Culture Pg 5
Sports Pg 8
Government pulls up socks for coming fiscal year Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaran announced the union budget for the fiscal year 2013-14 on 28 February in the Parliament, amid numerous expectations from all quarters. The highly anticipated budget, which is the FM’s eighth, however, garnered a lukewarm response from the people, having introduced no drastic changes to elevate the current position of the Indian economy.
Commuters wait at a railway station as a train passes by in suburban Mumbai on 5 March 2013. The railway budget for 2013 was announced by Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in New Delhi on 26 February 2013. Ashish Vaishnav / Mumbai Weekly
Improved sex ratio in city brings ray of hope
The budget was largely regarded by the media as woman and child friendly, with special attention being given to measures addressing women’s issues. A Rs. 1,000 crore (approx. USD 2 billion) fund called the Nirbhaya fund (named after the victim of the recent gang rape incident in Delhi) was announced for the purpose of women’s empower-
ment while another Rs. 200 crore (approx. USD 37 million) were allotted to the Ministry of Women and Child Development to tackle concerns of women. Acknowledging the fact that the Indian economy is facing a challenge in the context of the global economic slowdown, the Finance Minister pegged the growth of the country for the coming financial year at 6.1-6.7%. However, the economic growth in the last quarter of the current fiscal year has dropped to an abysmal 4.5%, the lowest in a decade, according to media reports. The budget also emphasized the appropriate taxation of the affluent in the country, announcing a tax surcharge of 10% to all individuals with an income of over Rs. 1 crore (approx. USD 182,000). (Contd. on Pg 6)
Nationwide workers’ strike gains little support in the city
Students play during lunch break at a school in suburban Mumbai on 20 February 2013. News reports say that Mumbai’s sex ratio has improved and now stands at 922 girls per 1,000 males. Biplov Bhuyan / Mumbai Weekly While some may think the marginal improvement in Mumbai’s sex ratio at birth, 922 girls per 1,000 males for the year 2012, is reason enough to cheer, the fact is that the figures are still below the national average 952 girls per 1,000 males.
According to news reports, data compiled by the local civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) indicates that the sex ratio at birth for 2011 was 917 girls for 1,000 boys. Experts such as Meena
Gopal, Associate Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), believe that discrimination against the girl child continues to be an issue that plagues India. According to a national daily, she is reported to said that education and
laws were both necessary to effect a change. Data from the BMC cited in national dailies indicate that there were a total 180,000 babies born in Mumbai in 2012, of whom 92,960 were boys and 85,728 were girls. B Ward of Bhendi Ba-
zaar and Masjid Bunder recorded the best sex ratio at birth with 996 girls born per 1,000 boys, while Ward C of Pydhonie, Bhuleshwar and Sandhurt road recorded abysmal figures with 860 girls born for 1,000 boys.
Protestors sit outside a local railway station in suburban Mumbai on 20 February 2013. According to the media, a nationwide workers’ strike was called on 20 and 21 February which gained little response, save for unrest in some parts of the city. Anushree Fadnavis / Mumbai Weekly
2 PEOPLE FRIDAY, 8 MARCH, 2013
Ri si ng a gai nst t he ti de
A boy plays in the water as a physically challenged man looks on a beach off the coast of Arabian Sea in Mumbai on 16 February 2013. Debadatta Mallick / Mumbai Weekly
An afternoon nap in an unlikely place
Sherlyn joins cause for PETA
A man sleeps on a tin roof above a platform at a railway station in central Mumbai as the commuters below wait to board a train on 7 February 2013. Debadatta Mallick / Mumbai Weekly
Model Sherlyn Chopra poses for cameramen at a PETA rally in south Mumbai on 18 February 2013. The aim of the rally was to support the sterilizing of dogs so that they do not have any sexually transmitted diseases. Prashant Nair / Mumbai Weekly
Dawoodi Bohras celebrate leaderâ€™s 102nd birthday
A man belonging to the Bora Muslim Community talks to a shopkeeper near a mosque in south Mumbai during the celebrations of the 102nd birthday of their spiritual leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, who the community believes to be an earthly representative of the Imam, on 2 March 2013. Francis Mascarenhas / Mumbai Weekly
Muslim men greet each other in south Mumbai as they celebrate the 102nd birthday of their spiritual leader Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin on 2 March 2013. Francis Mascarenhas / Mumbai Weekly
3 METRO FRIDAY, 8 MARCH, 2013
Mumbai turns back on call for strike Despite a call for a nationwide workers’ strike on February 20 and 21 by trade unions across India, Mumbai lived up to its reputation of ceaselessness by continuing business as usual on both days. Incidents of unrest were reported in small pockets of the city, with two BEST buses (public transport) being pelted with stones in suburban Mumbai on the 20th morning.
workers. The only sector which reportedly suffered a blow was the financial sector, with banks, insurance companies and other commercial establishments remaining shut on the first day of the strike.
Members of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions staged a protest near a railway station in a suburb in Mumbai. Media reports claim that the protestors intended to disrupt train services by gathering on the railway tracks but were prevented from doing so by the police.
"For the first time all trade unions have come together for a two-day strike as government has not take any action to look into the problems of sky rise inflation, disinvestment in public sector units and non- implementation of labour laws," said Gurudas Dasgupta, general secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), which was also participating in the strike, in an interview to a national daily.
News reports also state that civic services in the city remained largely unaffected, recording a total 93% attendance by the
The strike was observed on a larger scale in North India, with cases of violence being reported from Noida near New Delhi.
A protestor shouts during a rally by the AITUC (a traders’ union) outside a station in suburban Mumbai on 20 February 2013. Anushree Fadnavis / Mumbai Weekly
Active kids perform better, says study
Children play cricket early in the morning at a park in central Mumbai on 20 February 2013. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly.
Rail accidents reduce in Mumbai
A man walks on the railway tracks in central Mumbai on 20 February 2013. Media reports indicate that the incidents of accidents caused by people crossing tracks has reduced. Francis Mascarehnas / Mumbai Weekly.
Mumbai to set sail to stay afloat over traffic woes In what might be an effective solution to ease traffic congestion in the city, the Water Resource Ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee has approved the construction of a 55km long passenger waterway along the Mumbai coastline. A similar setup for ferrying cargo, however, has not been approved for the time being.
People travel by a ferry boat off the coast of Versova in suburban Mumbai on 23 February 2013. Debadatta Mallick / Mumbai Weekly.
The committee has approved the setting up of six water transport terminals: at Nariman Point, Bandra, Juhu, Versova, Marve and Borivali, spanning the length of the city
from the South to the suburbs. The project proposed by Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation is estimated to cost Rs. 750 crore (approx. USD 14 billion). The transport system will require several offshore infrastructural facilities like terminal buildings and access roads and other amenities such as ticket counters, arrival and departure lounges, restaurants and shops. However, strict restrictions have been imposed by the committee in order to ensure little harm is done to the environment. For instance,
reclamation of land for the project is not allowed. Approval from the Bombay High Court will also need to be sought to cut down 1000 sq metres of mangroves to build access roads and also to ensure that the waterways do not obstruct the route of fishing vessels in the city. According to media reports, Water Resource Ministry officials claim that Mumbai will be the first of many international quality waterways in the country. Similar projects have been proposed for the states of Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, with
4 EDITORIAL FRIDAY, 8 MARCH, 2013
OPINION: Chasing a distant goal
government did not have the required funds to sponsor the teams’ trip to Brazil (this is a fact).
s an Indian citizen, it gives me great pride to stand for the national anthem whenever the Indian team lines up for a cricket match at a World Cup. But at the same time, I ask myself if I will ever get the chance to do the same at a football World Cup. It’s saddening for me to root for other foreign superpowers during major tournaments and not being able to root for my homeland, despite coming from a nation with a population of well over a billion. The one golden chance we had of participating in a World Cup was way back in 1950 in Brazil, when FIFA and the Brazilian Football Association invited India to participate in the fourth Football World Cup. But that opportunity was spurned, because most of the Indian players played barefoot, while FIFA’s rules made wearing shoes mandatory (this is a debated statement and sometimes considered a myth). Also, the Indian
In recent times, football has become increasingly popular in India, with clubs from England, Spain, and other European countries enjoying a huge following amongst youth and grownups alike. Teams like Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool have local fan clubs that organise screenings at pubs. Unfortunately the Indian domestic league doesn’t garner much interest compared to the European leagues. This is mainly because football and many other sports in India are living in the shadow of cricket. I feel ashamed when I see players like Ali Al Habsi from the tiny nation of Oman and Zesh Rehman from Pakistan playing in a top league like the English Premier League (the A youngster tries to tackle another during a local football match held in suburban Mumbai on latter doesn’t ply his bai Weekly trade in England anymore), while no Indian place between Mohun foreign clubs like and FIFA. However, proving the beautiful United, youth football is sepa- game instead goes into has ever played in the Bagan and West Ben- Manchester gal is one of the most Liverpool and Real rately administered by the development of English top flight. attended derbies in the Madrid setting up the Sports Authority of cricket or into the Our world ranking acworld (80,000 – 1, academies across the India. Since the Sports pockets of politicians. cording to FIFA is a 20,000 spectators). country. India’s most Authority is a govern- Most of the adminisdisgraceful 167 (Last celebrated footballer ment body, it does not trative posts in Indian updated on Feb The main reason for Bhaichung Bhutia has come under direct football are occupied 13th2013). What’s the this disgraceful rankalso set up football scrutiny or ruling by by politicians or their reason for our failure? ing is that there is no schools across India. FIFA. Hence, it leaves representatives. It’s definitely not lack proper management at ample space for cor- Another reason for Inof passion. India pos- the grass root level. Indian football is adruption and misman- dia’s failure in football sesses the second larg- We don’t have trained, ministered by the All agement at the grass is the poor domestic est stadium in the experienced coaches, India Football Federaroot level. In a way league setup in India. world in terms of ca- and we don’t do tion (AIFF) which is cricket is football’s Most of the teams that pacity, (Salt Lake Sta- enough to train kids at affiliated with the regreatest enemy in In- participate in the Idium: 1, 20,000). The a ripe age. Initiatives gional Asian Football dia. The money that League are mainly infeisty derby that takes are been taken with Confederation (AFC), should be spent on im-
4 March 2013. Francis Mascarenhas / Mumstitutional teams whose players work on a full time job apart from football, hence not enabling them to become professional footballers. The ILeague was established in 2007, and has come under heavy criticism for having too many foreign players playing in it, especially in attacking positions. No Indian player has won the golden boot ever since the introduction of the I-
league. Unless there is change in the way youth football is administered in India and unless there is a rise in the standards of the Indian football league the thought of watching India at a Football World Cup will forever remain a distant dream for many. The above views are personal views expressed by the author.
POINT OF VIEW: Budget 2013: Boon, bane or nothing?
A laborer works at a construction site in suburban Mumbai on 2 March 2013. The Finance Minister of India announced different proposals for infrastructure and energy sector in India while tabling the union budget. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly Prashant Nair
udgets are made for the people of the country and not the rating agencies’ remarks. But the Union
budget put forth by Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaran seems to have neither pleased the common man, nor the investment community, let alone the rating agencies. The positive
aspect of the Budget is that the Finance Minister was able to identify the three groups deserving special attention: Women, youth and the poor. The proposals relating to the setting up
of the Nirbhaya Fund for womens’ empowerment on the one hand and the public sector bank for-the-women, by -the-women and of-thewomen on the other, were big ticket state-
ments of its intent. The allocation of funds for skill development and job creation clearly indicate the Government’s efforts to reach out to the youth. Then there are the two moves that are clearly designed to tell the poor that the government is with them and not with the rich: the income tax surcharge on the superrich and the surcharge on corporate tax. Moreover, each sector was focused on, especially the small and medium enterprises, through various incentives. The additional exemption for home loans, tax credit and inflationindexed bonds is being implemented in a bid to encourage more sales of houses. For the urban areas, there are some measures that might get a thumbs up from the common man. On the flip side, however, the budget fails to offer any real relief to the common man. There is no change in the tax slabs, there is additional home loan
interest deduction but it is only for the new home loan takers and for purchase of properties below Rs. 25 lakhs. There is introduction of inflation-indexed bonds but no clear details have been given out. Prior to the budget being announced, expectations were high for some form of tax relaxation and for measures to curb inflation but they failed to be met. Surely there is a tax imposed on the super rich, but no benefit is given to the normal tax payers. Only a temporary surcharge for one year has been imposed and surprisingly only about 42,000 people fall in the category of income of more than 1 crore per annum. India’s tax to the GDP has been lopsided for a really long time now; no measures have been taken to address this issue. It is very important to bring more tax payers into the tax net but no priority has been given to it. The reintroduction of Investment allowance
and a tax break for creating new assets have been positive. Apart from that, there has been little initiative to spur growth. While the RGESS (Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme) has been liberalized to some extent with tax benefits now available for three years, it is still too cumbersome for investors to get into this scheme and the tax benefit is too small. One big issue is the lack of retail participation in equity markets or equity mutual funds. There is nothing being done to lure domestic investors into the markets either. Corporate firms have been helped by keeping both direct and indirect taxes stable. On the whole, the Union budget 2013-2014 appears to be far from radical, with the status quo in the economy being maintained to a large extent. The above views are personal views expressed by the author
5 CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT FRIDAY, 8 MARCH, 2013
A tale of two nations
Members of theatre group Rashtra Bhasha Parivar enact a scene from Toba Tek Singh, which is a stage adaptation of a short story by the same name by renowned Urdu writer Saaadat Hasan Manto at the National Centre for Performing Arts in south Mumbai on 26 February 2013. Sumedh Sawant / Mumbai Weekly
ashtra Bhasha Parivar, a theatre group from Nagpur in Maharashtra, took the audience back to the days of the Partition of India with their play Toba Tek Singh at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai on 26 February. The play was performed as a part of Zest!, which according to the NCPA website is a platform for ampus and youth theatre. Toba
Tek Singh is one of the most famous short stories of renowned Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, which revolves around Bishan Singh, who is an inmate at a Lahore asylum and hails from Toba Tek Singh, which is a district in the Punjab province of present day Pakistan. When the governments of India and Pakistan decide to exchange some Hindu, Sikh and Mus-
lim prisoners two to three years after the Partition, Bishan Singh is put on the list and sent off to India under police escort. When he realizes, however, that his hometown Toba Tek Singh has become a part of Pakistan after the Partition, he refuses to leave and lies down between the barbed wire dividing the two countries. The members of Rashtra Bhasha Parivar adapted this story
for the stage and put up a remarkable show, employing body language, costumes and effective lighting to convey the chaos and confusion that was prevalent amongst the people when the country was divided. The one act play was performed in Hindi, and is reputed to have won several multi-language and one act play competitions throughout India.
A tribute to a maestro
Members of Rashtra Bhasha Parivar perform a stage adaptation of Toba Tek Singh at the NCPA in south Mumbai on 26 February 2013. Sumedh Sawant / Mumbai Weekly
Suburban festival adds fun to the weekend
Indian Classical Music singer Shubha Mudgal performs on the occasion of the 85th birthday of celebrated sitar player Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan in suburban Mumbai on 23 February 2013. Prashant Nair / Mumbai Weekly
n the occasion of legendary sitar player Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khanâ€™s 85th birthday, vocalist Shubha Mudgal and renowned santoor player Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharmaperformed at Rang Sharda auditori-
um in suburban Mumbai on 23 February 2013. Born in 1927 in Madhya Pradesh, Halim Jaffer Khan honed his skills under the tutelage of his father Ustad Jaffer Khan, of the Indore Gharana. Padma Bhushan Ustad
Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan is best remembered for introducing new ragas like Madhyami, Chakradhun and Khosravani and familiarizing Hindustani music aficionados with carnatic ragas such as Latangi, Kirwani,
Chalanti, Sarasangi, etc. His contribution to popular films included musical compositions for Mughal-E-Aza (1960), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje (1955) andKohinoor (1960) among others.
A man dressed as the renowned comedian and actor Charlie Chaplin, looks into a mirror at the Wassup Andheri Festival in suburban Mumbai on 2 March 2013. Ashish Vaishnav / Mumbai Weekly
MW Union Budget announced, leaves many disappointed
FRIDAY, 8 MARCH, 2013
A woman walks past a branded apparel store at mall in suburban Mumbai on 7 March 2013. According to the new union budget, the cost of branded apparels is expected to go up. Anushree Fadnavis / Mumbai Weekly. (Contd. from Pg 1)
On the other hand, a tax credit of Rs. 2,000 (approx. USD 36) has been allowed for individuals with an income below Rs. 5 lakhs (approx. USD 9100). Allocation of funds for rural development has been increased by 46 percent, which has been regarded as a positive step. The current account deficit, fiscal deficit and persistent inflation in the country continue to be a cause of concern for the Finance
Contrary to predictions, the budget announced a 4.5% increase defence expenditure. On the commodities front, the wealthy in the country have been left complaining yet again, with taxes being increased on luxury goods like smart phones, Sports Utility Vehicles, imported cars, air conditioned restaurants and set top boxes for televisions. Excise duty on cigarettes has been hiked up as well.
One of the more welcome changes, however, has been the exemption of branded apparels, jute and coir textiles from excise duty. Tax slabs on the whole remained largely unchanged since the FM claimed they were introduced only last year. The union budget on the whole seemed only to disappoint, with the Sensex dropping a staggering 300 points the very day it was announced.
Right: A waiter opens a beverage for his customers at an AC restaurant in suburban Mumbai on 6 March 2013. According to media reports, taxes for AC restaurants have been increased in the budget. Mithila Joshi / Mumbai Weekly
Above: Farmers work at a spring onion farm in suburban Mumbai on 6 March 2013. The newly introduced union budget announced by the Indian Finance Minister indicates that there will be an increase of 46 per cent in the funds allocated for rural development in the country. Ashish Vaishnav / Mumbai Weekly Right: A man poses in front on a Ferrari while another takes a picture of him in south Mumbai on 24th February 2013. According to media reports, taxes for luxury good like imported cars, SUVs, and high end mobile phones have been increased. Anushree Fadnavis / Mumbai Weekly
7 SPORTS FEATURE
FRIDAY, 8 1 MARCH, 2013
Muscle men show off brawn at local body building championship
Participants pose at the Hardcore Shree 2013 Bodybuilding Championship in suburban Mumbai on 17 February 2013. The competition saw men between the ages of 18 to 40 years competing the championship title. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly
gripada, Santacruz (West), a small neighborhood in suburban Mumbai, hosted the third annual district-level bodybuilding competition on 17 February 2013. Residents were up till the late hours of the night, cheering as 77 bodybuilders flexed their muscles while the audience hooted and cheered them on. Participants from all over Mumbai had come to compete in different rounds based on their weight categories, ranging from 55 to 85 kgs.
Spectators look on as a participant prepares himself for the Hardcore Shree 2013 Bodybuilding Championship in suburban Mumbai on 17 February 2013. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly
Above: Children peek through a tent to watch the particiants at the Hardcore Shree 2013 Bodybuilding Championship in suburban Mumbai on 17 February 2013. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly Right: Participants prepare themselves for the Hardcore Shree 2013 bodybuilding championship in suburban Mumbai on 17 February 2013. Jayshree Kewalramani / Mumbai Weekly
Men, between the ages of 18 to 40 years, battled it out as the judges scored each of them on the symmetry and proportion of their muscles. Sagar Maali, the overall winner at Hard-
core Shree 2013 took home the trophy and prize money of Rs 25,000 (US $455), while the audience favorite and winner of the â€˜Best Poserâ€™ award Mahendra Desai won a mere Rs. 3,000 (US $ 54) with the audience adding another Rs. 5,000 (US $91) to his winnings. For most bodybuilders competing at the event, it is not so much a matter of winning the prize money (which is a meager amount anyway) that inspires them to train rigorously for what is a rather an expensive sport. In the absence of sponsorships, it is adulation and the possibility of glory at more prestigious competitions that draws bodybuilders to the sport.
FRIDAY, 8 MARCH, 2013
University Cricket Championship kicks off in Mumbai
he Toyota University Cricket Championship got off to a flying start with guests of honour, Shah Rukh Khan and Rahul Dravid both pledging their full support towards the growth and development of sports in India. This was followed by a performance by a dance troupe along with Music composers, Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy.
Shashank Singh and Pankaj Jaiswal fought back to make a fighting score of 182/8. Team Delhi, looked like it was heading to an easy victory at 155/2, but Mumbai had something else in mind. Delhi gave the crowds the nerves when they lost 3 wickets for 3 runs during the 18th over. In the end it was the visitors that reigned supreme The first match saw Del- in the cliff-hanger of a hiâ€™s Jamia Millia Univer- game, going down to the sity take on hosts Mum- second last ball, and sucbai University. Delhi won cessfully chasing down the toss and put in Mum- the target. bai to bat. Mumbai got Captain Parveen Yadav off to a shaky start, losing top scored for Delhi with both their openers cheap- a quick fire 67 off 36 ly, and were languishing balls, and also picked up at 16-2. However, the man of the match. Left: Wicketkeeper, Sumit Ghadigaonkar of the Western Wolves (Mumbai) team reacts as Parveen Yadav of Kent Ro Northern Stars (Delhi) is bowled at the inaugural match of the University Cricket Championship in south Mumbai on 26 February 2013. Ashish Vaishnav / Mumbai Weekly
Above: Sajid Jamali (right) of the Kent Ro Northern Stars (Delhi) slides in to the crease as wicketkeeper Sumit Ghadigaonkar (left) of the Western Wolves (Mumbai) team attempts to take his wicket in south Mumbai on 26 February 2013. Francis Mascarenhas / Right: Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan (centre, in grey coat) and former Indian cricketer, Rahul Dravid (right, in white shirt) celebrate the inauguration of the University Cricket Championship in south Mumbai on 26 February 2013. Francis Mascarenhas / Mumbai Weekly
Under 14 Basketball championship in suburban Mumbai
Wheelies, burning rubber and racing action at the KTM Orange Day
A player tries to catch the ball during the under 14 interschool basketball tournament match in suburban Mumbai on 21 February 2013. Francis Mascarenhas / Mumbai Weekly
A participant takes a turn during a racing event of the KTM Orange Day that was held in suburban Mumbai on 24 February 2013. The event saw various biking stunts and a racing competition which attracted a number of bike enthusiasts. Biplov Bhuyan / Mumbai Weekly
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