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In USA, Texas University looks into the Indian-American Author Raja Rao’s Works to advance their Research on Arts and Humanities

Raja Rao was honored with India's highest award in the field of Literature, the Padma Bhushan Award, in 1969, and also the Padma Vibhushan Award in 2007

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Books by Raja Rao. Image courtesy: Pete Smith
  • Raja Rao, an acclaimed Indian-American author had also received the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award 
  • University of Texas has acquired his works for further research on humanities
  • Rao completed his education in Aligarh Muslim University and later moved to France for specialized studies

Globally acclaimed Indian-American author and philosopher Raja Rao had built quite an exquisite collection of his works over the years in the form of novels, poems, short stories, essays and talks, often departing from the generic western novel theme and mixing a dab of indigenous ways  of assimilating his material. Today, 10 years after he passed away, University of Texas has acquired his works to advance their research on arts and humanities, said a NDTV report.

Raja Rao
A Portrait of Raja Rao. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Raja Rao (1908-2006) is well known for his “The Great Indian Way: A Life of Mahatma Gandhi” (1998), which is about Gandhi’s life in Africa. His other notable works include ‘Kanthapura’ (1938), ‘The Serpent and the Rope'(1960) and ‘The Chessmaster and his Moves’ (1988). Apart from these, his works include a few written in Sanskrit, French and native Kannada.

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Raja Rao's typed manuscript of "The Serpent and the Rope." Image courtesy: Pete Smith
Raja Rao’s typed manuscript of “The Serpent and the Rope.” Image courtesy: Pete Smith

Raja Rao was honored with India’s highest award in the field of Literature, the Padma Bhushan Award, in 1969, and also the Padma Vibhushan Award in 2007. His genius helped him win the prestigious Indian National Academy of Letters’ Sahitya Akademi Award for Literature in 1964 for the philosophical novel ‘The Serpent and the Rope,’ a novel revolving around the breakdown of his marriage.

The Harry Ransom Center is an archive, museum and humanities research center in the University of Texas in Austin, that specializes in the collection of literary and cultural artifacts across Europe and the USA. While praising Rao, the Ransom Center said to NDTV, “It’s a notable acquisition in part because Rao is widely considered to have been one of India’s most noted authors, having received the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and other honours”.

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Raja Rao
Harry Ransom Center. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Raja Rao completed his primary education in the Muslim schools of Aligarh Muslim University and the University of Madras, after which he moved to France to study at University of Montpellier. Rao is known to have researched about Indian influence on Irish literature in his years of study.

Born on 8 November, 1908 in Mysore, Rao breathed his last in 2006 in Austin, Texas.

-written by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96

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3 Year Old Indian Girl Missing in US, Texas Police Continues Search Operation

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Representational Image: Texas Police searches for the 3 year old missing girl. ians

New York, Oct 16: Police in Texas continues to look for clues in the disappearance of a three-year-old Indian girl, who was left outside her house at night by her father as punishment for not drinking milk, the US media said.

Sherin Mathew, an Indian girl who was adopted from an orphanage, was reported missing on October 7, by her father Wesley Mathew, according to Police Sergeant Kevin Perlich in Richardson, Dallas News reported.

KTRK television reported on Saturday that police aren’t giving up hope even though it’s been a week since she went missing. They were looking for surveillance videos that could show a vehicle leaving the house and returning just before police were called.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined the probe and along with the police. The FBI has searched their house.

Welsey Mathew claimed Sherin was placed near a tree in a lane behind the house where coyotes were known to roam at 3 a.m., the station quoted a police officer as saying.

When he went back to look for her about 15 minutes later she was not there, he reportedly said.

However, he did not report the Indian girl 3missing till 8 a.m., the police said.

“Why was the last sighting at 3 o’clock and the parents not call us until after 8 a.m.? That’s the question we want answered,” Perlich told KXAS television.

“As far as why she was out there, how long she was out there, that’s the questions we have for the parents.”

Sherin’s parents also have a four-year-old daughter, who was moved to a foster family by the Child Protection Services, Dallas News reported quoting an agency spokeswoman.

Perlich said that Sherin had developmental problems and had difficulties communicating.

Volunteers from the Emmanuel Bible Chapel, which Mathews attended, helped search a field and other areas near the family’s home, according to KDFW television.

An official of the church, Jose Cherian, told the station that Sherin “is a tiny baby and she’s very active. A very smart girl.” (IANS)

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)

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Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

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India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.