Mumbai, April 20, 2017: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who has been associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, says that waste management should be part of the school curriculum.
“Waste management is a huge problem. We need to inculcate a kind of thinking and training at a very young age. As a part of the school curriculum, we need to have a class where this is taught,” he said on Thursday.
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The actor was present at the launch of Season 4 of NDTV-Dettol Banega Swachh India where he spoke about the ways to keep the city clean.
“Our purpose here is linked to cleanliness. We need to sort our waste. If we sort the waste where it is generated, it will be easy to recycle this. We can reduce the burden of garbage on our country” said Amitabh.
Big B is the Campaign Ambassador of NDTV-Dettol Banega Swachh India.
“I feel that every time I travel, places are looking a lot cleaner. Certain areas of Mumbai which were known to be dirty are cleaner. I think there is a greater consciousness” he said.
Big B added: “I’m very happy that Swachh Bharat has taken off and done so well, but we now need to take the next step. We need to collect, segregate and compost this waste. Compost is a very healthy ingredient. It can be used as fertilizer.”
He feels it would be wonderful if while taking care of our own backyards, we would take care of other’s front yards as well.
“But I think even if we go and clean up waste thrown by someone else, it would set an example” he said. (IANS)
India boasts of having one of the largest and expensive modern mansions in the world – second only to the palace built by Sultan of Brunei. That belongs none other than a filthy rich Mukesh Ambani. But very contrastingly, India has also often been disgraced for its maximum number of citizens who spend their nights, their weeks, their months and years in the open pavement even in the cutting cold of the winter. Yes, the country bears the burden of the largest number of poor people in the world – approximately 276 million people live below poverty line. What a vast difference between the haves – the super-rich, and the have-nots.
The “loot” of nation’s wealth by the “ultra-rich” of the country had been going on quietly until the German newspaper brought out to the open the details of Paradise Papers from Appleby, the Bermuda-based legal service provider. Needless to say, for the ultra-rich, the name of the game is “tax planning”, offshore finance, the creation of off-shore entities, et al. In the eyes of our authorities, it is about “deemed lapses in corporate governance, alleged fund diversion, irregularities in disclosure norms,” and so on. One wonders, in this scenario, what is at stake for the common man?
As for the common man, his humble “paradise” is being looted; his God-given right to share his due is throttled. His children’s chances to come up in life, if at all there are any, are choked. His right to a “fair living” is gradually drifting apart. Because the very means of his life is plundered by a few ultra-rich. On a wider outlook, at the national level, the country’s wealth is burgled and robbed. Then who are these plunderers?
There are more than 700 of them from our country in the disclosed list of having Paradise Papers– the disclosure is still incomplete – of Paradise Papers. Very funnily, these names include persons, who the common man relies on, worship, holds in high esteem and vows to give his life for. Film star Amitabh Bachchan, who is often worshipped, Union Minister of State Jayant Sinha, BJP Rajya Sabha M.P., R.K. Sinha, Corporate tycoon Vijay Mallya, Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, Harsha Moily, son of former UPA Minister Veerappa Moily, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt’s wife Dilnashin, son of former UPA powerhouse and Central Minister P. Chidambaram, former Union Minister Sachin Pilot, and several others who is who of India’s Corporate world, politics, and other fields. Interestingly, What more? Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, Lord Ashcroft, the most prominent British politician, U.S. Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, Shakira, Madonna and notoriously disgraced Harvey Weinstein, for his sexual wrongdoings and so on and so forth.
In spite of strict regulations in every country, it would be interesting to know, how these celebrities, politicians, multinationals, and the ultra-rich individuals are hiding Paradise Papers. I’m not wrong that rules in every country have built-in loopholes. In other words, rules of every country have provided loopholes to the cunning and crafty to circumvent them. And we have got them in abundance. The very fact that our country ranks 19th out of 180 countries in Paradise Papers is certainly not something that we can cheer about.
The wealthy form shell companies, “foundations”, and “trusts” as a cover to hide their money from tax authorities. They form “offshore” accounts that are handled by law firms specializing in these “offshore’ expertise. To the world, their forceful argument is “offshore” banking which is legal. But, this is practiced by only the ultra-rich to evade tax. They take advantage of the legal loop-hole by taking shelter under the tax treaties by our Government.
But frankly speaking, will they ever be able to “use” that wealth? I don’t think it’s possible in the practical world. They can’t even see, touch and feel their wealth they have once dispatched. Not even after 500 years, they can use it if they ever could live. Because these super-rich people already have countless wealth which is in their various kind of treasury vaults. Is it not the paradise of illusion then?
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter @SGewali.
Mumbai: Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt’s wife, named among those in the ‘Paradise Papers’ accused of parking their wealth in tax havens abroad, says all her financial dealings are above board.
Dilnashin figures among the 714 Indian links named in the ‘Paradise Papers’, said the Indian Express in a banner story done as part of a global probe carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Her spokesperson said in a statement: “As per the requirements of provisions of Income Tax Act, 1961, all the properties, company or body corporate or shares in any company are declared in the balance sheet.”
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been named as part of the leaks, regarding shareholding in a Bermuda company acquired before the 2004 Liberalised Remittance Scheme kicked in.
A day before the big story broke, Amitabh had penned his thoughts on being named in the Bofors scandal and the earlier Panama Papers leaks.
“Tomorrow there could be more… And the process of our cooperation shall continue,” he wrote in a blog post on Sunday.
On the Panama Papers of last year, he wrote: “We were asked for reactions, for responses, for justification or not, for replies to their investigative queries… Two instant replies were given out by us… Of denial and misuse of the name. They were printed… but the questions continued.
“The fullest cooperation has been extended at all hours as dutiful citizens. And even after, if there is any more query that needs to be addressed, we shall comply.”( IANS)
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan says at 75 he only seeks freedom from prominence, which has seen him face allegations in the Bofors scandal, Panama Papers case and most recently for “illegal construction” on his property.
“At this age and time of my life, I seek peace and freedom from prominence… To be left to lead the last few years of my life with and within myself… I do not seek epithets, I abhor them… I do not seek headlines, I do not deserve them/. I do not seek acknowledgment, I am not qualified for it,” Amitabh posted on his blog on Sunday.
Amitabh’s post comes just days after his lawyer denied any illegal construction on the actor’s property in Mumbai’s Goregaon East area in relation to a notice sent by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
“The mentioned ‘notices’ have yet to be seen or served to me. But I guess in time it shall come.”
In the lengthy post, Amitabh said when there are accusations, “at times, I would prefer to correct the manner… At times it is prudent to remain quiet”.
But on an issue such as the BMC allegation, he said it’s the “system that shall resolve it, not the media”.
The actor, who has been in the industry for over four decades, also cited past examples, such as what he went through when his family’s name cropped up in the Bofors scandal.
“For years we were grilled, declared traitors, abused and humiliated by the hour for several years…,” he wrote, and further recalled how they moved against a UK paper and won.
He said how after almost 25 years later, their name was cleared in the scandal.
“When the media carried the news here in India, the press during one of its interactions with me asked me what I was going to do about it… Whether I would seek information on who did it or seek retribution.
“What retribution and information will I seek’ Will it take away the years of suffering and mental torture that we went through’ Will it cure… Will it rest’ No, it will not… So I told them, the media, I do not wish to make any comment on it… the matter is over for me.”
Amitabh Bachchan also brought up his mention in the Panama Papers leaks.
“We were asked for reactions, for responses, for justification or not, for replies to their investigative queries… Two instant replies were given out by us… Of denial and misuse of the name. They were printed… but the questions continued.”
“The fullest cooperation has been extended at all hours as dutiful citizens. And even after, if there is any more query that needs to be addressed, we shall comply,” he added.
In the end, he quoted a Jewish joke.
“A Jew passes away and goes to Heaven, knocks on the door of the Lord, and having suffered the ostracized life that the community has, asks the Lord: ‘Lord! Is it true that we are the chosen people” The Lord looked benevolently at the Jew and in a most gentle voice replied: ‘Yes my son .. you are the chosen people’. And the Jew replied: ‘Dear Lord… Would you mind choosing someone else for a change… Coz we’ve had enough!’”
Amitabh Bachchan concluded: “I often wish that for myself.”(IANS)