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Consul General Riva Ganguly Das asks staff to think in Hindi

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New York: “Think in Hindi before you prepare your document in Hindi”- India’s newly appointed Consul General Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das would like her staff to think in Hindi in order to present better documents in the official language of India.

The Consul General was speaking on the occasion of the kick-off of Third International Hindi Conference 2016 at an event held at the Consulate Ball Room on March 14.

“We are doing a lot of work in Hindi. If we think in Hindi we can produce more accurate documentation”, she explained pointing out her support to the cause of Hindi. Emphasizing the commitment of Government of India for promoting Hindi, the consul general said that more opportunities for Hindi learning should be created.

She elaborated upon a diverse Hindi program conducted by Indian Council for Cultural Relations, a Ministry of External Affairs initiative that supports Hindi scholars in various countries around the world.

The conference is scheduled to be held from April 29 to May 1 at the Consulate Ball Room.

India’s Consul General Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das (third from left) officially launched the Third Intenational Hindi Conference 2016. Also seen with her are (from left) Purnima Desai, Ashok Ojha and Upendra Chivukula (second from right)
India’s Consul General Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das (third from left) officially launched the Third International Hindi Conference 2016. Also seen with her are (from left) Purnima Desai, Ashok Ojha and Upendra Chivukula (second from right)

Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, sent a message for the success of the conference. Ashok Ojha, coordinator of the conference, explained that the theme of the conference was, “Hindi Language: A Democratic Voice of Complex Issues in Education, Literature, Arts and Media”. According to Ojha Sweden-based Hindi scholar, Heinz Werner Wesslerhas, agreed to deliver his key-note address at the inaugural event on April 29.

Ojha said that a Kavi Sammelan is scheduled on April 30, the second day of the conference. A Humorous Hindi Play, ‘UdanKhatola’, and a story session, ‘Kahani Manch’, will also be held during the conference.

A number of speakers including Dr Susham Bedi of Columbia and CUNY, Dr Seema Khurana of Yale, and Dr Rakesh Ranjan of Columbia, spoke at the kick off event. According to Khurana, she will prevail upon Yale to host the conference in 2018. Others who spoke in favor of Hindi included Prof Indrajit Saluja, Mrs Purnmia Desai, head of Shikshayatan cultural organization, Col Veerendra Tavathia and media professional Sunil Hali.

A cultural presentation by danseuse Rimli Roy and a poem recitation was performed at the function. (picture courtesy: theindianpanorama.news)

(The article was first published in The Indian Panorama)

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India condemns support systems for terrorists in South Asia, expresses concern over North Korea’s nuclear program

Sushma Swaraj’s statement assumes significance as it comes after the unprecedented BRICS Summit joint statement earlier this month in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unequivocally named Pakistan and the terror groups based there

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Sushma Swaraj talks about support systems of terrorists in South Asia
External affairs minister of India, Sushma Swaraj. Wikimedia
  • India on Thursday condemned support systems for terrorists in South Asia while expressing concern over South Asia’s nuclear program
  • Sushma Swaraj’s statement is significant since it comes after the BRICS Summit where many countries unequivocally named Pakistan and the terrorist groups based there
  • Sushma Swaraj also sought cooperation for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism

New York, Sep 22, 2017:  In an obvious reference to Pakistan, India on Thursday condemned support systems for terrorists in South Asia while expressing concern over North Korea’s nuclear and weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

“The horror of terrorism continues to haunt global peace and security. Terror groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia,” Sushma Swaraj said while speaking at the BRICS Ministerial Meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly Session here.

“They continue to find support and shelter in countries which use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

“We must condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries,” she added.

Sushma Swaraj’s statement assumes significance as it comes after the unprecedented BRICS Summit joint statement earlier this month in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unequivocally named Pakistan and the terror groups based there.

“There is need for collective efforts to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement,” she said, calling for terrorist funding, their weapons supply, training and political support to “be systematically cut off”.

Sushma Swaraj also sought cooperation for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN Security Council.

On North Korea’s recent offensive military posturing, she said: “The action and rhetoric of North Korea has been a source of growing global concern.”

Also read: Baloch Activist Bugti hails Sushma Swaraj for her speech against Pakistan Atrocities at UN General Assembly

She also touched on climate change and referred to Indian Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi’s suggestion of an alliance between the India-initiated International Solar Alliance and the New Development Bank, a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS nations.

“I hope we can work together to give this ambitious agenda practical shape in coming months,” she said.

The International Solar Alliance, launched at the UN Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit in Paris on November 30, 2015, by Prime Minister Modi and then French President Francois Hollande, is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.

It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. (IANS)

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Delhi to witness three-day International Jazz Festival

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Gibraltar International Jazz Festival 2013
Jools Holland performing at the second Gibraltar International Jazz Festival held at the Queen's Cinema in October 2013. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 16, 2017: The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is organising a three-day international jazz festival that will witness the convergence of French, Israeli, Korean, Mexican and Spanish artists in Delhi.

The September 23-25 gala at Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri “will feature performances of seven international and three Indian jazz groups”, ICCR Director General Riva Ganguly Das said here on Friday.

“ICCR believes that music can play a key role in engaging in creative dialogue with other nations. Festivals like these help us in understanding cultures of other countries and also gives opportunity to our own people to interact with world class performers,” she said. (IANS)

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Kerala Catholic Priest Tom Uzhunnallil Abducted by ISIS Rescued from Yemen: Sushma Swaraj

The priest's release was achieved through the intervention of the Oman government

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Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil
Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil. Sushma Swaraj Twitter handle

Thiruvananthapuram | New Delhi, Sep 13, 2017: Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil, abducted by terrorists in Aden in March last year, has been rescued from captivity from an undisclosed location in Yemen.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about the release of the Catholic priest, who was abducted in March last year.

“I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,” she said.

The priest’s release was achieved through the intervention of the Oman government.

According to reports reaching Kerala, after his release the priest was flown from Yemen to Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.

He has left Oman on a chartered flight — either for New Delhi or for the Vatican, reports said.

The media in Oman confirmed the news of the release of the priest and posted a picture of him — standing in a room with the picture of the Oman king in the background.

He will be flown to Kerala later in the day.

Expressing happiness at the news, the priest’s brother Mathew Uzhunnallil said their prayers have been finally answered.

A spokesperson of the church Fr C. Jimmy told the media that the news has been received with a great sense of happiness.

In March 2016, militants barged into a care home for the elderly set up by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Yemen’s Aden and shot dead many people, including four nuns of the charity organisation, among whom one was from India.

After the shooting, the militants took away the Catholic priest. Since then, other than a few videos released from time to time, there has been no news of his whereabouts.

Uzhunnalil’s ancestral home in Ramapuram in Kottayam district is presently shut as two of his brothers live abroad, while another lives in Gujarat. (IANS)