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PRESS ACCREDITATION

May 1-15, 2013

Vol. 8, Issue - 21

AN AILING NATION Adv. A. V. Sivasankaran Are we as a nation ailing really? If not what is wrong? This reminds me of a story. The old man was ailing and on the death bed. Pretty old with 6 children he was worried about his fortune and legacy in the hands of his siblings, who never saw eyes each other nor were in terms with the old man. The man was however determined to teach them a lesson. He fondly summoned all his sons together and asked them to fetch a stick each which they obliged in anticipation. The man took the first stick and broke it into two looking at his sons he asked them to tie the remaining sticks together into a bundle which they did obediently. Next he asked each one of them to break the stick bundle. Each one tried and failed. The desperate old

man chided the children for whom the moral of the story became clear. Unity is Strength. This is also an old management lesson repeatedly imbibed even today to explain the concept of synergy. Now you may ask what is the synergy all about? It is the combined instant energy or the energy focused. By now we all know that most of the energy is lost for want of focus and to focus it requires determination and the management of oneself. This micro concept is also applicable in macro and mega scale man management. Our nation is one of the most mismanaged nations in the world. Not because we lack the expertise or the quality man power. We excel everywhere and in every field and

Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation plans direct rail link between Kalyan, Navi Mumbai MUMBAI: The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has drawn up an ambitious plan to provide direct suburban rail connectivity between Navi Mumbai and Kalyan and beyond via the trans-harbour network of the Central Railway (CR). At present, the trans-harbour service operates on the ThaneVashi-Nerul-Panvel stretch via Airoli, Ghansoli and Rabale.

have a knack to achieve things which are difficult. We are a determined lot. Then what is ailing us? We are clearly and unequivocally the victims of mismanagement. It has a historical perspective and we are yet to come out of the slave mentality and the sheepish attitude. We are also the victims of a time tested policy and legacy left behind by our erstwhile rulers called “divide and rule�. It is not only the people but also the country as a whole is divided to perpetuate a kind of rule in the name of democracy which has nothing to do with democracy or the people. Look at the way the boundaries of our states are. Nowhere you will find it straight drawn. Look at the map of the USA and you will find the states there are demarcated by vertical and horizontal straight lines. Our ailments are manmade and self inflicted. We are a union of nations and a nation of unions more or less organized on the basis of language. Each state is prepared to stage a war with others in the name of linguistic minorities and river water disputes. Minorities in every state feel insecure with their education and culture at the mercy of the state. It appears that the problems associated with linguistic states will keep India a divided nation for a long time to come. It appears to be part of a political strategy to divert atten-tion from the pressing problems of poverty, unemployment, drinking water and draught. Inefficiency is manifest in every political decision and the citizens have no option but to wait for the next election which again is not a guarantee against good governance or programme alternatives. (Continued on page 4 )

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Trivandrum, Kochi Airports to have visa on arrival soon Thiruvananthapuram : Two international airports in Kerala will join soon the ranks of airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata in offering visa on arrival (VoA) to tourists from eleven countries. The Union government has given its final approval for the introduction of the facility in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi International Airports, according to State Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar. The new facility will allow citizens from Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia to obtain tourist visas upon their arrival in the two airports. The Tourism Minister said the final nod of the Home Ministry was conveyed to him by the Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran. Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal was leading efforts to put in place the facilities required to implement VoA at the two airports. The facilities required for VoA include a facilitation centre, an exclusive visa desk, a foreign exchange counter, a holding area, signboards and facilities for taking photographs of visiting foreign nationals at the international terminal. The VoA norms insist that those applying for the visa should neither be residents of India, nor should they be working in India. They are given the visa only for the purpose of recreation, sightseeing, or meeting friends and relatives. Their passports must have minimum six-month validity. The Minister hoped that the new facility and the convenience it offers will encourage more tourists to travel to Kerala. Kerala has been witnessing a steady increase in tourist arrivals despite the economic recession in several countries. According to Tourism Department statistics, a total 732, 985 foreign and 94 lakh domestic tourists visited Kerala during 2012. The state earned foreign exchange worth Rs 3,800 crore during the year. The total revenue the state earned from tourism during 2012 was Rs 19,000 crores compared to Rs 17,300 crore the previous year. The VoA is being introduced as part of a plan of the Union Ministry of Tourism to double the number of foreign tourists visiting the country in three or four years. The state government has plans to develop a multi-modal transport hub at the airport in the state capital, allowing access to all five modes of transport, to attract more tourists to the state. The Civil Aviation Ministry is also considering a proposal to establish an Aeropolis, an industrial hub for aviation-related activities, at Thiruvananthapuram. The proposed Aeropolis will come up with the recently commissioned maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at the airport as its spine. The project is estimated to cost Rs 2,500 crore.

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` 18 Lakhs all Inclusive "There is no seamless connectivity between Kalyan and Navi Mumbai. Commuters have to change trains at Thane to travel towards Navi Mumbai or Kalyan. This also leads to congestion at Thane station," MRVC managing director Rakesh Saksena told TOI. "After the project is completed, we can run at least 40 services between Navi Mumbai and Kalyan. A 2-km-long viaduct will have to be built near Parsik tunnel. It would cost around Rs 300 crore, but final estimates and the deadline are yet to be worked out," he said. The CR runs 210 services on the trans-harbour network, of which four are fast services. The average number of passengers on the transharbour network is estimated to increase by 10% annually because of affordable housing in Kalyan-Ambernath-Badlapur belt and the growth of industrial and service sectors in Navi Mumbai. A direct Kalyan-Navi Mumbai link will reduce overcrowding on the main line as well as on the trans-harbour corridor. (Continued on page 3)

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May 1-15, 2013

WASTE NOT WANT NOT Maharashtra is in the grip of an unprecedented draught and the water scarcity in many parts of the states is driving people out of their homes and villages. It was known that a large tract of the state is in the rain shadow area of the Western Ghats. It is also well known that the water from dams in the state is used for the processing of sugar cane in the large privately owned sugar mills in which rich and powerful politicians have a large stake, leaving the farmers high and dry. Wasting water has become a pastime as we have witnessed during the recent holi celebrations. With the lake level comfortable Mumbai is yet to feel the pinch of the water scarcity and the duration of the summer and the temperature pattern could well result in water shortage upsetting all the estimates. Therefore it is imperative that we initiate steps to conserve water in whatever ways possible. Building industry is one of the biggest consumers of water and it is available to them metered or unmetered. It is available for a price. It is summer now and water is being used in large quantities for the repairing and washing of buildings prior to the painting. Housing Societies are vying with each other to take up and complete the renovation and painting work of every building whether required or not. While the large part of the state is looming under water scarcity and with the monsoon far away it is criminal to waste water

at the present juncture. As usual the well to do are not concerned and the government is looking the other way. Sarcasms and jokes apart dams cannot be filled in a day by any means or by anybody and the monsoon may not shower its mercy on the expected date. Our tryst with destiny is intrinsically interwined with farmers and monsoon and the earlier our policy makers realize this the better for the state and the people. While no effective steps have been taken to provide water to the draught areas and reverse the trend of farmers leaving their dwellings and lands, the authorities are indulging in a blame game and political gambling by demanding central assistance far away Bursting of pipe lines and leakages from large pipe lines and hydrants have become so common that there is no contingency or emergency plan to stall such occurrences. There is an urgent need to conserve every drop of drinking water throughout the state and particularly in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai and enforce its judicious use. It is most earnestly urged that the Government and the authorities should waste no time in imposing a blanket ban on the wastage of water in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai under any pretext or under any excuse till the onset of the monsoon. This will go a long way in conserving water and helping the needy.

Vichara Vedi organized Seminar on 'Humour Literature' The Vichara Vedi, the Literary Wing of the Powai Kerala Samajam, Powai organized a Seminar in Malayalam titled 'Houmour Literature: Yesterday and Today' (Hasya Sahithyam-Innaleyum Innum) on April 14, 2013 at the Powai English High School, Powai. Shri. K.V. Satyanath, Executive Editor, Kerala in Mumbai, the Keynote Speaker could not participate but his speech titled 'History of Humour Literature: An Overview' (Hasya Sahithya Charitram: Oru Avalokanam) was read out by Shri. Gopalakrishna Pillai.. Erumakuzhy Kochukunju Pillai, Social Worker and Poet spoke on 'Kunjan Nambiar and Humour Literature' (Kunjan Nambiarum Hasya Sahithyavum). Shri. K.R. Narayanan, Feature Writer, Kerala in Mumbai spoke on 'VKN's Humour' (Veekkeyenninte Hasyam). Shri. V.N. Gopalakrishnan, Journalist and Advisor, Powai Kerala Samajam spoke on 'Humour Literature Today' (Innathe Hasya Sahityam). Dr. C.M. Sankarankutty, Shri. K.D. Sandan, and Cdr. G.V.K. Unnithan participated in the discussion. Peramangalam Gopi compered the programme.

Shri. K.R. Narayanan addressing the Seminar. Seated from left are: Peramangalam Gopi, Shri. V.N. Gopalakrishnan, Ermakuzhy Kochukunju Pillai. DISCLAIMER The news published by various authors in this publication are their sole opinion and Editor is in no way accountable and responsible.

Mass Media and Rights of the Child T

he media today is faced with the daunting task of informing people, educating them and creating awareness about human rights, and specifically the child’s rights. It has become now clear that information and communication are central for any action taken nationally or internationally, ‘communication and, access to information should be a right in itself. The right of the people to be informed and to express themselves freely is need of today. “Underlining the importance of objective, responsible and impartial information about human rights and humanitarian issues, the world conference on Human Right encourages the increased involvement of the media for whom freedom and protection should be guaranteed within the framework of national law”. It is peculiar that the Conference stressed on the information role of the media, and ignored its role as an educator and communicator. In today’s information centre world, the media in India has to

(The writer is a Post Graduate from Indian Institute of Human Rights, New Delhi.)

play more dominant role than it is doing today. It has to highlight the rights of the child and educate people on child abuse. Till now this advantage of the media has not been explored in favour of educating people. The track record of newspaper, radio and television has been dismal. Apart from sporadic reporting of cases of child abuse, not much has been done. A revolution in communication the radio, the T.V, international satellite network or even

Internet has meant that the national and international community can no longer Claim ignorance of the abuse of the rights of the child. Everyday, the global community sees children dead due to war, draught or sheer poverty. The toll taken by dreadful diseases of children go unnoticed. The occupational hazard of the media is that they are attracted only to atrocities and sufferings which are of spectacular nature. Media can be of help by adopting following programme for building awareness on the right of the child. A systematic publication of article in newspaper, stories for children on child exploitation, exhibitions ete should be written. Long and short programmes on radio and television about the rights of the child and its violations. Sponsoring of short snippets on national and international network. Use of SAVE programmes to create awareness within the SAARC region.

THE MENANCE IN THE AIR T

he cloud shattering and barrier breaking decibel level from the monstrous helicopter flights have off late become unbearable. The population of Vashi in Navi Mumbai particularly those residing in Sector-28/29 and Turbhe have been enduring this high decibel invasion from the sky particularly during the morning hours of 9 to 11. The people in the area have been living with high levels of chemical pollution, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, Noxious and toxic emissions for a long time with no action from any quarters to address or redress the issue. The Pollution Control Board has been as usual looking the other way with the cattle class left with no cure but to endure. The noise level from the low altitude flight path of the helicopters exceeds all the norms set by international agencies. The sound at almost 100db is almost on par with the noise level of a landing air craft. Whether the use of the helicopter and its flight route have been approved by aviation authorities is not known. It is also a mystery whether the air craft is deployed by private parties, oil kings, coal magnates or business barons of our country. It is also possible that the meteorological department has undertaken studies to predict the quality of the cloud and the onset of monsoon. It may be that the aircrafts are engaged in anti terror and surveillance activities in which case it is perfectly justifiable. Those who can afford and of course with right connections, anything is possible and justifiable. It is not known to many that no flights take off or make landings at the famous Hethrow Airport in UK between 10 pm and 6 am. An undisturbed sleep and a noise free

international airport in Mumbai and many world capitals. When it comes to human rights and health, we continue to be cattle class with no one to care for the Aam Admi. With the mounting number of sky scrapers equipped with helipads Mumbai is all set to lead in number of helicopters sorties and an exponential rise in decibel levels. Adv. Sivasankaran night is the right of every UK citizen. To ensure this rights, flights from all over the world are scheduled accordingly and the take offs and the landing continues throughout the night at our

Frequent high dose of noise levels need to be curbed in the interest of public health and safety of citizens and at least we are expected to adhere to the international standards in this regard. Anybody indulging in violation of such HSE norms need to be brought to justice without caring for his social status or business connections. But it appears that the regulatory authorities have their own standards and compulsions and the justice system has many faces. The flip side is that if all the rich and powerful take to sky ride, our roads shall be spared of the anarchy and violence we witness every day. Anybody listening.

A Kerala family may come in for $900 million Saudi bonanza Thiruvananthapuram : A family in Kerala, the Keyis of Kannur district, may have struck gold - the state government has taken up with the Centre the issue of about $900 million due to them, being held by the treasury of Saudi Arabia. The state government is urging the Centre to intervene to ensure the transfer of the money, amounting, in the 1950s, to 1.4 million Saudi riyals (one riyal today is equal to Rs. 14.40), which has been lying in the Saudi treasury for nearly six decades. Speaking to IANS, P. Naseer, Director of the Minority Welfare Department, said that the Keyi family had, for over ten years, been trying to gain possession of the amount. "The Kerala government has now appointed a special officer for this, to take up the matter with the Centre. The Centre will, in turn, have to speak to the Saudi Arabian authorities. The Keyi family has been trying for many years, but little headway has been made," (Continued on page 4)


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May 1-15, 2013

P. J. Antony- A magnificent life

Recently, there was a meeting at the Changampuzha Park in Edappally, in commemoration of P.J Antony, the brilliant actor and literary genius who passed away in the year 1979. This event revived my own memories of the great man. It was the year 1949 and I was studying in the Intermediate class at the St. Albert's College, Ernakulam. My classmate and friend, an Anglo- Indian boy by name, Cleitus, casually mentioned to me about P.J Antony and asked me whether I knew him. I had heard of him, but did not know him personally then. Antony had by then already established himself as a theatre personality. Cleitus said that he was his neighbour in Pachalam. In those days, there lived some Anglo-Indian families also in that locality, north of the city of Ernakulam. It was a working class area. One day, after college hours, Cleitus took me to an office on the upper floor of a small two storey building close to Ernakulam South junction. Luckily for us, P.J Antony was very much there. In fact, we went there without informing him in advance. Those were the days when communication was not so easy, even the telephone was a luxury and only a few owned it. Cleitus introduced me to Antony and from that day, I used to meet him often. The office in Ernakulam South was shared by three people, P. J. Antony, N. Govindankutty and J.C Pathadan. Govindankutty, like Antony, was an actor and short story writer. They were close friends and pursued the same interests. Both of them acted in dramas, were themselves playwrights, wrote articles and short stories for magazines and edited a monthly journal. Another interesting aspect was that both of them acted in films too. J. C Pathadan was an advocate who practised in the Ernakulam courts. Antony would come to the office by bus

from Pachalam, Govindankutty, by ferry from Fort Cochin and Pathadan, by train from Chalakudy (or Koratty). Pathadan belonged to a well-to-do family and showed only a casual interest in drama and literature. His interests lay else-where. He nursed an ambition to enter public life and even con-tested an election as an independent candidate, but did not win. For Antony and Govindankutty, theatre and literature were the be-all and end-all of life. And both of them succeeded to an extent. From the Ernakulam office, they published a monthly magazine called "Prathibha". A few of my own contributions were published in the magazine, which was reason enough for me to meet them and spend some time with them occasionally. P.J. Antony used to handle a column "Ask the editor" and would give witty replies to readers' queries. P.J Antony was in theatre, heart and soul. He ran his own "Prathibha Arts Club" and staged shows in different places. Beatrice from Cochin and Mary from Thevara acted in female roles in some of the dramas. Later, Antony married Mary. My association with Antony and Govindankutty was virtually cut short when I left for Bombay, in search of a job. Young men, in those days, did the same thing after graduation or after learning typewriting and short hand. However, I happened to meet Govindankutty in Bombay in 1955 or so when he came there as a member of a drama troupe. They staged a drama "Vazhi Thurannu" (The way opens) under the auspices of the Sewri Malayali Samajam. Govindankutty excelled in the role of the priest who tore off his robe and walked into freedom. The play was written by the well known short story writer Ponkunnam Varkey. P.J Antony too had come to Bombay, on an earlier occasion and stayed in Koliwada. Based on this, he wrote a beautiful story about the Kolis in the magazine "Pratibha". It would not be an exaggeration to say that P.J Antony was end-owed with exceptional talents. He was a gifted singer, song writer, dramatist, director and a short story writer. As an actor, he was par excellence. Antony's career as a dramatist was at its peak during the 1950's.

During this period, he worked with several theatre groups, such as KPA C, Changanassery Geetha, Kottayam National, Ernakulam Jyoti, Kerala Theatres and his own P. J. Theatres. Antony, like so many artistes of the day, had to struggle to make both ends meet. Newspapers and magazines generally did not pay the writers. If at all they did, it was only a pittance. Nor was there any money in theatre shows. Antony's entry into films was the turning point in his life. The break came when he was selected for the lead role in the film "Randidangazhi", (Two Measures of Rice) an adaptation of the novel of the same name, written by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai. Antony's acting skills in his very first film, earned him the National Merit Award. Thereafter, there was no looking back. He acted in as many as fifty films including "Bhargavi Nilayam", "Nagarame, Nandi", "Asuravithu", "Kattukurangu", "Seelavati", "Rosy", "Karutha Pournami", "Tharavattamma", "Kunjali Marakkar", "Murappennu", "Iruttinte Atmavu", and "Mutiyanaya Puthran". For some films, Antony himself did the story, script and dialogues. In addition to all this, he also directed the cinema "Periyar". P.J Antony became a popular actor within a short time. He shot to fame with the release of the film "Nirmalyam" in 1973. His portrayal of the "Velichapadu" was simply stunning and aweinspiring. It was this legendary performance which earned him all round admiration. "Nirmalyam" remains a milestone in Malayalam cinema. It bagged the "Bharat Award", a prestigious award for movies. P.J Antony was born in a working class family in Pachalam (Ernakulam) in the year 1925 and passed away on the 14th of March 1979. His contribution to the world of Malayalam theatre and cinema was marked not only by its immensity, but also by its variety. A road in Pachalam where he was born is named after him. There are also roads in Palarivattom and other places bearing his name. He remains one of the all-time stalwarts of Malayalam Cinema.

Investing in water will make some extremely rich : Jim Rogers Jim Rogers, the investor who foresaw the start of a commodity rally in 1999, said he was "extremely optimistic" about investing in water amid a scarcity of supply in countries from India to the USA. "If you can find ways to invest in water, you will be extremely rich because we do have a serious water problem in many parts of the world like India, China, the southwestern part of the US, and west of the Red Sea," Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, told

reporters at his home in Singapore on Monday. The world's growing food demand will create a progressive shortage in supplies, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Water used in farming will rise 70 to 90 per cent through 2050 as food demand doubles over the same period in emerging countries, Pasquale Steduto, principal officer of the FAO's water development and management unit, said in March.

NAVI MUMBAI - NEWS CIDCO nod must for development near Navi Mumbai Airport In a significant move towards long-term plan to build a knowledge corridor, the state government on 23rd January appointed the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) as the Special Planning Authority (SPA) for around 10 to 25 km peripheral area of the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport at Panvel. This means that for any development or construction in the area, one has to take CIDCO's permission. The development has stretched CIDCO's Navi Mumbai territory up to Karjat, K h o p o l i , K h a l a p u r, Khopta, Nitalas and Pen which include over 270 villages and an area of over 600 square km. The new territory of Cidco has been declared as Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA). “At present, our Navi Mumbai territory is 344 sq km. The development has brought a long-term assignment for CIDCO to regulate urban, industrial and other developments in this region mostly along the Mumbai-Pune old highway, Goa highway and the expressway,” said CIDCO MD Tanaji Satre. He said the permission has come after minute planning by Cidco officials over the last one year. The ministry of environment and forest, while granting environment and CRZ nod to the proposed Navi Mumbai airport, had put forward a condition to revise and recast the development plan of Navi Mumbai to avoid unplanned growth around the airport region. “As per the provisions prescribed by Airport Authority of India (AAI), no structure shall be constructed or erected within the periphery of ARP of NMIA without obtaining NOC from AAI. So, CIDCO had submitted a proposal to the government for its appointment as SPA for the area around the proposed airport,” said Cidco spokesperson Mohan Ninave. The area excludes eco-sensitive zones such as the Matheran Eco Sensitive Zone. With CIDCO's appointment as SPA, it has been declared that any other Special Planning Authority functioning in NAINA shall cease to function. “The UD department has told Cidco to prepare development proposals and development control regulation for the NAINA as per the MRTP Act,” said Satre.

TISS to create lawyers for vulnerable groups A first-of-its-kind masters programme by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) will allow students to work with undertrials, children in conflict with law, victims of abuse and disabled. The master of laws (LLM) programme is aimed at creating lawyers who can work for vulnerable groups such as children, poor, tribal, women and the disabled. "Most law graduates end up joining the corporate sector because that is where the money is. This has created a huge need for professionals who can deliver basic quality legal services to the vulnerable and marginalised. That is why we decided to introduce this one-year, intensive law programme. This programme on access to justice at TISS is peoplecentred, social justice-oriented, with a research-based curriculum aiming social transformation," said professor Asha Bajpai, dean at TISS School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance. The curriculum will include "clinical programmes". Students will be taught how to draft well-researched public interest litigations, how to fight cases for marginalised groups and use RTI Act and conduct law-reform exercises. Issues related to law and poverty, migration and displacement, dispute resolution, public advocacy will be integral to the course. "After graduating, students can work as community lawyers, legal advisers and researchers in civil society groups, legal and public services commissions, judicial services and agencies," said Bajpai. To work out a structure for the course, the school brought together IPS officers, legal experts, retired judges, social activists, research scholars, governance specialists and top legal academicians in June last year.

(Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation plans .. continued from page 1)

“There are some companies out there that clean and transport water," Rogers said, adding that he has owned shares in Singapore's water-treatment company, Hyflux Ltd, for a few years."Find one with good management and invest in it and you'll be rich."

"After completion of the project, commuters from Kalyan and Navi Mumbai will not have to travel by the main line to Thane. Due to migration of commuters on the Kalyan-Navi Mumbai route, the Thane trans-harbour services will have more space," said a CR official. Saksena said plans are afoot to build a ramp between Airoli and Thane to link the network to the fifth and sixth lines, which are being built between Thane and Diva. The ramp or viaduct will criss-cross the main line fast corridor and mail/express corridor. The fifth and sixth lines exist between Kurla-Thane and DivaKalyan. The two additional lines are being built on the extreme west side of the main line corridor between Thane and Diva. After completion, they will cater exclusively to express and goods train traffic from Kalyan to Kurla and later up to Parel. This will free up the existing four lines and allow CR to introduce more suburban services.


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May 1-15, 2013

Random Thoughts V. N. Gopalakrishnan Thrissur is known as the land of Poorams (festivals) and Thrissur Pooram is referred to as the festival of all festivals. It is celebrated at the famous Vadakkunnathan Temple and is also the biggest and most colourful temple festival of Kerala. It is one of the most spectacular festivals in the world and this year it was held on April 21.

The word Pooram means a group or a meeting but there is no match for it in terms of visual splendour, the grand assembly of caparisoned elephants, amazing pyrotechnic displays and spellbinding ensembles of percussion instruments. Thousands of enthusiastic crowds irrespective of caste, colour or religion converge at Thrissur to take part in the festivities. It is believed that the gods and goddesses meet each other annually on this occasion. This year, the festival is being celebrated on May 1. Sakthan Thampuran (1775-1790), Maharaja of the erstwhile Cochin State was responsible for introducing this festival. The celebrations start in the early hours of the morning and last till the break of dawn on the next day. Thrissur has two other well-known temples including Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu temples. Vadakkunnathan temple is believed to have been

Thrissur Pooram The Festival of all Festivals founded by Lord Parasurama. The main temple complex is spread over nine acres encircled by 64 acres of land called Thekkinkadu or forest of teakwoods, though there is no forest now. The four Gopurams (gateways) of the temple are beautifully carved out of wooden pillars incorporating rare architectural techniques. The temple has been declared a na-

tional monument by the Union Government under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. According to legend, the parents of Adi Shankaracharya came to Thrissur and observed bhajan for 41 days and as a result Vadakkunnathan was born to them as Shankara. Adi Shankaracharya himself, after his earthly mission, is said to have shed his mortal body here. Thrissur is situated in the centre of Kerala and is known as the cultural capital of the State. It spans an area of about 66.15 sq. km. and is built around a hillock overlooking the city. The centre of the city has one of the largest roundabouts in the world. The name Thrissur is derived from Thiru-Shiva-Perur, which literally means the city of the Sacred Siva. In ancient days, Thrissur was also known as Vrishachala (Vrisha means Nandikeswara) and as Kailasam, the abode of Lord Siva

(An Ailing Nation ......... continued from page 1) The nation needs to be managed on professional lines and this is possible only if India is administered on technically feasible lines with administrative zones clearly demarcated to ensure speedy implementation of welfare and economic policies. Lip services like the Aadhar which have admittedly failed before the start is no substitute for sound economic imperatives. To make one pay and seek refund later is nothing but a joke on the innocent public. We call ourselves liberal, religious and secular, cosmopolitan and professional without really understanding or practicing these concepts. In fact we are a divided nation on the lines of cast, creed, sect and religion, each having its own programs, organization and hidden agendas. We vote on the basis of the cast and religion of the candidate and never on the basis of merit, integrity, capability and contribution. This sheepish, stereotype, mass mentality results

in persons with doubtful credibility, integrity and ability finding their ways to the legislatures as elected representatives. It is no secrets that there are many with criminal background amongst our parliamentarians and legislatures. It is indicative of a major lacunae or deficiency in our governing system. How do we correct it? The emerging world it seems has realized this pitfall and has engineered methods to overcome administrative deficiencies with inbuilt system checks. These are based on sound management practices including social engineering. Robbing the Paul to pay the peter has been our taxation concept and the government has been lavishly spending, subsidizing, awarding and rewarding as if from its own pocket. The tax payer has no option except of course to evade it. If reports are to be believed, 612 patriotic Indians including 2 MPs have slashed sizable amount of black money in

in the South. The festival commences with the procession (ezhunellippu) of the Kanimangalam Shastha in the morning. The procession is a custom that signifies the visit of goddess from the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples. Apart from the two major temples, eight minor temples also participate in the Pooram. It must be noted that Vadukunnathan Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, remains a spectator during the Pooram granting the premises and convenience for the festival. No offering is received nor any expenditure incurred by the temple in connection with the Pooram and not even a special puja is offered on the occasion. The festival highlights include a spectacular pageant of 30 caparisoned elephants brought from various temples of Kerala and a competition in the swift rhythmic changing of brightly coloured and sequined parasols (Kudamattom). In the Kudamattom, the two sides engage in a competitive display of colourful umbrellas of various designs. The procession of the caparisoned elephants is commonly known as 'Aana Chamayal Pradarsana'. The traditional percussion ensembles such as Pancharimelam, Pandimelam and Panchavadyam provide an extremely appropriate accompaniment to the visual treats. Glittering fireworks light up the sky to provide a grand finale to the classic entertainment. The excitement reaches its pinnacle when the processions of the Thiruvambady Sri Krishna and Paramekkavu Devi temples face each other. The festival ends with a farewell programme for the deities of the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswams. This festival is probably the only festival in Kerala that attracts such large masses of people to a single event. banks across Europe and Asia and the Swiss Bank accounts of Indians have become an international joke and the joke is at the expense of the poor Indian tax pair. Combined with this we have another 3,50,000/- crores as non perform-ing asset with our RBI in the form of CRR. While India has the highest growth of loan in the world, recoveries are the lowest which is an indication of fiscal mismanagement and a policy failure. No doubt we have debt recovery tribunals such as SARFASI in place but these paper tigers are unleashed selectively and on flimsy grounds making recovery nominal and never phenomenal. Often the task of recovery is entrusted to petty officials who were banking officials who advanced loans while in office and failed to recover for want of effective legally enforceable title documents and collateral security. Mismanagement is not confined to banking or economic sector alone. A country of honey, milk

Navaratna Excellence Awards 2013 Presented The Nair Welfare Society, Powai organized Nair Mahotsavam2013 at Sharma Ground, Hari Om Nagar, Powai on April 21, 2013. Shri. Kollam Thulasi, Malayalam Cine artiste inaugurated the Nair Mahotsavam. Shri. Chandan C. Sharma, Municipal Corporator inaugurated the Navaratna Excellence Awards-2013. A Musical & Comedy Feast was presented by Naadam Orchestra followed by grand Food Festival.

The recipients of the Navaratna Excellence Awards 2013 were Shri. V. Suresh (Life time achievement), Shri. P.V.K. Nambiar (Socio-cultural services), Shri. K.G. Krishna Kurup (Educational excellence), Smt. Lalita Vasan (Mahila Ratna), Shri. Sachin Menon (Corporate excellence), Dr. Bijoykutty (Medical excellence), Shri. Sreekantan Nair (Performing and Fine arts), Shri. Prabhakaran Nair (Sports excellence), and Shri. P.V. Vijay Kumar (Journalism & Media).

(A Kerala family may come in ......... continued from page 2) Mr Naseer told IANS. He said the matter was something he studied as part of his doctoral studies. "The history of this treasure is like this: 136 years ago, a member of the Keyi family purchased land in the holy land of Mecca, and built a resting place for Haj pilgrims," Mr Naseer said. "In the 1950s, when the authorities, as part of modernisation of the infrastructure in and around Mecca acquired this property, they set aside as compensation 1.4 million Saudi riyals. No one from the Keyi family has been able to effectively stake its claim to the money, with proper records," he explained. As per Wakf rules, any property dedicated to Allah can be claimed by none other than the person himself or his descendants.

The Keyi family is thus entitled to the money, the director of the state minority welfare department said. "According to current estimates, the deposit that is with the Saudi treasury would now be worth more than Rs.5,000 crore (about $900 million). Under Saudi law, if the family gets the money, it will have to use it there itself. The sum is enough to build residential properties for accommodating the faithful who arrive in the holy land," Mr Naseer said. Since 2001, the Keyi family has been attempting to claim the money. The then AK Antony government in the state had entrusted the matter to an official. The present Oommen Chandy government has now appointed a special officer to liaison with the Centre and concerned departments in this regard.

and immense talent have been reduced to a place of silicon chips, plastic wastes and nuclear gadgets. This is what is India today. Look at the educational sector. Ever since the capitation fees have been legalized and deemed universities elevated to the status of Nalanda and Takshasila, educational institutions in our country has become a bakery producing quacks of the Idli type from the Udupi Hotels. Our investments in higher education appears to be to cater the needs of doctors and engineers abroad and the left behind from mediocre institutions are here to stay to tender the locals. What an irony? While we have many talented scientist and engineers working for Silicon Valley and doing research back here in our country we still do not have a single worthy invention to boast off. There is something apparently wrong with our system and our priority and now we adorn Sunita Williams.

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Sunny News May 1st-15th , 2013