. Rao. 5. MALAKPET CUP (Div. II), (1,400m), rated up to 75, 3-y-o & over

(Cat. II): Garcia Marquez (P.S. Chouhan) 1, Vijay Kiran (P. Venkat) 2, Transformation (A. Imran K) 3, Precisely That (Deep Shanker) 4. 2-1/2, 3/4 & 2-1/2. 1m 25.98s. Rs. 12 (w), 6, 12 & 6 (p), SHP: Rs. 46, FP: Rs. 145, Q: Rs. 94, Tanala: Rs. 283. Favourite: Garcia Marquez. Owners: M/s G. Prabhakar Reddy, K. Ramakrishna & L. D’Silva. Trainer: L. D’Silva. 6. NELSTON PLATE (Div. I), (1,100m), rated upto 50, 4-y-o & over (Cat. III): Aneres (P. Venkat) 1, Cheetah He Jeetha (Ashhad Asbar) 2, Princess Jaanu (P.S. Chouhan) 3, Sorbitrate (P. Sai Kumar) 4. 1, 3/4 & 1-3/4. 1m 07.35s. Rs. 335 (w), 43, 9 & 8 (p), SHP: Rs. 27, FP: Rs. 1808, Q: Rs. 354, Tanala: Rs. 2720. Favourite: Sorbitrate. Owner: Mr G. Anil. Trainer: Sk. Kassam. 7. MALAKPET CUP (Div. I), (1,400m), rated upto 75, 3-y-o & over (Cat. II): Golden Palace (Kuldeep Singh) 1, Qinghuangdao (Ashhad Asbar) 2, Young Sapper (C. Henrique) 3, Wedding Gift (G. Sai Vamshi) 4. 3-1/2, 1 & nk. 1m 26.06s. Rs. 14 (w), 8, 22 & 11 (p), SHP: Rs. 67, FP: Rs. 224, Q: Rs. 162, Tanala: Rs. 1890. Favourite: Golden Palace. Owners: M/s K. Rama Krishna, Jayaprakash Rao Chintanippu, L. D’Silva & Surender Singh Makhija. Trainer: L. D’Silva. 8. NELSTON PLATE (Div. II), (1,100m), rated upto 50, 4-y-o & over (Cat. III): Buck Knife (C. Henrique) 1, Fopping (A. Imran K) 2, Caladium (P. Sai Kumar) 3, Welcome Baby (S. Sreekant) 4. Shd, 1-3/4 & 1-3/4. 1m 07.39s. Rs. 17 (w), 7, 7 & 9 (p), SHP: Rs. 19, FP: Rs. 36, Q: Rs. 21, Tanala: Rs. 101. Favourite: Fopping. Owner: M/s Flying Knight Racing Syndicate. Trainer: A. Vatsalya. 9. DYNAMIC DANCER PLATE (1,400m), rated upto 50, 3-y-o & over (Cat. III): Price Warrior (B. Dileep) 1, Invincible India (A. Imran K) 2, Cannon Jet (N. Rawal) 3, Copertina (P. Venkat) 4. 3/4, 3 & 6. 1m 26.96s. Rs. 23 (w), 7, 6 & 11 (p), SHP: Rs. 19, FP: Rs. 49, Q: Rs. 25, Tanala: Rs. 210. Favourite: Invincible India. Owner: Mr. M.A.M. Ramaswamy. Trainer: Satheesh. Treble (i): Rs. 93 (549 tkts.); (ii): Rs. 441 (103 tkts.); (iii): Rs. 201 (473 tkts.). Consolation: Rs. 1657 (152 tkts.). Jackpot: Rs. 15,470 (38 tkts.).

Rajasthan takes lead KOLKATA: Rajasthan went to the top of Group ‘B’ Plate league of the Cooch Behar Trophy, snatching a 144-run first innings lead against Bengal in the drawn encounter at Kalyani on Sunday. Chasing Rajasthan’s massive first innings total of 553 for eight declared, Bengal, overnight 210 for three, was restricted to 409 on the final day. This meant Bengal added only 199 runs for the loss of seven wickets in the drawn game, Rajasthan will play Bihar and Bengal will take on Tripura in the next set of matches.

Vihari cracks century At Hyderabad, G.H. Vihari’s unbeaten 100 for Hyderabad

was the highlight of the final day’s play as the match against Andhra ended in a draw at Gymkhana on Sunday. Andhra picked up three points for taking the first innings lead, while the home team got one point. The scores: At Kalyani: Rajasthan 553 for eight decl. drew with Bengal 409 in 169 overs (A. Keshri 102, A. Gani 56, Ravikant Singh 69, S. Lohia four for 127). Points: Rajasthan 3; Bengal 1. At Hyderabad: Hyderabad 319 & 306 for three decl. in 94.2 overs (Rohit Rayudu 58, Ryan Kaundinya 65, G.H. Vihari 100 n.o., Akash Bhanadari 51, Sneha Kishore three for 113) drew with Andhra 340 & 187 for four (M. Pranith 89, B. Siva Charan Singh 55 n.o.). Points: Andhra 3, Hyderabad 1.







Chelsea will be wary of wounded Fulham FOOTBALL / Liverpool takes on beleaguered Blackburn; Man United faces Wigan LONDON: Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has warned his teammates against complacency as they prepare to face a shellshocked Fulham side in a Boxing Day Premier League derby on Monday. The Blues could not have picked a better time to face the Cottagers, who are reeling after suffering their heaviest ever home defeat last week, a 5-0 thrashing by Manchester United. Yet Cech has urged his teammates to disregard Fulham’s recent problems as Andre Villas-Boas’s men look to pick up three points in order to stay in touch with the league leader.

Pattinson could make things difficult for the Indians MELBOURNE: He is touted as Australia’s next big pace sensation who will make life difficult for Indian batsmen in the upcoming Test series, but not too long ago, James Pattinson was nothing more than a fringe player even for his IPL team — Kolkata Knight Riders. Team India is justifiably bewildered at the noise which surrounds Pattinson ahead of the opening Test starting here on Monday. Just two Tests old, the 21year-old speedster is hailed as the enforcer who would bring India’s superstars to their knees in the four-Test series. It’s the same Pattinson who was in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ squad during the Indian Premier League last year and was hardly given a look-in. He now has the opportunity to take it out on his Indian captain Gautam Gambhir for being so dismissive of him earlier this year. Bought at his base price of $100,000, Pattinson had turned out in only four first-class games for Australia at that stage. But for obvious reasons, KKR didn’t see any merit in pushing him ahead of star pacer Brett Lee. In a matter of six months, Pattinson is one of the most talked-about bowlers from Australia. He bowls in the 140s and moves the ball disconcertingly for any batsman’s comfort. Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones is also from Victoria and has seen enough of Pattinson to think he is a genuine star performer. Interestingly, not many in the Indian team know that Pattinson was in the KKR squad. — PTI

Shikhar advances NEW DELHI: Shikhar Aggarwal rallied to beat Tarun Madan in a thrilling under-17 boys’ singles second round match of the G.D. Chawla memorial badminton tournament here on Sunday. The results: Boys: U-17: 2nd round: Shikar Aggarwal bt Tarun Madan 19-21, 21-19, 21-12; Shivam Khaitan bt Ankit Sharma 21-9, 21-6; Rohan Kapoor bt Arpit Singhal 21-10, 21-11; Vaibhav bt Himank Sahni 2113, 21-9; Rishabh Sahdev bt Aditya Verma 21-14, 21-3; Arjun Gupta bt Vaibhav Aggarwal 21-16, 21-15; Pranay Arya bt Bhavesh Kaushik 21-16, 21-13; Shiv Kochar bt Anubhav Singh 21-14, 21-13; Dhurv Kumar bt Mohit Lochab 21-12, 21-5; Saurav Tomar bt Nihant Kushawa 21-12, 21-13; Manas Sethi bt Gaurav Deswal 15-21, 21-14, 21-19; Vipul Bagga bt Parvinder Lal 21-18, 21-17; Sarthak Grover bt Yasharth Lal 21-11, 21-19; Naman Bhardwaj bt Narinder Karanga 21-13, 21-18; Anant Bhardwaj bt Aditya Khora 2113, 21-16; Parnav Khattar bt Shivansh Kapoor 21-8 21-10; Vikrant Kishva bt Harshil Budhiraja 21-19, 21-18; Gunjan K. Jha bt Harshit P. Gondole 2110, 21-6; Sushant Manocha bt Shantanu Sharma 21-12, 21-13; Vishal Thakran bt Gourav Yadav 21-8, 21-5; Utkarash Arora bt Shubham Gusain 21-11, 21-9; Sahej Minhas bt Anip Sethi 21-7, 21-3; Yash Nain bt Piyush Singh 21-11, 21-10. — Principal Correspondent

Move for Cahill Villas-Boas heads into the game trying to juggle a growing central defensive crisis that has seen him open talks with Bolton about a move for Gary Cahill. The injury to Branislav Ivanovic during the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotpsur last week means John Terry is the Blues’ only fully fit centre-back ahead of the meeting with Fulham at Stamford Bridge. That will only strengthen Villas-Boas’s resolve to complete a deal for England defender Cahill — out of contract at the end of the season — as quickly as possible next month. Until the window opens, however, Villas-Boas will be forced to improvise unless David Luiz recovers from a knee injury in time to face Fulham in a game Chelsea must win to maintain its title hopes. The point gained at White Hart Lane left Villas-Boas’s side 11 points adrift of Premier League leader Manchester City. And while Chelsea will expect to beat a Fulham side in the doldrums following the United drubbing, a makeshift backline will do little to en-

GRAVE SITUATION: Chelsea has a few injury worries ahead of its meeting with Fulham on Monday as Branislav Ivanovic (second from left) got injured in the match against Tottenham, leaving John Terry as the only fit centre-back. — PHOTO: AP hance its chances of victory. Villas-Boas insists there is no way back for the transfer-listed Alex and is likely to use Paulo Ferreira or Oriol Romeu alongside Terry. Frank Lampard could return to the starting line-up in place of Ramires after the Brazil midfielder collected his fifth booking of the season. Fulham sits just four points above the bottom three and, having also exited the Europa League, is in desperate need of a lift. The performance against United drew widespread criti-

cism but manager Martin Jol insists his side can turn things around quickly. Jol has no new injury worries and he may well opt to restore Bobby Zamora to the starting line-up after starting the England forward on the bench against United.

All eyes on Suarez Kenny Dalglish has leapt to the defence of Blackburn manager Steve Kean as Liverpool’s Luis Suarez prepares for his first Anfield game since receiving an eight-match ban from the Football Association.

Suarez, who is set to appeal the suspension for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, is still eligible to play as his ban has yet to come into force. The Uruguay striker featured in the goalless stalemate with Wigan on Wednesday — the day after the suspension was announced — and is again set to play against Blackburn, the Premier League’s bottom club, on Monday. But there will be just as much attention on beleaguered Kean as there will be on Suarez after a dreadful run of form which has

left Blackburn fans calling ever louder for the manager to be sacked. Earlier in the season, Kean said he was willing to meet disgruntled fans to outline his plans for the future. But the Scot now believes his safety could be at risk if such a meeting took place. Having dropped points at lowly Wigan in midweek, Dalglish is demanding his side return to winning ways as Liverpool seeks to keep its hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League alive. Captain Steven Gerrard

could return from his twomonth injury absence from an infected ankle. Meanwhile, Kean’s future could be decided over the course of the next few days with Blackburn facing a daunting match against Manchester United on December 31 after Liverpool. Blackburn could be without first-choice keeper Paul Robinson who has a small tear in his calf muscle while Sweden international Martin Olsson (hamstring) has not recovered as quickly as anticipated. Sir Alex Ferguson has refused


Saurashtra would rue Jadeja’s decision to rest G. Viswanath MUMBAI: Ravindra Jadeja’s decision to rest against Rajasthan has probably cost Saurashtra a slot in the Ranji Trophy knockout. The team has been denied a chance to have a shot at the title and an attractive prize money of Rs. 2 crore. At the conclusion of the league stage on Saturday both Rajasthan and Saurashtra with two wins from seven matches finished at 16 points and the defending champion advanced to the quarterfinals with a superior run quotient. Rajasthan had defeated Saurashtra in the league, but the BCCI had removed the ‘result against each other’ clause a few years ago to identify a team that would proceed to the knockout in the event of teams being tied on points. It was in the course of the five-match ODI series against the West Indies that the 23year-old all-rounder, Jadeja

conveyed to his association that he need not be considered for Saurashtra’s penultimate league match against Rajasthan that was played at Jaipur from December 13 to 16. This match was played two days after the fifth and final ODI at Chennai on December 11. While Manoj Tiwary reached Kolkata in time for the match against Delhi, Suresh Raina to Lucknow for the match against Mumbai, Rahul Sharma to Bangalore for the match against Karnataka and Parthiv Patel to Ahmedabad for the match against Tamil Nadu, the Saurashtra allrounder asked for a ‘much-needed’ rest after he had scored 68 runs in five matches (4 innings) and bowled 49 overs and taken nine wickets against the West Indies. If Jadeja had played the match against Rajasthan at Jaipur — like Tiwary, Patel, Raina and Sharma did for their respective sides — he may have

PCB invites Whatmore for coaching job KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday said it has invited former World Cupwinning Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore to finalise his appointment as head coach of the national team, an official said. The Pakistan cricket team is without a full time coach since former paceman Waqar Younis left the post in September 2011 citing health problems. “We are in the process of finalising the appointment and in this regard are in discussions with Whatmore,” the PCB COO, Subhan Ahmed, told the local media on Sunday. Whatmore is expected to reach Pakistan in second week of January, he added. Former opener Mohsin Khan has been serving as interim coach and was retained for Pakistan’s series against England in the United Arab Emirates next month. The 57-year-old Whatmore, who played for Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s, is regarded as one of the most successful coaches in international cricket, having guided Sri Lanka to the World Cup title in 1996. He subsequently enjoyed a successful coaching spell with Bangladesh and is currently in charge of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

Fielding coach Meanwhile, Julian Fountain, the front-runner for Pakistan’s

fielding coach position, is likely to join the team ahead of its departure for the series against England. Sources in the PCB confirmed that negotiations with the Australian fielding coach Fountain are in final stages and he is expected to visit Lahore soon to sign his contract with the Board. “Financial issues were the main hurdle between Fountain and the Board as he had demanded a monthly pay of $10,000 to $15,000, but now that matter has been sorted out. He will come to Lahore soon to finalise things,” a source said. The source added that there are strong chances that Fountain will be on the coaching staff for the series in the UAE. “Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohsin have both supported the idea of having a specialist fielding coach with the team before the England series and Fountain is the obvious choice.”

‘Will take time’ Meanwhile, the PCB Chairman, Zaka Ashraf, said it will take time to revive cricketing ties between Inida and Pakistan. “I was not able to meet my Indian counterpart (N. Srinivasan) at the ACC meeting in Singapore. But I am looking forward to meet him at the next ICC meeting to have a positive dialogue,” Ashraf stated. — Agencies

Ravindra Jadeja. — FILE PHOTO

tra for 265 and 143 to score a resounding victory for a place in the quarterfinals. Rajasthan’s seam bowlers Pankaj Singh (five for 64 and two for 49) and Sumit Mathur (two for 51 and six for 33) proved too hot to handle for Saurashtra, but a player of Jadeja’s calibre could have made a big difference to the outcome of that match. As often been the case a team advances with the main player in form and indeed Jadeja has been in excellent run since his recall match in a One-Day International against England in England.

Shocking decision just about played his part for his team to compete well against a side that was at that point of time placed at the lower end of Group ‘A’ with five points from as many matches. As it turned out Rajasthan scored 396 and 241 for four declared and dismissed Saurash-

Jadeja played against Orissa (he made 314), Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, missed two league matches (Karnataka and Mumbai) because he was busy with the Indian team and opted to rest for the match against Rajasthan. He made 28 and 45 and took

six for 23 and four for 42 in the last league in Saurashtra’s big victory in a low-scoring match against Railways and he topped the batting and bowling averages with 433 runs and 18 wickets. While it was expected that all five players would use the oneday gap between the completion of the one-day series against the West Indies and the start of the league match for travel, Jadeja’s decision was most shocking. After all it’s the same tournament that took him into the national stage. “He asked for rest and it was given to him. We cannot force anyone to play. But his absence alone cannot be the reason for Saurashtra’s defeat against Rajasthan. “The other boys should have played well,’’ said Niranjan Shah, Secretary, Saurashtra Cricket Association and VicePresident of the BCCI. After a good win against Sau-

rashtra, Rajasthan trounced bottom-placed Orissa to gain full six points (including the bonus) to be on par with Saurashtra and Uttar Pradesh, which took the first innings lead against Karnataka. Rajasthan picked up 11 points in the last two matches and it was essentially due to the superb batting by Robin Bist (829 runs with four centuries and two half-centuries) and great support from others including captain Hrisikesh Kanitkar. Seamer Mathur struck well taking 13 of his 19 wickets in the last two matches with the experienced Pankaj Singh and newcomer Rituraj Singh rising to the occasion. Leg-spinner Vivek Yadav also did his bit. Mumbai, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana from the Elite League and Maharashtra and Hyderabad from the Plate League will feature in the quarterfinals.

to write off a challenge from London at the top of the Premier League in 2012 despite the dominance of Manchester’s rival pace-setters. A strong first half to the season from Manchester United and current league leader City has left many pundits predicting that the eventual champions will come from Manchester. However, although thirdplaced Tottenham is currently seven points behind Ferguson’s second-placed team, Harry Redknapp’s club has the luxury of a game in hand and history has taught the veteran United manager that challenges to its title could come from a variety of sources in the new year. United bounced back superbly in midweek, winning 5-0 at Fulham, to respond to the critics who had a field day after the defending Premier League champion was unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League by Swiss club Basel. United faces a home fixture against Wigan on Monday that would appear, on paper at least, to offer little obstacle to them continuing a run of seven wins and a draw in the eight games since its humiliating 6-1 home defeat to City. However, it will have to contend without winger Ashley Young who has been ruled out for a “few weeks” with a knee injury. Versatile Phil Jones has handed Ferguson a bonus with the news that he could be fit to play against the Latics despite fears he had suffered a bad facial injury at Fulham. After an away victory at West Brom and home draws with Chelsea and Liverpool, the Wigan manager Roberto Martinez wants his team to continue to show its steady improvement against United, in the more intimidating atmosphere of Old Trafford. — AFP

IGU junior golf from today Principal Correspondent NEW DELHI: Some of the best young talents from across the country will fight it out in the National finals of the Toyota Indian Golf Union (IGU) junior golf championships to be held at the Army Golf Club, Dhaula Kuan, here from Monday.

Main event from December 27 The qualifying round will be held on Monday, while the main event will be played from Dec. 27 to 30. Top players like Sayed Saquib Ahmed (boys under-18) and Aditi Ashok (girls u-18 and 14) will lead the charge in the final round. The conclusion of the eighth round of the series will determine the IGU Order of Merit for juniors for the 2011 season.

Sri Lanka hopes for change of luck in second Test DURBAN: South Africa will remain favourite but Sri Lanka can expect less treacherous batting conditions in the second Test starting at Kingsmead on Monday. Sri Lanka was swept aside by an innings and 81 runs before tea on the third day in the first Test at Centurion, where its batsmen were unable to combat the home side’s fast bowlers on a pitch with uneven bounce and extravagant sideways movement. Shaun Pollock, a former South African captain and a resident of this Indian Ocean city, was among critics who felt the pitch at Centurion was loaded unfairly in favour of the bowlers and it seems likely that the surface at Kingsmead will offer a more even contest. Pollock said he could understand South Africa’s eagerness to win a home series, but with tours to New Zealand, England and Australia coming up in 2012, he added: “I’m more concerned with us honing the skills we will surely need over the next year.” The Kingsmead pitch is still likely to help the fast bowlers, because it offers pace and bounce, but the bowlers will probably have to work harder for their wickets. Sri Lanka was outclassed in the first Test but will be hoping to end what has been a winless year in Test cricket on a positive note. With batsmen of the calibre of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and captain Till-

in irresistible form, taking 24 wickets in his first three Tests, including 10 for 102 at Centurion. He has been helped by bowler-friendly pitches but offers tight control and the ability to move the ball both ways, proving an ideal new ball partner for tearaway Dale Steyn. South Africa will look to improved form from tall fast bowler Morne Morkel, who went to Durban early to work with fast bowling coach Allan Donald in an effort to regain the form that made him one of the world’s most potent strike bowlers last year. Another early arrival in Durban was batsman Jacques Rudolph, who is hoping to cement his position as captain Graeme’s Smith opening partner.

With the Kingsmead pitch likely to help the fast bowlers, Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene (left) and Kumar Sangakkara should aim to put up a competitive total. — PHOTO: REUTERS akaratne Dilshan, they have the potential to post a competitive total.

Bowling lacks penetration Sri Lanka’s bowling, though, lacks penetration following the retirement of off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and it is doubtful whether the call-up of fast bowling reserves in the form of Dhammika Prasad and Kanishka Alvitigala will make a significant difference.

The tourist can take heart from recent history, however, because South Africa has lost its three most recent Tests at Kingsmead — against Australia, England and India. Sri Lanka drew the only Test it has played at the ground, in 2000/1, when Sangakkara and Jayawardene shone with the bat, making 74 and 98 respectively, and Dilhara Fernando, another survivor from that tour, took five first-innings wickets.

It remains the only Test in South Africa in which Sri Lanka has avoided defeat — although it was helped by a full day’s play being lost to rain.

Wrapping up series South Africa will be seeking to wrap up the three-Test series ahead of the final match in Cape Town, starting on January 3. Rookie fast bowler Vernon Philander, who hurt his knee in the nets on Saturday, has been

The teams: South Africa (likely): Graeme Smith (capt), A.B. de Villiers (vicecapt.), Jacques Rudolph, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher (wk), Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir. Sri Lanka (from): Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt.), Angelo Mathews (vicecapt.), Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Kaushal Silva (wk), Thisara Perera, Rangana Herath, Chanaka Welegedara, Dilhara Fernando, Ajantha Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhammika Prasad, Kanishka Alvitigala Umpires: Steve Davis (Aus), Richard Kettleborough (Eng). TV umpire: Rod Tucker (Aus). — AFP ...ND-ND





Telecast schedule

No rash signings

Villa out of hospital

Australia vs India, 1st Test, STAR Cricket, 5 a.m.; SA vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, TEN Cricket, 1.30 p.m.; EPL, ESPN, 6.25 p.m., 8.30 p.m. & STAR Sports, 8.25 p.m.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he will not be forced by public opinion into making rash buys in the January transfer window

Barcelona striker David Villa, who underwent surgery on a fractured left tibia, was released from hospital on Saturday, his club said in a statement


Australia, India cautious as Test series begins today CRICKET / An important series for Sehwag and Gambhir; Thunderstorms are forecast for Monday S. Ram Mahesh

Australia is no longer the force it once was, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, and Ben Hilfenhaus form a pacy, capable seam attack. Zaheer, Ishant, and Umesh Yadav (who hit an excellent length at sharp speed in Sunday’s session) look a penetrative attack on paper. Zaheer, in particular, is vital to India’s endeavour. He hasn’t approached his best since returning from ankle surgery. But he’s at a stage of his career where he knows his craft intimately. India will hope he can summon his best — and stay on the field.

MELBOURNE: It’s a festive time. The air is thick with the aroma of Christmas cake and gingerbread, the picnic baskets have appeared along the grass banks of the Yarra River, everything is in readiness for the mad rush in shops across the city on Boxing Day. At the Melbourne Cricket Ground, matters are slightly more serious. Sports arenas around the world are compared to the Coliseum; but none of them evoke — visually and emotively — the claustrophobic dread and the grand drama of the Roman amphitheatre as surely as the MCG. The bronze statues of the game’s greatest add to the atmosphere. Visiting teams are often overwhelmed on Boxing Day. Walking onto the massive playing field, surrounded by a circular monolith of heaving stands, is a daunting experience only the strongest recover from. Furthermore, the size of the field accentuates Australia’s superior out-cricket. For a vulnerable host team, this is a much-needed edge.

Duel of the spinners The duel of the off-spinners — R. Ashwin and Nathan Lyon — will be interesting, not least to see how their captains use them. Both teams will be challenged by the playing conditions. Drop-in wickets give curators headaches because the moisture and grass-growth needed to bind it are difficult to get right. As a result, drop-in pitches tend to be gummy, slow-playing things or terror tracks for a session that settle into gummy, slow-playing things. The weather will confuse things further: it rained heavily on Sunday evening, and thunderstorms are forecast for Monday. One hopes the rain stays away — this series doesn’t quicken the pulse the way India’s two previous tours to Australia did, but it isn’t without allure.

Poor starter It’s something India will be wary of, poor starter that it is. Captain M.S. Dhoni said his side had done everything it could to address the problem: two practice games; plenty of informed, focused net-time; a variety of batting exercises, including taking guard 18 yards from a fully-cranked bowling machine; a meticulous workload management programme for its new-ball bowlers — Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma. Australia has prepared extensively as well. The batsmen, who have collapsed in recent times when faced with the moving ball, went to camp. There they batted against a two-piece ball, made expressly for the purpose of simulating swing. But as Australia’s coach Mickey Arthur said, a technical overhaul can’t be accomplished at short notice; small changes and mental adjustment were the aims of the camp. The time for preparation, however, is over. All that remains is the execution of skills. India will know that the inten-

Kerala wins both titles BANGALORE: Veteran Tom Joseph and Vibin George shone as Kerala overcame Andhra Pradesh in straight sets to lift the men’s title in the 10th all-India volleyball tournament, for the Vajpayee Cup, here onSunday. Kerala won 25-20, 25-18, 25-18, making it a double for the State. Earlier, the Kerala women rallied from two sets down to narrowly defeat Central Railway (Mumbai) and claim the title. Tiji Raju and N. Bijina led the turnaround as it won 20-25, 18-25, 25-23, 26-24, 15-13. Karnataka and Southern Railway (Chennai) finished third in the men’s and women’s sections respectively. The results: Men: Final: Kerala bt Andhra Pradesh 25-20, 25-18, 25-18. Bronze medal: Karnataka bt Tamil Nadu 25-19, 25-21, 25-16. Women: Final: Kerala bt Central Railway (Mumbai) 20-25, 18-25, 2523, 26-24, 15-13; Bronze medal: Southern Railway (Chennai) bt Karnataka 25-18, 19-25, 25-19, 25-21. — Sports Reporter

Indian eves lose to Russia MARDIN (TURKEY): Indian eves went down 3-1 to Russia in the sixth round of the world women team chess championship here. After a rocking first half that saw them win four and draw one match, the Koneru Humpy-led girls lost what could have been a draw. Tania Sachdev lost on the third board from an advantageous middle game against Valentina Gunina while Soumya Swaminathan misplayed a clearly drawn endgame against Natalia Pogonina to give the Russian an easy victory. Earlier in the day Humpy held Tatiana Kosintseva, while Nadezhda Kosintseva also drew against D. Harika. The results: Sixth round: India (9) lost to Russia (8) 1-3 (K. Humpy drew with Tatiana Kosintseva; Nadezhda Kosintseva drew with D. Harika; Tania Sachdev lost to Valentina Gunina; Natalia Pogonina bt Soumya); China (12) bt Greece (1) 3-1; Ukraine (6) drew with Georgia (8) 2-2; Turkey (4) lost to Vietnam (6) 0.5-3.5; RSS (0) lost to Armenia (6) 0-4. — PTI

THE TRIED AND THE TESTED: Australia’s Ricky Ponting is a picture of concentration at a training session in Melbourne on Sunday. (Right): Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman await their turn at the nets. — PHOTOS: AFP sity and the precision required during this execution are of a high order. The first 20 balls a batsman faces is a vital period of his innings, particularly in a place such as Australia. India’s bat-

smen and bowlers will need to ensure there are no slip-ups, nothing given away fecklessly. This will be an important series for Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who have gone 19 and 29 innings respec-

tively without a hundred. Sehwag is feared in the Australian camp — he confounds them, for they are often caught, as Matthew Hayden wrote in his autobiography, between bowling a wide run-denying

line to frustrate him and attacking him with short deliveries. The first course of action requires patience, the second, vast reserves of explosive energy. It’s a price bowlers are will-

ing to pay for Sehwag’s wicket. His brutal 195 here in 2003 is remembered with reverence. How he and India would like an encore. Gambhir had a difficult time in England. His ability was

A battle the Golden Generation has to win S. Ram Mahesh

Tendulkar. — PHOTO: AP

MELBOURNE: Sachin Tendulkar has made Test hundreds at each of the four Australian venues India will play in this time — a fine record, and one made more significant by the fact that that the great man’s search for a 100th international hundred continues. People — the sagacious Mike Brearley, one of them — have wondered if the pressure of the impending landmark has bothered Tendulkar, but his body language, at least over the last two days here, has betrayed no

anxiety. “He (Sachin) keeps it simple,” said Indian captain M.S. Dhoni, asked if the wait was affecting Tendulkar and the team. “He will get it sometime, in this or the next Test, this or the next series. It is on the way. It isn’t something he won’t achieve. But if he gets it soon, everyone would feel relieved. Everyone in the world would cherish the moment when he gets his 100.”

‘Great for the game’ Michael Clarke, though he’ll be doing his utmost to prevent the 100th hundred, said it

would be a great day for cricket. “I wish him well, I wish the entire Indian team well,” said Clarke. “But in an ideal world for me, he’ll get it next series.” The team man that he is, Tendulkar would rather help India win its first series in Australia than make his 100th hundred on the tour. The Golden Generation — Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman — has coveted a series win in Australia, and this appears to be the last time the three will play together here. Tendulkar and Laxman took

naturally to Australia, scoring at least a century each time they toured. Tendulkar has made six hundreds in four visits, Laxman, four in three. Dravid struggled on his first tour, found glorious release during the second, and, despite being below his best, found a way to make runs in his third. Clarke summed up the tour as a battle between the inexperienced but talented Australian bowlers and the great, experienced Indian batting. It’s a battle the Golden Generation has to win.

Important that everyone contributes: Haddin Special Correspondent MELBOURNE: Brad Haddin’s career record as a batsman — 2171 runs at 36.18 with three hundreds — is solid for a wicketkeeper, but 2011 hasn’t been good to him. The runs have dried up: only 302 have come in 14 innings at an average of 21.57. The recklessness of his shotselection has made it look worse. The 34-year-old Haddin, who’ll seek to make amends against India, spoke to the press before the Boxing Day Test. (Excerpts): On Australia’s mental state before the first Test: I

think it’s important that we all stand up. After our series against New Zealand we are looking forward to this. You talk about our inexperienced top three, but I think we’ve got a very in-form top three. If we’re going to do well in this series, it’s going to be from one to seven with the bat; we’ve all got to perform. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got our game heads on. On what he did at the batting camp: From my point of view, it’s not the swinging ball. It’s just making sure my mindset is playing at the tempo I play at; don’t try to take the game forward too quick, just re-

act to the game. On the Indian attack: I think they rely on the two big boys quite a lot. With the injury cloud, I don’t think too much about that with this Indian team. Once they take the field, they seem to roll out all right. We know where their strengths are, but we also know there are areas that we can target to develop the game as quick as we like. On whether Australia can hurt India’s batting: We’ve picked the 11 that we think is confident to rip through this Indian side. If you look at the way James

(Pattinson), and more importantly the way Peter Siddle, has fed off these young guys, it’s been brilliant. We’ve got three quicks who are raring to go who can get that radar up around 140 or 145 (kmph). On India’s challenge in Australia: It’s not as foreign any more. It’s like Australia going to India. We are pretty much used to the conditions now because you spend so much time there. On the importance of the toss: We can’t worry too much about the toss because Clarkey’s hopeless. He’s got a terrible record.

compromised after he suffered a concussion. But as he showed earlier in South Africa, he can handle pace, bounce, and movement. He lives to prove himself against the best, and though

The teams (from): Australia: Michael Clarke (capt.), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (wk), Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, and Daniel Christian. India: M.S. Dhoni (capt.), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Virat Kohli, R. Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Abhimanyu Mithun, Vinay Kumar and Pragyan Ojha. Umpires: Marais Erasmus and Ian Gould. Third umpire: Paul Reiffel. Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle. Hours of play (IST): 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.; 7.40 a.m. to 9.40 a.m., 10 a.m. to close.


Rao wins 56kg gold NEW DELHI: V.S. Rao narrowly defeated Ramana to retain the men’s 56kg title in the National weightlifting championships at Berhampur on Sunday.

Suspension lifted Meanwhile, Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) has allowed Maharashtra and Delhi to participate in the championships after lifting the suspension on them. “As per a new IWLF policy, adopted at a meeting in Arunachal Pradesh last month, we lifted the suspension on these units after collecting double fine from them. “However, the suspended lifters belonging to these states have not been allowed to participate in the event,” said the

IWLF Secretary, Sahdev Yadav. The results: Men: 56kg: 1. V.S. Rao (SSCB) (snatch: 104kg, clean and jerk: 140kg, total: 244kg); 2. Ramana (AP) (106, 137, 243); 3. Ranjit Chinchwade (Mah) (105, 132, 237). 62kg: 1. Rustam Sarang (Chg) (116, 147, 263); 2. K. Ramesh Kumar (SSCB) (110, 147, 257); 3. D. Senthamizh Selvan (RSPB) (113, 143, 256). Women: 48kg: 1. Ng. Soniya Chanu (U.P.) (72, 97, 169); 2. Kh. Sanjita Chanu (Man) (70, 90, 160); 3. Deepa Mahara (Utk) (56, 76, 132). 53kg: 1. Tikina Gopal (Odi) (77, 95, 172); 2. M. Santoshi (AP) (75, 94, 169); 3. Swati Singh (RSPB) (77, 92, 169). 58kg: 1. Minati Sethi (RSPB) (81, 107, 188); 2. Meena Kumari (Chd) (78, 102, 180); 3. M. Sunibala Devi (Man) (77, 95, 172).



Honey Baisoya is youngest East India champion Special Correspondent KOLKATA: Delhi’s Honey Baisoya became the youngest winner of the 22nd Goodricke East India amateur golf championship at RCGC, here on Sunday. The 15-year-old defeated the country’s No.1 amateur, S. Chikkarangappa, on the 34th green to win 3 and 2. Both had to play two rounds of 36 holes on the final day. Baisoya secured a winning start after making birdies on

first, fourth, fifth, ninth, 12th and 15th in the first round of 18 holes where both Baisoya and Chikka halved 11 holes. Though, Chikka won on seventh, 11th and 14th, Baisoya was 2-up after the first round. In the second, Baisoya again took an early lead after making a birdie on the first to go 3-up. Chikka hit his tee shot on the left green on the second and made a safe par, while Baisoya double putted for a bogey to go one-down for 2-up.

Honey Baisoya. Both of them hit the centre fairway on the third and then Chikka’s second shot reached

the edge of the green for another safe par, while Baisoya made a 1-foot bogey to remain 1-up. After halving the fourth, Chikka hit his tee shot next to the bunker on the fifth and Honey made the par to go 2-up after hitting few ups and downs. Both of them halved sixth and then Baisoya won the seventh and eighth. Chikka kept giving a tough competition after halving ninth, 10th 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and also by making a long

awaited birdie on the 15th where Baisoya’s putt lipped out to go one-down again to maintain 3-up. By the time they reached 16th, Chikka failed to get a birdie as Baisoya triumphed. Baisoya said: “I cannot express my feelings of winning my first amateur title from the No. 1 amateur of the country.” “I am happy for Baisoya who showed me the real golf at this age which nobody else could show on the amateur circuit,” Chikka said.

A mind game and a puzzle that you solve with reasoning and logic. Fill in the grid with digits in such a manner that every row, every column and every 3x3 box accommodates the digits 1 to 9, without repeating any. The solution to yesterday’s puzzle is at right.







Aradhana festival from January 9

Celebrating Christmas

Special Correspondent THANJAVUR: The annual arad-

hana festival of saint composer Thyagaraja will be inaugurated on January 9 at the saint’s samadhi on the banks of Cauvery at Thiruvaiyaru by Kanumuri Bapi Raju, MP and Chairman of Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam

Trust Board, according to G. Rangaswamy Moopanar, president of Sri Thyagabrahma Mahotsava Sabha. Mr. Moopanar discussed with the sabha office bearers regarding the arrangements for the aradhana at Thiruvaiyaru on Sunday. He told presspersons that G.K. Vasan, Union Minister

of Shipping, and K. Baskaran, District Collector, will participate in the inauguration. The aradhana will be held from January 9 to 13. On January 13, pancharathna Kritis of Thyagaraja will be sung in chorus by hundreds of musicians at the saint’s samadhi.

QUITE A TREAT: (Top) People dressed up as Santa Claus stand before a 101-foot-long cake as part of Christmas celebrations in Chandigarh on Sunday. (Above) Artists from Purulia, West Bengal, perform with “dhamsha and Madol” in a street carnival in Kolkata. — PHOTOS: REUTERS/ PTI

Gujarat to add 1,350 medical seats in the next 3 years Manas Dasgupta

ANAND (GUJARAT): The Gujarat government has planned to add 450 medical seats every year in the next three years, Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas announced here on Sunday. Claiming that Gujarat was racing ahead of other States in the country, he said that by 2022, when India was expected to have one medical college for every 25 lakh population, Gujarat would have in place one medical college for every 15 lakh people in the State. Mr. Vyas was speaking at a function organised to celebrate the beginning of the silver jubilee year of the Pramukhswami Medical College at Karamsad. At the same function, Chief Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Ramanbhai Gokal Privilege Centre, an extension of the medical facilities being pro-

vided at the Shree Krishna Hospital. Once operational, the centre with state-of-theart infrastructure would cater for the needs of patients from rural areas at an affordable price and the income generated by it would be used for providing subsidy to poor patients at the Shree Krishna Hospital. The Pramukhswami College was the first private medical college in the State and perhaps first in the country with base in rural areas. Mr. Modi said the State government was committed to laying equal emphasis on preventive healthcare as much as medical care as part of the State’s policy for “a healthy Gujarat.” He claimed that several welfare schemes of the State government, including measures for providing clean drinking water and pro-active steps to curb pollution, had given Gujarat an edge over other States in terms of public health and

family welfare. Outlining the State’s medical education programme, Mr. Vyas said as per present projections, India would need about 6.5 lakh doctors and about 12.5 lakh trained nurses by the year 2025 to meet the demand for skilled medical and para-medical professionals. He said Gujarat was

chalking out plans to achieve the goal with focus on quality education and training. He also stressed the need for medical colleges to introduce continuing education and training programmes for doctors and para-medics to keep themselves abreast of the latest advancements in medical technology and procedures.

Freak bomb blast kills a boy, CRPF cadet officer Staff Reporter MUMBAI: Two persons, includ-

ing a teenage boy and a newly recruited cadet officer of the Central Reserve Police Force, died in a freak accident near a CRPF camp at Mudkhed in Nanded district in Maharashtra on Sunday when a High Explosive Bomb exploded accidentally. A local woman who had gone to pick metal pieces from the CRPF firing range had picked up an unexploded bomb, which she threw, in fear, towards the CRPF cadet officers on being apprehended by them. The explosion wounded seven persons, including the local woman. One of the injured teenage boys is in critical condition, police said. “A 12-year-old boy died on the spot while the cadet officer succumbed to his injuries when he was being treated at

the hospital. Of the seven others injured in the blast, the condition of one is serious,” Shahaji Umap, Additional Superintendent of Police, Nanded, told The Hindu. The blast happened at around 2 p.m., he said. Mr. Umap said the CRPF had a training institute and a firing range around 15 km away from Mudkhed, where CRPF jawans and officers conduct regular firing practice. “The children of the village around the area enter the firing range to collect metal pieces that are found in the range due to the firing and shelling practice. The villagers later sell the metal pieces as scrap to earn money,” Mr. Umap said. “There are times when some bombs which are fired with the help of bomblaunchers do not explode and keep lying there,” he said. ...ND-ND


The legacy of Srinivasa Ramanujan His work has had a fundamental role in the development of 20th century mathematics and his final writings are serving as an inspiration for the mathematics of this century M. RAM MURTY AND V. KUMAR MURTY

On a height he stood that looked towards greater heights. Our early approaches to the Infinite Are sunrise splendours on a marvellous verge While lingers yet unseen the glorious sun. What now we see is a shadow of what must come. Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, 1.4


he story of Srinivasa Ramanujan is a 20th century “rags to mathematical riches” story. In his short life, Ramanujan had a wealth of ideas that have transformed and reshaped 20th century mathematics. These ideas continue to shape mathematics of the 21st century. This article seeks to give a panoramic view of his essential contributions. Born on December 22, 1887 in the town of Erode in Tamil Nadu, Ramanujan was largely self-taught and emerged from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century. How did this transformation come about? Though it is difficult to pinpoint any precise causes for this transformation, one can delineate several significant events in his life that enabled this to come about.

Ramanujan cultivated his love for mathematics singlehandedly and in total isolation. As a child, he was quiet and often kept to himself. Those that knew him were impressed by his shining large eyes, which were his most prominent features. He had a prodigious memory, and at school he would entertain his friends by reciting the various declensions of Sanskrit roots, and by repeating the value of the constant ‘pi’ to any number of decimal places. This was a foreshadow of what was to come, since later in life he would write a monumental paper that would connect the computations of the digits of ‘pi’ to modular forms, a theory developed largely in the 20th century. It is a theory which is definitely at the forefront of modern mathematics today and we will expand on this theme later in this article. At the age of 12, he borrowed from a friend a copy of Loney’s book on Plane Trigonometry, published by Cambridge University Press in 1894. This book goes far beyond high school trigonometry and also deals with the rudiments of calculus. But the book that changed his life was Carr’s book titled, A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics. This book is a compilation of 6,165 theorems, systematically arranged but

with practically no proofs. It is not a remarkable book, and Ramanujan’s use of it to propel himself to the centre stage of 20th century mathematics, has made the book remarkable. It was largely used by students of Carr who were preparing for the entrance examination in mathematics at Cambridge University. Ramanujan used the book to master all of 18th and 19th century mathematics. He set about to demonstrate each of the assertions of the book, using only his slate to do the calculations. He would jot down the formula to be proved, and then erase it with his elbow, and then continue to jot down some more formulas. In this way, he worked through the entire book. People used to speak of his “bruised elbow.” Sadly, he took Carr’s book as a model for mathematical writing and left behind his famous notebooks containing many formulas but practically no proofs. Many mathematicians have made it an industry to prove these formulas that Ramanujan had scribbled into his notebooks since he left no hint as to how he got them.

In college In 1903, Ramanujan entered the Government College in Kumbakonam. Unfortunately, he failed in the examination since he neglected his non-mathematical subjects. Four years later, he entered another college in Chennai, and the same thing happened. Finally, in 1912, he secured a job as a clerk in the Madras Port Trust Office. Here, his duties were light and so he could devote a lot of

Trinity College, Cambridge University. In his famous 1913 letter to Hardy, Ramanujan attached 120 theorems as a representative sample of his work. Some of these formulas Hardy had already seen in the course of his own research work. But many of the other formulas, he had not. It took over two hours for him to analyse the letter in order to determine if it was written by a crank or a genius. He consulted with his eminent colleague J.E. Littlewood, also of Trinity College, and together they sat down for three more hours. Finally they concluded that it was the work of a genius. Hardy wrote: “They must be true, because if they were not true, no one would have had the imagination to invent them.’’ With this certificate of approval, Ramanujan was invited to come to Trinity College to work with Hardy.

To England

............................................................ THE PAPER THAT CHANGED THE COURSE OF 20TH CENTURY MATHEMATICS WAS THE ONE RAMANUJAN WROTE IN 1916, MODESTLY TITLED “ON CERTAIN ARITHMETICAL FUNCTIONS” ............................................................ time to his mathematical discoveries — which he recorded in his now celebrated notebooks. As luck would have it, the manager of the office, S.N. Aiyar, was also a mathemat-

ician who took kindly to Ramanujan and encouraged him in his mathematics. It was he who suggested to Ramanujan that he write to G.H. Hardy, a famous mathematician at

Ramanujan sailed to England in March 1914, just a few months before the outbreak of the First World War. From 1914 to 1917, Hardy and Ramanujan collaborated on more than half a dozen research papers. At the same time, Ramanujan published more than 30 research papers in three years. The most notable of these collaborations involved the partition function. This function counts the number of ways a natural number can be decomposed into smaller parts. Hardy and Ramanujan developed a new method, now called the circle method, to derive an asymptotic formula for this function. If one analyses Ramanujan’s first letter to Hardy, we already find a hint

of the method in his work done in India while at the Port Trust Office. This method is now one of the central tools of analytic number theory and is largely responsible for major advances in the 20th century of notoriously difficult problems such as Goldbach’s conjecture, Waring’s conjecture and other additive questions. The circle method and its refinements constitute a very large area of current research and will probably continue to be so in the 21st century. Another fundamental paper of Hardy and Ramanujan concerns what is now called the “normal order method.’’ This method analyses the behaviour of additive arithmetical functions. In their paper, Hardy and Ramanujan showed that a random natural number usually has about log log n prime factors. Their paper led to the creation of an entirely new field of mathematics called probabilistic number theory. In the 20th century, it was largely developed by P. Erdos, M. Kac and J. Kubilius.

Landmark paper But the paper that really changed the course of 20th century mathematics was the one written by Ramanujan in 1916, modestly titled “On certain arithmetical functions.’’ In this paper, Ramanujan investigated the properties of Fourier coefficients of modular forms. At that time the theory of modular forms was not even developed. However, Ramanujan enunciated three fundamental conjectures that served as a guiding force for the development of the theory. Continued on Page 2…

Year-long celebration The Ramanujan Mathematical Society has planned a series of activities, including lectures and conferences, throughout 2012 to mark the anniversary of the mathematical genius. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who will inaugurate the celebration today in Chennai, will declare 2012 as National Mathematics Year, and December 22 as National Mathematics Day. For details, see the statement by the RMS on Page 3.

INSIDE Understanding ancient Indian mathematics

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The mathematics of election forecasting

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For a career in mathematics

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The Hindu and Ramanujan

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...Ramanujan’s legacy AND V. KUMAR MURTY

…Continued from Page 1

Last letter to Hardy If Ramanujan’s 1916 paper created a sensation by heralding the development of the theory of modular forms, his last letter to Hardy, written literally on his deathbed in 1920, outlining a new theory of “mock theta functions,” is now creating a greater sensation in the development of 21st century mathematics. Indeed, Ramanujan’s theory of mock theta functions was largely ignored for much of the 20th century and was discussed in sporadic papers. Part of the difficulty was with Ramanujan’s vague definition of a mock theta function. In fact, he never defined them. Rather, he listed 17 protypical examples of these new functions and formulated general conjectures concerning them. Many mathematicians tried to prove these conjectures without a proper theory in place. To a large extent, they succeeded in proving most of Ramanujan’s conjectures. However, the unifying conceptual framework was missing. This framework was discovered only recently in 2002 in the doctoral thesis of S. Zwegers, written under the direction of D. Zagier. This thesis laid the groundwork for a new theory of mock modular forms. We now understand Ramanujan’s theory of mock theta functions as a special case of a larger theory of mock modular forms. These objects are generalisations of modular forms and thus include the classical theory of Hecke as a special case. Already, the richer theory of mock modular forms is bearing new mathematical fruit, as is evidenced by some recent breakthrough works of J. Bruinier, J. Funke, K. Bringman, and K. Ono. For instance, Bruinier and Ono recently derived an algebraic formula for the partition function using the theory of mock modular forms. M. Dewar and R. Murty noticed that this Bruinier-Ono formula can be used to derive the Hardy-Ramanujan formula for the partition function and thereby avoid the complicated circle method. These new viewpoints are definitely the tip of the iceberg, concealing a larger mass of mathematical truth. In 1987, the famous physicist, Freeman Dyson, predicted: “The mock theta functions give us tantalising hints of a grand synthesis still to be discovered. It should be possible to build them into a coherent group-theoretical structure, analogous to the structure of modular forms which Hecke built around the old theta functions of Jacobi. This remains the challenge for the future.”

Milestones in mathematics •Euclid’s Elements. It laid down the method followed to this day in mathematics. From a small set of apparently self-evident truths, called axioms, various consequences are deduced logically.


Indeed, the first two of his conjectures led to the development of what is now called Hecke theory, formulated by E. Hecke in 1936, twenty years after Ramanujan’s paper. Many would have heard of Fermat’s last theorem and how this was solved in 1994 by A. Wiles. But few will know that Wiles used Hecke’s theory in an essential way in his solution of the problem. However, it was the last of the three of Ramanujan’s conjectures that created a sensation in 20th century mathematics. This conjecture, later called Ramanujan’s conjecture, came to play a pivotal role in the towering edifice known as the Langlands program, a farreaching program articulated by R.P. Langlands in the 1970s. This program connected two seemingly different fields of mathematics, namely representation theory and number theory. But the proof of Ramanujan’s third conjecture came about through another route connecting algebraic geometry to number theory in the framework of general conjectures of A. Weil concerning the number of solutions of equations over finite fields. The Weil conjectures were settled by P. Deligne in 1974 and he was awarded the Fields Medal (the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize) for this work. Ramanujan’s third conjecture turned out to be a special case of the Weil conjecture. Ramanujan’s conjecture is now seen as a spectral line of a larger spectrum of conjectures, now called the generalised Ramanujan conjecture.


G.H. Hardy his final writings are serving as an inspiration for the mathematics of this century. We do not know how Ramanujan discovered his theorems. On this point, Hardy wrote: “It was his insight into algebraic formulae, transformations of infinite series and so forth, that was most amazing. On this side most certainly I have never met his equal, and I can compare him only with Euler or Jacobi. He worked far more than the majority of modern mathematicians, by induction from numerical examples; all his congruence properties of partitions, for example, were discovered in this way. But with his memory, his patience and his power of calculation, he combined a power of generalisation, a feeling for form, a capacity for rapid modification of his hypothesis, that were often really startling, and made him, in his own peculiar field, without a rival in his day.”

bridge and became a leading astrophysicist of the 20th century, finally being awarded the Nobel Prize in 1983. Indeed, he soared the way Ramanujan did. But a scientist belongs to no nation. Many scientists from around the world have testified that they gained inspiration from the life story of Ramanujan. For Ramanujan embodies that marvellous miracle of the human mind to frame concepts and to use formulas and symbols as tools of thought to probe deeper into the mysteries of the universe, and the mysteries of one’s own being. As long as the spirit of inquiry is alive, his legacy will pass from one generation to the next.

(M. Ram Murty is Professor and Head of the Department of Mathematics at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. V. Kumar Murty is Professor and Head of the Department of Mathematics at University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.)

Cultural legacy

But beyond the mathematical legacy, Ramanujan left behind a cultural legacy. He appeared in the midst of the British colonial rule of India and now stands as an iconic symbol of an India that was rediscovering itself, an India that was rising up to take its place in the 20th century. This meant that science and education were to be revived and energised to meet the challenges of the new, independent India. Ramanujan’s role in such a revival is best described in the words of Nobel laureate Subramanyam Chandrasekhar who, on the occasion of Ramanujan’s birth centenary in 1987, wrote: “It must have been a day in April 1920, when I was not quite ten years old, when my mother told me of an item in the newspaper of the day that a famous Indian mathematician, Ramanujan by name, had died the preceding day; and she told me further that Ramanujan had gone to England some years earlier, had collaborated with some famous English mathematicians and that he had returned only very recently, and was well-known internationally for what he had achieved. Though I had no idea at that time of what kind of a mathematician Ramanujan was, or indeed what scientific achievement meant, I can still recall the gladness I felt at the assurance that one brought up under circumstances similar to my own, could have achieved what I could not grasp. I am sure that others were equally gladdened. I hope that it is not hard for you to imagine what the example of Ramanujan could have provided for young men and women of those times, beginning to look at the world with increasingly different perceptions. The fact that Ramanujan’s early years were spent in a scientifically sterile atmosphere, that his life in India was not without hardships, that under circumstances that appeared to most Indians as nothing short of miraculous, he had gone to Cambridge, supported by eminent mathematicians, and had returned to India Foreshadow with every assurance that he Indeed, Dyson’s prediction is would be considered, in time, as right on target. The recent ad- one of the most original mathevances in the theory are just a maticians of the century — these foreshadow of greater things to facts were enough, more than come. Once the theory of mock enough, for aspiring young Indian modular forms is in place, it is students to break their bonds of only a question of time to marry intellectual confinement and perthe theory to the larger program haps soar the way that Ramanuof Langlands. This may be del- jan did.” icate, and one should not go too In these words of Chandrasekfast lest we miss the scenic beauty har, we see the remarkable legacy along the route. Nevertheless, it is left behind by Ramanujan. For the the direction of the future. Thus, life of Chandrasekhar was equally Ramanujan’s work has had a fun- full of hardships. Born in the same damental role in the development village surroundings as Ramanuof 20th century mathematics and jan, he went to study at Cam...ND-ND—A





Year-long celebration A statement by the Ramanujan Mathematical Society on the series of activities planned in 2012 to mark the anniversary


ecember 22, 2012 marks the 125th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan. The Ramanujan Mathematical Society (RMS) has planned a series of mathematical activities through the year 2012 by way of celebration. Towards this end, a National Committee for the celebrations has been constituted with Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal as the chair. An Organising Committee has been formed with Professor M.S. Raghunathan, president of the RMS, as chair, and Professor Dinesh Singh, secretary of the RMS, as secretary. The Organising Committee will formulate and implement programmes and projects to be undertaken as part of the celebration, while the National Committee will supervise the work of the Organising Committee. These are some of the activities proposed for the year 2012, which is to be declared National Mathematics Year by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who will inaugurate the celebrations on December 26, 2011 in Chennai. The inaugural function will be held at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium at 10 a.m. The Prime

Minister will also announce that December 22 is to be celebrated as National Mathematics Day from 2012 on. Mr. Sibal will also address the gathering. A commemorative stamp will be issued on the occasion. A new edition of the Ramanujan Notebooks, published by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1957 (which contains facsimile images of pages from the notebooks maintained by Ramanujan to record some of his mathematical discoveries), will be released on the occasion. Also at the function, Professor Robert Kanigel, author of an excellent biography of Ramanujan, will be felicitated. The mathematical activities that are planned are meant to cater to diverse sections of society all over the country. A programme meant for the public is a lecture tour by Prof. Kanigel covering Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. The Organising Committee is also planning to bring out translations of Prof. Kanigel’s biography in Indian languages. Translators for Hindi, Marathi and Tamil have been identified and commissioned.

Talks by eminent mathematicians International meet in December Mathematics museum in Chennai The committee is trying to locate good translators in other languages as well. The Organising Committee is in touch with mathematicians in different parts of the country to organise programmes for college and school students in their respective regions. Efforts will be made to reach out to students in smaller towns. Forums for mathematics teachers in colleges are being planned in different regions. These forums will meet periodically to discuss pedagogical and other professional issues. They will hold enrichment lectures to help their members to acquaint themselves with happenings in current research. About 20 eminent mathematicians known for their outstanding expository skills are being invited to visit India for a week and deliver five or six talks. These will survey a topic of their choice, starting at a level that will be accessible to first-year PhD students but leading up to current developments. Invitations have been sent out to

The work of Indian Statistical Institute many and most have accepted, but dates are not confirmed in any of these cases. Announcements of each of these lecture courses (which have been named ‘Mathematical Panorama Lectures’) will be made when the dates are firmed up. Circulars about them will be sent (at least three months in advance) to university departments, and they will also be announced on the websites of the RMS and other leading mathematics institutes. These lectures will be organised in one of the following metros: Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. In December 2012 (December 17-22) there will be an international conference in Delhi on mathematics related to Ramanujan’s work. An International Scientific Committee (chaired by Professor Bruce Berndt) has given a list of speakers to be invited. Translating books such as What is Mathematics by Courant & Robbins into Indian languages is another project on the anvil. Apart from these activities, there are two major projects that are to be initiated during 2012, though they cannot be completed within that year. One is the establishment of a mathematics museum in Chennai (to be named after Ramanujan). The second project is to produce a documentary film on the history of Indian mathematics.


he Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) is a unique institution devoted to the research, teaching and application of mathematics, statistics, natural sciences and social sciences. Founded by Professor P.C. Mahalanobis in Kolkata on December 17, 1931, the institute gained the status of an Institution of National Importance by an Act

of Parliament in 1959. The headquarters of the ISI is on the northern fringe of Kolkata. There are four centres located in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Tezpur. Research in Statistics and related disciplines is the institute’s primary activity. Teaching activities are undertaken mainly in the Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai

and Tezpur centres. Offices of the Institute located in several other cities in India are primarily engaged in projects and consultancy in Statistical Quality Control and Operations Research. The academic programmes at the institute include Bachelor (and Master) of Statistics (Hons.), Bachelor (and Master) of Mathematics (Hons.),

Masters in Quantitative Economics, Masters in Library and Information Science, Master of Technology in Computer Science and in Quality, Reliability and Operations Research. The ISI also has a research fellow programme where eligible research fellows are awarded the Ph.D. degree. Website:

The role of the NBHM M.S. NARASIMHAN


he National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) was set up in 1983 by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of the Government of India to promote the development of mathematics in India. The Board has certainly played an important role in furthering mathematical research in the country. It implements several programmes, some of which are listed below.

Support and training The NBHM offers attractive scholarships for students pursuing a Masters or a Ph.D. programme in mathematics. It also offers post-doctoral fellowships. In addition to such financial aid, the NBHM has regular programmes to train students of mathematics. It sponsors instructional schools to train students at an advanced level. Some of these are: the Mathematica Training and Talent Search (MTTS), the Annual Foundational Schools (AFS) and the Advanced Instructional Schools (AIS). These are conducted at several levels at carefully chosen centres spread all over the country.

Interaction and mobility The NBHM facilitates interaction and mobility of mathematicians by providing travel support to Indian mathematicians to attend conferences abroad and by providing visiting professorships to various Indian universities.

Research and conferences The NBHM also offers grants for research projects in mathematics and gives financial support to organise conferences, workshops and other activities.

Support for institutions The NBHM takes an interest in institution building by way of giving substantial yearly grants for selected mathematical institutions. Around six institutions are supported financially at various levels.

matics may not require much by way of equipment, a good library and access to archives on the internet are absolutely necessary. The NBHM has a unique programme to assist libraries of universities and other higher teaching and research institutions. It provides an annual grant to several such libraries for subscribing to journals and buying books. In turn, these libraries are expected to make available the library facilities to mathematicians in the region. In addition, it has a list of about 250 universities, colleges and research institutions in the country registered under its free book distribution scheme. The NBHM buys important books in mathematics and provide them for free to these institutions. The Board encourages international publishers to bring out inexpensive Indian editions.

Mathematical Olympiads In order to attract young students to study mathematics, the NBHM organises Regional and National Olympiad programmes for students at the end of high school; it trains some of them for the International Olympiad and takes care of the expenses of those who participate in the event. The NBHM is also planning to conduct mathematical contests at the collegiate level. To celebrate the 125th birth anniversary year of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the NBHM has planned several activities including a number of “Panorama Lectures.” It is planning to set up a Ramanujan museum. In addition to setting up the NBHM, the DAE has provided generous support over the years for the promotion of mathematics in India, by giving direct financial support to the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and the Harish Chandra Research Institute.

(The author is the founder-chairman of the While research in mathe- NBHM.)

Book distribution

Milestones in mathematics •The number ‘zero’ and the decimal place value system. India’s gift to mathematics. This established the modern way of writing numbers. •The imaginary number i = square root of -1. A small step to (artificially) solve the equation x2 + 1 = 0, which has no solution amongst the real numbers, but a giant leap for mathematics.






Understanding ancient Indian mathematics It is high time we studied our mathematical heritage with diligence and objectivity S.G. DANI


uite often I find that conversations, with people from various walks of life, on ancient Indian mathematics slide to “Vedic mathematics” of the “16 sutras” fame, which is supposed to endow one with magical powers of calculation. Actually, the “16 sutras” were introduced by Bharati Krishna Tirthaji, who was the Sankaracharya of Puri from 1925 until he passed away in 1960, associating with them procedures for certain arithmetical or algebraic computations. Thus, this socalled “Vedic mathematics (VM)” is essentially a 20th century phenomenon. Neither the “sutras” nor the procedures that they are supposed to yield, or correspond to, have anything to do with either the Vedas, or even with any post-Vedic mathematical tradition of yore in India. The image that it may conjure up of ancient rishis engaged in such arithmetical exercises as are taught to the children in the name of VM, and representing the solutions through word-strings of a few words in modern styled Sanskrit, with hardly any sentence structure or grammar, is just too far from the realm of the plausible. It would have amounted to a joke, but for the aura it has acquired on account of various factors, including the general ignorance about the knowledge in ancient times. It is a pity that a long tradition of over 3,000 years of learning and pursuit of mathematical ideas has come to be perceived by a large section of the populace through the prism of something so mundane and so lacking in substance from a mathematical point of view, apart from not being genuine.

Tall claims The colossal neglect involved is not for want of pride about the achievements of our ancients; on the contrary, there is a lot of writing on the topic, popular as well as technical, that is full of unsubstantiated claims conveying an almost supreme knowledge our forefathers are supposed to have possessed. But there is very little understanding or appreciation, on an intellectual plane, of the specifics of their knowledge or achievements in real terms. In the colonial era this variety of discourse emerged as an antithesis to the bias that was manifest in the works of some Western scholars. Due to the urgency to respond to the adverse propaganda on the one hand and the lack of resources in addressing the issues at a more profound level on the other, recourse was often taken to short-cuts, which involved more assertiveness than substance. There were indeed some Indian scholars, like Sudhakar Dvivedi, who adhered to a more intellectual approach, but they were a minority. Unfortunately, the old discourse has continued long after the colonial context is well past, and long after the world community has begun to view the Indian achievements with considerable objective curiosity and interest. It is high time that we switch to a mode befitting a sovereign and intellectually self-reliant society, focussing on an objective study and critical assessment, without the reference frame of “what they say” and how “we must assert ourselves.” Ancient India has indeed contributed a great deal to the world’s mathematical heritage. The country also witnessed steady mathematical

developments over most part of the last 3,000 years, throwing up many interesting mathematical ideas well ahead of their appearance elsewhere in the world, though at times they lagged behind, especially in the recent centuries. Here are some episodes from the fascinating story that forms a rich fabric of the sustained intellectual endeavour.

Vedic knowledge The mathematical tradition in India goes back at least to the Vedas. For compositions with a broad scope covering all aspects of life, spiritual as well as secular, the Vedas show a great fascination for large numbers. As the transmission of the knowledge was oral, the numbers were not written, but expressed as combinations of powers of 10. It would be reasonable to believe that when the decimal place value system for written numbers came into being it owed a great deal to the way numbers were discussed in the older compositions. The decimal place value system of writing numbers, together with the use of ‘0,’ is known to have blossomed in India in the early centuries AD, and spread to the West through the intermediacy of the Persians and the Arabs. There were actually precursors to the system, and various components of it are found in other ancient cultures such as the Babylonian, Chinese, and Mayan. From the decimal representation of the natural numbers, the system was to evolve further into the form that is now commonplace and crucial in various walks of life, with decimal fractions becoming part of the number system in 16th century Europe, though this again has some intermediate history involving the Arabs. The evolution of the number system represents a major phase in the development of mathematical ideas, and arguably contributed greatly to the overall advance of science and technology. The cumulative history of the number system holds a lesson that progress of ideas is an inclusive phenomenon, and while contributing to the process should be a matter of joy and pride to those with allegiance to the respective contributors, the role of others also ought to be appreciated. It is well-known that Geometry was pursued in India in the context of construction of vedis for the yajnas of the Vedic period. The Sulvasutras contain elaborate descriptions of construction of vedis and enunciate various geometric principles. These were composed in the first millennium BC, the earliest Baudhayana Sulvasutra dating back to about 800 BC. Sulvasutra geometry did not go very far in comparison to the Euclidean geometry developed by the Greeks, who appeared on the scene a little later, in the seventh century BC. It was, however, an important stage of development in India too. The Sulvasutra geometers were aware, among other things, of what is now called the Pythagoras theorem, over 200 years before Pythagoras (all the four major Sulvasutras contain an explicit statement of the theorem), addressed (within the framework of their geometry) issues such as finding a circle with the same area as a square and vice versa, and worked out a very good approximation to the square root of two, in the course of their studies. Though it is generally not recognised, the Sulvasutra

geometry was itself evolving. This is seen, in particular, from the differences in the contents of the four major extant Sulvasutras. Certain revisions are especially striking. For instance, in the early Sulvasutra period the ratio of the circumference to the diameter was, as in other ancient cultures, thought to be three, as seen in a sutra of Baudhayana, but in the Manava Sulvasutra, a new value was proposed, as three-and-onefifth. Interestingly, the sutra describing it ends with an exultation “not a hair-breadth remains,” and though we see that it is still substantially off the mark, it is a gratifying instance of an advance made. In the Manava Sulvasutra one also finds an improvement over the method described by Baudhayana for finding the circle with the same area as that of a given square. The Jain tradition has also been very important in the development of mathematics in the country. Unlike for the Vedic people, for Jain scholars the motivation for mathematics came not from ritual practices, which indeed were anathema to them, but from the contemplation of the cosmos. Jains had an elaborate cosmography in which mathematics played an integral role, and even largely philosophical Jain works are seen to incorporate mathematical discussions. Notable among the topics in the early Jain works, from about the fifth century BC to the second century AD, one may mention geometry of the circle, arithmetic of numbers with large powers of 10, permutations and combinations, and categorisations of infinities (whose plurality had been recognised). As in the Sulvasutra tradition, the Jains also recognised, around the middle of the first millennium BC, that the ratio of the circumference of the circle to its diameter is not three. In “Suryaprajnapti,” a Jain text believed to be from the fourth century BC, after recalling the “traditional” value three for it, the author discards that in favour the square root of 10. This value for the ratio, which is reasonably close to the actual value, was prevalent in India over a long period and is often referred as the Jain value. It continued to be used long after Aryabhata introduced the well-known value 3.1416 for the ratio. The Jain texts also contain rather unique formulae for lengths of circular arcs in terms of the length of the corresponding chord and the bow (height) over the chord, and also for the area of regions subtended by circular arcs together with their chords. The means for the accurate determination of these quantities became available only after the advent of Calculus. How the ancient Jain scholars arrived at these formulae, which are close approximations, remains to be understood.

Jain tradition After a lull of a few centuries in the early part of the first millennium, pronounced mathematical activity is seen again in the Jain tradition from the 8th century until the middle of the 14th century. Ganitasarasangraha of Mahavira, written in 850, is one of the well-known and influential works. Virasena (8th century), Sridhara (between 850 and 950), Nemicandra (around 980 CE), Thakkura Pheru (14th century) are some more names that may

not materialised so far. A formula for extraction of square-roots of non-square numbers found in the manuscript has attracted much attention. Another interesting feature of the Bakhshali manuscript is that it involves calculations with large numbers (in decimal representation).

Kerala school

(Above) A portion of a dedication tablet in a rock-cut Vishnu temple in Gwalior built in 876 AD. The number 270 seen in the inscription features the oldest extant zero in India. (Left) A Buddhist cave inscription on a trade route through Naneghat, western India, from around 100 BC, depicting the number 17 with non-place-value numerals for 10 and 7. — PHOTOS COURTESY:BILL CASSELMAN

be mentioned. By the 13th and 14th centuries, Islamic architecture had taken root in India and in Ganitasarakaumudi of Thakkura Pheru, who served as treasurer in the court of the Khilji Sultans in Delhi, one sees a combination of the native Jain tradition with Indo-Persian literature, including work on the calculation of areas and volumes involved in the construction of domes, arches, and tents used for residential purposes. Mathematical astronomy or the Siddhanta tradition has been the dominant and enduring mathematical tradition in India. It flourished almost continuously for over seven centuries, starting with Aryabhata (476-550) who is regarded as the founder of scientific astronomy in India, and extending to Bhaskara II (1114-1185) and beyond. The essential continuity of the tradition can be seen from the long list of prominent names that follow Aryabhata, spread over centuries: Varahamihira in the sixth century, Bhaskara I and Brahmagupta in the seventh century, Govindaswami and Sankaranarayana in the ninth century, Aryabhata II and Vijayanandi in the 10th century, Sripati in the 11th century, Brahmadeva and Bhaskara II in the 12th century, and Narayana Pandit and Ganesa from the 14th and 16th centuries respectively. Aryabhatiya, written in 499, is basic to the tradition, and even to the later works of the Kerala school of Madhava (more on that later). It con-

sists of 121 verses divided into four chapters — Gitikapada, Ganitapada, Kalakriyapada and Golapada. The first, which sets out the cosmology, contains also a verse describing a table of 24 sine differences at intervals of 225 minutes of arc. The second chapter, as the name suggests, is devoted to mathematics per se, and includes in particular procedures to find square roots and cube roots, an approximate expression for ‘pi’ (amounting to 3.1416 and specified to be approximate), formulae for areas and volumes of various geometric figures, and shadows, formulae for sums of consecutive integers, sums of squares, sums of cubes and computation of interest. The other two chapters are concerned with astronomy, dealing with distances and relative motions of planets, eclipses and so on.

Influential work Brahmagupta’s Brahmasphutasiddhanta is a voluminous work, especially for its time, on Siddhanta astronomy, in which there are two chapters, Chapter 12 and Chapter 18, devoted to general mathematics. Incidentally, Chapter 11 is a critique on earlier works including Aryabhatiya; as in other healthy scientific communities this tradition also had many, and often bitter, controversies. Chapter 12 is wellknown for its systematic treatment of arithmetic operations, including with negative numbers; the notion of

negative numbers had eluded Europe until the middle of the second millennium. The chapter also contains geometry, including in particular his famous formula for the area of a quadrilateral (stated without the condition of cyclicity of the quadrilateral that is needed for its validity — a point criticised by later mathematicians in the tradition). Chapter 18 is devoted to the kuttaka and other methods, including for solving second-degree indeterminate equations. An identity described in the work features also in some current studies where it is referred as the Brahmagupta identity. Apart from this, Chapter 21 has verses dealing with trigonometry. Brahmasphutasiddhanta considerably influenced mathematics in the Arab world, and in turn the later developments in Europe. Bhaskara II is the author of the famous mathematical texts Lilavati and Bijaganita. Apart from being an accomplished mathematician he was a great teacher and populariser of mathematics. Lilavati, which literally means ‘one who is playful,’ presents mathematics in a playful way, with several verses directly addressing a pretty young woman, and examples presented through reference to various animals, trees, ornaments, and so on. (Legend has it that the book is named after his daughter after her wedding failed to materialise on account of an accident with the clock, but there is no historical evidence to that effect.) The book presents, apart from various introductory aspects of arithmetic, geometry of triangles and quadrilaterals, examples of applications of the Pythagoras theorem, trirasika, kuttaka methods, problems on permutations and combinations, etc. The Bijaganita is an advanced-level treatise on Algebra, the first independent work of its kind in Indian tradition. Operations with un-

............................................................................................................................ THE KERALA SCHOOL WORKS CONTAIN MATHEMATICS AT A CONSIDERABLY ADVANCED LEVEL THAN EARLIER WORKS FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD AND ANTICIPATE CALCULUS AS IT DEVELOPED IN EUROPE LATER ............................................................................................................................



he word mathematics derives from the Greek word ‘Mathema,’ which encompasses knowledge, study and learning. Though it is rooted in abstraction and logical reasoning, its effectiveness was recognised, and it contributed vastly to the development

of geometry and astronomy. As a highly structured edifice, it is a shining example to the collective human endeavour that transcends geographical boundaries as well as chronological ones. Mathematics is perhaps unique as a subject that continually uses results and concepts developed in antiquity by different civilisations over three millennia. The earliest recorded evidence of humankind grappling with solving equations of degree three can be gleaned from Babylonian stone tablets.

concepts developed in mathematics are ideal in designing computer languages and in unravelling complexity of phenomena. In the last two decades, mathematics has made inroads into other areas such as biology and economics. The intrinsic value of mathematical ideas, and the depth and beauty of abstraction, are what most mathematicians find deeply Making inroads appealing. In today’s digital age, theoThe volume, Math Unlimretical computer scientists ited: Essays in Mathematics, are discovering that abstract is a collection of essays that

Galileo Galilei is supposed to have said that mathematics is the key and door to all the sciences. Since the Era of Enlightenment in Europe, mathematical knowledge has been crucial to developments in physics, and this continues to this day with intimate connections between theoretical physics and advanced mathematics.

knowns, kuttaka and chakravala methods for solutions of indeterminate equations are some of the topics discussed, together with examples. Bhaskara’s work on astronomy, Siddhantasiromani and Karana kutuhala, contain several important results in trigonometry, and also some ideas of Calculus. The works in the Siddhanta tradition have been edited on a substantial scale and there are various commentaries available, including many from the earlier centuries, and works by European authors such as Colebrook, and many Indian authors including Sudhakara Dvivedi, Kuppanna Sastri and K.V. Sarma. The two-volume book of Datta and Singh and the book of Saraswati Amma serve as convenient references for many results known in this tradition. Various details have been described, with a comprehensive discussion, in the recent book by Kim Plofker. The Bakhshali manuscript, which consists of 70 folios of bhurjapatra (birch bark), is another work of significance in the study of ancient Indian mathematics, with many open issues around it. The manuscript was found buried in a field near Peshawar, by a farmer, in 1881. It was acquired by the Indologist A.F.R. Hoernle, who studied it and published a short account on it. He later presented the manuscript to the Bodleian Library at Oxford, where it has been since then. Facsimile copies of all the folios were brought out by Kaye in 1927, which have since then been the source material for the subsequent studies. The date of the manuscript has been a subject of much controversy since the early years, with the estimated dates ranging from the early centuries of CE to the 12th century. Takao Hayashi, who produced what is perhaps the most authoritative account so far, concludes that the manuscript may be assigned sometime between the eighth century and the 12th century, while the mathematical work in it may most probably be from the seventh century. Carbon dating of the manuscript could settle the issue, but efforts towards this have

Let me finally come to what is called the Kerala School. In the 1830s, Charles Whish, an English civil servant in the Madras establishment of the East India Company, brought to light a collection of manuscripts from a mathematical school that flourished in the north-central part of Kerala, between what are now Kozhikode and Kochi. The school, with a long teacherstudent lineage, lasted for over 200 years from the late 14th century well into the 17th century. It is seen to have originated with Madhava, who has been attributed by his successors many results presented in their texts. Apart from Madhava, Nilakantha Somayaji was another leading personality from the school. There are no extant works of Madhava on mathematics (though some works on astronomy are known). Nilakantha authored a book called Tantrasangraha (in Sanskrit) in 1500 AD. There have also been expositions and commentaries by many other exponents from the school, notable among them being Yuktidipika and Kriyakramakari by Sankara, and Ganitayuktibhasha by Jyeshthadeva which is in Malayalam. Since the middle of the 20th century, various Indian scholars have researched on these manuscripts and the contents of most of the manuscripts have been looked into. An edited translation of the latter was produced by K.V. Sarma and it has recently been published with explanatory notes by K. Ramasubramanian, M.D. Srinivas and M.S. Sriram. An edited translation of Tantrasangraha has been brought out more recently by K. Ramasubramanian and M.S. Sriram. The Kerala works contain mathematics at a considerably advanced level than earlier works from anywhere in the world. They include a series expansion for ‘pi’ and the arc-tangent series, and the series for sine and cosine functions that were obtained in Europe by Gregory, Leibnitz and Newton, respectively, over 200 years later. Some numerical values for ‘pi’ that are accurate to 11 decimals are a highlight of the work. In many ways, the work of the Kerala mathematicians anticipated calculus as it developed in Europe later, and in particular involves manipulations with indefinitely small quantities (in the determination of circumference of the circle and so on) analogous to the infinitesimals in calculus; it has also been argued by some authors that the work is indeed calculus already.

Honouring the tradition A lot needs to be done to honour this rich mathematical heritage. The extant manuscripts need to be cared for to prevent deterioration, catalogued properly with due updates and, most important, they need to be studied diligently and the findings placed in proper context on the broad canvass of the world of mathematics, from an objective standpoint. Let the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of the genius of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a global mathematician to the core, inspire us as a nation, to apply ourselves to this task. (The author is Distinguished Professor, School of Mathematics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.)

Milestones in mathematics spans pure and applied mathematics as well as the spread of mathematical ideas and techniques in other areas, ranging from computer science to physics and biology. It is aimed at an audience with an interest in mathematical research and aspects of history of mathematics and highlights the pervasive nature of mathematics today in different areas. Almost all the contributors are Indian scientists, and the volume thus gives an idea of the canvas of scientific research in the country.

•Invention of Calculus. Enabled posing problems from the natural sciences in mathematical terms and thus paved the way for great scientific progress. It also showed that two great geometric problems of antiquity — the drawing of the tangent to a curve and the computation of the area enclosed by a curve — are really two sides of the same coin. •Abel’s example of a quintic equation which cannot be solved by radicals. There is a simple formula using the four basic arithmetic operations and extraction of square roots for solving a quadratic equation. Similar formulae exist for equations of degree three and four respectively. But no general such formula exists, as shown by Abel’s example, which is applicable to all equations of degree 5.






The mathematics of election forecasting A good understanding of the ground reality helps, but it is a mix of simple mathematics and statistics that are at the heart of opinion polls RAJEEVA L. KARANDIKAR


ow can obtaining the opinion of, say, 50,000 voters, be sufficient to predict the electoral outcome in a country with over 710 million voters? Do opinion polls conducted ahead of the polling date have predictive power as far as final results are concerned? These are questions that need answers. We will see that simple mathematics and statistics, lots of commonsense and a good understanding of the ground reality or domain knowledge, together can be very effective. It can predict election results on the basis of a sample survey. Brief mathematical background: Suppose an urn contains M number of balls, identical in all aspects except for colour, with K of them being orange and the rest being green. If the balls are mixed, and without looking one of them is drawn, then the chance of it being orange is K/M. This is based on the premise that each ball has an equal probability of being drawn, and since there are K orange balls, the required probability is K/M. Suppose M is given to be 10,000 and K is either 9,900 or 100 — either 9,900 are orange or 9,900 are green. One ball is drawn (after mixing, without looking) and its colour is found to be green. We are to make a decision about K — choose out of the two possibilities: K equals 100 or K equals 9,900. If K is 100, then the probability of drawing a green ball is 0.99, whereas if K is 9,900, then it is 0.01. Based on this, we can say that 9,900 balls are likely to be green. This is what commonsense tells us and can be justified in various ways. The story would not change if K is either 99,000 or 1,000 and M is 100,000. This is the only

idea from probability theory or statistics that is needed to answer most of the questions, as we will see. Now consider a constituency, say Chennai South. To make matters simple, suppose there are two candidates, Rajesh and Kavita. Suppose the election is not a close one, that is, the winner is getting at least four percentage points more votes than the loser. Let us make lists of 4,001 voters at a time with each list written on a sheet of paper. We can imagine that each sheet is marked with magic ink in red colour or blue colour, depending on who the voters listed on that sheet prefer — Rajesh or Kavita. Thus, if 2,001 or more voters prefer Rajesh, the sheet is marked with magic ink in red colour, otherwise in blue colour. The colour on the sheet will be revealed when it is wet. Now it can be shown by counting arguments that 99 per cent of the sheets are marked in one colour — the colour for the winning candidate. So if Kavita has the support of over 52 per cent voters in the constituency, over 99 per cent sheets would be blue, and if Rajesh is supported by over 52 per cent then over 99 per cent sheets would be red. Suppose we mix the sheets well and draw one at random. When we wet it (this is equivalent to visiting each of the 4,001 voters listed on that sheet and getting their opinion to decide the colour of the sheet), we are likely to observe the colour of the winning candidate. So if it is red, we can predict that Rajesh will win and if blue then we can say that Kavita will win. In either case, we will be correct with 99-per-cent probability. By the way, this calculation did not need the value of M — namely, the total number of

Queues of people waiting outside a polling booth in Chennai for the 2011 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. One way to simplify the process of random sampling is to create a model for voter behaviour. But with India’s volatile voting intentions, understanding ground realities are as important as past data. — PHOTO: V. GANESAN voters. It could be 500,000 or 5,000,000, and knowing the opinion of 4,001 voters would suffice to make a prediction with 99-per-cent accuracy (as long as it is not a close election). This seems counter-intuitive, but this is what comes out of simple counting. Another way to say this is that most samples with size 4,001 are representative of the population and hence, if we select one randomly we are likely to end up with a representative sample. In colloquial English, the word random is also used in the sense of arbitrary (as in Random Access Memory, or RAM). So some people think of a random sample as any arbitrary subset. Randomness should be seen as a property of the process that selects the sample and not the sample itself. Failure to select a random sample can lead to wrong conclusions. In 1948, all opinion polls in the U.S. predicted that Thomas Dewey would defeat Harry Truman in the presidential election. The problem was traced to the sampling methodology used: telephone numbers were randomly generated and calls

were made to these subscribers to get their voting intentions. In 1948, the weaker sections of the society in the U.S. were under-represented in the survey. Today, the penetration of telephones in the U.S. is almost universal and so the method generally works there. It will not work in India even after the unprecedented growth in the telecom sector, as a large number of the underprivileged still do not own a telephone and thus a telephone survey will not yield a representative sample. My view is that the statistical guarantee that the sample proportion and the population proportion do not differ significantly does not kick in unless the sample is chosen by means of randomisation. The sample should be chosen by means of randomisation, perhaps after suitable stratification. This costs a lot more than the quota sampling used commonly by market research agencies, but is a must. Following statistical methodology, one can get a fairly good estimate of the percentage of votes of the major parties in the country (or in a State), at least at the time the

survey is conducted. However, the public interest is in the prediction of the number of seats and not percentage of votes for parties. It is possible (though it is extremely unlikely) even in a two-party system for a party ‘A’ with, say, 26 per cent, to win 272 (out of 543) seats (majority) while the other party ‘B’, with 74 per cent votes, wins only 271 seats (‘A’ gets just over 50 per cent votes in 272 seats winning them, while ‘B’ gets 100 per cent votes in the remaining 271 seats). Thus, a good estimate of vote percentages does not automatically translate to a good estimate of number of seats for the major parties. So, in order to predict the number of seats for parties, we need to estimate not only the percentage of votes for each party, but also the distribution of votes of each of the parties across constituencies. And here, independents and smaller parties that have influence across a few seats make the vote-to-seat translation that much more difficult. If we can get a random sample of size 4,001 in each of the 543 constituencies, then we can predict the winner in

each of them and we will be mostly correct (in constituencies where the contest is not a very close one). But conducting a survey with more than 21 lakh respondents is very difficult: money, time, reliable trained manpower, each of these resources is limited. One way out is to construct a model of voter behaviour. While such a model can be built, estimating various parameters of such a model would itself require a very large sample size. Another approach is to use past data in conjunction with opinion poll data. In order to do this, we need to build a suitable model of voting behaviour — not of individual voters but for the percentage of votes for a party in a constituency. To make a model, let us observe some features of the Indian democracy. Voting intentions in India are volatile — in a matter of months they can undergo a big change. Examples are Delhi in the March 1998 Lok Sabha elections, in the November 1998 Vidhan Sabha elections, and the October 1999 Lok Sabha elections. This is very different from the situation in the U.K. where voting intentions are very stable across decades, and thus methods used in the U.K. cannot be used in India, though superficially, the Indian political system resembles the one in the U.K. This is where domain knowledge plays an important role. A model which works in the West may not work in the Indian context if it involves human behaviour. And having all the data relating to elections in India (since 1952) will not help. The point is that large amounts of data cannot substitute an understanding of the ground realities. While the behaviour of voters in a constituency may be correlated with that in adjacent constituencies in the same State, the voting behaviour in one State has no correlation with that in another State. The behaviour is influenced by many local factors. Continued on Page 7…

He grew up here

CHILDHOOD ABODE: The house in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu where Ramanujan grew up is now the Srinivasa Ramanujan Centre, established by SASTRA University and maintained as a monument from 2000. The House of Ramanujan Mathematics, a museum on Ramanujan, functions as part of the Centre. Every year, the Centre organises an international conference on mathematics. — PHOTOS: M. SRINATH






For a career in mathematics It is indeed possible to build a perfectly satisfying career in mathematics if one is deeply interested in the subject pure sciences as well) if one is deeply interested in the ndia has a long and ancient subject. mathematical tradition. The Sulvasutras, Vedic texts for Job scene Look at the job scene. A the construction of ritual altars, contain a lot of geomet- trained mathematician can rical results and be very well employed outconstructions. These include side academia. Government a statement of the Pythagoras departments engaged in Theorem, an approximation space research (the Indian to the value of ‘pi’, and the Space Research Organisation, ratio of the circumference of or ISRO), defence research a circle to its diameter. India (Defence Research and Degave the world the decimal velopment Organisation, or place value system, the mod- DRDO), aeronautical reern way of writing numbers, search (National Aeronautics and above all, the number ‘ze- Limited, or NAL), all employ ro.’ It boasts of mathematical mathematicians to solve their schools like those of Aryab- special problems. Today, hata and Bhaskara. Much lat- cryptology is in vogue (the er, in the 15th century, came systems ensuring the safety the flourishing School of of your credit card transacMadhava in Kerala, which an- tions are based on some very ticipated, by more than 200 sophisticated mathematics). years, several results of the Organisations such as the Calculus invented by Newton DRDO and the Society for Electronic Transactions and and Liebniz. There was a complete Security (SETS) are interestbreak in this tradition during ed in mathematicians with the years of colonial rule. In training in this area. Finanthe 20th century, perhaps in- cial mathematics is another spired by Ramanujan’s life, area that leads to well-paid there was a revival, especially jobs. Computer giants such as in the south, of mathematical IBM and Microsoft have reresearch. In the post-Inde- search departments which pendence era, the Govern- have highly paid scientists ment of India established who are either mathematisome schools of excellence, cians or theoretical computer where several individuals dis- scientists. (They can, for all tinguished themselves, and practical purposes, be considcontinue to distinguish them- ered as mathematicians). selves, by doing excellent Thus, there is plenty of scope, outside academia, for wellwork. Nevertheless, for a country paid jobs for mathematicians. Having said this, it must be of India’s size, despite having a large scientific workforce, emphasised that the majority we have failed to make the of mathematicians will end kind of international impact up in academic jobs, namely, that countries like, say, Chi- in research and teaching. What are the plus points of na, have made. India’s own scientific leaders have often such a vocation? bemoaned the ‘ocean of medi- •In India, all these jobs are in ocrity’ that has been created. universities or in publicThe main problem is that a funded research institutions. mathematical career has With the implementation of been regarded as being syn- the recommendations of the onymous with a teaching ca- Sixth Pay Commission, the reer. We religiously teach our salary is nothing to be sniffed children slokas like Guru at. The entry point (roughly Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru between the ages of 28 and Devo Maheshwarah. Howev- 32) is that of an Assistant Proer, equally cruelly and cal- fessor, who can expect to start lously we say things like at a monthly basic salary of vakkillathavanukku vathiyar Rs.30,000. To this, add the velai (a teacher’s vocation is dearness allowance (which for those who have no other has well crossed 502 per cent option). This has become a of the basic), transport allowself-fulfilling prophecy of ance, and (if accommodation sorts. Barring a minuscule is not provided by the emnumber of exceptions, India’s ployer) a house rent allowbrightest minds are not en- ance (which touches 30 per gaged in scientific research. cent of the basic in the metThe situation in general is ros). Thus, before tax, we arthat those who fail to join rive at something like professional courses leading Rs.50,000 or more a month. to gainful employment come This, unlike in industry, is not to research as a last resort. the ‘cost to company’ but These are the ones who will what the employee actually become the (uninspiring) gets. Added to this are perteachers of the future — and quisites such as comprehenwe are caught in a vicious sive health care, leave travel cycle. concession, aid to children’s The situation should, in re- education and employer’s ality, be the opposite. Those contribution to the provident taking to a research career fund or the pension fund. All should be those who are pas- in all, the remuneration today sionately involved in the sub- does guarantee a very good ject. As the experience of the standard of living with all the information technology in- creature comforts. dustry shows, anybody with a In order to attract young reasonable degree can be Ph.D.s who have done rather trained on the job and be well by way of research, espewell-employed, whereas that cially but not limited to those is not the case in academia. from abroad who seek emIt is indeed possible to ployment in India, the Debuild a perfectly satisfying ca- partment of Science and reer in mathematics (and Technology (DST) offers the much of this applies to other Ramanujan Fellowship for S. KESAVAN


In India a mathematical career has been regarded as being synonymous with a teaching career, but a trained mathematician can be very well employed outside academia. — PHOTO: S.R. RAGHUNATHAN three years. It carries a high salary and a generous contingency grant that allows purchase of research equipment, travels abroad for conferences, and so on. Institutions like the IITs and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore also offer generous start-up grants to freshlyrecruited faculty members to facilitate their research. •Job security. •Job satisfaction: you get to choose your research problems. •A good quality of life: the timings are regular with vacation periods that are well-defined. •Plenty of opportunities to set up research collaborations with fellow-researchers in India and abroad, providing possibilities of interesting domestic and international travel. •Being in contact with young minds all the time has a rejuvenating effect on one’s outlook to life. On the other hand, one should ensure that one is really interested in the subject. To rise in the profession one needs to have a reasonably steady research output for nearly three to four decades. The real downside is that the gestation and apprenticeship period is quite long. It takes about five years to get a master’s degree and between three to five years more for the doctoral degree. Even after that, it is expected that a person does at least two years of post-doctoral work, which is the time when one emerges from the shadows of the thesis supervisor and chalks out one’s own path of research. Thus, as mentioned earlier,

one can expect to get one’s first job when in the 28-32 age group. But this period is not financially barren, and the remuneration keeps increasing.

Job opportunities What about job opportunities in India? There are three kinds of institutions of higher learning. Purely research-oriented institutions like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) in Chennai, and the Harish Chandra Research Institute (HRI) in Allahabad. Interestingly, all these are autonomous aided institutions that are fully supported by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of the Government of India. TIFR is now a deemed university, while the IMSc and the HRI are affiliated to the deemed university called the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) that covers all other aided institutions of the DAE. Institutions of teaching and research which can offer degrees but do not come under the purview of the University Grants Commission (UGC). These are set up by Acts of Parliament, and some come under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). These are the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), the IITs, the IISc, and the newly set up Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) in Bhopal, Kolkata, Mohali, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram, and the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) in Bhubaneswar (set up by the DAE).

Then there is the precursor to these latter new institutes, the unique Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI), which is an example of public-private partnership. ISRO has also established its own such institution in Thiruvananthapuram. The State and Central universities. While the State universities have plenty of vacancies, these being filled is often tied to the policies and politics of the State governments. All the other institutions of research and teaching mentioned above have well-established and transparent methods of selection, and all of them have a crying need for fresh faculty. In fact, the need is so great and the supply so meagre that the age of retirement has been increased to 65 for these institutions. And in many cases they are allowed to re-employ superannuated faculty members till they are 70. The government has suddenly started NISER, the five IISERs and about eight new IITs, all of which need faculty members. These are currently functioning with a bare minimum of recruits, augmented by adjunct faculty members, who are retired mathematicians. This is not sustainable in the long run. Thus, for those who hold a reasonably good doctoral degree, there are plenty of job opportunities in such institutions. This will be so for a long time to come. Even the existing institutions like the IITs face continuous attrition due to retirement of faculty members who were engaged from

the 1960s onwards.

Training Now for the training process of a mathematician in India. The regular route for a student is a three-year B.Sc. course followed by a two-year M.Sc. programme in mathematics, after which she or he could join a doctoral programme in a recognised university or research institution. There are the following variants to this theme. The IIT-Kanpur pioneered the five-year M.Sc. programme (admission is through the joint entrance examination) which combined the B.Sc. and M.Sc. programmes. IIT-Bombay followed suit. Now, this pattern is followed by all the IISERs and NISER. The Central University of Hyderabad and that of Pondicherry have also started such programmes. Recently, the three science academies in India have been advocating educational reform that involves the introduction of a four-year B.S. programme followed by a year of research and training leading to an M.S. The IISc will launch the first such programme in August 2012. Institutions of pure research (the TIFR, the IMSc and the HRI), the IISc and the CMI also have integrated Ph.D. programmes. Promising students are selected after a bachelor’s degree in any science discipline or engineering directly for their Ph.D. programmes, provided they clear the (very rigorous) entrance tests and interviews on a par with M.Sc. candidates. They pick up an M.Sc. degree after two initial years

............................................................................................................................ THE REGULAR ROUTE FOR A STUDENT IS A THREE-YEAR B.SC. COURSE FOLLOWED BY A TWO-YEAR M.SC. PROGRAMME IN MATHEMATICS, BUT THERE ARE SEVERAL RECENT VARIANTS TO THIS THEME ............................................................................................................................

ships. First of all, there is the Kishore Vaigyanik Pratsohan Yojana which conducts a test for high school students. The successful ones opting for a career in science get a handsome scholarship all through their higher education, up to completion of the doctoral programme. The CMI and the ISI provide modest stipends to their undergraduates and postgraduates, together with tuition waiver, as long as the students maintain a healthy academic performance. For the doctoral programmes, university students need to take an examination conducted by bodies like the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research or the DST for a research fellowship. The current rates are Rs.16,000 for the first two years and, subject to satisfactory performance, Rs.18,000 a month thereafter. There is an annual contingency grant as well. All research institutions and institutions of teaching and research mentioned here have their own funding for Ph.D. scholarships at the same rates. In case the institution cannot provide subsidised accommodation on campus, house rent allowance at the same rates as applicable to faculty members is allowed. Post-doctoral fellowships provide for a consolidated pay ranging from Rs.21,000 to Rs. 25,000 a month (with the provision for HRA), along with a contingency grant, depending on the candidate’s post-doctoral experience. The National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM), set up by the DAE to promote mathematics, conducts an examination every year for the award of a scholarship for M.Sc. programmes in mathematics in any recognised university or institution, and pays a monthly stipend of Rs.6,000. The advertisement appears in newspapers by the end of June; the written test is usually held towards the end of September. It also awards Ph.D. scholarships, at the same rates as other research fellowships, by conducting another examination which is advertised in November; the test is usually by the end of January or early February. The NBHM also offers postdoctoral fellowships. To sum up, if a student has the taste and the talent for mathematics, it is possible to make a satisfying, interesting, respectable and remunerative career out of it. If you think you have it in you, just go for it. Study abroad if you really want to; it can broaden your horizons. But do come back to inspire future generations so that India will become a mathematical superpower in the coming decades. Parents ought to let children do whatever they are best suited for — literature, dramatics, mathematics, painting and so on. They should not try to live out their ambitions through them. While it may be a status symbol to count a non-resident Indian in the family, as one grows older there is a pleasure and sense of security in having one’s children living and working close by.

of course work and research. All the IITs and universities also have independent M.Sc. and Ph.D. programmes. Admission is based on entrance tests and/or interview. The CMI has an M.Sc. programme in applications of mathematics with specialisation in financial mathematics and computational applications of mathematics. It is contemplating a stream specialising in cryptology. The ISI has an M. Math. Programme, held alternatively at its Kolkata and Bangalore campuses. A special word on the undergraduate programmes of the CMI, which is B.Sc. (Hons.) in Mathematics and Computer Science in Chennai, and the ISI — B.Math at its Bangalore campus. These are not for the faint-hearted. But if a student has a strong taste and talent for mathematics from an early age, these are the places to go for mathematics education. Both these programmes are very intense. At the end of three years, the students can compete with any master’s level student anywhere on equal terms — and often they fare better. As a measure of the success of these programmes, it must be said that their graduates have managed to breach the U.S. firewall that requires a four-year collegiate-level education to enter graduate school, by being directly admitted, with full aid, to graduate schools such as Caltech, Chicago, Princeton, MIT (and so on in the U.S.), the Max Planck institutes in Germany, and the elite Ecole Normale Sup´erieure in France, after finishing the three-year degree programme. Students from the early batches have started completing their doctorate work and are already (The author is a Professor making a mark. It is gratifying that some have come back to of Mathematics at the Institute of Mathematical Scitake up positions in India. Finally, about scholar- ences, Chennai.)

Automating mathematics? Understanding reasoning by analogy in mathematics in an effort to automate it could enrich both mathematics and artificial reasoning systems SIDDHARTHA GADGIL


n 1997, an IBM computer named Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov, the reigning chess champion. In 2011, a computer named Watson beat the two top quizzers on a leading quiz show called Jeopardy. Is it time for a computer to win a Fields Medal — the top prize in mathematics?

Tarski vs EQP At the root of mathematics are integers — which we can add, multiply and negate. These operations satisfy certain axioms, such as commutativity (order does not matter), associativity (which addition is performed first does not matter), distributivity, etc. Computers, instead, store information in bits, each of

which is either TRUE or FALSE at any time. In place of addition, multiplication and negation are the logical operations AND, OR and NOT. These satisfy certain axioms. The corresponding algebra for bits is called Boolean Algebra. In 1933, Herbert Robbins proposed a set of axioms from which he conjectured that the usual axioms for a Boolean Algebra could be deduced. Though many leading mathematicians worked on this, this conjecture remained unsolved until 1996, an year before Deep Blue beat Kasparov. Remarkably, it was solved then not by a virtuoso logician but by a computer program called EQP, through a long chain of deductions. At

that time it took several days of computing, but today the successor of EQP (called PROVER9) can prove the result in a fraction of a second on a personal computer.

Kepler and Sphere packings The year after Deep Blue’s victory saw a celebrated computer-assisted proof in mathematics — Thomas Hales’s proof of the Kepler conjecture. This concerns packing spheres (say apples) in as efficient a way as possible. In 1611, Johannes Kepler had conjectured that the two obvious ways: with each layer arranged in squares or hexagons, are the most efficient. Hales proved this in 1998, using computer calculations for checking a huge number of

cases. Referees for the Annals of Mathematics (the leading mathematics journal) eventually said they were 99 per cent certain of the correctness of the proof — surely a quibble as various conventional papers (including at the Annals) turn out to be wrong, though referees have accepted them without such elaborate caveats. Hales responded to this by giving a computer-verifiable proof of the Kepler conjecture!

Who guards the guards? On the face of it, it seems unlikely that those who do not trust software will be convinced by having it checked by other software. But computer proof systems have an elegant way around this circularity. At the heart of such a system is a small trusted core, about 500 lines of code which can (and are) verified independently by several experts — and any sceptic who so

wishes. This core then checks the rest of the system, so we can be sure of its correctness. A computer-verifiable proof is then checked by the proof system. Such an approach has become widespread in hardware and software verification — with the leading chipmakers using this to verify operations of their processors.

Can we formalise proofs?

human proofs. We can thus hope to start with some trusted axioms — say those of set theory or arithmetic — and build the rest of mathematics on this core. There are indeed some celebrated results with such computer-verifiable proofs, including the Kepler conjecture and the so-called four-colour problem (which says that a map can be coloured with at most four colours so adjacent regions have different colours). Further, there are fundamental results in mathematics (developed without computer assistance) whose proofs are viewed with scepticism. A notorious case is the classification of finite simple groups, whose proof is scattered in the literature and possibly even incomplete. Georges Gonthier is leading a program to give a computerverifiable proof of this result.

Writing (or even reading) a fully formal proof of a theorem (that is , a proof in terms of the rules of logic) is a nightmare. However, computer proof systems have powerful automatic deduction engines built into them. Hence, as with ordinary human manuscripts, routine details can be omitted. The computer (unlike a human reader) will, however, actually check the details. Further, in some computer proof systems, Holmes, Watson and beyond Computers can thus beat proofs can be written in a language resembling ordinary humans at calculation and

deduction (a la Sherlock Holmes). However the practice of mathematics involves other ingredients, notably searching the literature and reasoning by analogy. Searching the literature can be facilitated by either writing more computer-verifiable (hence computer-understandable) proofs, or by a Watson-like computer actually managing to understand human proofs — indeed the first commercial application of Watson is understanding the medical literature to help doctors make diagnoses. Analogy lies much deeper and is more mysterious.

An analogy engine? Why should one care about computers solving mathematical problems? Probably the most practical reason is the same that led to building Deep Blue or Watson — a system capable of winning mind games is also capable of solving real life problems. Indeed mathematics, strongly con-

strained by rigour and aesthetics but free from practical constraints, has proved to be an extraordinary generator of useful concepts for science and engineering. One can hope that a focus on doing mathematics will similarly drive computers to new heights.

Deeper understanding From a mathematician’s point of view, attempting to formalise proofs — better still to automate their discovery, should lead to a deeper understanding of many aspects of mathematics. Indeed, understanding reasoning by analogy in mathematics, in an effort to automate it, could enrich both mathematics and artificial reasoning systems.

(The author is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.) ...ND-ND—A





Inspiring generations

Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 T

he year 2013 has been marked for various mathematical activities under a wide umbrella of initiatives called the Mathematics of the Planet Earth (MPE) 2013, which will focus on mathematical research in areas of relevance to the various processes that affect the earth. The dynamics of the oceans and the atmosphere and the changes in the climate are, of course, the obvious topics that are important for life on planet earth and make use of mathematics in an essential way. In addition, a multitude of other topics are of relevance, including the financial and economic systems, energy production and utilisation, spread of epidemics at the population level, ecology and genomics of species. A comprehensive list of topics can be found on the website, http:// Math2013/en/theme.php To stimulate imagination on the many domains where mathe-

matics plays a crucial role in planetary issues, the following four (non-exhaustive) themes are proposed as part of MPE-2013: A planet to discover: oceans; meteorology and climate; mantle processes, natural resources, celestial mechanics. A planet supporting life: ecology, biodiversity, evolution. A planet organised by humans: political, economic, social and financial systems; organisation of transport and communications networks; management of resources; energy. A planet at risk: climate change, sustainable development, epidemics; invasive species, natural disasters. Mathematics plays a crucial role in two ways in this research since it is used as a universal language and tool for any quantitative research in all the sciences, including biology, economics, and so on. Thus it is an essential component of any

Project looks into the mathematics that sustains life It covers Meteorology, economics, climate change multi- or inter-disciplinary research. Furthermore, fundamental mathematical questions arise out of these research topics. MPE-2013 will highlight both these aspects. Many international bodies are partners in MPE-2013. The International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS) of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is a partner-institute. The main goals of the ICTS are to foster research, be a resource for high-level education and training, and reach out to the larger society by being a node for scientific information and values. (More detailed information about the past, current, and proposed activities is available at http:// The ICTS

would liaise with the Indian scientific community, possibly in collaboration with researchers around the world, to conduct workshops, thematic programmes, and conferences . Another major theme will be outreach to increase awareness of the importance and essential nature of mathematics in tackling these problems, and to bring out the relevance and usefulness of mathematics to a wider section of society . One activity that is being actively pursued at the international level is a “Competition for an open source exhibition of virtual modules.” Information on this can be found at competition/ The outreach activities that the organisers hope to plan in

India will be in the form of mathematics exhibitions, interactive sessions involving mathematical discussions and experiments for children, youth, and teachers, special guest lectures given by renowned mathematicians targeted, primarily, at the nonmathematics community. There are also plans for an India-specific call for exhibits (and possibly a competition), in cooperation with the global competition for exhibits. Some of the faculty members at the TIFR Centre for Applicable Mathematics, Bangalore are involved in taking this initiative forward. The ICTS is looking for organisations and individuals interested in taking part in this initiative and want to hear about possible interests in the scientific and outreach activities (email: ). Some references: http:// and http:// competition/

A picture of Srinivasa Ramanujan displayed at the Kumbakonam Town Higher-Secondary School where he once studied. — PHOTO: M. SRINATH

Mathematics in election forecasting RAJEEVA L. KARANDIKAR ….Continued from Page 5 Socio-economic factors do influence voting patterns significantly. However, incorporating them directly in a model will require too many parameters. It is reasonable to assume that the socio-economic profile of most of the constituencies does not change significantly from one election to the next. So, while the differences in socio-economic profiles between two constituencies are reflected in the differences in voting pattern in a given election, the change from one election to the next in a given constituency does not depend on them.

Inaccurate model

So we make an assumption that the change in the percentage of votes for a given party from the previous election to the present is constant across a given State. The resulting model is not very accurate if we look at historical data, but is a reasonably good approximation — good enough for the purpose, namely, to predict the number of seats for major parties at the national level. The change in the percentage of votes is called swing. Under this model, all we need to do via sampling is to estimate the swing for each party in each State. Then, using past data we will have an estimate of percentage of votes for each party in each State. Here we can refine this a little: we can divide the big States into regions and postulate that the swing in a seat is a convex combination of swing across the State and swing across the region. Predicting the winner: Here, one more element comes in. We need to predict the winner in each constituency and then give the number of seats for major parties. If in a constituency our predicted margin for the leading candidate is eight per cent, we will be a lot more confident about the leading candidate winning the seat than the situation where our predicted lead is just one per cent. So we translate this into the probability of victory for the two leading candidates. The best case scenario for the candidate who is second is that actually he has a slender lead and yet a sample of the given size shows him trailing by the given margin. The probability of this is assigned as the probability of victory for the second candidate, and 1 minus this is the probability of victory for the leading candidate. Adding the probability of victory in each seat for a given party gives us the expected number of seats. This method gives reasonable predictions at the national level.

Distributed sample

booth by circular sampling. The enumerators then have to go door-todoor (three times if necessary) and get the opinion of the chosen persons.

Error factor

If we conduct this opinion poll before the voting begins (so as to publish the results two days before the first phase starts), there is quite a bit of gap between our poll and the actual voting. In India there seems to be a lot of churning of electoral preferences as the voting day comes closer. This introduces an error factor in any opinion poll-based prediction. Some pollsters do claim to correct for this effect. They conduct what is called a tracking poll, where polls are conducted every week for, say, six to eight weeks prior to the polls, and then the trend is extrapolated to get the prediction on what is to happen on election day. However, the churn that happens nearer to the voting day is much more than in previous weeks and so this method is not very satisfactory. Another problem with opinion polls conducted prior to the voting day is that the best of methodology can only measure the mood of all the voters, while what matters is the segment that actually goes to the polling booth to vote. These two factors raise a big question mark on predictions based on opinion polls conducted prior to the voting day.

Exit poll

Both these problems are addressed by an exit poll, where we interview respondents as they exit the polling booth. However, in an exit poll we cannot ask respondents from a previously generated list. We can at best choose polling booths via multi-stage circular sampling and then give a thumb rule, such as, pick every 10th voter to the enumerator. This is likely to introduce a bias in the sample. Multi-phase polls seem to have become the norm in India. We have to give our findings only at the end of the last phase. So for the last several years, we conduct a proper randomised poll in all constituencies that are included in all the phases except the last. In the last phase we do an exit poll. This method has given reasonable predictions for several State elections and in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Remarkable results

To sum up, proper use of statistical techniques and some domain expertise can give very remarkable results. However, the media sometimes project the predictions as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It should be remembered that most of the time, a proper methodological poll would be able to pick the correct winner — namely, the party which gets the largest number of seats. However, the exact number of seats that the various parties would win sometimes eludes us. Opinion polls do serve a much larger purpose than forecasting the final outcome — it gives an insight into why people have voted the way they did. If the political parties use the opinion polls as a feedback mechanism to gauge public opinion and act accordingly, that would help the country.

The crux of the matter is to get a random sample that is reasonably distributed across the country. The method generally followed by us is to select about one-fifth of the constituencies for sampling. In the list of constituencies, contiguous constituencies occur together and hence systematic sampling or circular sampling is appropriate as it gives an even spread across the country. Then we get a list of polling booths in each constituency and pick, say four to six polling booths, again by circular random sampling. Finally, we get the (The author is the Director of the voters’ list in these booths and pick 35 to 50 voters in each chosen polling Chennai Mathematical Institute.)






The Hindu and Ramanujan

The report in The Hindu of March 19, 1914 on the ‘At Home’ hosted for Ramanujan before his departure to England.


he Hindu followed the mathematical career of Ramanujan in detail and highlighted his genius, especially from early 1914. The first reference occurs in a letter to the Editor titled ‘A Missing Boy’, published on September 6, 1905 in the newspaper, which was a triweekly at the time. The letter, from J. Seenivasa Raghava Ayangar, appeals for the public’s help in tracing “a Brahmin boy of the Vaishnava (Thengalai) sect, named Ramanujam, of fair complexion and aged about 18 years” who had “left his home on some misunderstanding.” The Hindu’s proprietor and Editor, S. Kasturiranga Iyengar, was an admirer of Ramanujan. He attended an ‘At Home’ for the mathematical genius in Madras on March 14, 1914, three days before he boarded the S.S. Nevasa on its leisurely voyage to England. Four years later Kasturiranga Iyengar, who was on an invited tour of Britain as part of a representative team of five Editors from India, visited Ramanujan at Cambridge. Later he recalled to Janaki Ramanujan the “tasty” pongal Ramanujan had cooked for him. The Hindu’s coverage of the significance of Ramanujan’s work continues to this day.


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Champion of compassion

IN CONVERSATION Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam talks to ANJANA RAJAN about what he is doing to make a prosperous society a caring one too



s it possible to bring about equitable and inclusive development across rural and urban India — its mindscape scarred with caste-and classbased divisions, its citizens seemingly always ready to withdraw into groups differentiated by education, language, religion, wealth — using the entrepreneurship and cooperative model? Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh offer this idea in a book just brought out by Penguin, “Target 3 Billion — PURA: Innovative Solutions towards Sustainable Development”. At his New Delhi residence, his co-author by his side, the ace nuclear scientist who turned into king of hearts when he became the President, and retains that status with millions of Indians despite having moved out of Rashtrapati Bhawan, is brimming with bonhomie and a boundless but focused energy. The book notes that “the implementation of sustainable development will be complete only when prosperity comes with peace.” That peace has its basis in love among human beings. It is an ideal image, but when untouchability, despite the laws and a constitution ratified nearly 62 years ago, is still practiced by some, how is it possible to create an environment for inclusive progress? Kalam explains, “It’s true we have a society with differences. Differences arise from (inequality of) capacity. Building capacity dissolves differences. It irons out the differences.” He begins by outlining the concept of a PURA, the acronym for Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas. Considered among his pet concepts that

came under the Ministry of Rural Development some time ago, it is however, not a government scheme that works from the top down. The former President says it is based on a study of successful social movements across the country. The book mentions his many experiences meeting social reformers, tribal leaders, members of cooperative movements, and offers these as sustainable development models. So PURA works where such leaders have already prepared the ground. “Yes, yes,” he agrees. “We are trying to gain their experience.” Such leaders, called “PURA champions,” were all invited to IIMs to share their thoughts, he says, adding that he developed the concept of PURA along with his friend, Professor Indiresan. The statistics are at his fingertips: “We have 600,000 villages, with 750 million people living in rural areas. The rest of the 300 million live in urban areas. We have 200,000 panchayats….” The prosperity of a fishing village, for example, can be increased by capacity building: providing technology (like cold chambers to increase the shelf life of the catch) and knowledge (how to process the fish, repair equipment, market the products, etc). “Warana PURA,” he refers to a case study of a PURA in Maharashtra’s Kohlapur district, “is successful because of the cooperative movement. A cooperative is successful because they have price control. Once they start earning, they think of educating their children, about health care….

Earning capacity is the leveller. Once you are independent, irrespective of what product you make, then you can play a role in society.” But as the book points out, the Warana PURA’s cooperative movement began in the 1950s under the visionary Tatyasaheb Kore. Effective leadership is vital, Singh puts in. Once there is a leadership the problematic issues tend to dissolve, he observes. However, the prevailing notion is that in India we are short of such visionaries who lead by example. The wealthy in some cases don’t even want their children to study alongside economically underprivileged students. Kalam readily recalls an incident he resolved while President, when some children in Kerala were infected with HIV, and parents of other children didn’t want them in the same school. “I brought in religious leaders to talk to them.” In this context, he mentions a mission related to PURA not outlined in the book. “We have started a movement called ‘What Can I Give?’ which has 250,000 members.” This is one of the initiatives through which he is attempting to mould society’s mindset. Launched in November, it does not require leaders but relies on individual interest. “For example they can plant trees,” says Kalam, and the scientist in him tells us how many kgs of oxygen a tree exchanges for 20 kgs of carbon dioxide. “Then, hospitals. In the evenings at hospitals you will see a crowd around the beds, but there are some beds where no one goes. I tell them to take


The Lokpal is going to punish people who are corrupt, but I am saying, we don’t want to make a big crowd there! .....................................................

VISIONING INDIA Former President APJ Abdul Kalam PHOTO: AFP some fruits and flowers and visit such people.” Another of his suggestions is to make one’s mother happy, since mothers are pillars of society. “It’s a very simple movement but it changes society.” As for the PURA mission, Singh says they have already taken six interns “who will work with us and learn from us.” While the book is meant to inspire and guide, adds Kalam, “If someone has a question they can contact me. Or they can approach any champion of a PURA.” The PURA mission also contains capitalist terminology. It

has to run as an enterprise, explain the authors. There is a chapter on the PURA corporation. “Our idea is Public-Private-Community Partnership,” says Singh. He also talks of the concept of “social stocks”. A profit-making enterprise, to bring prosperity to all with sustainability, not only requires a high level of personal integrity from everyone involved but perhaps also an absence of capitalist greed. Kalam says he has always believed where there is righteousness, whether one is an entrepreneur or in any other profession, it leads to beauty

of character. Beauty of character leads to harmony in the house; that leads to order in the nation, and thence to peace in the world, he says. “Only three people can give righteousness in the heart: Father, mother and teacher. That is why I have promoted education with value system up to the age of 17. The second thing is the Youth Brigade.” This is a programme through which he exhorts the youth to oppose their own parents if they indulge in corrupt practices. The Youth Brigade has not been formally launched like “What Can I

Give” but Kalam notes that he meets a lakh people every month and they are asked to pledge, “I will work with integrity and I will succeed with integrity”. Singh underlines the ‘Kalam effect’ when he reiterates, “What Can I Give has got a quarter of a million members in a month.” These three movements will together bring change across India, feels Kalam. “The Lokpal is going to punish people who are corrupt,” he chuckles. “But I am saying, we don’t want to make a big crowd there!”

Peerless Patil

TRIBUTE Remembering the magical screen presence of Smita Patil


mita Patil was shooting for Satyajit Ray’s, Sadgati, India’s first telefilm made for Doordarshan, in 1982. She was worried about how to emote in the last scene after the demise of her husband in the film, the role was played by Om Puri. A studious actress, she had read the original story by Munshi Premchand and the shooting script by Ray a number of times prior to facing the camera. She hesitantly asked Ray to explain her in more detail how to use her body language to emote right. A smiling Ray explained her exactly what he required and encouraged her, saying that she was at her best whilst emoting. He advised her to concentrate equally on her eyes, lips and facial veins whilst performing. There was then a total change in Smita Patil’s attitude. With the camera rolling, she was emotionally charged and gave an excellent take crying, and delivering the dialogue, “Main Janti Thi.” Cinematographer Soumendu Ray canned the shot in one take and Ray remarked, “Superb Smita.” In fact, she had to be literally shaken by two of Ray’s assistants to be brought back to normal after the shot. This wasone of the many examples of how dedicated and gifted Smita Patil was as an actress. A successful student of acting at FTII, Pune, and a news reader for Doordarshan, Smita was a Shyam Benegal discovery. She

A CLASS APART Smita Patil with co-star Amol Palekar in a film proved her worth as an actress with her first film, Mere Saath Chal, and went on to prove her amazing histrionic ability as well as versatility in films like Manthan, Nishant, Bhumika, Aakrosh and Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hain. Apart from Shyam Benegal, she became a perennial favourite with Govind Nihalani, Sayed Akhtar Mirza, Ravindra Dharmaraj and Sagar Sarhadi.

Smita was not a method actress and as dramatic as her contemporary, Shabana Azmi. She had a wider range, better screen presence. No wonder, she scored over Shabana in Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hain with certain eyebrow twitches. Similarly, in Mahesh Bhatt’s, Arth, she expressed her depressed self and outbursts without being melodramatic in any frame. Her voice, which could deliver around

ten modulations, also helped her to perform effortlessly. It is commonly believed that she was not on talking terms with Dilip Kumar during the shooting of Shakti. In her first oncamera histrionic confrontation with the iconic Dilip Kumar, she lowered her vocal octaves and spoke in one breath but with a plain tone to which Dilip Kumar reacted uniquely. After the shot, the thespian compli-

mented his junior co-star by patting her on her back and expressing a desire to work more with her. Smita was moved to tears of joy and she touched Dilip Kumar’s feet. Though she acted in commercial potboilers like Namak Halal, Anand Aur Anand and Dance Dance, she was never ideally suited for box office formula sagas. In fact, many mainstream cinema directors desperately tried to make her appear sensuous on screen. But she didn’t belong there; she was the queen of parallel and meaningful cinema. An interesting anecdote remains unknown about her while she was shooting for her first Bengali film, Aakaler Sandhane with Mrinal Sen. While giving a close-up for the film, cinematographer K.K. Mahajan requested her to look at the camera angularly. Smita gave two perfect takes, one with a right and the other with a left angle look. Mahajan was overwhelmed and asked Mrinal Sen which one to keep. Sen opted for the left angle shot and in the following shot, one instructed Smita to look down and then stare straight up. So satisfied was he with the final take that he openly confessed he never got same results from any other actress prior to Smita. Twenty five years after her tragic demise, Smita Patil is still regarded the best actress of India from mid ’70s onwards. RANJAN DAS GUPTA ...ND-ND







That degh in a lane… FOOD SPOT A little street in Chandni Chowk known for selling lining cloth gives RAHUL VERMA a plate of biryani worth returning for

T From the exhibition ‘Amazing Amazon’


t is a week when Delhi remembers our very own poet Ghalib, whose birth anniversary is being observed. A number of performances and films are dedicated to the 19th Century poet whose words have made their way into popular and high culture through films, songs, dance — Kathak in particular — and of course poetry festivals. Besides, there are some interesting exhibitions on.

26 December, Monday Dance Odissi recital by Kaori Naka from Japan, disciple of Gajendra Panda. India International Centre, 6.30 p.m. Festival As part of “Remembering Ghalib”, release of film Yadgar-eGhalib; screening of documentary Dastane-Ghalib, followed by mushaira featuring Gulzar, Baikal Utsahi, Udai Pratap Kaori Naka Singh, Javed Akhtar, etc., India Islamic Cultural Centre, 6.30 p.m. Film Screening of Kahan Kahan Se Guzare (English/133mins), a documentary on M.S. Sathyu, India Habitat Centre, 7 p.m.

27 December, Tuesday Art Vivan Sundaram’s exhibition ‘Gagawaka presents Making Strange’, running at Lalit Kala Akademi’s Rabindra Bhawan Galleries, Mandi House, closes this Tuesday at 7 p.m. The exhibition has 44 garments on display using dummies and mannequins placed within a designed installation. Mushaira Dramatised readings on birth A work by Vivan anniversary of Mirza Sundaram Ghalib. Farhat Ehsas, Sheen Kaf Nizami, Shakeel Azmi, Prof. Sheheryar, Prithipal Singh ‘Betab’, Rajesh Reddy, Munnawar Rana, Muzaffar Razmi, Bekal Utsahi. Moderated by Moin Shadab, India Habitat Centre, 7 p.m.

28 December, Wednesday Poetry and Music “Memories Of Indo-Pak Mushairas of 1950s”. Pran Nevile presents rare live recordings of recitations by eminent Urdu poets of the subcontinent like Jigar, Hafiz, Faiz, Kaifi Azmi, Sardar Jaffery, Makhdum and others followed by a musical rendition of their poetry by Rashmi Agarwal and Anjali Gopalakrishnan, India Habitat Centre, 7 p.m. Theatre As part of “Remembering Ghalib” festival, play on Ghalib Rashmi Agarwal featuring Tom Alter, India Islamic Cultural Centre, 6.30 p.m. Hungarian Film Festival, India Habitat Centre, 7 p.m.

Art Exhibitions Some of the art shows currently on view: Solo show of sculptures and drawings by Madan Lal. Creativity Art Gallery, F-213A, Lado Sarai, till Dec. 28. ‘Amazing Amazon’, exhibition of photographs of the region by Colombian photographer Nicolas Van Hemelrick. Instituto Cervantes, 48, Hanuman Road, till Dec. 31. ‘The Search’ solo art show by Kamal Mitra, The Gallery 13, M.G. Road, till Dec. 31. ‘And the falchion passed through his neck’, a group show featuring works by Anjali Bhargava, Chitra Ganesh, Samira Abbassy and others. Latitude 28, F-208, Old MB Road, Lado Sarai, till Jan. 15, 2012. ‘Confessions of an Evil Orientalist’, solo show by Waswo X. Gallery Espace, 16, New Friends Colony, till Jan. 15, 2012. Group show, ‘A4 ARPLE’, by artists like Deepak John Mathew, Madhu Venugopal, Aadhi Vishal, Abhimanue V.G. Ajaya Kumar and others. Gallery Ragini, Lado Sarai, till Jan. 30, 2012. ‘The Embodied Image’, retrospective of Krishna Reddy. IGNCA, till Jan. 21, 2012. ‘Nasik Nuances’, art works by a group of Hungarian artists. Hungarian Cultural Centre, 1-A, Janpath, till Jan. 6, 2012. Digital works of Ranbir Kaleka. Saffronart Gallery, The Oberoi Hotel, Dec. 16 to Jan. 5, 2012. Alex Davis presents ‘Dented Painted’, a tribute to the almost dying crafts of denting and painting of automotives by small roadside painters. The Aman, Lodi Road, till Feb. end.

here are not too many food places in Old Delhi that I have not visited at some point of time or the other. But I am always happy when someone tells me about some place that has somehow missed my eagle eye. So when young Faizan — he is a friend’s son who lives in Ballimaran — told me that he had spotted a biryani seller in one of the many lanes of Chandni Chowk, I was interested. For one, the chill in the air called for a hot plate of biryani. And two, it was a place that I had not been to. So soon after I heard about this, I set out for Old Delhi. Faizan had told me that the biryani seller was to be found in Kucha Rehman. The lane wasn’t difficult to locate. If you walk towards Fatehpuri with the Town Hall on your right, the first gali on the left is Kucha Rehman. It’s a long and meandering alley which leads to Ballimaran. At one point of time, the place was full of tailors, many of whom did repair work on coats and jackets. The lane used to be the wholesaler market for coat linings and other such material. Even now, there are quite a few shops selling lining cloth. I entered the lane and spotted the biryani seller some 100-odd yards down the lane on my left. It’s one shop away from a small food stall. There is another biryani seller a little ahead, but this one had a board that said it sold chicken biryani. And I wanted something else. There was no board to indicate

that I’d found my biryani seller, but the promising degh on the counter told me I was on the right track. The degh, however, was still to be opened. So I walked down the lane, inhaling the flavour of the shops and the people who dotted the gali. By the time I retraced my steps, the degh had been opened and there was a wonderful whiff of spices, meat and rice in the air. This is Babban Pahalwan’s corner. For 40 years, it was closer to Chandni Chowk, but relocated to this corner six years ago. Now it is run by Babban’s son, Faizal. A kilo of biryani, cooked with buffalo meat, is for Rs. 80. When I first started buying buff biryani, it was for Rs. 20 a kilo. But then, those were the days when onions and potatoes were not the valuable assets that they are now. But the biryani, indeed, was very good. What I liked about it was that it wasn’t greasy and had been cooked with green chillies, which gave the rice a nice and sharp taste. Because of this, you didn’t need to eat the biryani with anything like mirch ka salan or raita. The meat in the rice again was excellent; I thought it was almost as soft as veal. It had been cooked just right, too, and tended to melt in the mouth without falling apart. Babban Pahwalwan’s biryani corner is worth a second visit, which I shall do shortly. Meanwhile, I hope Faizan will continue to keep his eyes and ears open for me.


....................................................................................................................................................................................... WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BIRYANI WAS THAT IT WASN’T GREASY AND HAD BEEN COOKED WITH GREEN CHILLIES, WHICH GAVE THE RICE A NICE AND SHARP TASTE .......................................................................................................................................................................................

Get glow

Renewing lives


EVENT Women survivors of domestic violence were celebrated at the CSR’s annual affair


t the Centre for Social Research’s (CSR) annual event ‘Bring Her to Light’ held at the India Habitat Centre, survivors, who have shown immense strength and endurance in the face of unmatched oppression and violence, were celebrated. The courage and tenacity of the women survivors were deliberated upon. The CSR runs effective intervention programmes at the grassroots level to facilitate women’s education and empowerment. “It is important to celebrate the achievements of women, to support women, who challenge social structures and boundaries, and recognise the contribution of these women to women’s empowerment. ‘Bring her to light’ does just this, It is a chance to celebrate, to unite wom-

A FRESH TAKE Women narrated the tales of their struggle en and men from different communities and to look to the future with renewed positivity,”says Ranjana Kumari, Director, CSR. The CSR team has transformed the lives of many women. “It is difficult to explain the nature of violence to women, who have been oppressed all their lives. Wife beating, dowry deaths, child marriages are the norms of their lives. To explain that these are social evils is a strenuous task. It takes several counselling sessions to reach out to them,” adds Kamal

D, Counsellor, CSR, Sundar Nagar branch. Many of them are not aware of their age and their early lives were shrouded in the dark confines of domesticity. Today these women stand upright with pride and confidence. Their daughters and sisters made the atmosphere alive with music and dance. Mumtaz, a survivor was liberated from the clutches of patriarchal oppression by an aunt, who introduced her to CSR. Another survivor, Ritu too had a stark story to tell. “Today I

am free of fear. I was regularly beaten by my parents-in-law and brothers-in-law. They even tried to poison me.” The bruise marks on her body gave a glimpse of her painful past. Seema, a young jubilant girl is taking the route of education to reform her life. She is a teacher today and is engaged to a man, who is proud of her career aspirations and in-laws, who support and encourage her. (Names of the survivors have been changed) TRISHLA SINGH

eople post their 4-5 years old pictures on Facebook or other social networking sites as they want to look young and fresh”. These are the words of Allergan Managing Director Raghu Kumar who believes youth is the elixir of our times, and so everybody wants to look young forever. At a recent press meet, Kumar highlighted the point that more and more people are going for Botox and Juvederm treatment with Allergan products. “Juvederm fillers are helpful in restoring the lost facial volume in the cheeks, cheekbones and chin. They remove the wrinkles around the mouth, nose and eyes thus giving a fresh and rejuvenated look.” These fillers can be put in on any dent on the face which you do not like. Speaking to the media at the meet, well known cosmetic physician Dr. Jamuna Pai, who is on the advisory panel of Allergan, claimed that the Juvederm injectible gel is a safe and long lasting option for those trying to roll back the years. She said, “It is gaining in popularity. In the last five years we experienced a growth of nearly 40-50 per cent every year and even men are opting for this treatment to get away from the wrinkles and loose skin on their faces.” But how do wrinkles form? “Wrinkles are formed when we use our muscles to make facial expressions. When we smile or frown. When we are young, our skin springs back to its initial position after a facial expression but as we get older these wrinkles remain on the skin to form static lines. This happens because natural substances such as collagen (the major structural protein in skin), elastin ( the protein that causes tissues to stretch) and hyaluronic acid ( which gives skin volume) decrease with age.” Dr.Pai gets “12-15 patients on a daily basis from age 20 to 70 at Allergan clinics in Mumbai.” Even film stars undergo the treatment regularly. “The filler gel treatment lasts one and a half to two years. People come to get their lips, cheeks, chin and the jaw lines shaped, to smoothen the skin under the eyes for a youthful look.” She however, cautions, “It is an artistic therapy and needs to be done by an experienced medical professional.” The procedure is said to be painless and one can drive down for work immediately after getting the treatment done. “One might experience some redness and bruising after the injection which can be concealed with a little make-up or with concealers.” S.M. AAMIR


A murder and a suicide CITYSCAPE R.V. SMITH retraces the macabre New Year’s Eve of 1947


ew Year’s Eve 1947 was a macabre one as it witnessed a murder and a suicide. The body of a nurse, Winnie Francis, was found in a hotel room in New Delhi. She had been stabbed to death after being criminally assaulted. The 23-year-old was from an Anglo-Burmese family of Rangoon but worked in the Capital and stayed in a nurses’ hostel. Tall and pretty, she had become friendly with a British captain, who was still serving in the Indian Army prior to his planned departure home. Naturally, Captain Peter Jones was the first suspect and the police were trying to locate him when word came that he had shot himself in the head in a Connaught Place lane, where he had gone to withdraw money. Inquiries revealed that he had just Rs.100 left in his account and that he was not the one who committed the murder. Whether he shot himself because of grief over his beloved’s death or whether it was the shock he got when he found that he had hardly any money left and

would not be able to leave the city (and thus avoid the police) could never be ascertained. May be it was due to both reasons that he ended his life. Further investigations revealed that Winnie wanted to enjoy New Year’s Eve at a CP hotel with her boyfriend, who had booked a room for her, before going back to report to his unit. From a letter found in her bag, police learnt that Winnie had served as a nurse in World War II, during the course of which she met Peter Jones. They became very friendly and wanted to get married but the hitch was that the girl had been already engaged to a Burmese boy named John S. and her parents were keen that she wed him in the New Year. Her refusal to do so is said to have led to the murder. The police found out that after Peter Jones had left Winnie in the hotel room, she had a visitor with marked Burmese features. The young man stayed in the room for a long time, after which he left in a

hurry, saying that he was going to fetch a doctor as his fiancée had suddenly taken ill. But he never returned, instead it was the Captain who went up the stairs to see the girl. Hotel staff noticed that he too left in a hurry and thought that probably he also was on his way to seek medical aid for the incumbent of the remote top room. It was much later that the staff discovered the murder. According to the late Denzil Cacacie, who too had served in Burma during the war before joining a Barakhamba Road newspaper, the grim double tragedy was announced in St. Martin’s Church, Delhi Cantt. on New Year’s morning and a pall of gloom descended on the congregation as Capt. Jones was a member of the Church and often attended services there along with his girl friend. To make matters worse, Winnie’s kutcha grave in Paharganj cemetery was found vandalised three days after her burial. The suspect in this case too was John S. It seems he had managed to slip back into Burma through a porous border.

Meanwhile, the Captain was buried in the military cemetery at Brar Square. Whether his grave and that of his sweetheart still exist is not known. But Delhi has never seen a bloodier New Year’s Eve, though on Dec 25 in the early 1960s the suicide by an inebriated major of the Army was reported by the Statesman with the heading “Macabre Christmas

Eve drama”. The major had surprisingly also killed himself after a visit to a CP bank on December 24 where he learnt that he had gone bankrupt. Now as the Capital decks up for yet another New Year’s Eve, one cannot help wondering about how events sometimes repeat themselves, though in the second case there was no love triangle involved. ...ND-ND








Car and bike questions? We have the answers I bought my BSIV-compliant Hyundai Verna when the regulation was introduced. The dealer told me to always use premium diesel to protect the BSIV mechanism. I have driven around 27,000km using only premium diesel, but unfortunately it is no longer available where I live; only ordinary diesel is available. Will it affect the mechanics or performance of the car? K. Prabhakar

While it is advisable to use BSIVspec diesel as far as possible, the Verna diesel has been modified to run safely on BSIII and even BSII diesel. There should be no problem if you use ordinary diesel from a reputed pump. Adhering to the maintenance schedules is of paramount importance though, especially for diesel cars. I’ve heard that Audi will be launching an A4 Corporate Edition. Can we know its specifications and pricing? Mukesh Verma Yes, the Audi A4 Corporate Edition is available. It is similar to the standard A4, except it is without a sunroof, cruise control and leather seats. The driver’s seat is still electrically controlled, but the memory setting is deleted, while the front passenger seat is mechanically operated. The multi-disc music system is replaced by a single disc unit. The on-road price in Mumbai is Rs. 28.81 lakh. Which is the best fully synthetic engine oil for my VW Vento TDi? The company uses a semi-synthetic oil. Between Mobil 1 and Castrol Edge, which do you recommend? Will there be a significant difference in performance? I travel 1200km every week on the highway. Also, will VW workshop personnel find out that the engine oil has been changed? My car is still under warranty. Arun Kumar Since your Vento is still under warranty there will be an issue if you change the oil from the VWrecommended oil to a fully synthetic one. If warranty wasn’t a concern, then both brands mentioned above are reputed and good enough for the Vento. The main advantage of fully synthetic oil is longer drain periods and slight improvement in performance.VW does not recommend aftermarket oil as this may affect the warranty. VW uses Castrol Magnatec grade B-4 (5w-40) for the Vento and has a special drain plug which has to be replaced with every oil change (VW spares are not available outside workshops). Therefore, changing oil is best done at VW workshops. I want to buy a diesel hatchback that costs between Rs. 6 lakh and Rs.7 lakh. I have narrowed down my choice to Volkswagen Beat, Etios Liva and Maruti Ritz. My priorities are fuel efficiency and maintenance. I travel 25-30 km every day within the city and occasionally on highways. Santhosh For the distance you have mentioned, a petrol hatchback will be more suitable. But if you are keen to buy a diesel, you can go in for the Liva. It offers good rear space, refined drive and is quite fuel efficient too. Send your queries to

Favourable fortunes

LAUNCHPAD Toyota has equipped the updated Fortuner with a two-wheel-drive, automatic transmission. Is this the variant to buy? NIKHIL BHATIA has the details

SMOOTH RIDER The seamless build-up of power makes the Fortuner effortless to drive PHOTOS: ADITYA BEDRE


There is a redesigned centre console that now features a six-inch touch-screen which controls and displays the audio system, new DVD player and reverse camera ..................................................................................

Climb aboard this two-wheeldrive variant and the absence of the low-range gearbox is quite apparent. There is a redesigned centre console that now features a six-inch touch-screen (shared with the Corolla and new Innova) which controls

and displays the audio system, new DVD player and reverse camera. The AC vent shrouds get a nice, black wood finish, which is also carried over to the restyled steering wheel that now comes with controls for the new Bluetooth connectivity

function. Toyota has also equipped the new Fortuner with cruise control, though we feel this feature is redundant in India. The ‘Optitron’ dials also get new blue backlighting, but remain clear and easy to read as before. Fortuner drivers always had it good with a comfortable and supportive seat and excellent all-round visibility. The good news is that the inclusion of sixway power adjustment has made finding the perfect driving position much easier. But if convenience is what you are looking for, it is really the Fortuner’s automatic transmission that will win you over. The four-speed torque-converter ’box may not be cuttingedge in terms of technology but it complements the torquey 3.0-litre D4-D engine quite well. Gearshifts are smooth and the ratios are well-suited to typical city driving. The ’box is also quite responsive for the most part; yes, there is a mild hesitation to downshift but that is only apparent when you need instant power. However, mash

your foot to the floor and the transmission will execute shifts at 4250rpm, just shy of the 4750rpm redline. It must be noted that the engine does get quite noisy above 3000rpm. The Fortuner automatic does without the 4WD hardware, so there is no low-range transfer case. You can, however, slot the gearbox in ‘L’ to hold the lowest possible gear for limited offroad use. If you’re driving on tarmac, there is little to differentiate the two-wheel-drive Fortuner from its four-wheeldriven counterpart. The steering is marginally lighter and you need to be a bit more restrained with throttle inputs coming out of corners, but that’s about it. The smooth 168bhp engine remains tractable as before and the seamless build-up of power makes the Fortuner effortless to drive. Ride quality though is quite bumpy at low speeds but does even out the faster you go. This 2WD AT variant adds the convenience of automatic transmission to all that we liked about the Fortuner, including and especially its ability to

TECHNICAL DATA Price Rs 20 lakh (est. ex-showroom, Delhi) L/W/H4705/1840/1850mm Wheelbase 2750mm Ground clearance 220mm Kerb weight 1885kg Engine 4-cyls, in-line, 2982cc, turbo-diesel Installation Front, longitudinal, RWD Power 168bhp at 3600rpm Torque 35kgm at 1400-3400rpm Gearbox Four-speed automatic Fuel tank 80 litres Tyre size 265/65 R17 Brakes (f/r) Ventilated discs/drums transport seven people in reasonable comfort. The styling changes and added kit only enhance its appeal to its image-conscious, largely urban clientele. While prices were not out at the time of going to press, we expect the 2WD AT variant to cost Rs. 50,000 less than the refreshed 4WD model, also coming later in January. A two-wheel-drive MT variant will also join the line-up and will be the most affordable Fortuner on sale in India.

Street fighter In this new avatar, the Hyosung GT650N promises to be more of an everyday bike than before


YO AND ME Alexei Miller, head of Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, sits in a special rally-raid version of a Russian-designed hybrid concept car branded as "Yo" in front of the company’s headquarters in Moscow, Russia. Miller inspected a concept version that can be powered by natural gas. Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov initiated a hybrid car project



he Fortuner sells more for its macho appeal than its mud-plugging ability. A majority of Fortuner customers stay in congested cities and all the off-roading they’d subject their car through is a bit of slush during the rains so it’s easy to see why this new twowheel-drive and automatictransmission-equipped Fortuner variant is such an interesting prospect. But before we get into how the SUV drives, let’s take a look at what else is new. For starters, frontal styling gets a major revamp and the look is even more ‘ mini Land Cruiser’ than before. Taking pride of place here is the large, slatted grille that is finished in chrome and adds a fair amount of bling to the front end. The angular HID headlights are in keeping with Toyota’s international design language and also get useful washer sprays to keep clean. Adding brawn to the design is the restyled front bumper that also houses the pod-like fog lights. There are many details to lose yourself in here, but look closer and you will notice a wider intake for the intercooler on the bonnet. Other changes include a new design for the alloy wheels and a repositioning of the turn signal indicators to the rear-view mirrors. Further distinguishing the new Fortuner from the older model are the kinked tail lamps.

t first glance, the GT650N benefits from its strong street presence and the large, macho-looking motorcycle is quite a head-turner wherever you go. There’s a generous helping of dark black parts, with the lower half of the bike liberally smothered in this smart, contrasting shade including its alloy wheels, mudguards, engine bay, exposed frame and massive exhaust. The family look is shared with its sibling, the GT650R, but the N replaces the vertically stacked headlights of that sportier bike with a tapered headlight, crowned by a set of aerodynamic and petite floating instruments. This modern console is comprehensive enough, displaying all essential information including a bold tachometer. However, it lacks finesse. Likewise, the rearview mirrors show off nice form but fail to impart clear rear vision. Hyosung would also have done well to provide the GT650N with better quality palm grips, levers and switches. At present,

spite that bonus, the GT650N’s suspension and riding saddle fail to deliver adequate comfort. Ride quality feels too stiff, often allowing potholes and road undulations to attack the rider’s spine, the seat padding leaving you sore and unhappy over even reasonably long-distance rides.

Straightline stability Excellent Bridgestone tyres at both ends are standard kit, with good traction being a 650N forte. The GT650N provides good straightline stability but handling is still only average, calling upon heavier than FAMILIAR LOOK The GT650N shares its engine platform with the GT650R expected inputs. Cornering the push-to-cancel indicators eight-valve equipped cylinders 160kph mark in 12.78sec. Top delivery. Jerky throttle re- manners are up to the job, demand far too much effort to set 90 degrees apart. Compres- whack is pretty respectable sponse is often experienced at provided you stick to riding operate and also lack good feel. sion ratio is 11.5:1 and maxi- too, the 650 running out of low to mid-engine speeds and over smooth road surfaces. A voluminous, 17-litre fuel mum claimed power output at steam only over a true 200kph. vibrations build up to go beTwin hydraulic disc brakes tank with smart indents and the crankshaft is a healthy However, much of the ex- yond acceptable levels when up front and a single rear disc smoothly sculpted knee recess 72.6bhp at 9000rpm, with peak citement starts fading fast pushing this bike hard. unit combine to provide solid grooves sits over the motorcy- torque of 6.2kgm delivered at when you come to terms with All this means Hyosung has anchorage for the quick cle’s exposed-frame twin tubes. 7500rpm. the chinks in this bike’s ar- much ground to cover before it GT650N. The bike performed And a split seat lends the GT a mour. The GT650N suffers — can match any of its refined well during our brake test sporty air, providing a storage Packing a punch as does the GT650R — from a Japanese or European rivals. session to stop from 100kph in facility under the pillion. The really heavy clutch that unThe GT650N deploys a tube- 47.58 metres, and 15.73 metres, On the positive side, the comfortably impinges riding type all-steel frame spine with coming to a halt from 60kph. tail section is similar to the 650R, with a pair of large, split GT650N packs a punch mighty pleasure from almost the mo- trendy looking, adjustable upFuel economy should rank enough for even the best Indi- ment you get off the starting side-down telescopic forks in lower than crucial to GT650N grab handles. The GT650N shares its en- an roads, and you will never be blocks. The six-speed gearbox front, allied to a monoshock buyers (Rs. 4,39,000 - exgine platform with the left high and dry, asking for fails to shift with the positive and rectangle-section swing- showroom, Delhi). However, GT650R — a Hyosung V-twin, more power or performance. and light feel typical of mod- arm at the back. having put this latest Hyosung four-stroke cycle engine with Low- and mid-range grunt are ern-day motorcycles. Worse A big advantage, especially through a thorough test, we liquid cooling and a displace- impressive, as expected from a still, the GT650N is plagued by in Indian urban road condi- know that it returns 18.4kpl in ment of 647cc. It is a fuel- V-twin and the GT650N zips a really disappointing fuel-in- tions, is the more relaxed, crowded city traffic, and injected powerhouse with from 0-100kph in a scant 4.65 jection system, due to which comfortable and upright riding 27.4kpl cruising at close to still accelerating the bike idles erratically and position that is absent on the 100kph on the highway. short stroke (81.5mm x 62mm) seconds, NIKHIL BHATIA dimensions and a bank of seamlessly as it clobbers the outputs an under-par power sportier GT650R. However, de...ND-ND







Wandering in wonderland VALLORBE SANDEEP SILAS digs deep into his imagination to make sense of the city of caves



ometimes, Nature leaves you in complete wonderment. We as humans have been blessed by creative intelligence, and we like giving shape and form to thoughts and ideas. Face to face with the creations of Nature, we find only one answer to the questions that arise in the mind about the identity of their creator. It is the Creator, Himself, whose identity is known from His awesome works seen all over. Such was the feeling that gripped my mind at Vallorbe, a city of caves with unusual rock formations, columns and edges. Call them simply – they are stalactites and stalagmites, but look closely, they are humans in stone. Vallorbe has existed for thousands of years. It nestles along the banks of the Rive Orbe. The region is called the Lake Geneva Region. In the heart of the Swiss Jura near the cliffs of Mont d’Or and Dent de Vaulion mountains, exists this wonderful world of waterfalls, valleys, coloured stones and an underground river. The Limestone Caves constitute a grotto complex that is fascinating and has created a colourful exhibition of 250 minerals, popularly called “The Fairie’s Treasure Trove”. It is said that ten million years ago Switzerland was an ocean. Lime got deposited at Vallorbe. The River Orbe found for itself a subterranean bed in these limestone deposits. A mixture of intrigue and Nature’s heritage was discovered in 1961 and opened to the public in 1974. Vallorbe is located on the Swiss French border and just one hour’s drive from Geneva. Vallorbe is not a destination like we are used to – with roads, markets, museums, forts and places and confectionary marts. It is a museum of Nature instead.

Rest in peace Hidden inside a deep forest, a stream misleads you to believe that there can be nothing more to life than the peace of a jungle. A huge mountain with a tunnel opening also doesn’t let you expect much. Till you reach inside and run like ‘Alice in Wonderland’. It is cold inside and a jacket seemed comfortable. On en-

NATURE’S ART WORK The limestone caves constitute a grotto complex where stones take amazing shapes. Here are two examples: The left one looks like the mount of wisdom and the right one comes close to a symbol of pilgrimage. PHOTOS: SANDEEP SILAS trance is a pool of water, far down amidst the rocks, which appeared like a pan of shining mercury. A long tunnel leads to a room from where begins this journey into mystic imagination. The best part about this visit is to see and find shapes in stones and give them an identity from your own cultural bank in the mind. Every person looks at them differently and understands uniquely. For the Christian, some formations may appear like a Cross or the Disciples at Supper; for the Hindu, the Pandavas at one place and hundreds of Shivlingams all over. The Kailash Mansarovar here and Vishnu Kund over there. For the poet, it is the ‘Wasteland’ here and ‘the chimes’ yonder. For the painter, it is a battle formation here, the placid lakeside beyond the rock, and the ‘Triad’

in the distance. Everyone is at ease. Each one is at peace at Les Grottes de Vallorbe. I climbed up to find and discover interesting cold shapes exuding warmth from the character they had assumed. I was conscious that what I saw was here only this moment, not the next. Some snow would melt altering the shape, some vapour would condense giving birth to another form and so this natural cycle goes on and on. Timelessness, I thought. The caves and walls are lit by sensor operated lights, so that it is not dark all the time. You stand before a cave

and the lights are turned on, enough for an image to get imprinted upon the minds’ eye. One sharp edged ice shape looked like the Sword of Damocles to me. Another, a wave of the wind, yet another the swift glide of a serpent. Then one was definitely a beehive. It had hundreds of perfect bee dwellings at the bottom surface and then it rose up like a temple bell, securely fastened to the roof. The walls were moist and drips of water had left small pools on the ground. It was 10 degree Celsius inside the cave world. This was a perfect peaceful miniature world of moun-


Vallorbe is located on the Swiss-French border and just one hour’s drive from Geneva


tains, valleys, lakes and peopled by snowmen and snowwomen. No blood can be spilt in this world as all movement has been frozen by time – the snow people those live here, grow and fade away by temperature variations, with much life gone by at the same fixed location. I climb down a few steps into another area. There the cave is like a bedroom cave, a cosy and safe sleeping room. Some stalagmites are curiously shaped like the male organ and are a boast of life. Now, another looks like the ‘bell of heaven’ with thousands of thread like strings. Moving out of this maze of shapes and forms was not a pleasant thought, but all life drama has to come to an end on a note of climax. This was reserved for the end. I hear the gushing sound of wa-


Tales from Biblical Jordan

So lucky to live here

WEST ASIA Jordan shares a close connection with early Christianity

If Only They Could Talk


By James Herriot


very time you’re stuck in snarling city traffic, have you wondered what it would be like if your work took you far, far away from the madding crowd? Well, if you have, then do read James Herriot’s ‘If Only They Could Talk’ where all that the freshly minted veterinarian (young Herriot) does is rattle about in a battered old-car, from one windswept corner of the Yorkshire Dales to another. Of course, he’s only out there doing his job, as the English vet Siegfreid’s assistant — you even feel a smidgeon of sympathy for him when he delivers piglets in an appallingly cold byre or mucks about in knee-deep manure, treating cows — but you do bristle with envy when he admires, day in and out, landscapes that are straight out of paintings. Peopled with simple, hospitable souls, with appetites as big as the hills (mountains of potatoes served from washing-up bowls!) and dotted with ‘grand little pubs’, clearly the social hubs of the villages, the book turns the clock back to an uncomplicated life and time.It works because By the time you’re done with the book, you will have ‘liked’ the ‘I love Yorkshire Dales’ page on Facebook. Living in a house that looked like a ‘picture in an old book; the empty, wild garden and the tall, silent house beyond’ Herriot experiences the Dale countryside and towns (narrow passages opening into rows of uneven houses, ‘with no two alike, looking into each others windows across eight feet of cobbles’) and its traditional hospitality. But it is this excessively romantic picture that he paints with so delicate a brush that is the book’s biggest undoing. After a single reading, I decided I would never visit the Yorkshire Dales — I’d rather armchair my way around the place than see great smoking chimneys and concrete monstrosities destroy all that the author, and thanks to him we, hold so dear. And this one stays with you — and clearly makes you envious… ‘At times it seemed unfair that I should be paid for my work; for driving out in the early morning with the fields glittering under the first pale sunshine and the wisps of mist hanging on the high tops. At Skeldale House the Wisteria exploded into a riot of mauve blooms which thrust themselves through the open windows and each morning as I shaved I breathed in the heady fragrance from the long clusters dropping by the side of the mirror. Life was idyllic.’ APARNA KARTHIKEYAN

ipping a cup of the strong cardamom-flavoured Jordanian coffee, I see a poster of the Pope looking out into a vacant land covered in mist. Abdul, my guide follows my gaze and smiles. “We are going there now, on the Biblical Jordan tour,” he says. Bible and Jordan, my mind doesn’t make the connection instantly. The Romans, the Ottomans, the Nabataeans and the Bedouins — they seem to fit in easily as the images of their cities and their cultures float in and out of brochures and books. But it takes me a while to recreate the Jordan of the Old and New Testaments in my head. Abdul then mentions Moses and John the Baptist and my childhood memories from the school days are stoked. Tales and fables from the Bible, usually narrated and dramatized around Christmas flash in my mind along with names of prophets and apostles. Our tour is more about stories than just places. We drive through towns mentioned in the Bible, where Moses saw the Promised Land, where John the Baptist met Christ, where Jesus Christ gave his first sermon, where Elijah ascended to Heaven in a whirlwind on a chariot of fire, where Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt. Our tour takes us through the Jordan Valley, from where treasures and tombs have been unearthed from some of the oldest churches. The first on the agenda is a quaint town called Madaba. Our destination is the 19th century Byzantine church of St George built on the ruins of a 6th century Greek orthodox church that housed one of the biggest treasures of the ancient

SANDS OF TIME Bethany, where Christ is said to have been baptised PHOTO: LAKSHMI SHARATH

period — a mosaic of two million pieces of colourful stones that maps almost 150 sites of the Holy Land. We enter the church and kneel on the floor where the 6th century mosaic map was imprinted facing the altar. Mountains and rivers, villages and towns, imagery and mythology, with captions in Greek give you a picture of the Holy Land and the sites around it as the map stretches from Lebanon to Egypt. There is the Nile Delta, the river Jordan, the Dead Sea with fish swimming away from it, the old town of Jerusalem along with Bethlehem, Jericho, Bethany marked by millions of tiny stones that make up the entire mosaic. Madaba was destroyed in an earthquake and the floor mosaic was discov-

ered only a couple of centuries ago when the church was rebuilt. As more maps were unearthed in different churches across the city, Madaba earned its sobriquet, City of Mosaics. Local shops sell souvenirs of these mosaics, but the art lives on in showrooms and galleries where artists carefully recreate these mosaics with million pieces of colourful stones. We move on, listening to more stories and this time we head to Mount Nebo, where it is believed that Moses saw the Promised Land. We are however not so lucky. A veil of mist covers all of Jericho and Jerusalem and the hills and seas around it, as we gaze endlessly into the horizon. This was the last place where Moses halted in his flight from Egypt to

ter. Deep down from an opening, a stream emerges at great speed, creating foam balls in its movement. The elongated pear shaped pool it merges with, never ceases to amaze. This is actually the underground River Orbe. The exit opening pushed me back into the world of definite shapes. Back inside Vallorbe it was imagination at its best. Here it is imagination coloured by learning, a definite perspective, more ruled by what is commonly understood. Curiosity, once quenched, gives over to memory, to let the seen and felt, be retained in vaults and summoned to image at the drop of a thought! Vallorbe is a wonderland and you will find it more amusing when you visit as by then some more vapour would have taken a form!

the Holy Land and was buried here apparently by God himself. The Serpentine Cross lit by the evening rays of the sun stands here as a tall sculpture, a reminder of the cross where Christ was crucified. It was also a representation of the brass serpent taken by Moses into the desert on God’s orders. We take another glance at Jerusalem, but all we see is a haze of crimson. We are on the move again and pause to see the colours of sunset bathe the Dead Sea. The water and the horizon are clothed in an endless shade of pink as the sun finally sets in the ocean. At dawn we drive past the Dead Sea across the Jordan valley, to a place where God first spoke to man. It is believed that somewhere in between the river Jordan and the Tall Al-Kharrar, also known as St Elijah’s Hill, is the Biblical site referred to as Bethany beyond the Jordan where Christ was baptised. The landscape dramatically changes as the mountains and seas give way to patches of shrubs and forests on dry river beds.The remains of an old Byzantine monastery with churches and large pools of water for baptism have been excavated here. We walk through the dry landscape with patches of green and see the river, now a stream used by people for baptism. As we watch the reflections of the tall grass dancing in the waters, we see a group of people on the other bank, dipping into the holy waters. The river separates the two countries — Israel and Jordan , but as the waters flows and the people baptize with it, you realize that faith has no boundaries.


The green and blue matrix TRAVEL Guadeloupe island is a fresh and invigorating option for holidays


n the bay area of Miami a man’s statue stands, his hands outstretched to the sea. It is Christopher Columbus remembered for his spirit of discovery and love for the sea. He was the first European to set foot on the island of Guadeloupe, a large butterfly shaped island in the Eastward Caribbean Sea. A flight from Miami took us to Point e Pietre in Guadeloupe. With a name that is slightly difficult to pronounce, and at a distance that seems endless, Gaudeloupe is unknown for most of us in India. The only thing we knew about the island when we travelled was that it is an overseas French territory. The airport at Point e Pietre is well developed and much bigger than we had imagined. Winding roads, embedded in lush green

play hide and seek with the sea as they crisscross the island. Dotting the landscape were old styled French colonial houses. The ambience of the island from a car window was lazy, serene and calm. There is something mesmeric about the old world charm that drenches the island of Gaudeloupe. Boards with hotel names also appear constantly in the car window since it is a popular tourist place for the French.

A piece of India Along with exotic French names one can also find names like “Diwali hotel” and “Taj Mahal hotel”. These names come from the connection India has with these far flung islands. The first

batch of Tamil labour arrived here in 1852 and till 1883 there were regular sailings from India. Today, nearly 14 per cent of the population of the islands is of Indian descent. Despite the time and distance, India pulsates in the names of the people, the kind of cuisine that is served, and the statue of Mahatma Gandhi installed in St. Francois area of the island. There is now a memorial of the Indian Arrival situated on a farmland where the first batch of plantation workers had begun work centuries ago. Being a popular destination for people from mainland France, resorts dot the coastline. Our hotel had a beautiful garden that fell into the sea. In the morning, as I stood watching the waves, a giant iguana also came and kept me company. After initial fear, I was mesmerised by its grace and languid beauty, as it sat regally on the green carpet of grass. In 1493, Christopher Columbus had noted the Carbet falls in Guadeloupe in his

log and called the island ‘karukera’ meaning ‘island of beautiful waters’. Today, the drive to Carbet Falls goes through hills full of lush green tropical rainforests. The glistening green leaves, the myriad colours of the flora mixed with the heady smell of wet vegetation stayed much longer with me than the sight of the falls themselves. My co-traveller reminded me that the Western Ghats in India too have such beautiful vegetation! The falls are in the Guadeloupe National Park, a part of which is now designated as an international biosphere reserve by UNESCO. As we raced across the roads of the charming island, we stopped at St Anne’s beach. Families, couples and children played along the sea shore as the sun set. If you have the time you can spend the day, snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, or simply lounging in the sun. St Anne Beach is located on the south coast of the island. A small city, home to just 20,000 people, it is where one can

get a feel of the pulse of the local people. The national drink of the islands is rum and an entire culture revolves around it. As against industrial rum, the rum in Gaudeloupe is obtained by distilling the fermentation of fresh sugarcane juice. The variety, texture and flavour are many for the connoisseurs. There is a lot to do in the islands from exploring old sugarcane factories to trekking to gambling or simply eating at the various restaurants that dot the landscape. As a holiday destination it is different, fresh and invigorating. As our flight took off from Guadeloupe, I thought about Christopher Columbus. He wanted to reach India, but never did. However, his quest led him to the Americas and on the way he found islands like Guadeloupe. Dreams lead us to different destinations, what is important is to keep the spirit of enquiry alive. SADHNA SHANKER


The Hindu EPaper 26th December, 2011  

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