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Osmania Courier Bimonthly lab newspaper | Published by the Department of Communication & Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad | RNI No. 8132/62 | Vol. LX No. 1 | 7 May 2014 | Pages 8 | Rs. 4

STUDENTS ANXIOUS AS bñ~ã=ÇÉä~óë=áêâ ÑçêÉáÖå=ëíìÇÉåíë D-DAY DRAWS NEAR Hima Bindu Duggirala

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G. Omprakash Reddy

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ay 16 will decide the political future of at least a dozen student leaders from Osmania University when the results to the first Assembly of the newly born Telangana State are announced. Shaped by the decade-long agitation for Telangana, the student leaders now want to play a role in the “reconstruction of Telangana”. As this election marks the transition to a full statehood, the former partners in agitation say they now want to be a part of the process of legislation. As many as 12 students from the University are now in the fray. Among them, three are standing for Parliament. Barla Mallesh Yadav is contesting from Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat against Ponnam Prabhakar (INC) and CH Vidyasagar Rao (BJP), while Balka Suman is testing his luck from Peddapalle (SC) against sitting MP G. Vivekanand (INC). Vattikuti Rama Rao Goud has chosen to fight from Malkajgiri against Jayaprakash Narayan (Lok Satta), Malla Reddy (BJP-TDP), and Sarve Satyanarayana (INC). Incidentally, Osmania University Professor and MLC K. Nageshwar is also contesting for the same seat. Meanwhile, eight students are contesting various Assembly seats, a few of them as candidates of various parties and the rest as independents. Bandaru Veerababu is up against Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka of Congress for Madhira (SC) Assembly seat; Pidamarthi Ravi is fighting from Sattupalli (SC) seat,

IN THE FRAY: (From left) Balka Suman, Vattikuti Rama Rao Goud, Pidamarthi Ravi, Gadari Kishore Kumar, Sanjeev Velpula, Naliganti Sharath Babu and Kandula Madhu. while Gadari Kishore Kumar is the TRS candidate from Tungaturty (SC) constituency against Addanki Dayakar (INC). Sanjeev Velpula is contesting from Husnabad, Deshagani Sambaiah from Uppal against Lakshma Reddy (INC), Rajaram Dodolla from Armoor, Bandaru Veerababu from Madhira (SC) and Naliganti Sharath Babu from Amberpet on an AIMIM ticket against G. Kishan Reddy of BJP and V. Hanumantha Rao of Congress. Finally, Kandula Madhu is testing his luck from Kodad against Padmavathi Reddy (INC) and Kanmanth Reddy Sashidhar Reddy (TRS). Constesting students say

that neither the formation nor the reconstruction of Telangana has any meaning without the participation of students. While the candidates were busy campaigning in their respective constituencies, other students back in the campus tended to assess the winning chances of a majority of them as somewhat grim, attributing this mainly to their empty pockets. And, even for the students who got tickets from established political parties, it was thought to be an uphill task because the constituencies are perceived as strongholds of other candidates. However, a few days after

the polling, the expectation among students is that at least three to four students would win, banking on a perceived ‘wave’ in favour of TRS. Among the favourites are Pidamarthi Ravi, who is fighting on a TRS ticket from Sattupalli in Khammam district; Gadari Kishore Kumar from Tungaturty and Balka Suman from Peddapally Lok Sabha seat, though Vivek is still seen as a strong candidate in the last constituency. Two other prominent names from the campus, Manne Krishank and Daruvu Yellanna, were listed in the Congress’ first list of Assembly contestants, but were denied the tickets later.

epeated postponement of PG semester exams has put a frown on the faces of international students in Osmania University, with their travel plans turned upside down. The campus has about 4,000 students hailing from 84 countries, mostly from West Asia, Africa, and China. Every time the exams are put off for one reason or the other, the students suffer financial loss and stress. Tumisang Badubi, who hails from Botswana and is pursuing her Masters in Communication and Journalism (MCJ), said, “We were supposed to have our exams in April itself. And I had planned accordingly and bought the air ticket. It had to be rescheduled three times already. Every time there is a postponement, I have to pay a lot of money. My parents are worried about me. They don’t understand why I can’t come home, although I'm trying to explain.” Another student worries about the consequences for her accommodation. Arina Amjadian, who hails from Iran, said: “The rental contract of the place where I stay ends in May. With our exams starting from May 19, this has become an unnecessary headache.” According to Adam Sawab, a Yemeni student, a large group of OU students from his country had all booked their tickets home by a single flight, which when cancelled, led to an entire plane being emptied. Many local students are also disappointed with the trend. Ch. Dilleshwer, a day scholar from the Department of Applied Statistics, told Osmania Courier, “Students lose interest in preparation if this keeps happening and it's nothing but a total waste of time especially for people who are working.” A boarder from the same department, K. Mounika, said, “Frequent postponement of exams not only makes students lazy but they

tÜó=åçí=~å=lëã~åá~=pÅÜççä=çÑ=^êí\ Haritha Busarapu Fine art is knowledge made visible. — Anonymous.

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rts are a means of creative expression. They do not just convey a message but also nurture the aesthetic sense within. This idea of arts enriching the human life has led to the creation of fine arts schools across the world. Rabindranath Tagore’s pioneering institution of Viswa Bharati had Kalabhavan, which is considered the cradle of Indian modernity in art. Osmania University has a heritage of 96 years, a ‘University with Potential for Excellence’ status, and offers subjects from Archaeology to Molecular Biology. Above all, the University is so alive with socio-political consciousness

that anything happening in the outside world finds a resonance here. In this setting, art can thrive and help in finding new ways of thought and expression. Some of the affiliated colleges within OU do have courses in Fine Arts. For instance, Sri Venkateshwara College of Fine Arts offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts course, and Nizam College offers a course in Theatre Arts. But in OU campus itself, a Fine Arts Department is being sorely missed. “It is certainly a good idea. It is a pity that Osmania University does not have a Fine Arts Department. Being one of the oldest universities in the region, it will be a good idea to encourage that discipline as well,” said Prof. Padmaja Shaw, professor,

Department of Communication & Journalism. Prof. C. Ganesh from the Department of Sociology said, “Establishment of a fine arts department would bring back the charm that the University had when we were students. In the 1990s, there used to be a music club, singing and

dancing programmes and people used to learn music and dance. We really had a good time but the scenario has changed now and the culture is gone.” According to Prof. K. Lakshmi, senior faculty member, Department of Political Science, fine arts are useful in

bringing out creativity in people and in personality development. She said social problems could be dealt with, with the help of these arts. Awareness could be created more effectively on issues like how to cast your vote, HIV/AIDS and gender equality through street play and role play. Concurring with Prof. Lakshmi, Prof. Surya Dhananjaya from the Department of Telugu said: “This idea would also give a new lease of life to traditional art forms like Janapadas, Yakshaganam, Oggukatha, and Harikatha, which are becoming extinct. The talk has always been there but the idea should be strengthened, and yes, there has to be Fine Arts Department.” V-C responds: Page 3

A LONG TALE

1. Semester exams originally scheduled for April 15. 2. First postponed to April 25 due to local elections. 3. With general elections set for April 30, exams were again put off till May 3. 4. Now, as per EC orders, exams postponed to May 19 lose interest and can’t put the same effort for exams. Schedules of some students who are preparing for competitive exams also will be disturbed.” Prof. Mallesh Sankasala, Prinicipal, Arts College, OU, said that the reason behind the latest postponement is an order from the Election Commission. “It's not Osmania University alone that had its academic schedule postponed but every State University,” he said, adding that as far as possible he made sure that the exams were held in time in Arts College even when other colleges could not do so. Speaking to Osmania Courier, Prof. B. Satyanarayana Reddy, Additional Controller of Examinations (PG), said that this year’s postponement was strictly because of General Elections unlike last year, when the postponement had happened because of student demands. “We have recieved orders in the form of a letter (Govt. lettter No. 3075/ Elec.F//2014-1) from the Election Commission to schedule all the State University exams after May 18, keeping in view the General Elections to Parliament and the state Assembly,” he said. With regard to the hassle foreign students on campus are facing, Mr. Reddy said, “When in Rome, be a Roman.” He noted with a smile that that’s how the system works. He also assured students that there would be no more postponements.

IN

THIS I SSUE

Cricket: Nizams beat MCJs ... Page 2

New spider species found ... Page 3

 Death Penalty Pros and Cons ... Page 4

Meet the budding citizens ... Page 5

 Bookaholics’ favourites ... Page 6  Creative works thru our eyes ... Page 7

Assorted fare and a farewell ... Page 8 


Campus _ìòò

O OSMANIA COURIER Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India. No. 8132/62 Reported and edited by the students of the Department of Communication and Journalism, Osmania University. Published bimonthly except during vacation. News and views expressed in the journal do not neccessarily represent the official view of the University. Editorial Trainees G. Omprakash Reddy, Hima Bindu Duggirala, Haritha Busarapu, Shaikh Chand Ahmed, Sneha Verghese, Ratan Naga Deepika, Bhargavi Poladi, Palaparthi Srividya, P. Sandeep Kumar, Yasir Muhammed N.V., Rajesh Ramadugu, Tumisang Badubi, Humaira Sidiqi, Marzieh Siahooie Rostami, Adam Sawab, Arina Amjadian, Lobar Khonqulova, Mounika Gajula, and Esalavath Nagaraju. Editor Prof. B. Balaswamy Head, Department of Communication and Journalism. Associate Editor Prof. K. Stevenson Assistant Editor B. Ramakrishna

Hima Bindu Duggirala

Why are students lukewarm?

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ith bright lights flashing on stage on one side and brighter smiles of the University's faculty members on the other, the 27th of March has left its impressions on the sands of Osmania history. This was the very first Annual Day event to be held after Telangana was announced, and so the event took off with a ‘T’ touch. Faculty members performed the act of ‘Bathukamma’, syncing their footsteps with that of their clapping hands, around colourful stacks of garlands. This welcome act of joy was headed by Prof. Surya Dhananjaya from Telugu department. Following in their gurus’ footsteps, students lined up a series of cultural performances, which included both solo and duet dance that drew endless whistles, as well as song performances. Among the highlights were an Ekapaatra Abhinayam of Rani Rudrama Devi by Jyothi. MCJ students’ skit titled 'The Magical Water' also received good response. Prof. S. Mallesh, Principal, Arts College, announced the receipt of a grant of Rs. 1 crore to

Shaikh Chand Ahmed

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Jyothi (M.A. Telugu) dons the avatar of Rani Rudrama and (below) Diya Ganguli performs to a film song. Photos: Taher Hussain the College of Arts and Social Sciences for research purposes and for a campus-wide free WiFi. He also congratulated all the students who were successful in securing government jobs through competitive exams with the help of Equal Opportunities Cell in the College. The chief guest invited was Prof. S. Satyanarayana, Vice Chancellor, OU, and the guests of honour were Dr. R. S. Praveen (IAS), N. Balram Nayak (IRS), and well-known poet and folk singer, Goreti Venkanna.

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Hima Bindu Duggirala

4. Editor: Prof. B. Balaswamy 5. Names and addresses of individuals, partners and shareholders holding more than one percent of the total capital: Osmania University, Hyderabad - 500 007 I hereby declare that the particulars given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. - Editor

Please send your feedback on this issue to: courier.ou@gmail.com

Another question was, ‘What is more necessary for he steam from the tea a country like India -- An cup wafted into the afidea or a leader?’ Alter said ternoon air, and so did a sethat good leaders with innories of subjects that form the vative ideas are the key to cornerstone of the current the progress of the nation. election scene in the counAnd that the absence of one try: topics like reservation, can render the entire system politics and corruption, and decrepit. how a simple weapon called Alter reminisced about a ‘vote’ can bring about reprivate college in Punjab he markable changes in the had visited for a lecture, and system. the observations On March 15, a he drew from his pre-election panel experience were discussion called painful. The en‘Chunaavi Chai tire college had Aam Chunav ki Asli the plush decor Chuski’ brought of a five star people and ideas hotel, but just into the open air in outside the the grassy backpremises lay a yard of Arts Col- Tom Alter neglected slum. lege, Osmania He talked University. about the importance of Over a cup of tea, veteran youth empowerment and Bollywood actor and theatre bringing in them the awareartiste, Tom Alter, played ness of the power of vote. By host to a session that saw a the end, it was NOTA that stream of thoughts from a became the prime topic. diverse group of people, Tom said that NOTA would which included journalists, threaten the political parties students and faculty memin case any candidate is debers. barred because of it, and When someone said, also that if NOTA becomes “Politicians are good actors. efficient enough, it would And somehow ironically, ac- help the best candidates to tors are joining politics,” he come up. benignly replied that good The panel members inintentions are what matcluded S. Nagesh Kumar, tered at the end of the day. Resident Editor, The Hindu, “It is good intentions Hyderabad; Prof. Mallesh which people want, and Sankasala, Principal, Arts which will benefit the nation College, OU; Prof. Padmaja at large. And as far as some- Shaw, Dept. of Journalism; one has good intentions, irManne Krishank, spokesperrespective of them coming son, OUJAC and several vetfrom the film fraternity or erans of the 1969 Telangana any other platform, things agitation. The event was orwill be fine,” he said. ganised by Sahara Samay.

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The following is the statement about ownership and other particulars about Osmania Courier as required under the Registration of Newspaper (Central Rules) 1956.

3. Printer: Director, University Press & Publications, OU.

t was quite surprising for many to see that there was a huge audience but participation in the events was limited only to a few students from a few departments. One could count the number of the participating departments on ones fingertips. Osmania University is known for its vibrant culture and its diversity. Also wellknown is the tough competition in admissions. But after getting the admission, where have the students vanished? One PG student of Arts College says that students feel shy to take part in the cultural activities but also suggests they may also lack confidence and interest. Another student says that the speeches take a lot of time on the Annual Day, leading to a delay in starting the event. As a result, many performances that were supposed to take place did not actually happen.

An international student says that the reason could be that most of the students are busy preparing for competitive examinations. Prof. Surya Dhananjaya says she too has noticed dwindling interest among students when it comes to extra-curricular activities. It could be because of poverty, stress, stage-fright, etc. She says that these activities help shape the students’ personalities, and advises students to take part in any area of their interest especially at this age, because it is precious and would not come back. Y. Saidulu, research scholar, Department of Telugu, says, “The name ‘Arts College’ itself has ‘arts’ in it. But sadly, bagging a job has become the ultimate aim, for any student, today. If one can utilise the existing opportunities here, one could sail on the waters of ‘arts’ on both national and international levels.”

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Statement about Ownership

2. Periodicity of publication: Bimonthly (except during vacation)

7 May 2014

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Form IV 1. Place of publication: Department of Communication and Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabd - 500007

Osmania Courier

Haritha Busarapu

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ricket has been an all-time favourite sport of Indians and when it comes to Hyderabadi youngsters, there is no describing their love for it. Now if this game of passion is played between the Osmania Nawabs and the Nizams, then it's a promise of great fun, and it has been so on March 10 at 'A' ground on the campus. The match between Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) students of Osmania University and History students of Nizam College was just a 15over one but had as many twists and turns. Since both the teams had players with good potential, the match raised a lot of expectation. The Osmania team, led by captain Vijay, won the toss and elected to bat. The MCJ team entered the match as the hot favourite but made a slack beginning, losing two wickets in the first four overs. These were the crucial wickets of Jampala Rajesh and Uday. The bowling line-up of Nizams was tight enough and had made early dents. The first innings took a turn during the partnership of Omprakash and Ravi who piled up

runs at a steady pace with pretty good shots. But, after Ravi’s exit the Osmanians struggled to put up a respectable 105 runs in the stipulated 15 overs. Nizams then picked up the bat to chase the target. They also made a slow start but picked up pace. The opening batsmen were in good form and tackled the Osmania bowlers, who were doing a fine job. Fayaz, Rajesh, Vijayender and Omprakash were the star bowlers of the match. Initially, Osmanians were expected to win but the Nizam

College batsmen turned around the trend, scoring consistently. The MCJ team was lagging far behind in fielding business, with lots of mis-fielding. This became an advantage to the opposite team. The final over turned out to be a crucial one, when the MCJs could have won the match had they played carefully. But Nizam College capitalised on the mis-fielding again and pocketed the match. The match was altogether a blend of excitement, unpredictable twists and turns.

MCJ team members and spectators cheer from the gallery


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Osmania Courier 7 May 2014

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A national recognition

Transparency lacking with regard to the finances of political parties Hima Bindu Duggirala

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Prof. K. Ramakrishna, Department of History, Osmania University, receives the National Service Scheme (NSS) award and citation from President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi

KKKlëã~åá~=pÅÜççä=çÑ=^êí Continued from Page 1 Narrating his experience, Prof. Lingappa Gonal, Head, Department of Kannada, said: “It is disappointing not to have a Department of Fine Arts in OU. At the time of admission notification, people here and in Karnataka keep asking me if there is any course in architecture, painting and other courses that come under fine arts. It feels very inferior to say ‘no’.” He said a historic University like Osmania should have a department for fine arts. “Students here are talented and will definitely

show interest in Arts. I will be very happy if the authorities respond and establish a separate Fine Arts Department at least by next year,” he told Courier. Yedavalli Saidulu, a research scholar from the Department of Telugu, said: “Students from a rural background will surely excel if such an opportunity is created. They are usually sharp and dedicated but do not have encouragement and proper platforms. If there is a Fine Arts Department in OU, students will definitely use the opportunity and reach national and international level standards.”

Responding to the near universal support for the establishment of a Fine Arts Department, University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. S. Satyanarayana, said he was “positive” towards the idea. The V-C told Osmania Courier: “It is true that we should have a Fine Arts Department in the University. If Professors and students come up with a proposal, we can approach the government for funding because our own finances would not be sufficient. Once the funds are ready, we shall surely establish a Fine Arts Department in the University.”

very political party should be under the purview of Right to Information Act and every elected representative should be recognised as a public authority, said Prof. Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu, member, Central Information Commission. In a special lecture on ‘Elections, Media and RTI’, organised by the Department of Communication and Journalism recently, he said the elected representatives should be accountable to all voters across the country and RTI should be used as an instrument to achieve this. He also suggested some electoral reforms to achieve accountability and transparency in governance. “Election Commission can only recognise and register a party but has no power to deregister it,” he noted, and suggested an amendment to the Representation of People Act, 1951, to provide EC with this power. Explaining the need for such a change, he said that there was a need for transparency with regard to the source(s) of funds of political parties. The parties have a strong vested interest in holding back information about their finances. They are also taking advantage of tax exemptions and other provisions that help them in changing their uncountable black money into white, he pointed out. “Donations less than 20,000 don't have to be disclosed. Corpo-

Snippets Ñêçã=Science WILDLIFE BIOLOGY

New species of spider found on OU campus

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new species of spider, Hersilia Aadi, has been discovered in Osmania University. The specific epithet is an apt one, having been taken from the Sanskrit word ‘aadi’, meaning ‘first’. The specimens were collected on the bark of the Azadirachta Indica (Neem) and Polyalthia Cerasoides (Benth & Hook) trees in the Osmania University campus (17025’N & 78031’E), Hyderabad. The species belongs to the genus Hersilia Audouin and family, Hersiliidae Thorell. The special characteristics of the conspicuously long-legged, medium-sized spiders include extremely long posterior lateral spinnerets. The hersilid spiders are commonly found on tree trunks and are known as bark spiders or twotailed spiders. They are easily recognised by their long, stretched legs, raised clypeus and bi-articulation of legs I, II and IV. The discovery was made by G.B. Pravalikha and team, Department of Zoology, Osmania University. The specimens are deposited in Natural History Museum, Hyderabad.

TECHNOLOGY

Telugu Text-to-Speech on mobile platforms

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he Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology has been adopted as a mainstream technology in telecommunications and has widened the human-computer interaction. It is

based on speech synthesis, which is the process of converting text in any language into speech, and needs two important things – naturalness of the tone and comprehensibility. Dr. Y. Padma Sai, Safia Shaik and V. Priyanka Brahmaiah (VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering & Technology) developed a Telugu Textto-Speech conversion technology. Their application works by storing the speech files and playing the saved audio files that correspond to a keyed-in word. The authors said they paid attention to matching of the rhythm, pronunciation and segmental duration. Based on a mobile device beagle board, OMAP3530 platform, the technology could be of use for the visually impaired and the illiterate, apart from other applications.

PHARMACOLOGY

Black grapes reduce effects of Cadmium

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admium is a rare element that either occurs in ores along with some other minerals or is emitted into the air through volcanic eruptions. It is also a major environmental pollutant and is known for its wide toxic manifestations including tissue damage. Dr. B.V.S. Lakshmi, M. Sudhakar and M. Aparna (Malla Reddy College of Pharmacy) carried out a study on ways to reduce the toxic effects of cadmium on rats. They administered extracts of black grapes to test animals exposed to cadmium, and found that this has restored anti-oxidant defence in liver along with an improvement in other parameters. The researchers suggest that black

grapes are similarly beneficial in eliminating the toxic effects caused by cadmium in human as well as animal tissue.

Central Information Commission member Prof. Madabhushi Sridhar (right) addresses the students. At left, Prof. K. Stevenson is a picture of concentration. Photo: Taher Hussain

rate houses can donate five per cent of their profits to a political party and enjoy tax exemptions. The new Companies Act also has provisions for protecting the same,” he said. But for the Right to Information Act, political parties also have no regulations under Societies Act 1960 or Representation of People's Act, 1951, he said. Only through RTI can a person know about the financial resources of any political party. Referring to the media, he said that, like newspapers, television channels should also disclose the credentials of its owners and the

list of its shareholders to improve the transparency. This would give viewers an idea of the corporate interests driving the media priorities. Earlier, Prof. K. Stevenson, Professor, Department of Communication & Journalism, said media organisations have openly aligned with various political parties in the current election, partly due to their ownership pattern. Observing that unaccounted cash was helping the channels, he said the financing of political parties and governance has to be seriously debated.

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EPIDEMIOLOGY

No difference seen from nutrition support

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utrition support as part of Integrated Child Development Scheme that was provided to children in 15 test villages (called the 'intervention group') does not seem to have much effect on their lean body mass (LBM) and grip strength in adulthood. This was in comparison to a control group that did not receive the benefits. The study was conducted by Bharati Kulkarni and team from National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, as part of Andhra Pradesh Children and Parents Study (APCAPS). The study could not detect a programming effect of early nutrition supplementation on adult LBM and muscle strength. Multivariable regression analyses showed that current socioeconomic position, energy intake, and physical activity level had a positive association with adult LBM and muscle strength. Muscle mass, a major component of lean body mass, is important for insulin-stimulated plasma glucose uptake and has an independent association with insulin sensitivity. Functional competence of muscle tissue is indicative of improved general health and is associated with a decreased risk of chronic disorders and premature deaths. The study was established to assess the long-term impact of nutrition

Industrial effluents in Iskavagu in Patancheru

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he increasing amount of heavy metals in groundwater is becoming a major concern due to its adverse affect on human physiology. Some of these metals in high doses, especially in industrial areas, are known to cause cancer and kidney failure. In a recent study, Mushtaq Hussain (Deccan College of Engineering & Technology) and TVD Prasad Rao (PG College, Osmania University) carried out a multivariate analysis of groundwater in the vicinity of Bollaram and Patancheru to find the distribution

supplementation provided through a government programme. The initial trial was conducted in 29 villages near Hyderabad, during 1987–1990 and the second follow-up study was carried

and sources of heavy metals. The authors found that the surface water body pollution has increased over the past 15 years due to the high discharge of the effluents that adversely affect the quality of ground water in the study area. The study suggests that regular monitoring of the ground water quality be undertaken to identify various sources of toxic pollutants and other inhibitory chemicals which affect water bodies around industrial areas.

out between January 2009 and December 2010. Hima Bindu Duggirala


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n an angry outburst recently, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal lashed out at the media, saying it had been ‘bought’ with ‘large amounts’ of money to promote Narendra Modi, writes Sneha Verghese

He also warned that media wallahs would be thrown into jail as soon as he comes to power. It ruffled quite a few feathers (including his own, as seen from his denial later) and was met with outrage from all other parties alike. Kejriwal has good reasons to worry about media coverage. Reporting in newspapers and TV channels may seem innocuous to the common man, but the agenda underlying it can plant ideas for / against a particular party / parties in the voter's subconscious mind, and influence his / her decision. Are the decisions regarding coverage made independently by the media organisations? There are of course cases of “paid news,” but going beyond that, is there an unholy nexus between media and political power? The background of some of the head honchos and ownership details of media houses may offer a clue. Rajat Sharma’s India TV,

started as “a news channel providing accurate news and people's news with the motto of responsible reporting” passes up no opportunity to support BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi. Rajat Sharma’s links to the BJP, as a leader of its student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad seem to influence news content on India TV. Modi’s much-hyped interview on “Aap ki Adalat” focussed on promoting the “Ab ki Baar, Modi Sarkar” slogan more than anything else. Following the telecast of the interview, editorial director of India TV Qamar Naqvi resigned alleging that the entire interview was scripted. (The Indian Express, April 15, 2014) The only other interview that Modi has given so far (April 20) is to Madhu Purnima Kishwar, author of “Modinama” (which criticises the media for victimising Modi as the master-mind of the Gujarat violence in 2002) and founder-editor of the jour-

nal Manushi. Kishwar is a selfconfessed fan of Modi. Thus, there is no doubt about the slant taken in both these interviews. NDTV may conduct opinion polls and project the “Modi wave” that is supposed to be present over the country, but it fails to inform viewers that BJP

is also the party that has the highest number of candidates with a criminal background contesting Lok Sabha polls – 39 per cent – involved in serious crimes like rape and murder. However, some of its journalists like Sonia Singh and Nidhi Razdan are related to Congress party men, and

this may also influences their slant. The Congress Party is not far behind when it comes to link ups with the media. Shobhana Bhartiya, owner and editorial director of the Hindustan Times, is a Rajya Sabha member from Congress Party. No doubt as to where her loyalties lie. News24, a Hindi news channel, is owned by ex-journalist Rajeev Shukla, a Congress MP and now Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Planning. IBN Lokmat is owned by the Darda brothers, one of whom is a Congress MP and the other a Congress MLA. Records of the Registrar of Companies (ROC) show that Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communication and Information Technology, has a stake in Tehelka. The CPI (M), meanwhile, holds sway through its dailies and fortnightlies published in Assamese, Oriya, Bengali, Malayalam, Punjabi, Kannada, Marathi, and Gujarati. The People’s Democracy in English, and the Lok Lehar in Hindi are under its thumb and the Deshabhimani in Kerala spreading Communist ideologies is a strong competitor for the Malayala Manorama that backs the Congress party. Closer home, Jagan Mohan Reddy of Yuva Sramika Rythu Congress owns the Indira Television Limited (Sakshi TV) and Jagati Publications Ltd., the holding company of the daily

newspaper Sakshi. Sakshi TV is an excellent example of how biased and one-sided a news channel. Spot the rot before it's late Every political party has stakes in at least one television channel and one newspaper to promote its own propaganda. Pluralism has gone for a toss with no proper system of regulation of media ownership in India. Everyone relies on the media for news – news that will give them the real picture of what is happening in the country – without distortion, without lies. But today, the people of India are fooled into believing what the media presents, unaware that it is a part of every party's political agenda to bend the minds of the people in their favour. The common man is forced to unquestioningly digest what is served to him on a platter by the media, which is in cahoots with those having money and political power. This has affected the credibility of the media, making it nothing more than a tool in the hands of crafty politicians. It is difficult see beneath the façade that media presents, but the ability to discern the truth is what is needed as we cast our vote this time. Let not a day’s freebie or a media baron’s loyalty decide the future of India for the next five years. The media can go wrong, but not the voter. It’s now or never.

açÉë=ÇÉ~íÜ=éÉå~äíó=ëÉêîÉ=~=éìêéçëÉ\ Crime is multidimensional and death penalty is an ineffective, cruel and simplistic response to it Ratan Naga Deepika

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f death was an answer to the crime, then the world would have been a safer place than what it is today. From the ancient code of Hammurabi to the most modern executions, lakhs of criminals have been sent to the gallows assuming that death penalty would serve as a deterrent. But studies have not established any relation between crime rate and death penalty. Daniel S. Nagin, Professor of Public Policy and Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University, and John V. Pepper, Professor of Economics at the University of Virginia, wrote in their 2012 book, Deterrence and the Death Penalty, “Research to date of the effect of capital punishment on crime is not informative about whether capital punishment decreases, increases, or has no effect on crime rates.” Former US President Jimmy Carter says in his article, ‘Show death penalty the door’ that the effect is opposite: homicide rate is at least five times greater in the United States than in any Western European country – all without the death penalty. The same was concluded in a survey conducted by Death Penalty Focus, a Californiabased non-profit organisation. It states that the murder rates are surprisingly higher in death-penalty states that in

those which do not have it. Thus, there is no scientific backing (there is of course considerable ethical backing) for this barbaric and governmentapproved execution. Crime is multidimensional and death penalty is an ineffective, cruel and simplistic response to it. A crime is committed under various conditions but a sane and conscious system putting a person to death is irrational and more importantly unjustifiable. On top of that, death penalty is a gross violation of right to life. Everyday lingering behind the bars awaiting death is nothing less than mental trauma. Though there has been an emerging worldwide view on banning the death penalty, there are countries which continue to impose death sentences. More worryingly, the executions are on the rise, as confirmed by Amnesty International in its report. It states that executions rose by 15 per cent in 2013 compared to 2012. The fact that countries like China and India, which are considered to be the next-generation giants, also continue to practice this punishment is discouraging. Nevertheless, a silver lining is that in 1977, there were only 16 countries which abolished death penalty but now the number is 98. Moreover, in 2007, 2008 and 2010 UN General Assembly passed a resolu-

tion in favour of a moratorium on death penalty which would push the other countries to follow suit. Mahatma Gandhi rightly condemned the death penalty when he stated, “An eye for an eye would make the world blind.” Imposing death penalty as a deterrent to crime is not only a blind action but also an unsound practice which should be abolished at the earliest.

Lethargy in law enforcement is holding back the potential of death penalty as a deterrent of crime Palaparthi Srividya

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or an organism to flourish and prosper, it is important to eliminate those gangrenous elements which diminish the former’s glory. Isn’t the civil society but a codependent organism consisting of those doing their bit for its progress and also those who are a mere abomination? Although abolitionists support clemency in many situations, the rise in incidence of violent

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ape is a cruel and heinous act of crime. Everyday we see dozens of rapes being reported. In the present scenario, there are no ultimate solutions to a problem, but effective measures can be taken to control it. Sometime ago, our Supreme Court had laid down a guideline that the death penalty should be awarded only for “the rarest of rare cases”. The Nirbhaya gang-rape case in Delhi, beyond doubt, falls in this category because of the horrifying brutality of the gang rape, and the fact that the crime was so violent that the victim died of it. In the Shakti Mills cases, both victims are alive. But that doesn’t reduce the trauma, both physical and mental, they have gone through – the latter probably scarring them for life. Not withstanding that, the fact re-

mains that they survived the attack. The person who committed the crime should be punished for whatever he has done, rather than just be imprisoned. The law made by North Korea can be quite effective. The law states that a person who commits rape will undergo chemical castration of his sexual organ so that he can never commit the crime again, in addition to imprisonment and fine. If the same law is enacted here in India, every person who has the tendency to rape will fear the punishment and will dare not commit the crime. Therefore, death penalty serves no purpose; the rapist should suffer the same pain and trauma the victim had suffered. Bhargavi Poladi

crimes and the nature of law enforcement point in the other direction. The latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau show that violent crimes have increased by 23 per cent between 2007 and 2011. Considering the average crime rate per 100,000 population to be 20, 16 major states in the country have an average violent crime rate (which are mostly offences punishable by death) above the national average. Almost all the states from the Northeast have a crime rate higher than 25. Kerala recorded the highest number of violent crimes, with a crime rate of 44, which is more than double the national average. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, research has shown that every execution has correlated to about 74 fewer murders the following year. Our Constitution too identifies a number of crimes that are punishable by death. These include murder, rape (if the victim suffers loss of life or is left in “persistent vegetative state”) and possession and trafficking of large quantities of narcotic drugs. However, enforcement of the law has been of questionable standard. What is alarming is that while the execution rate is so low, it is not because of fewer crimes. Around 477 criminals who have been sentenced the death penalty are yet to receive punishment. It only suggests that without a huge amount of media hype and attention, a common man

affected by an atrocious crime would not be granted justice. The execution of the punishment takes so long sometimes that the criminal usually dies of natural causes after living a full life that they morally do not deserve. The lethargic nature of the law is only holding back the potential of the death penalty as a deterrent of crime. It is ironical to save the mandatory death penalty for repeat offenders. It is disrespectful to those affected irreversibly by the criminal. The idea of a delayed death sentence and clemency to criminals below 18 sends a message that one can get away with violent crimes and lawfully so. The fear of the judiciary is next to nothing, given the poor law enforcement in these cases. One could argue that “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” but the immorality of killing a human might not apply to those who have infringed upon another’s right to life. Our law could always upgrade to much more humane ways of execution if the age old, cruel practices of hanging or shooting are tarnishing its glorious image. And yet, following Immanuel Kant, for the most heinous forms of wrongdoing, the death penalty of death is morally justified or perhaps even required. Moreover, capital punishment celebrates the dignity of the humans whose lives were ended or forever tainted by the predatory criminal.


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Osmania Courier 7 May 2014

ÚpéÉÅá~äÛ=íêÉ~íãÉåí P. Sandeep Kumar

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he passage of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in Parliament was followed almost immediately by an announcement conferring ‘special category’ status to Seemandhra region for five years. What does it bring? ‘Special category’ status involves finacncial support from central government, tax incentives for industrialisation, etc. It is granted by the National Development Council based on certain economic, administrative and financial criteria such as low resource base, hilly and difficult terrain, low population density, sizeable share of tribal population and strategic (hostile) location. None of these criteria apply to the Seemandhra region. By any criteria, it is equal to or better than the Telangana region. At present, there are 11 other states that enjoy ‘special category’ status:

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, and Uttarakhand. By any criteria, Seemandhra hardly belongs to the list. Telangana, especially the districts, which were denied their fair share in development from 1956 to 2009, equally deserve the status. Seemandhra’s case seems to have been considered even more deserving than Bihar's whose long-pending demand for the ‘special’ status. There is a looming fear that this new favouritism may cause an exodus of businesses and investments to Seemandhra, adversely affecting the prospects of other states, especially Telangana. Apart from this, other sops to Seemandhra include tax incentives for 10 years, development package for backward districts in Rayalaseema and north coastal Andhra Pradesh. A few Telangana dis-

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tricts, which have worse development indicators in all the spheres, are ignored. A new National Institute of Design (NID), originally planned for Hyderabad, has been shifted to Vijayawada with the bifurcation imminent. The proposed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Sabbavaram, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) between Guntur and Ongole, National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Kurnool or Anantapur, elevation of Andhra University to Central University, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) at Vizag and a centrally-funded agricultural university at Chittoor district are all promised for Seemandhra region. One would not object to the sops being offered to Seemandhra, but the region should not get rich at the cost of Telangana. This principle should not be ignored.

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hat would people do if none of the candidates contesting in a constituency interests them? Should they stay away from the election process? Here comes NOTA as an answer. A voter can press the NOTA button, which means none of the above candidates are to be his representative. It was in 2009 that the Election Commission of India told the Supreme Court that it wished to offer the voter a “None of the above” through a NOTA option on the ballot, which was something that the government had generally opposed. The People's Union for Civil Liberties, a non-governmental organisation, filed a public interest litigation in support of this move. On 27 September 2013, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the right to register a “none of the above” vote in elections should apply, observing that it would increase participation. The judges hoped that this “would lead to a systemic change in polls and that political parties will be forced to

1) Yes. I want to vote in this election. Voting does not change the system because people who vote can't change the system except the leaders.

project clean candidates”. “Democracy is all about choices and voters will be empowered by this right of negative voting,” said the order passed by a bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam. The Election Commission of India ordered on 13 October 2013 the Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union territories should provide None of the Above (NOTA) option in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers. When the whole election process is the business of a special minority who has been in the corridors of power, how many of the voters will be ready to express their protest by pressing the Nota button? Around 10 crore newly eligible voters don’t want to waste their adult franchise casting for not eligible candidates. Chief election commisioner VS Sampath did not forget to announce that the NOTA option has been included in the current Lok Sabah election. None of the above option in Electronic voting mechine is one of the reasons why youngsters are eager to cast their vote this time. Anti-cor-

4) As a student, I want to eradicate caste system and provide scholarships according to merit basis and as a citizen of this nation, I want a better life without poverty.

2) I prefer Assembly Elections because in Lok Sabha, all leaders will vote for their leaders.

ruption activist Anna Hazare also supproted them saying, “if there is no right candidate in your voting list, do not fail to cast your vote for NOTA.” Former chief election commissioner Qureshi said that NOTA may not affect election results, but it would “ensure secrecy of the voter wanting to make a choice that amounts to abstention, and also to ensure that nobody casts a bogus vote in his place”. NOTA is not a new phenomenon in the world, but it is new to India. There are 13 countries, including our neighbour Bangladesh, which provide NOTA facility in the election system. In Spain and Columbia, NOTA is considered as leaving ballot paper empty. Citizens can suggest another candidate instead of opting NOTA option in Finland, Sweden and US. In all of the 13 countries, if votes polled for NOTA are higher than any other candidate's votes, then a re-election should be announced and the same candidates cannot contest again in that constituency.

First-time voters are the flavour of this General Election, with an estimated 81 million of them set to exercise their franchise. We bring you the thoughts and vision of a sample of them...

1) 5) I want to see a better 1) Yes. I Yes, for the India without corrupdate, one 3) For a will be votfirst time. Voting particular party, tion. who knows Divya RC, ing for the could change the M.Sc Applied his roots and based on its first time this system if every3) Firstly, I’ll see can set the Statistics, ideology and election. Of one decides to exboth characterisgears in motion. OU - Hyd principles, becourse voting can ercise their right to tics regarding cause to me it change the system. vote. However with the party and then the As told to 4) Women Emseems a lot of deIn a representative not voting now being candidate and later Hima Bindu powerment and effeccisions are party democracy like India, seen as a social evil, this I’ll decide. Duggirala tiveness of Public controlled and not voting is the only power election could be differpolicies by far. It is high made individually by through which you ent from any other previous time women are treated the MLA/MP. Aastha Bisht, can participate in the elections. Also a differas second-rate citizens. functioning of the sys- BITS Pilani - Hyd ence will only be made if 4) Corruption, Stag1. Are you tem. people vote on the basis Aditya Rane, nating Economy, De5) One of the basic going to vote in this elecon the issues that concern BITS Pilani- clining Growth Rate, functions of government is protion? And do you think voting Hyd 2) Lok Sabha elections are obthem and not on basis of viding the infrastructure. I would Infrastructure. could change the fate of the system? viously bigger than the Assembly their caste or religion. want them to improve infrastrucelections but then Assembly ture not just in metro cities but 5) A stable government with a 2. Which is more important for you -- Lok polls are more closer to the 2) The Lok Sabha is more im- Parliament which aims at globthroughout the country and Sabha election or the Assembly election? masses and the person elected portant to me because being alisation with a focus on imsecondly I want them to boost seems more approachable bewell represented at the na- proving infrastructure and one certain sectors like aerospace 3. Will you vote for a particular party or for a cause of him/her being from tional level is critical for me. that puts in place strong legwhich have not caught the particular candidate in your constituency? the area. Also, majority of the policy islation to tackle corruptrend in the country. decisions that impact me tion. 4. What, for you, are the main issues in this are made by the Central As told to election? 3) I will vote Government, which Hima Bindu DugAs told to for a capable makes the Lok girala Hima Bindu 5. What would you like the new candiSabha imporDuggirala government to do for you? tant. 1) No. It will not make a difference that's why I am not voting. 2) Nothing. Every politician is a rogue and thief. 3) I don’t know any candidate.

whosoever comes to power are hypocrites and are corrupted. Corruption is the main issue.

Shaikh Azharuddin, B.Tech

4) I don’t want to vote because my vote will be wasted and

5) Start working towards the development of our country and fulfill their responsibility.

As told to Shaikh Chand Ahmed

1 ) Yes I hope it will make a difference. 2) Assembly Elections are more important for me. 3) Yes, I choose a particular party over a particular candidate in my constituency.

4 ) Unemployment, Educational opportunities.

Jyothi, M.A English, OU - Hyd

5) I would like the new government to support the education and emp l o y m e n t opportunities.

As told to Paladugu Stanley

1) Yes, I am going to vote in this election, I think my vote will make a difference.

stituency. 4) Unemployement and Corruption.

5) It should be able to provide huge employment opportunities for Praveen, 2) Both As- Inter pass out the unempleyod youth. sembly and Also must eradi Loksabha Elections are im- cate corruption in all portant fior me. the sectors. 3) I will vote for a particular candiadate in my con-

As told to Rajesh Ramadugu


Novel sáëí~ë

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Osmania Courier 7 May 2014

THE WORD FROM ABROAD International students discuss their favourite writers and their best works

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riting books is an art that has not yet been explored much in a small, landlocked country on Southern African coast – Botswana. Nevertheless, there are a few writers. Among them is Unity Dow who turns out to be my favourite writer. Unity Dow was raised in a rural traditional family. With the free education that is offered to all children, she climbed the ladder to become the first woman judge of the High Court. Even with all the re- Unity Dow, author sponsibilities, she always kept alive of Saturday is for her passion for writing. Now 55, she Funerals has published five books, which often deal with issues of gender and poverty in Botswana. Her books deal with struggle between Western and traditional values. Let’s not forget that Botswana got its independence from the British in 1966. The presence of the British has left a mark of western culture that contradicts with the traditional values of Botswana. My favourite among her books is Saturday is for Funerals, published in 2010 by Harvard University Press. This book was published following the severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that paralyzed our country for a while. As the title of the book indicates, at that time, Saturdays were popularly known as a day when dozens of funerals will be held across the country. The book tells the true stories of lives ravaged by AIDS—of orphans, bereaved parents, and widows; of families who devote most Saturdays to the burial of relatives and friends. It also notes the actions of community leaders, medical professionals, research scientists, and educators of all types to see how an unprecedented epidemic of death and destruction is being stopped in its tracks. This book describes how a country responded in a time of crisis. In the true-life stories of loss and quiet heroism, activism and scientific initiatives, we learn of new techniques that dramatically reduce rates of transmission from mother to child, new therapies that can save lives of many infected with AIDS, and intricate knowledge about the spread of HIV, as well as issues of confidentiality, distributive justice, and human rights. No doubt, Unity Dow is the greatest writer in Botswana. Her writings have inspired, educated and touched many people. She has dedicated her life to fighting for human rights and to use the art of writing to educate the world about her beautiful country, Botswana. Tumisang Badubi

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fghanistan is a country from where many popular poets and writers have emerged. Among the recent crop of writers is Khaled Hosseini, a well-known AfghanAmerican writer who hails from Herat. His father was a diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul while his mother worked as a Persian language teacher at a girls’ high school. Shortly after the start of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, they sought political asylum in the United States and lived in San Jose, California. A doctor by education, Hosseini is currently a Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He achieved international fame with his first novel, The Kite Runner. Origi-

nally written in English, the novel has been published in 48 countries around the world, putting Afghanistan literature on the international scene. The Kite Runner is a historical novel covering the pre-Russian-invasion and pre-Taliban rule of Afghanistan, as well as life in the country under Taliban rule and in a post-Taliban government. The novel paints a realistic portrait of the country about which most readers know very little, and helps readers to separate the people of a country from its leaders and other groups associated with it. It is a coming-of-age novel about finding one’s place in a

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y favourite writer is Prof Abdul Aziz Al-Maqaleh, a great Yemeni poet, author and critic. He has written a number of poetic divans, literary and intellectual studies which represented a new addition to the Yemeni, Arab and World library as his works have been translated into many languages. He followed the school of free poetry and later turned to the school of modernism. He has published more than 14 books in poetry as well as 12 works of literary studies. He works as Professor of Literature and Modern Criticism at the University of Sanaa. AlMaqaleh is also the cultural adviser to the President of

Yemen. His major works in poetry are There Must be Sanaa, Marib Speaks, A Letter to Saif bin Dhi Yazan, A Book of Sanaa, among others. In his poem, The Betrayal, Al Maqaleh writes: My faith in poetry is betrayed, as blood, gushing from the heart of the square, now masks the face of words My eyes can no longer make out the shape of things, the tone of things Blood, blood, and more

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f you walk in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, you'll see graves of many famous artists, philosophers, and politicians. Like Honoré de Balzac, Frédéric Chopin, Jean de La Fontaine, Marcel Proust and Jim Morrison. In the 85th segment, you'll find the grave of Sadegh Hedayat: Iran's foremost modern novelist. Hedayat was born in Tehran in 1903 as the youngest son of one of the Qajar princes. His father, the prince, was the minister of education in the Persian government. His grandfather was a writer. Hedayat is well-known as a translator, philosopher and intellectual. He translated many famous European authors into Persian, among them Franz Kafka, Jean-Paul Sartre and Anton Chekhov. However, his fame came mainly from his own writings.

In 1925 he moved from Persia to Paris, where he went to the famous SaintLouis school. As he later said, Saint-Louis opened his eyes to the world literature. He taught the school priest the Persian language. In return, the priest introduced him to Western literature. Hedayat started writing for the school magazine. After graduating at SaintLouis, he went to Belgium, to study engineering. But halfway through the studies, he decided to quit, and went back to Paris to study architecture. Hedayat started writing short stories. Three years later, without graduating, he returned to Tehran, and worked there in several jobs, all of them only for short periods of time. Hedayat admired Western modernism. Back in Tehran, he started mocking the traditional Iranian literature,

world of turmoil and transition. It explores the difficulties of developing an adult relationship with ones parents while simultaneously exploring ideas about the human capacity for good and evil, and the relationship between sin, forgiveness, and atonement. This novel exposes the bitter history in Afghanistan how the generations have become a victim of politics it represents decades of history in Afghanistan. The Kite Runner was a bestseller and was adapted into a film of the same name, released in December 2007. It is now a major source of information about Afghanistan. It conveys all the bitter pain experienced by its people so much so that it can make its readers cry. Humaira Sidiqi

Sadegh Hedayat: Author of The Blind Owl which he considered oldfashioned. With six likeminded authors, he started a movement for contemporary literature. He became more active as a writer, and published several books. In his later years, Hedayat became a political activist and socialist. He rebelled against the monarchy and

against the clergy. All his works of that time were devoted to his fight against these two major powers in Iran. From 1937 till 1939, Hedayat traveled through India. During this time, he completed and published his most important work The Blind Owl. It has been called one of the most important literary works in the Persian language. In 1950, Hedayat went to Paris again, where one year later, he commits suicide by gassing himself in his small rental apartment. Nowadays, many of Hedayat's works, in particular Haji Agha, are censored in some Islamic countries, including Iran. Hedayat brought Western literature into contemporary Iranian writing. There is no doubt that Hedayat is the father of modern Iranian literature. Arina Amjadian

blood It shrouds my soul, my tongue it envelopes the horizon and stains people’s bread, falling on plates, coffee cups, and the eyes of children. The poem embraces the same sense of patriotism which Al-Maqaleh regularly expressed on national holidays at parade grounds in Sanaa. But it also signals his awareness of the role he played in the betrayal of today’s younger generation, due to the failure of his own older generation to develop a just, fair, and free politics in Yemen. Adam Sawab

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akim Abu’l-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (940-1020 CE) was a highly revered Persian poet and the author of the epic of Shahnameh - the Persian ‘Book of Kings’. Written between 977 and 1010 CE, Shahnameh is the world's longest epic poetry created by a single poet, and the national epic of Iran and the Persian speaking world. The work is of central importance in Persian culture, regarded as a literary masterpiece, and definitive of ethno-national cultural identity of Iran. It is also important to the contemporary adherents of Zoroastrianism, in that it traces the historical links between the beginnings of the religion with the death of the last Sassanid ruler of Persia during the Muslim conquest and an end to the Zoroastrian influence in Iran. Almost two-thirds of the Shahnameh is devoted to the age of heroes, extending from Manuchehr’s reign until the conquest of Alexander the Great (Eskandar). Among the stories described in this section are the romance of Zal and Rudba, the Seven Stages of Rostam, Rostam and Sohrab (familiar to many Indians), among others. Marzieh Rostami Siahooie

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zbek poet Muhammad Yusuf was born on April 26, 1954, in Andijan region. He had developed interest in poetry and history of literature in his childhood and joined literary circles at a young age. Yusuf graduated from the Institute of the Russian Language and Literature in 1978. He became famous as one of the youngest poets in the country. He gave what was in his heart and his thoughts. He was also known for his wide knowledge about fiction and world literature. Among the collections of his poems are: Tanish Teraklar (Familiar poplars) (1985), Bulbulga Bir Gapim Bor (I want to talk to nightingale / I’ve got a sentence to the nightingale, 1987), Iltijo (Entreaty, 1988), Uyqudagi Qiz (A girl who is in a sleep, 1989), Khalima Enam Allalari (The lullabies of grandmother Khalima, 1989), Ishq Kemasi (The ship of love, 1990), and so on. He was a simple person – in

his real life and in his poetry. In most of his poems, Yusuf expressed love for his country, and became known as Uzbekistan’s national poet. People loved his poems, which deal with love, history and life. Yusuf passed away on 29 July 2001. An excerpt: The Earth is covered with water and slopes, I saw many countries, fates and hopes, Your mountains uphold me and follow, Asking to be proud high and low. I met the most adorable white hands, It seems I am naïve or a self-lover Since for me the best Paris restaurants Before yourtandoorare out of favour. Lobar Khonqulova


Critical bóÉ

Osmania Courier 7 May 2014

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^å=ÉÅÜç=çÑ=äáÑÉÛë ~ãÄáÖìáíáÉë Hosseini’s latest novel strings together the lives of people whose paths cross in a country under turmoil Palaparthi Srividya

subtle image of the human entirety in this book: an amalgamation of love, passion, regret, pathos and uncertain closure. Unlike his earlier books, however, Hosseini does not stick to a single protagonist through the book, but weaves through the lives of different individuals with diverse struggles who somehow are con-

Moralities and social niceties are existentially questioned as he preshe much-awaited third book ents the ambiguity of the human of the celebrated author emotions and justifications. HosKhaled Hosseini, after his seini’s latest book is sure to make two best-sellers, The Kite Runner any avid reader reminisce their (2003) and A Thousand Splendid lives as well and evaluate the same Suns (2007), released after six long in perspective. years in 2013, amid great expectaHosseini is noted for his untions from his fans and critics alike. abashed prose about issues that are Hosseini made sure to retain his predominant and yet are considfame as an emotion-invoking ered taboo to discussed aloud; he writer with this book as much as maintains this reputation, if only a with his previous ones. And the little more worthily, with And the Mountains Echoed is a book that Mountains Echoed. strings together the lives of people Considering the time period the whose paths cross in a country story is set in, he has displayed his under a political and social turmoil. worth of being bold in expressing The novel begins with the depichis beliefs even better than before. tion of a broken family in While he did stick to his recurring Afghanistan after they are forced to theme of dystopia, alienation and move to a bigger city from their culture shocks, he also touches topsmall town. Although the novel ics like adultery and homosexuality, ends with the same family's point which he did not dabble with in his of view decades later, the novel previous books that vividly. flows through, narrating the stories He gives a subtle insight to readof various people she comes across ers about how the sense of right in her lifetime in their own viewand wrong, moral ambiguities have And the Mountains Echoed, point. skewed and uncertain definitions; by Khaled Hosseini. The family breaks up eventually how these definitions change with Bloomsbury (2013) each member finding their own time, geography and social evoluPages 402. Rs. 599. means of livelihood in different tion. parts of the world including AmerIn conclusion, Hosseini does not ica and France. Generations pass nected. seek to present a “happy ending” or while the family tries to cling on to He manages to paint a picture of a definite closure to the story untheir early memories of their home- the highs and lows of the society in like his other books. Many quesland and the lives of the others they varied perspectives leaving judg- tions are unanswered; contentment happened to encounter. As the plot ment to the intellect of the reader. prevails and yet a sense of gloom unfolds, these stories merge to underlies. Much like real life itform a beautiful collage of life. self, Hosseini with his book is Despite the lingering Despite the lingering melancholic presenting the indefinite nasubtext, Hosseini manages to melancholic subtext, Hosseini ture of endings. Although some manages to keep the reader readers might find it unfulfillkeep the reader hooked to the hooked to the lives he sets out ing, some might consider it a lives he sets out to present to present. Hosseini portrays a metaphor to life itself.

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the BBC about life under the Taliban, about threats to deny education to girls. In order to hide her identity, she used the name ‘GulMakai’. GulMakai means cornflower and is the name of a heroine in a Pashtun story. (In the story, Gulmakai and Musakhara meet at school am Malala’ is the story of a and fall in love. It’s a kind girl who stood up for girls’ of Romeo and Juliet story, education and was attacked by but they are from different the Taliban for her courage and tribes so their love causes conviction. An autobiography war.) in five parts, it was released in Around that time, many 2013. residents of the Swat valMalala Yousafzai was born ley were leaving the place on July 12, 1997, in Mingora, lobecause of the Taliban. On cated in Pakistan’s Swat valley. October 9, 2012, while The name Malala comes from Malala was returning from Malalai. Malalai was the greatschool, a gunman fired at est heroine of Afghanistan who her, hitting her in the lefthad fought against the British. side of her head. The bullet Malala means “grief- stricken”. passed down her neck. Two For the first few years of her other girls were also inlife, her home town was a popjured in the attack. This ular tourist spot. The area I am Malala, by Malala was an attempt by the Talbegan to change as the Taliban Yousafzai with Christina iban to suppress her for took control. In Part One of the Lamb. Little, Brown & Co. fighting for education for book, she speaks about her vil- (2013) Pages 352. Rs. 199. women, which was really lage, how she grew up in a pathetic. school and how a mufti – an Islamic scholar The shooting left Malala in a critical con– tried to close their school because in Is- dition, and was admitted in military hospital lamic culture they are not supposed to edu- in Peshwar. A portion of her skull was recate girls. But Malala’s father, a poet, school moved to treat her swollen brain. To receive owner and educational activist himself, sup- further care she was moved to Birmingham, ported girls’ education in his school. UK. Her determination to study helped her to She describes life under the Taliban in the remain alive despite being in such a critical valley. When she was 10, the Taliban came situation. into their valley. At that time, the leader of The European Parliament awarded Malala Taliban was Maulana Fazlullah. In their val- the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought ley, they received most of information from and she also won the National Youth Peace the radio because not many had TV or were Prize. Her activism resulted in a nomination literate. The radio was known as ‘Mullah FM’ for International Children’s Peace Prize in or ‘Radio Mullah’. 2011 and she is the youngest girl nominated One of her father’s friend, a BBC radio cor- for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013-14. respondent, was looking for a female teacher Unfortunately, the Taliban still considers or a school-girl to write a diary about life Malala Yousafzai a target. Despite the Talunder the Taliban. Malala agreed to write for iban threats, Malala remains a staunch advothe BBC. Before that, she had given a speech cate of the power of education. She in Peshawar titled, “How dare the Taliban established the Malala Fund, which supports take away my basic right to education”. the education and empowerment of girls in In early 2009, Malala began blogging for Pakistan and other parts of world.

The story of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai is inspiring, writes Mounika Gajula

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^=ëÉ~íJÉÇÖÉ=íÜêáääÉê èìáíÉ=ìåäáâÉ=~åó=çíÜÉê Hima Bindu Duggirala

‘12

Angry Men’, a flick of 1957, is a 95minute courtroom drama. The movie focuses on 12 jurors who go about debating the fate of a teen who is accused of stabbing his father in the chest. It appears by the judge's tonal language that the verdict is a foregone conclusion. One doesn't get to see the prosecutor-defence arguments but only what the jury debates upon. The young man's life is precariously hung over the rusted threads of the jurors' arrogance. The movie is shot on the 'hottest' day of the year in a closed room that is locked from the outside until the jury draws a conclusion. It was not just the outside heat, but the one on the inside (the heat of the arguments) that make the jurors sweat more. As the title suggests, they are not just 12 angry men but also 12 different men whose personalities, backgrounds, occupations, interests, emotions and especially prejudices fluctuate to various levels. Their debate over evidence is a war between logic, emotion and their personal prejudices. As they begin, all the jurors

The movie is a tight smack in the face of today’s judicial system which clearly depicts how not to let personal prejudice obscure the truth. have everything but the care and concern they should be having for a tender life. When the people voting guilty are asked to raise their hands by the foreman (Martin Balsam), Juror 8 intrudes, "It's not easy to raise my hand and send a boy off to die, without thinking about it first. Supposing we're wrong?” That being said, there is Juror 3, the antagonist (Lee J Cobb),

who dismisses it to be a simple open-and-shut case, Juror 7 (Jack Warden), a salesman, who prioritises the evening baseball game over a young man's life, and the Juror 12 (Robert Webber) feels lucky for having got an 'interesting' murder case! We also have Juror 4 (E. G. Marshall), a stock broker who believes that the boy is guilty but he doesn't let emotions inter-

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vene and we only hear his logic speak. When the foreman calls for a voting ballot initially, the ratio of the ‘guilty’ to the ‘not guilty’ turns out to be 11: 1. With Fonda's excellent reasoning and logic, he gains companions as the story progresses. There comes a point midway, when the ratio is 6:6 and it starts to rain. Seems like, it is 6: 6+1, where the

extra one is none but the weather outside which also showed its support, siding with Fonda's genuine interest and logic, in its way of pleasant and soothing showers. Just like the heat of the case comes down, so does the temperature outside! Once again, when the voting takes place, this time it happens to be 9:3 (‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’), leaving Jurors 3, 4 and 10. Juror 10 (Ed Begley) then begins his racist rant about how people from the slum are born who just kill people for fun and frolic. That being said by him, Juror 5 (Jack Klugman), who himself is from the slum, gets offended by his words, moves away from him and turns his back. The same is then followed by the other jury members, which leads to Juror 10 move to a corner with his mouth sealed. Juror 8 makes interesting remarks saying, "It's always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. Wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth. I don't really know what the truth is, I don't suppose anybody will ever really know!" As the going gets tougher, Juror 4, who still believes there is no scope for any reasonable doubt, relies on the witness who had seen the murder. Then there is another flicker that we get to see when Juror 12, who once voted "not guilty", changes his vote back to ‘guilty’. At the end, Juror 9, an elderly man (Joseph Sweeny) plays it right in time by catching hold of a point when he sees spectacle

marks on either sides of the nose of Juror 4 which means that there is no logical proof of the witness, an old lady who also has similar kind of impressions, to be taken as a valid evidence. Freeze the moment when all the ‘guilty’ change to voting ‘not guilty’. One of director Sidney Lumet’s masterpieces, the film has a plot that could get you to the edge of your seat not by mere action but by the actors' body and tonal language and especially with its screenplay, dialogue and conflict of thought. This movie is a tight smack in the face to all the verdicts where many death sentences have been announced based on faulty evidence. A very interesting point about the movie comes to one's mind when keenly watched: Lumet's first third of the movie is shot above the eye-level while second and last thirds had been shot at and below the eye level respectively. Also, the closed cabin fever and the non-air-conditioned room creates a realistic mood of tension which gets dissolved eventually as the film comes to an end. It seems that Lumet had played with the concept of focal lengths and also used different types of lenses to create one such a stressed ambience. With 98 per cent of the film in one single room, it gives one an awesome feel to see a wide-angle shot at the end in the open. That shot alone relieves all the stress in just one go! All said and done, 12 Angry Men is a must watch.


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Osmania Courier 7 May 2014

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         Camel rides may be an irresistible option for kids, but finding a permanent residence is still a distant dream for the camel owners t’s holiday season and the desert kings are on the streets. Long legs, elongated face, drooping chin – you guessed it right, we are talking about the camel! These humped animals are cynosure of all eyes wherever they go, bringing smiles to children and adults alike. The joy of seeing everyone from the top and the slow bumpy walk makes the camel ride an irresistible one for kids. But there is more to the camel ride than what meets the eye. Camels are the only source of livelihood for certain communities who migrate from Madhya Pradesh. One such group lives on the bank of Musi River in Hyderabad. “Government officials come every week and ask us to vacate. A few days ago we built a hut with bamboos, they came and dismantled it… what can we do now,” asks Sardar Dagudu, pointing at a distance a pile of bamboos. He is the patriarch of the migrant camel jockey group living in Hyderabad for the past 12 years. Sardar and his family of 50 members have been leading a nomadic life, shifting their base from Bowenpally to Kukatpally and from Amberpet to Karmanghat. If they are lucky, officials just warn and ignore but if they are not, they have to vacate their base and move to a new loca-

1. ________ is greater than god, more evil than the devil, the poor has it, the rich needs it and if you eat it you will die. (Clue: _O_ _I_ _ ) 2. One day a plane crashed and every single person died. Now, who survived? 3. A beggar had a brother. But the beggar's brother had no brother. How? 4. You can never have this in the morning. What's it? 5. If you have it, you want to share it; if you share it, you don't have it. And it is? 6. I'm a five-letter word, people eat me, if you remove my first letter - I’ll form a crime; if you remove the first two letters – I’m an animal; if you remove the first and last letters I’m a type of music. What am I? 7. I'm light as a feather, yet the strongest man can't hold me for

brings their average daily earning to Rs. 200. Debt, meagre earnings and the regular rise in prices push them further into the holds of poverty and destitution. Whatever be their conditions, camels are not just the source of income but a significant part of their lives and families. There is no compromise on their food and medication. Even when they grow older they are cremated, contrary to the popular belief about being sold to slaughter houses. Ethics and morality seem to be deep-rooted and they are still culturally strangers to the changing times. With a supporting neighbourhood and a comparatively longer stay, these families are seeing a ray of hope. Though the first generation lacked formal education, the younger ones are going to government schools in the vicinity. The only thing they ask for is access to basic amenities like water, electricity and shelter. The city of Nawabs can certainly provide them to these desert kings and their jockeys.

Text and Pictures by Ratan Naga Deepika

Compiled by Hima Bindu Duggirala much more than a minute. What am I? 8. Pronounced as one letter, And written with three, Two letters there are, And two only in me. I'm double, I'm single, I'm black, blue, and gray, I'm read from both ends, And the same either way. What am I? 9. From the beginning of eternity; To the end of time and space; To the beginning of every end; And the end of every place. What am I? 1. NOTHING (This is known to be the toughest riddle.) 2. A married couple. 3. The beggar is a woman. 4. One can never have lunch or dinner in the morning. 5. A secret. 6. GRAPE. 7. Breath. 8. An eye. 9. The letter E.

TEASERS

tion. Finding a permanent residence is still a distant dream for this group. “We do not wish for a pucca house but if we can get a good place to settle it would be good,” says Ashok Sardar, the third son of Sardar Dagudu. It’s not only the issue of settlement but these people are deprived of basic amenities too and should continuously rely on neighbourhoods for their daily chores. Without sanitation, hygiene, education, and medical care, the women and children are the worst affected. Financial turbulence also looms large on their fates. A camel costs anything from Rs. 45,000 to Rs. 70,000 depending on the seller. If he is a known person, the camel is bought on debt. And in city they charge around Rs.10 per child, which

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       

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Sayonara Seniors

Smiles that should never fade... Hearts that should never forget...


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