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4, Sunrise Arcade, Plot No. 100, Sector - 16, Koperkhairane, Navi Mumbai - 400 709. Tel.: 2754 7222, Fax : 2754 0867, E-mail :

Feb.1-15, 2011

Vol. 6, Issue - 15.


First it was the restrictive visa policy that made the Goan Tourism industry lose 30% of their business. Now it is the turn of the Gulf NRIs who are worried about being brought into the tax dragnet for their income earned abroad. Are they being targeted because of the huge foreign exchange inflows through the FII route? India's annual convention – the recent three-day-long Pravasi Bharatiya Divas -- to connect with its 27-million strong Diaspora in over 150 countries concluded with President Pratibha Patil honoring 15 individuals for their achievements abroad. However considering the Government's recent proposals to tax NRIs, the Pravasi Bharati Divas has not gone down well with NRIs. The recently proposed Direct Tax code to tax global incomes of NRIs if they stay for more than 60 days in India seems to be the most NRI unfriendly bill seen to date. This Non Resident Indian (NRI) taxation system is being watched by expatriates who say that labourers working in the Gulf would be the hardest hit. According to the new law (NRIs) would have to pay income tax on their global income if they spend 60 days a year in India. Previously it used to be 182 days. Those liable for taxes under the Direct Tax Code Bill 2010 would pay a flat 20 per cent, regardless of income. The bill is being debated in parliament and will be effective by 2012 if it passes. It will most adversely affect low-income workers in the Gulf who bring in much needed Foreign Exchange for the country. Then there is also the possibility of NRIs being detained at airports over tax returns.Proponents of the bill claim that it will clamp down on money laundering and

discourage rich Indians like film stars etc., from spending time abroad to avoid taxes. But this is false reasoning as all income made out of business or work in India is taxable irrespective of the number of days stayed abroad. And if there is money laundering, there are ways to check that instead of trying to rip off poor labourers who toil without their families in the Gulf and bring home money for their family. Thousands of NRIs in the Gulf are low-income Indians who do not have their families staying with them. They spend more time in India not because they can afford to but because they are forced to due to family, sickness, children's education, etc. There are more than five million NRIs in the Gulf region and they were the most important source of foreign exchange to India. It has been reported that most expatriates have not understood the intricacies of the proposed tax law and will protest once they find out. According to Pinarayi Vijayan the CPM chief, the center is not considerate towards NRIs. The Kerala Pravasi Sangham took out a Raj Bhavan march protesting against the new policies of the central government concerning NRIs. “The Central Government is proposing to take away the NRI status of our people if they choose to stay with their loved ones for more than 59 days. This is unjust and ridiculous,” said Pinarayi V i j a y a n . The NRI taxation proposals clearly show that NRIs are being targeted for exploitation now as India is flush with foreign currency at a time of huge FII investments. The policymakers seem to have conveniently forgotten the contribution of NRIs in the last 5 decades for the Indian economy. It is these struggling toiling NRIs whobrought in much needed foreign exchange when India suffered due to a


Sreekumar Menon

lack of foreign exchange. The controversial visa policy affecting the tourism industry is the policy of not allowing Tourists to re-enter India for two months after they leave India. This has repercussions on the tourism industry of Goa and Kerala. The central government has refused to review its stringent visa rules which force tourists to take a two- month gap before re-entering India but tourism officials and tourism industry say that the norms have damaged the tourism prospects of Goa that has seen a severe drop in tourist arrivals. Goa annually attracts nearly half a million foreign tourists most of whom hail from European countries and arrive in Goa to enjoy the moderate winter. The union home ministry maintained that the new, stringent visa norms would stay because of numerous instances of 'misuse' of the tourist visas granted and for security reasons. All affected parties have reported that there was a need to distinguish between physical security concerns and economic security ones. Usually, a tourist visa is given for six months and foreigners were previously allowed to enter and leave the country as they pleased. A huge majority of such people made Goa their base for that period of five to six months, while visiting surrounding winter holiday destinations like Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia. Later they returned to Goa for the remainder of their holiday. Now, these people are making Sri Lanka and Thailand as their base due to the new visa norms. It is affecting tourists from Western Europe who used to spend their entire winter in sunny Goa. In previous years there used to be700 or so charters but last year saw only 288. The situation has become so grim that most hotels across segments have seen an average 30% dip in revenues. 2

Yes! It appears its picnic time for the corporators!! After the turn of the Navi Mumbai corporators, now seventy corporators from Mira- Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) have decided to go to Kerala on a study tour. Nepal, Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kerala, Shimla and Darjeeling are some of the places these corporators prefer for study tours. It's not difficult for the aam admi to understand why the corporators select such spots as study centres! The MBMC which has 84 corporators will bear the cost which includes flight tickets and accommodation. The total amount is estimated to be around Rs 23 lakhs. The tour comes at a time when the people are reeling under inflation and also several crucial projects whichinclude laying sewage pipes and

construction of roads are put on hold due to paucity of funds. According to sources, the study tour was passed by the civic standing committee without any uproar. Leaders from the ruling Congress-NCP combine, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena, Nav Nirman Sena (MNS) - are part of the tour. It is given to understand that Mayor Tulsidas Mhatre defended the tour saying this would help the leaders improve the functioning of MBMC. Corporators have been enjoying study tours at the cost of the corporation for a long time. But, the aam admi would like to know whether there is a single report or suggestion that has come from any of these corporators which could be of any use to any of the corporations?


[From Right -Shri.G.T. Varghese -Editor of Sunny News, V.K.S Menon-Sub Editor with Mr.Babu Edakkunni – well known Sand Creative Artist]

Sri.Babu Edakkunni was born in Perumbilissery of Thrissur District in Kerala State,S.India.His father was Late Sri.Edakkunni Velayudhan.After schooling at Perumbillissery,he learned the basics of drawing from School of Fine Arts,Thrissur.Then he joined as a

Greeting Card Designer for Archies at their Delhi office.From there he went abroad and joined at the National Council for Cultural Arts and heritage at Qatar,where he practiced himself the creations in sand.The first popular image created in sand by him belongs to the Ameer of Qatar.The image of the Ameer was created using the soil collected from various parts of Qatar.On the great success of his creation,he depicted several natural scenes and historical images of Qatar and exhibited at Sheraton Hotel of Doha,where visitors from several countries appreciated the works of Babu Edakkunni and invited him to conduct such Exhibitions in their countries.He created the images of several National Heads of States,Politicians,Gods sand.The important among them are of the Indian President Sri.A.P.J.Abdul 3


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Feb. 1-15, 2011


The recent spat between Kerala's CPM party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and Chief Minister Achuthanandan seems to show the deep division between the developmental faction and the environmental faction of the Communist party ruling the state. Interestingly it also shows the utter contempt that Kerala's establishment has for Gujarat. When the Chief Minister suggested that Pinarayi Vijayan was comparing Kerala with Gujarat's development, Pinarayi Vijayan was quick to angrily retort with a press statement that no communist would dare to extol the virtues of Gujarat ruled by Modi and that he was referring to Tamil Nadu. Capt. Krishnan Nair, CEO of Lila Hotels has said that Pinarayi Vijayan would have been a better CM than V.S. Achuthanandan, with regards to industrial development. In spite of all the rhetoric by Pinarayi Vijayan that Kerala should emulate neighboring Tamil Nadu in development, the truth is both Achuthanandaan and Pinarayi Vijayan are two sides of the same coin. And this spat is only rhetoric keeping in mind the elections next year. Had Pinarayi Vijayan wanted development like Tamil Nadu, he would have done a lot in the last 5 years instead of talking about it in the penultimate year of his party's rule. It is a known fact that the CPM would be losing the next elections and both of them are only trying to create some kind of publicity over the issue of industrialization and environment to obfuscate the minds of the public about the seriousness of unemployment and its consequent social ills like rampant alcoholism, crime, class wars etc. that is plaguing the state. It is true that Kerala can never dream of the kind of developments which aretaking place in Tamil Nadu or other states. The arrogance of Kerala's ruling class and that of most Keralites especially the fattened working class that sways under communist ideology will not allow it. It is no wonder that most Keralites have to run away to other places in the world and only come back to Kerala for a vacation.will not allow any industry that will pollute the air, water or food sources,

which environmentally speaking is good for the state. That is exactly why average life expectancy in Kerala is above 75 years compared to less than 60 years in other states. Kerala does needs development but not of the industrial variety. The only polluting industry that Kerala urgently needs is Power plants and if uninterrupted power and good roads can be provided, Kerala will be an even better place to live in India. Since it has India's biggest big pool of educated and talented people, the right model for development would be of the service model. Instead of debating over industrialization versus environment, the state needs to encourage the setting up of even more service sector institutions like Medical, Engineering and Management Colleges, IT parks, Financial Centers and other service based businesses and organizations that aids in creating a financial and knowledge based economy where educated and intelligent Keralites could be taught and trained to take over and manage industries located in other states, even beating the Gujaratis at their own game. But it is a shame that all Keralites are being brainwashed and molded from childhood into becoming working class with a communist labor class mentality and zero entrepreneurship abilities. Kerala's Human Development Index rating is the highest in India. It has been reported that this apparently paradoxical "Kerala phenomenon" or "Kerala model of development" of high human and low economic development is said to be due to its strong service sector. However the question remains that if the service sector is really strong in Kerala then why do Keralites escape from Kerala to other parts of India or the world to make a living? There is an urgent need for both the ruling factions of Kerala to think over this issue and take necessary action instead of playing dirty political games that are destroying the social fabric of Kerala.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL - ITS ACTIVITIES Impunity and International Justice('The missing link' is: a Permanent international criminal court. Half a century ago, member states of the newly founded UN pledged themselves to create a new system of international justice, moves to make this a reality by establishing a permanent international criminal court gained momentum during the year, despite continuing obstruction by some states. Such a court would try Perpetrators of gross violations of international human Rights and humanitarian law when states were unwilling or unable to do so).An adhoc committee of government experts, set up By the UNgeneral Assembly in 1994,met in New York in April and August to examine the draft statute for the court .A number of states, including two of the permanent members of the Security Council, France and Russia believed thatthe Draft statue could be turned into a treaty and the court set up, without delay. However, a small group of influential States, including the other three permanent members of the UNsecurity Council- China, the United Kingdom and The USA raised

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

a number of major objections which they argued should be resolved before drafting of a treaty for the court could begin Several controversial issues were raised which required resolutionbefore a strong statute could emerge. It was generally agreed that the court should step in only when states are unable or unwilling to try suspects.But who should decided w h e t h e r t h e

UNJUST AND REDICULOUS TAX .......cont.from page-1

Another controversial visa policy concerns the Overseas Citizen of India card, which was misleadingly touted as dual citizenship by the media a few

years ago. Many NRIs applied for it only to find later that it was an expensive and complicated extendedstay visa with no dual citizenshipbenefits. The new surrender certificate policy and visa processing times in Indian consulates in the US simply shows how ridiculous the charges are and how difficult it is for Indians who have taken US citizenship to visit India. Western citizens of Indian origin have been given the privilege of an OCI card that allows visa free visits. However the cost of OCI card along with surrender certificate for

government and other relevant entities or powers might be. These are called economic risks if coordination fails among governments in place. So the Constitutional Courts are set up to see all factors involved. Here military economic macro factors are clearly involved which supersedes all other factors, as safety of country or Nation is much more important in the schemes of National Economy. Yes there is economic loss directly to builders and the society as the High Court may levy exemplary damages,under Torts on Maharashtra Government as also Aharsh Society and builders, besides some body directly and indirectly involved may be sent to jail for incarcerations under criminal laws. This uncomfortable situation is wrought by immature nexus of politicians-bureaucratsbuilders nexus, similarly in stock markets, politicians-bureaucratscorporate-broking community nexus. Nexus does not care about the Nation and National interests, but just their own profits at the cost of any thing, including losing Nation, that is historical perception of National Economy after all it means to see the Nation as a whole just as we look at a family as a whole instead of a person in the family, even at the cost of that one member of family. That is the National economics perception. Stock markets ups and down slides just depend upon profits, whether ethical or not. So irresponsible fake Corporate Social responsibilities just turn sham exercises at the cost of Nation. Government of India dancing on Economic development may accept losses of telecom extravagancy, by saying this and that to protect corporate. This will mean changing some statutes and if it does, it is some kind of profligacy of wealth of democracy, a death knell to democratic national economy. There are always methods for corporate economy (Business economy – a scion of micro economy) by tuning to macro mixed economy of the existing system. That is economics of 'Managing Change'. ( I wrote an article on Managing Change in Economic Times in May 1991 and followed by articles in Independent, another news paper of Times group

then) If food prices escalate, government can even lose good part of public exchequer revenues but not for imaginary economic development, at the cost of man on the street and that if happens is called a mixed economic costs, which all tax payers will not quarrel as all will be benefitted, in some proportions, called equity of distribution of economic wealth of Nation, but not otherwise. Generally putting sham firms share markets are just gambling with the firm. So many proprietary/corporate firms are unsafe of monetary risks in transition of Economy. Players (just unrealistic investors) are to look just unrealistic profits irrespective of how you get profits. It is like robber robs some one else's properties just to make his own profits and not to share with poor – rob Peter to pay Paul principle. Otherwise he does not bother what happens to others? 17th to 20th century rules of law game was Rule of Law (Administrative Law). So British maintained steadily price stability, except during war time but soon after war, prices stabilized under restoration economic principles. That is Holistic economics. Developed and developing economies will experience unexpected volatility, as the name of the game is just short term profits not sustained profits and profitability, though intended, but invariably fail as greedy human behavior is at work. Builders borrow money from investors at all kinds of interest rates to maintain their own cash flows to complete projects and they have to pay investors the money borrowed back with abominable interest rates and they thus choose to fleece the buyers later without remorse, under so many kinds of modalities, like super built up, terrace. Balconies are to be free from FSI schemes and yet builder will take money from buyer, even for open areas. So Rules of laws are just flouted with impunity, just because profit is the motive, at any cost and that cannot be called Economy Management of Nations. Every one participates at one's own costs knowing fully well as helpless situation forces one, as when invader invades, you helplessly surrender is it not that is the greatest economic risk.

FOR Visa FOR VisaFees AMERICANS Fees AMERICANS Tourist visa Entry OFINVisa DIAN 6months $60 6Om onths $100+$175* RIG IN ----- 1year $140+$175* 5years $150 5years $220+$175* 10years $150 ----Visa Processing 1-3 Visa Processing Delayed time --days PIO --timecard - 15 $365+$175*=$540 ----OC I card $275+$175*=$450 years ----PIO /OCI Around6months lifetim e *$175is aonetime charge toProcessing put a cancel timstam e ponthe passport andget asurrender certificate, once anIndianhas acquiredforeigncitizenship


Exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices move uncontrollably when cash is on hand excessively and also unpredictably, due to various other factors, factoring new problem moves cause risks to firms. Quarterly earnings face problems for firms. It is a fact advanced production technologies, cheap labor availability, good marketing are no longer only factors to determine success of firm, in such situations. Firm depends on price volatility, in the unstable economy. That when not too much volatility economy carves out success of firm. Otherwise, due to several competitive factors of fluctuation, just because you cannot predict human mind reacting to spur situations leading to psychical troubles to shoot the other, firm cave in. Financial markets respond to increasing price risks. Financial instruments and strategies are misused to manage the resulting to exposures, like Adharsh building in Mumbai, Canteen Stores Department of Armed Forces, sports , telecom, to name few 'scams' under present rule of law, leading to sudden plummets in relevant areas affecting the firm, if it is a not a part of scheme of things under rules of law. CAG works on under existing rules of laws but not on so called government policies, which change according to idiosyncrasies of party in power, say for five years or ten, unless rules of law are not tuned to, so called policies of governments. Governments cannot talk too much on policies if they failed to modify rules of law game, with complete support of complete confidence of 2/3 majority of parliament comprising all political parties, after all in a democracy you will have to protect interests of common man represented by different parties, not on the basis of some perceptions of few allies in government. Otherwise Conflict of Economics surfaces like Conflict of Laws, after all you have to run government for the benefit of all, not a few! That is democratic socialistic economics Adharsh demolition is imminent just because not only flouting CRZ norms but flouting Defense of India - Military Rules - as this serious violation puts city of Mumbai in sensitive radar. So

Dr. G. Balakrishnan [PhD (Econ) ML.,( Professor Emeritus) (Economics & Management) & Advocate(original side), Bombay High Court & High Court appointed Mediator, Sr. Counsel, Supreme Court of India]

High Court of Bombay will have to look into the plea of Navy, Air Force and Army and accept the military views, as the military views is to protect the country from foreign aggression anytime or even any other forces surfacing from time to time. So the Honorable Court may not be inclined to give relief to Adharsh builders and Society, even if the courts are influenced by powers that might be and the building need have to be handed over to Navy for necessary use or destruction, as the case may be, without any compensation to flat holders in Adharsh; and if destroying again the builders and society should economics Adharsh demolition is imminent just because not only flouting CRZ norms but flouting Defense of India Military Rules - as this serious violation puts city of Mumbai in sensitive radar. So High Court of Bombay will have to look into the plea of Navy, Air Force and Army and accept the military views, as the military views is to protect the country from foreign aggression anytime or even any other forces surfacing from time to time. So the Honorable Court may not be inclined to give relief to Adharsh builders and Society, even if the courts are influenced by powers that might be and the building need have to be handed over to Navy for necessary use or destruction, as the case may be, without any compensation to flat holders in Adharsh; and if destroying again the builders and society should pay all relevant demolition expenses as also restoring the road width, since reduced by fiat of Maharashtra

court or states themselves? Amnesty international agreed that the court should have exclusive power to decide this question .Some states opposed giving the Prosecutor the power to initiate investigation a and prosecutions without first receiving a complaint from a state or from the UN security council. Amnesty International considered that the independence of the court would be compromised unless the Prosecutor was able to receive information from any source and to bring cases before the court of his or her own initiativeAmnesty International members through out the world stopped up their campaign for their establishment of an international criminal court, sending petitions to their goverments, organizing public meetings ,writing to their members of parliament, meeting with their ministers for foreign affairs and raising the issue in national newspapers. Amnesty International urged states to complete their discussions in 1996 so that the crucial intergovernmental conference could t a k e p l a c e i n 1 9 9 7 .

Americans of Indian origin is $450($175 for putting a cancel stamp on Indian passport and $275 for the onewants OCI.)But the issue is that it is a complicatedprocess and could take up to 6 months or more to be issued and ifto travel to India in the interim he has to apply for an entry visa. There seems to be no application of mind in the current policy changes and proposals. It has been reported that the NRIs and tourism industry are being targeted and given the boot because India is flush with foreign currency of FIIs and NRI remittances are not needed. But it does makes one feel that policy makers are totally ungrateful to those who helped India shore up its Foreign Exchange reserves in the last 5 decades. This is definitely not something that is helping the image of a mature India.


The government is paving way for high-rises in the Semi-urban and rural areas That are withnessing rapid urbanisation.The state urban development department wants to Introduce comprehensive Development control regulations (DCR) in the rural areasthat are governed by B and C Category local self bodies. “Currently, there is no Proper regulation for development in the rural and semi Urban areas. The tehsils and villages that are governed by Municipal councils and gramPanchayats and come in the Category can withness system-Atic development after the implementation of the revised DCR,” said TC Benjamin,Principal secretary, urban development department.The urbanization rate inTehsils and villages is expected to go beyond 50% from the Present 44%.A committee of Deputy directors of town planning from Nashik, Pune and Konkan range had been given The responsibility of chalking out the regulations.The committee, which studies.The DCR of Tamil Nadu, Gujarata and Karnataka, has submitted its report on the DCR. The revised DCR will soon be finalised.“The DCR of 1979 governLocal self bodies and are restricted to roads. New DCR will allow us additional FSI in the rural areas,”an official from the department said.

Feb.1-15, 2011

How serious are we about custodial deaths?

It happened in Kuwait. The state's minister for internal affairs resigned over a case of custodial death for which the city police was responsible. 32 year old Mohammed Ghasali Al Mutairi was arrested by the Kuwait city police on charges of selling liquor and was later found dead in custody. The incident flared up as a major issue creating an uproar amongst the members of parliament which led to the resignation of the minister for internal affairs. The minister Shaikh Jabar Khalid Al Saba submitted his letter of resignation to the prime minister in which he said that he found himself incompetent to lead the ministry in a situation where assaults on the citizens were on the increase. The controversy came to the fore when some MPs alleged that Mutairi died of police torture. At first, the authorities maintained that he died of natural causes. They said that he was admitted to the hospital when he complained of chest pain and was brought back after the doctors found no symptoms of illness. He was readmitted, they said, when he again complained of uneasiness. However, MP Musallum Al Barak alleged that youth died of torture in custody and pointed out that there were several marks of injury on his body. He also accused the authorities of trying tocover up the incident by influencing doctors to obtain a favourable report.

The minister constituted a five member parliamentary committee to probe the controversial death and submit a report within two weeks. In the meantime, the ministry released the post mortem report which mentioned the cause of death as torture. Following this, the miister Shaikh Jabar Al Saba submitted his resignation. The cabinet, however, turned down the offer of resignation. He was asked to continue in office and take strict action against the guilty officials. Besides, the cabinet also recorded its appreciation of the courage shown by him to bring the guilty before the law. It further noted that the custodial death was an exceptional one. The incident naturally leads us to the situation in India. Has any minister in any of the states of India relinquished office taking moral responsibility for custodial deaths? Such instances are not exceptional hers as in Kuwait. In Maharashtra, there was the notorious case of Khwaja Yunus who was apprehended in the Ghatkopar blast case in 2002. The latest case (2011) is that of a woman who was picked up for alleged theft and t o r t u r e d i n c u s t o d y. She attemptedsuicide in the police station and later died in a hospital. Strangely, her arrest was not recorded, nor an FIR lodged and the police officer responsible for the arrest was absconding. In between these twocases, there have been a number of deaths in custody, some of them going by the name encounter deathsThe Sohrabuddin case I n Gujarat is another example. In the highly literate state of Kerala, there have been several cases.including the Rajan case, the Udayakumar and the recent Sampathcase. Last year a Kerala High

court verdict proved that 'encounter' could sometimes be murders in cold blood. After 40 years of the death of the alleged naxalite Varghese, it was established that he was shot dead on the orders of the police higher-ups. Lakshmana, a top officer at that time, was found guilty and sentenced to jail. Sometime ago, there was a shocking report from the state of Jammu and Kashmir, that in the name of fighting terrorists, the police and security forces were routinely engaged in fake encounters, killing innocent people. Their intention, of all things, was to prove their merit to obtain promotions! “Our Republic cannot behave like this and kill its own citizens� observed the bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R.M Lodha of the Supreme court while hearing the case of Maoist leader Azad and journalist Harichandra Pandey who were killed by the Andhra Pradesh police in July last year. A fact-finding team of the Democratic Rights Organization found that the victims were shot at from a close range and killed by the police in blatant violation of their rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. The police version was that they were killed in an encounter in the Adilabad forests. We may wonder why our political leaders do not feel the prick of conscience when incidents such as these are rampant. The only minister in independent India who voluntarily resigned on moral grounds was none other than Lal Bahadur Shastri. A simple and selfless Gandhian he was shocked by the Ariyaloor railway accident and as minister for railways, he relinquished his post.

NO PAINT,NO,BRUSH!........ cont.from page.1

difficult part to create, as they had to convey the seriousness and sensitivity that our President has," says the artist who often finds formation of jaw lines and eyes "a little too difficult a portion to develop with this medium." This medium, he adds is one that does not give you a chance for retakes as in theatre performances. "Once the soil is pasted on plywood with Fevicol, it takes a permanent shape," he informs.

THE PRESIDENT IN SOIL... Babu Edakkunni with his creation in New Delhi.. Kalam.This image was created using place in Pondicherry and a yellow one the soil of all States in India.The image from Coimbatore. The result is, well, of Dr.Jayalalitha (former Chief our beloved President Abdul Kalam Minister of Tamil Nadu,India),The Azad. No, it is not his sculpture portrait of Lord Sree Krishna etc are mounted at a venue of national other notable works.The next work he importance but a huge painting p r o p o s e t o d o i s o f C o m created on plywood onlywith all these .Achuthanandan-the present Chief different types of soil by 38-year-old Kerala-born Minister of Kerala.A PINCH of white Babu Edakkunni, a soil from Silgoti village in Haryana, a Qatar-based artist who specialises in little bit of grey clay from a place making paintings using soil. When called Farmer's Village in the north of Babu presented this painting to the Haryana, reddish brown soil from President this past week at the Jalahali, and mustard shade earth from Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President, in the artist's words, "jumped from his a chair after getting to know that it was made only with soil." In the portrait of the President, "the eyes were the most


Babu does not use any artificial colours to bring the desired shades to his creations but mixes the huge collection of soil he procures from almost across the world to create his paintings. And he tries to make portraits of the Heads of State of the countries he visits, using only soil procured from their particular country. For instance, in creating the President's portrait, he did not use soil from a foreign land. Similarly, he made the portrait of Sheikh Ahmad bin Khalifa Al Thani and heir apparent Tamim bin Ahmad Al Thani, of the UAE, from soil found in the UAE only. This creative designer, who earlier worked with Archies, did his tformal training from Thrissur School of Art and is currently employed with the Ministry of Culture in Qatar. This ardent admirer of Van Gogh and Picasso would like to exhibit his works in Delhi once he gets the sponsorship.


IOC plant of Navi Mumbai on fire

Indian Oil Corporation's lube bending plant caught fire on Tuesday and caused heavy losses for the company. Fortunately everybody was rescued and there were no causalities or deaths. The reason of the fire as given by the preliminary report of IOC was electrical short circuit but the matter has been looked into and the losses are being assessed. R.H. Gharat, sub-officer at the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation Fire Brigade, told that more than 15 fire engines were pressed into service. Fire tenders of IOC and neighboring industries were also deployed. The main storage of lubricant oil was saved from getting destroyed.


Sreekumar Menon

NMMT has introduced a new bus route (Bus No-58) from Kopar Khairne to Khopoli via Vashi, CBD and Chowk. This has come as a New Year gift for the people residing in places like Chowk and Khopoli. Now there will be bus available at a frequency of every 30 minutes to go to Chowk and Khopoli. Sunny News has been highlighting the need for better transportation system at these areas as more and more people are on the lookout for affordable homes beyond Panvel. NMMT has acknowledged the request by introducing this new route and would

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this would benefit hundreds of people who have already booked their homes and moved to areas beyond Panvel. Earlier, the out going state transport buses from Mumbai had declared stop at Chowk for the convenience of people staying in and around Chowk. Now with the addition of NMMT buses, and the news that local trains are being introduced beyond Panvel, the demand for houses in these areas is expected to go up with immediate effect.








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(Javed Akhtar opens up about corruption, the importance of our national language, his favorite genre, his weakness and HIS REAL NAME) with our reporter Akriti. Akriti Seth – Sir, my first question is an informal question. I saw it on Twitter that you write your name as Javed Akhtar Jadoo. What is the reason behind writing Jadoo? Javed Akhtar- Reason one- Javed Akhtar is already booked by somebody on e-mail so I couldn't get it. It's Jadoo because I had to make some change and if I change it too much then nobody will know it's me. So I had to keep Javed Akhtar as something to make it different. And Jadoo is my childhood name, my pet name. My family members, my old school friends even today call me Jadoo. Nobody calls me Javed. Actually, it's an interesting story. Generally what happens is your name decides your pet name but in my case it was my pet name that decided my name. When I was born in Gwalior my mother was in the hospital and my father and some friends were sitting there. The very day when I was born. Somebody said what should be the name of this baby? So the other friend reminded my father that when you had married her you had written her a poem “lamha lamha kisi jadoo ka fasana hoga”. They suggested him this is the Jadoo (magic). Why don't you keep his name Jadoo? So they

started calling me Jadoo. For the first two and a half years my name was only Jadoo and then others said c'mon you are stretching things a bit too far. You have to have a proper name for the child. When he goes to the school he will need a proper and regular name. So because of Jadoo they kept my name Javed. Akriti Seth – Sir, you totally stand by your name Jadoo\ magic. Sir in an interview with BBC in 2006 with Neol Thompson you made a statement that “Bollywood films have lost its soul” and the quality of Hindi cinema has been undermined. May I know the reason why?

Javed Akhtar- I feel that what is happening with time is that the society is bifurcated, it's divided. Over the last 20 years we have developed a huge middle class and upper middle class that have enough money and now things have become viable if you produce movies only for this particular class. So what is happening is that the

film is being made not for an average Indian but for this particular class. Multiplexes have become the main source of revenue and it is interesting that the audience is shrinking and the income is increasing now. The film maker who himself is from the upper middle class has no inclination to know about the people who live in the smaller towns. People who are not the members of this charmed circles;people the film is not made for them. Thus proof of what I am saying is that recently there were some kind of differences between the multiplex owners and the producers. Now in India today you have more than 1600 multiplex screens and on the other hand around 13000 theatres. So because of these 1600 multiplex screens for almost 2 months no movie was released. They could have very well released those movies on 13000 theatres but they did not because they have not made those films for 13000 theatres. They have made those films for only for those 1600 multiplex screens where the ticket is 300-500 rupees. Now if you are making a film for a particular class why would you show the other class? In the movies in last ten years there has hardly been any protagonist who comes from a working class. There was a time in 50's 60's 70's and I m not talking of intellectual standards or IQ but the fact (To be continued in next issue)


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