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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte may face no-confidence motion over Greece bail-out issue

Photo: Twitter

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Amsterdam: When the Dutch parliament meets on Wednesday to discuss the latest bailout program for Greece, the Dutch government is likely to face severe opposition including a call for no-confidence vote from the right wing opponent Geert Wilders, according to a report in Economic Times.

Den Haag, 21 februari 2014.
President Mark Rutte. Photo Credit:

The ruling government headed by Prime Minister Mark Rutte had promised during their election campaigns in 2011 that they would not spend even a cent on Greece.

But, contrary to that position, the government is now all set to contribute to the Greece’s third bail-out plan which has been passed by the Greece’s parliament and accepted by euro-group finance ministers, according to the ET report.

Wilders has been reported to have said that, he would submit a motion of no-confidence, if the government goes ahead with its decision to lend money to Greece. However, the likelihood of the no-confidence motion getting passed in the 150 strength legislature is slim.

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What is ‘Allochtoon’? Why Indian diaspora in Netherlands wants this Dutch term to be Banned?

Autochtoon means people who are not immigrants; they and their descendants have been of Netherlands always, born and brought up there

Allochtoon, wikimedia

Sept 18, 2016: Ban on the term ‘Allochtoon’ in all official forums in Netherlands is urged by the Hindus or rather by the whole Indian diaspora. The term is quite unknown to a lot of people. Here are few things which should be known about it-

Allochtoon is a Dutch word which in the literal sense means, ‘emerging from another soil’. Here, this pejorative term refers mainly to the immigrants and their descendants.

‘Autochtoon’ is opposite to Allochtoon and it means people who are not immigrants; they and their descendants have been Netherlands always, born and brought up there.

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Before 1960, Netherlands has experienced fairly large migration but after 1960, immigration became more important than that of emigration. The immigrants arrived due to several reasons and they started pouring in, in different periods.

East Indies (Indonesia), New Guinea, Turks and Moroccans etc. have settled down in the country over the last few decades.


Multi-cultural crowd, wikimedia
Multi-cultural crowd. Wikimedia

The reason why this term has been in the news is because it seems quite unfair to be called allochtoon even though the person is a native of Netherlands or maybe they have been staying in Netherlands for generations but are still tagged as “allochtoon” by several people who do not consider them as one of their own. The situation is also same for some people who have migrated there centuries ago.

Indian diaspora believes such an outdated, stigmatising and divisive term doesn’t have a meaning in this 21st century. There is no point of discriminating between immigrants and natives.

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Netherlands, by using such term is unfavourably distinguishing people and are forcing them into this allochtoon section creating a barrier from the rest of the Dutch. Not just that, these allochtoons were further labelled as Western and non-Western.

Indian diaspora hopes that Netherlands would show a strong political will to end such racism, labelling and would treat all Dutch people as the equal contributors to the society by looking forward towards equal opportunities for all.

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

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How Malayalam Slang Words developed through Foreign Invasions

Words from foreign languages made their way into the local dialect through trade and colonial rule

A signboard in Malayalam
  • Life in India has been influenced by European superpowers ever since the British Rule
  • Indian Leaders, understanding the importance of western education, helped in spreading western influence
  • Malayalam as a language has been greatly influenced by historical events revolving around foreign rule

Life in India has been highly influenced by the arrival and stay of foreign powers in every possible facet, and this is true with regard to India’s traditionally rich languages as well. Western culture and education was first adopted by great Indian leaders like Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda and Ram Mohan Roy, who learnt to understand the base of western culture. The spread of western influence was facilitated by these Indian leaders themselves. While these leaders went on foreign voyages to teach the tenets of Hinduism, they happened to imbibe the spiritual values of the West as well. ”

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Mahatma Gandhi’s statement serves as a perennial source of inspiration. He writes, “I do not want my house to be walled on either side and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to blow about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown away.”

The first letter in Malayalam

Malayalam, a language native to Kerala, was one of the last languages to evolve in South India. This fact made it vulnerable to changes from external situations.

“Malayalam has a history of assimilating loanwords from various foreign tongues”, writes Anoop Sarkar at Kerala, the southern state of India, is thought to be the most influenced by western culture, as is evident in today’s local life being dwelt in that state. A few words that were coined this way in Malayalam only serve as an example of how the language was deeply impacted by foreigners.

OC (ഓസ്സി/ഓസ്സ്)

verb. to get something for free at someone’s else expense

This word is believed to be originated from the East India Company times, when there was a facility of sending out official parcels and letters without paying postage. These parcels would be stamped as ‘OCS’, which stood for ‘On Company Service’. The word must have descended into the local language and modified to OC. It is also prevalent in Tamil, and probably made its way into Malayalam through Tamil.

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Knappan (ക്ണാപ്പൻ)

noun. a good-for-nothing guy

Sir Arthur Rowland Knapp was a British officer of the Indian Civil Services, who served as the collector of the Malabar district of the Madras presidency. His inexperience and lack of knowledge about local customs resulted in most of his administrative reforms being unpopular and fruitless.

It is believed that even after he left from Malabar, Arthur Knapp’s name became synonymous with incompetence, consequently being adopted into Malayalam as Knappan. Though there are no officially documented records of this fact, it is widely believed to be true by literary experts.

Yemandan (യമണ്ടൻ)

adj. unusually huge and/or powerful

This Malayali word originated from from a German battleship named SMS Emden. Because of its military prowess, this ship proved to be a major contributor for the German Navy during World War I. During its war operations in the Bay of Bengal and later, in the Arabian Sea (close to the coast of Kerala), it was responsible for the destruction of many European military and merchant ships.

The main goal of this ship’s operation was to belittle the respect that Indians held for the British. The infamous bombardment of Madras was one of its worst attacks on the British colony. This event, which literally lit up the night sky with the sheer magnitude of the attack, was etched in the minds of the local people for years to come.

The word Yamandan, an adoption of the ship’s name, thus came into the local folklore as a superlative for something large and powerful.

KD (കേഡി)

noun. a bully or trouble maker

A minor criminal that has been caught with frequent offences is called as ‘Known Depradator’, or KD, in the Indian Penal code. Even to this date, most police stations are required to keep an account of all the KDs in their district.

-written by Saurabh Bodas. Saurabh is an intern at NewsGram.




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Overcrowding leaves 3 dead and 2 missing at Mount Everest

After Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became first conqueror in 1953, more than 4,000 climbers have reached the 29,035-foot-high peak.

Everest. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

KATHMANDU, Nepal —After the death of a Dutch and an Australian climbers a couple of days before, now an Indian has died while being helped down the Everest and two other Indian climbers went missing. The experts say some of the tragedy might have been avoided.

Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said on Monday that overcrowding on top might have caused delay for people at highest reaches while waiting for the path to clear down. Poor planning is also one of the reason behind the delay.

“This was a man-made disaster that may have been minimized with better management of the teams,” he said. “The last two disasters on Everest were caused by nature.

Mount Everest,1975 climbing route on Southwest Face. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Mount Everest,1975 climbing route on Southwest Face. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

After deadly disasters in the previous years, many climbers hoped that this year’s climbing season will be a success and restore confidence in the route. But as many turned up to take advantage of good weather and make it to the top , reports of disaster began trickling down the mountain

Eric Arnold, a 35-year-old Dutch man died on his way down from the top by altitude sickness. Many hours later, Maria Strydom a 34-year-old Australian woman died near the peak, suffering from the same altitude sickness

On last Monday, an Indian climber Subhash Paul was reported as the 3rd death succumbing to altitude sickness overnight as he was being helped down the mountain by Sherpa guides, said Wangchu Sherpa of the Trekking Camp Nepal agency in Kathmandu.

Sunitra Hazra an Indian woman from Paul’s team was found resting at a lower altitude camp after becoming ill higher up. Paresh Nath and Goutam Ghosh, other two Indian climber have been missing since Saturday. It is unlikely that they would have survived Everest’s hostile conditions said Wangchu Sherpa.

Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition team members. Taken in 1921. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition team members. Taken in 1921. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Many other climber have gotten frostbite or become sick near the summit in recent days, including Robert Gropal husband of Australian women and was taken to hospital in Kathmandu by helicopter on Monday for treatment.

The competition between expedition organizers has caused dropping in their prices, which has led to poor equipment , less oxygen tanks and experienced guides to help climbers reach the top said Tshering.

“Teams are hiring raw guides that have no knowledge of responding to situations of emergency,” he said.

After Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became first conqueror in 1953, more than 4,000 climbers have reached the 29,035-foot-high peak.

This year nearly 400 climbers reached the summit on May 11 and Nepal government had issued permit to only 289 climber. Each climber who paid $11,000 to the government, plus another $25,000-$50,000 to an expedition company that provides guides, equipment and, often, bottled oxygen to use at high altitudes where the atmosphere is thin and these climbers accompanied by 400 Sherpa guides from Nepal.

Nepal and the Everest climbing community had been anxious for a successful season this year. The industry brings more than $3 million from permit fees alone into the poor, Himalayan country each year, and thousands of locals depend on the climbing season for secondary work as porters, hotel keepers or cooks.

People of Everest climbing community and people depending on climbing season were anxious for a successful season this year.The industry brings more than $3 million from permit fees alone into the poor, Himalayan country each year

2015’s devastating earthquake created an avalanche that killed around 19 people at Base Camp, ending all the climbing activities for that year and one year before icefall on glacier which is the route to the top killed 16 and made impossible for other to climb that season.

But while hundreds have died trying to reach the top of Everest due to avalanches, altitude sickness, exposure and other dangers, the use of bottled oxygen and better equipment had helped reduce the number of deaths each year. Satellite communication equipment and better medical facilities have also helped prevent tragedy.

Many have died trying to conquer the top of Everest because of avalanche. Altitude sickness, exposure and other dangers, but use of oxygen and better equipment’s has helped in reducing the number of deaths over the years.

Better satellite communication equipment and medical facilities have helped in preventing tragedies. Still, some people criticize expedition companies for taking new climber to Everest without any mountaineering experience.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication from Amity school of communication, Noida. Contact the author at Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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