News

Kailash Kher unwell, hospitalised

Posted on May 23, 2015 from Maharashtra, Bollywood

Mumbai, May 23 (IANS) Singer Kailash Kher has been admitted to a hospital here, he said on his social media account on Saturday. He says he had been ignoring his health, and ultimately, had to cancel a show in Gujarat.

The "Teri deewani" singer took to social networking website to share that he was admitted to the Kokilaben Hospital.

"Ignoring of health, preference to commitment only takes You to places, nobody ever wish to go to. First time in Kokilaben Hospital, Mumbai. New York se aate hi hospital me Bharti Hona padaa (Got admitted in the hospital just after coming back from New York," the 41-year-old singer shared.

Kher also shared a photograph in which he was seen lying on the hospital bed.

The singer feels that he has learnt a lesson by ignoring his health.

"First time public show in Bharuch Gujrat had to be cancelled In the history of #?Kailasa... Big lesson learnt, never take your health lightly even though if you have dinner with Obama or receiving Nobel.. Body takes revenge silently untimely May God keep my world healthy happy for ever," he posted.

News

We'll come to power in Bihar: Jaitely

Posted on May 23, 2015 from Delhi, National

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hopeful of winning the Bihar assembly election later this year and termed as "impractical" the Rashtriya Janata Dal-Janata Dal-United coalition.

"Our party hopes to win the polls that are to happen in Bihar soon. An impractical coalition is set to try and stop us. I am sure we, along with our allies, will come to power in Bihar," Jaitley said in a press conference here.

Stating that the BJP had become the central core of Indian politics, Jaitely said: "we are on the centre stage".

"Our party and our cadre are proud of our performance," the senior BJP leader said on the occasion of one-year of Modi government, adding: "The last one year has been historic for BJP."

Stating that now there was "clarity of direction" and "policy paralysis has been fought down", Jaitely said: "Corruption has been replaced by transparent governance" and "crony capitalism has been replaced by liberal policy."

He also said the last one year has "restored the credibility, stature of PMO".

News

The itinerant prime minister yet to visit a Muslim country (Comment: Special to IANS)

Posted on May 23, 2015 from Delhi, National

Measuring a government's achievements in its first year has to be inherently speculative. But some things can be put down to Narendra Modi's account with a degree of certainty. He has in his first year as prime minister, never worn a Muslim cap although it is difficult to identify a cap of that denominational description.

Time was when a dopalli topi or a white muslin cap was standard headgear among Hindus and Muslims alike. In winters, muslin gave way to wool. A variety of headgear was on exhibition at prime ministerial Iftar parties, a standard Congress fare, but which mushroomed in direct proportion to Congress decline.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, an equally eager Muslim vote hunter, went on an Iftar feeding spree too, wearing funny hats. But he also struck a high cultural note to accentuate his secular identity. So far political leaders had mobilized the clergy from Deoband, Imam Bukhari of Jama Masjid and sundry Mullahs as potential vote gatherers. Mulayam Singh was persuaded that Muslims along with a religious identity, also had a cultural dimension. They were, in other words, amicable to charms of Urdu poetry as well.

It turns out that in UP there is an Urdu poet buried behind every culvert. In the contemporary era there have been some very famous poets. Someone mentioned the name of Josh Malihabadi. But he had blotted his copy by going over to Pakistan where Faiz Ahmad Faiz beat him hollow in the popularity stakes. Next in status would have been Firaq Gorakhpuri. But his full name was Raghupati Sahai. Mulayam asked shrewdly: how would that affect voters?

Jigar Moradabadi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Shakeel Badayuni, Ali Sardar Jafri (Balrampur) and, the greatest of them all, Majaz Lucknowi, were all within hailing distance of Mulayam Singh. But they all suffered from one handicap: they had no lobbies to promote their candidature.

In this respect, Kaifi Azmi was doubly blessed. His daughter, the distinguished actor, Shabana Azmi and lyricist and poet, Javed Akhtar, worked on Mulayam's aesthetic aspirations with great diligence. There is no Indian poet in any language who has a railway train named after him: Kaifi does. There is a Kaifiat Express to Azamgarh where in Mijwan village, a girl's school and haveli have been resurrected in his name. This is not all. All India Kaifi Azmi Academy has been opened in Lucknow in service of Urdu, with generous cash replenishments from the state.

Mulayam Singh's single minded patronage of Kaifi Azmi does serve the cause of Urdu, which must be welcome. But it surely cannot be anybody's case that in Lucknow, the city of Urdu's greatest masters, all iconography must be focused on Kaifi Azmi alone, a remarkable poet though he was.

Excepting a flair for sartorial colour combinations, Modi has in his first year not demonstrated a sensitivity to aesthetics. Muslims associated with him, Najma Heptullah, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Zafar Sareshwala, have all been assigned to maintain some kind of paddocks for Muslims. Heptullah and Naqvi are senior and junior ministers for Minority Affairs and Sareshwala a newly appointed Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad.

Modi is giving out two signals: in my generous, "genuine" secularism I have three outlets for minorities. There is a second and more important message: away from the mainstream, there are separate watering holes for Muslims. Does it not smack of apartheid? A ministry for minorities is in any case a retrogressive idea in a secular state. And if you must have such a ministry, it would seem more wholesome in enlightened Hindu hands. That would have been more integrationist.

The conceptual framework in which Modi sees Muslims became clear in his very first speech in parliament after being sworn in as prime minister: he talked of "1,200 years of ghulami" or servitude. In other words he sees the entire Muslim period as one of "ghulami". This is direct, blunt and possibly hurtful but at a wide variance from the Nehruvian construct about only 200 years of British rule being foreign. The professional secularist ofcourse glosses over this one in tactful silence, which is another way of telling a lie. This is one of the unsettled questions of the Indian condition after Partition.

How this appraisal of history plays on Modi's neighbourhood policy has yet to be seen. His very hectic foreign itinerary has some very revealing gaps.

For a prime minister who has undertaken more foreign travel than any in his first year, Modi probably holds an unnoticed record: he has not yet visited a Muslim country. He even refused to attend the 60th anniversary of the Bandung conference on April 22 attended by statesmen like China's Xi Jinping. Indonesian President Joko Widodo tried to contact Modi on the phone but could not. Whether he was avoiding Jakarta, capital of world's largest Muslim country or discarding a Nehru trail remains unclear.

An outstanding success story for India in foreign policy terms happens to be Sheikh Haseena in Bangladesh. Will Modi break his taboo on travel to Muslim countries by an early visit to Dhaka?

There obviously is a new, secretive style being enunciated in South Block of which itineraries are only a glaring part. It would therefore be premature to arrive at conclusions even on the basis of Modi's travels and the Sangh Parivar's known stance on minority issues. Who knows what script has been thought through on the BJP-PDP arrangement in Jammu and Kashmir which has been managed with skillful patience and care so far. All these are salient features in his first year.

(A leading commentator on political and diplomatic issues, Saeed Naqvi can be reached on saeednaqvi@hotmail.com. The views expressed are personal.)

News

Indian designers to give global face to Banarasi weaves

Posted on May 23, 2015 from Delhi

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Age-old Banarasi weaves from Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency, are poised for a facelift, courtesy a string of high-end Indian designers who are hoping to put their forces behind improving the livelihood of skilled workers and forging the global popularity of the fabric as a Make In India product.

A meeting, led by designer-politician Shaina NC and FDCI (Fashion Design Council of India) president Sunil Sethi, held earlier this week in the presence of union Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Gangwar and noted names from the fashion fraternity, steered efforts towards revival of handloom from Varanasi under Modi's Make in India campaign.

Pioneering designer Ritu Kumar said that "in today's textile world, Banaras handlooms hold a special place" and deserves to be showcased at international platforms - whether this is via ramps or musuems.

"They are the only gold and silver patterned fabric reaching out to the Indian subcontinent in its sari and brocaded production. It is one of the textiles which is India's USPs," Kumar, who felt a dire need to bring Banarasi weaves into limelight, told IANS.

"Handlooms are largely used in India on high glamourised occasions such as weddings, both for grooms and brides. It also has a significant place in Indian formal wear. (But) there is definitely a need to also design the fabrics in a way that they can fit into the ready to wear seg. But the absence of Banaras brocades internationally is due to the fact that they do not have the correct image or exposure," she added.

The attempt via the government's effort is reportedly also to improve the infrastructure for textile work in Varanasi; to provide support to designers looking to work for the project; to provide yarn at subsidised rates; to set up dyeing centres and to facilitate smooth buyer-seller meets to boost the commercial aspect.

This dream can turn into reality for other handlooms too if the government and designers work in tandem, David Abraham of designer label Abraham & Thakore pointed out.

"Banaras has a very diverse weaving tradition and has a wide variety of techniques and structures suitable for many types of apparel. A successful outcome with Banaras handweaving will lead the way for similar action in other handloom centres," Abraham told IANS.

However, he stressed that "while global recognition is important, we need to focus on the threat that cheap imports and other machine-made textiles pose in India itself".

According to a 2008 report by IANS, some 300,000 such weavers in Varanasi, along with their families, were struggling to make ends meet as the handloom industry fights for survival. The result? Expert handloom and embroidery artisans have either migrated to cities like Bengaluru, Surat, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Delhi or shifted to unskilled work.

It was just a few months ago that Modi brought in respite and cheer to the weavers of his constituency, when he announced a financial aid to boost the textile industry - an over Rs.2,000 crore ($315) package for 16 sick cooperative banks to make loans easily available for the region's weavers.

Back then, Modi had said how a Banarasi sari needs "no marketing" as every mother has a dream to gift at least one such six-yard wonder to her daughter on her marriage.

The latest initiative of the government and designers is perhaps going to cheer the weavers further. Also, within a fortnight, a group of designers and Gangwar are planning a meeting in Varanasi for an "introductory session with master weavers".

As designer Anju Modi said: "The real precious heritage of our country is getting lost day-by-day and everybody is forgetting their skills. As designers, we feel that this (heritage) is something that we should cherish, preserve and improvise on."

(Nivedita can be contacted at nivedita.s@ians.in)

News

Impressed by Salman's fandom, Stallone wants 'action' with him

Posted on May 23, 2015 from Maharashtra, Bollywood

Mumbai, May 23 (IANS) Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone, who has thrown up a suggestion to work with the "Dabangg" star Salman Khan in an action film -- in perhaps the "new 'Expendables'" -- is impressed with the fan following of the Indian superstar.

Be it his "Dabangg" style, his way of carrying his heart on his sleeves, witty nature or the ever popular shirtless stint on the big screen, Salman has developed a special relationship with his fans. And that has "impressed" Stallone.

Stallone took to micro-blogging site Twitter to appreciate his loyal fan following.

"Salman, I am very impressed with your many devoted fans. To make a great Action film Sucessful takes MANY great fans who support you, Sly," Stallone, who is known for his action-packed entertainers, tweeted.

This comes after the "Rocky" star suggested collaborating with Salman for an action film together, after Salman sent out a tweet, admiring his screen icon.

"Would like to thank the super talented Indian superstar SALMAN KHAN the Compliment he Tweeted! We should do an ACTION FILM together," Stallone posted.

The Hollywood icon even had a suggestion for the project as he posted: "Mabye the New EXPENDABLES".

On Friday, the "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" actor had called upon his 12 million fans on micro-blogging website Twitter to follow the legendary actor as he is their "hero ka hero".

Salman's tweet read: "Agar kisi ko follow karna hai? Bahar ka... Inko follow karo @TheSlyStallone. Aapke Hero ka hero Sylvester Stallone (If anyone has to follow a Hollywood star, then follow Sylvester Stallone. He is the hero of your hero)."

A film with both the stars will be an interesting combination, but what remains a question is that will the film be a Hollywood venture or a Bollywood masala entertainer?

Stallone's earlier tryst with Bollywood was a cameo appearance in "Khiladi" Akshay Kumar film "Kambakkht Ishq" in 2009.

News

CSK lock horns with MI to lift IPL trophy (Preview)

Posted on May 23, 2015 from West bengal, Ipl 2015, Commonwealth games 2014

Kolkata, May 23 (IANS) In what could be deja vu from 2013, Eden Gardens will again host Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI), who will lock horns for the most coveted domestic prize, the Indian Premier League (IPL) title here on Sunday.

While CSK have won the title twice, MI had clinched it once two years earlier.

However, the road to the final was not easy for either of the two teams. Mumbai had a disastrous start to their campaign as they lost all of their first four matches.

But just when things looked bleak for the Rohit Sharma-led outfit, the team bounced back with some panache as it won seven of its last nine group games to make it to the title round.

They took along the momentum to the Wankhede stadium -- their home turf -- where they beat CSK by 25 runs in Qualifier 1 and booked a place in the ultimate showdown.

Chennai, on the other hand, had a consistent season as they finished atop the league table with 18 points from 14 games.

But the heavyweights had a slip up enroute to the final, at the Wankhede, but recovered with a very clinical performance against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Friday night as they outdid Virat Kohli's side by three wickets in Ranchi.

Considering the head to head battles, it is difficult to differentiate between the two franchises with Mumbai having clinched 11 games to CSK's 10.

Thus a battle of the titans await the fans and supporters at Eden on Sunday as each side unleash their full fury to clinch the trophy on a wicket that has fulfilled expectations this tournament.

"It is a different wicket than last year, you want to see a good battle between bat and ball and that is what is happening... very pleased with the pitch," Kohli had said after an earlier game.

However, Eden's pitch curator Prabir Mukherjee refrained from commenting on the fresh strip that will host the two teams, saying, "You will have to decide for yourself whether it is a sporting wicket when the final starts on Sunday."

The strip may, however, be witness to a Caribbean calypso as both sides boast of a top order having swashbuckling willowers from the West Indies.

While it will be Lendl Simmons -- who carved a brilliant 51-ball 65 in Qualifier 1 for Mumbai -- for CSK, Dwayne Smith will open the batting. The Caribbean flavours continue as all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard don the yellow and blue jerseys respectively.

Bravo is also the leading wicket-taker this season with 24 victims from 15 innings.

The other big guns who can step up to make a difference in the big game can be the two skippers, namely Rohit Sharma for MI, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the Super Kings.

One also needs to note that for the former, it has been personally one of the most happy hunting grounds as in the opening game this season he had scored a blistering 98 not out against KKR.

With the leather, both side possess an formidable weaponry, with the likes of Lasith Malinga (MI) and Ashish Nehra (CSK) marshalling the respective departments. And they sure know how to turn things around in a pressure situation.

Will it be the big guns who will make a difference or will the likes of Pawan Negi and Hardik Pandya deliver the goods and become an unlikely hero, one has to wait and watch.

(Debdoot Das can be contacted at debdoot.d@ians.in)

News

Amber Rose's beau hates being in spotlight

Posted on May 23, 2015 from United states, Hollywood

Los Angeles, May 23 (IANS) Model-actress Amber Rose's new boyfriend Machine Gun Kelly struggles to cope "every day" with the pressures of dating her because he hates being in the spotlight.

The rapper said: "I had no idea what came with (Rose's lifestyle). I'd be lying if I didn't say that it's not like a struggle every day doubled with the fact that it is like one of the most anti-spotlight people ever and one of the most in-the-spotlight people ever."

Kelly insists their relationship feels "completely natural", reports femalefirst.co.uk.

He told US a hip-hop radio station: "Everything was completely natural. It wasn't anything I had expected or had planned or anything like that. You know when the universe throws something your way or things happen, I'm one of those people that goes with it, and I don't fight it."

Kelly previously collaborated with Rose's former husband Wiz Khalifa on the song "Mind of a stoner".

The former couple, who have two-year-old son Sebastian, split last September amid cheating rumours, but the blonde beauty confessed last month that she would love to get back with him.

News

Kylie an amazing singer: Kris Jenner

Posted on May 23, 2015 from United states, Hollywood

Los Angeles, May 23 (IANS) TV personality Kris Jenner feels her youngest daughter Kylie is an "amazing" singer and has what it takes to carve out a successful career in the music industry.

In a clip from the upcoming episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians", Kris discusses Kylie's decision to take singing lessons with two of her other daughters, Kendall and Khloé Kardashian, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

"Isn't it cute? She started singing a few notes one day at the house and she sounded amazing. She sounded really amazing,"Kris said.

The 17-year-old, who is dating rapper Tyga, quietly started taking lessons with Willow Smith's singing coach Tim Carter last August, as she's keen to make it big as a pop star. But she previously dismissed rumours that she wanted to become the next Katy Perry.

She addressed the speculation on micro-blogging website Twitter last September, writing: "I respect everyone's art! But I don't want to be the next anybody. I just want to be the next Kylie Jenner."

But she also hopes her brother-in-law Kanye West, who is married to her elder half-sister Kim Kardashian West, will assist her in the recording studio.

"She realised that she can't compete with Kendall when it comes to modeling. So she has chosen to turn to music," a source had said previously.

--Asian News Service

dc/rb/vm

News

Selfie craze kills one, critically injures another

Posted on May 23, 2015 from United kingdom, Technology

London, May 23 (IANS) The obsession with self-portraits is growing into a menace as it has claimed people's lives. In a recent incident, a Singaporean man died after falling into the sea off a cliff while attempting to take a selfie on an island in Bali.

Mohamed Aslam Shahul was killed after losing his balance after being hit by a wave and falling into the sea from a two-metre high cliff at the Sandy Bay Beach in Nusa Lembongan where he was holidaying with his friends, The Guardian reported.

"He slipped and fell into the ocean. He apparently couldn't swim," a police officer was quoted as saying.

In a separate incident, a 21-year-old woman accidentally shot herself in the head while taking a selfie.

She was said to have been posing while pointing a 9mm handgun to her head. While taking a selfie with one hand, she accidentally pressed the gun's trigger, shooting herself in the temple at close range, as per the reports.

She had found the gun at her Moscow office left behind by a security guard, police said.

News

Dwayne Johnson titled World Selfie Champion

Posted on May 23, 2015 from United kingdom, Hollywood

London, May 23 (IANS) Actor Dwayne Johnson was titled World Selfie Champion at the world premiere of "San Andreas".

The former wrestling champion attempted the most selfies to be taken in three minutes and smashed the previous attempt to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

Speaking before the challenge at the Odeon here at Leicester Square, he said: "I gotta tell you, I consider myself the selfie king and I'm going to break this record in London."

After taking his final snap, he admitted he was in pain from the attempt, but later celebrated his victory with yet another selfie while holding his official certificate.

He said: "My jaw hurts but I hope I've broken the record."

The actor shared the news on Instagram, writing: "We just set a NEW GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for most self portraits (selfies) taken in record time (yup, a selfie world record exists and your arm gets a helluva workout). WORLD PREMIERE of SAN ANDREAS and rewriting the record books all in one night. #MicDropBoom #NewSelfieKing#LONDON #SanAndreasWorldTour MAY 29th. (sic)"

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