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Working in Pakistan depends on Circumstances and Government, says Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah

Many Indian political organisations and artistes have opposed working with Pakistani artistes

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Naseeruddin Shah being felicitated with a memento by the Registrar Dr. Asfar Ali Khan. Flickr

Dharamsala, November 7, 2016: Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah, who has previously appeared in Pakistani films like “Khuda Kay Liye” and “Zinda Bhaag”, says he will work in Pakistani films only when the relation between the two nations would be good. He feels that the Indian government should decide whether Pakistani artistes be allowed to work in India.

“It depend on the future circumstances whether I would work in Pakistan or not. I don’t know what circumstances will be there (in future). When I will get an offer from Pakistan in future, then I will look through the circumstances and then decide,” Naseeruddin said at a press conference at the fifth edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival here on Sunday.

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“I have worked in two Pakistani films. In last few years we went to Pakistan to do our theatre shows, but this year we were not able to go there,” he added.

Following the September 28 Uri terror attack, which left 19 Indian soldiers dead, the tensions between India and Pakistan has hit hard on the film industry on both sides of the border. Many Indian political organisations and artistes have opposed working with Pakistani artistes.

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Asked whether the Indian government should think about banning Pakistani artistes from working in India, Naseeruddin said: “The government will decide what should be done in it. I feel that we should respect the government’s decision. Whatever the government would decide, that will be correct for me and if the government says no to Pakistani artists, than it’s obvious that nobody will work with them, not even me.”

Meanwhile, Naseeruddin, who has been a part of the Indian entertainment industry for over four decades, said in India, both “playwriting and screenplay writing has not evolved”.

“Nothing can be said about screenplays of our films. If we look at Indian films that are considered ‘brilliant’, 90 per cent of their screenplays are lifted off from somewhere. Rest of them are recycled from old films. Now we have become used to it and also like it,” he said.

Naseeruddin, who directed the 2006 film “Yun Hota To Kya Hota”, says he doesn’t have any intentions to direct a film again.

“I once tried to direct a film, but I will never do that. It’s out of my reach and a very difficult job,” he said.

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About today’s younger lot of directors, he said: “This phase of Indian cinema is exciting, but it is in the same way as 1970s were exciting when Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihlani, Saeed Mirza were directing and Satyajit Ray was at his peak. That was a very exciting time. We thought that the world of cinema is going to change. But nothing happened.

“So it’s premature to celebrate. All of these youngsters who are coming out now are making movies which are not bound by those old formulae. They are trying very hard, not only filmmakers, theatre directors as well. Hopefully there would be some kind of improvement, but what you do with the audience addicted to the rubbish. They cannot do without it.” (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. 

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Top Highlights of PM Narendra Modi’s Speech on India’s 71st Independence Day

10 Important points in PM Modi’s speech

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fourth Independence Day speech from Red Fort
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fourth Independence Day speech from Red Fort. Twitter
  • We have to take the country ahead with the determination of creating a ‘New India’
  • His government is serious about tackling various national security issues
  • I want to proudly tell people that within just three years, we have recovered black money of Rs 1.25 lakh crore

New Delhi, August 15, 2017: It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fourth Independence Day speech from Red Fort, Delhi. He talked about a variety of issues like GST, demonetisation, terrorism, and triple talaq among others. Here are the top 10 points of Modi’s speech:

  • A New India will be our democracy’s biggest strength

During his speech, Modi expressed that India should create a new India before 2022, the 76th year of Independence. Modi said, “We have to take the country ahead with the determination of creating a ‘New India’. Let us come together to create an India free of corruption, nepotism, casteism, communalism, and terrorism. Let us build a country which is clean, healthy and is self-determined.”

  • From Quit India Movement to a United India Movement

Modi has previously spoken about the Quit India Movement during the monthly address of Mann ki Baat as well as the special session of the Parliament to commemorate the event. During the Independence Day speech, he once again brought back the historic event.

Asking Indians to take inspiration from the 1942 movement, Modi said, “Within five years, the British had left the country because of our unity. We have to take a sankalp of new India and take the country forward.” Remembering the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom movement, “There was a Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi once. People with cotton in their hands support Gandhi and eventually, the country got freedom,” he added. He said on the Independence Day that the need of today’s India is Bharat Jodo, a united India.

  • 2018: A crucial year for India

Modi put special emphasis on January 1, 2018, telling Indians that 2018 will be the year that will mark the coming of age of a whole generation, the generation which will steer India forward.

1 January 2018 will not be an ordinary day. “The people who were born in the 21st century will find that this date will decide a lot in their lives. I welcome all the youths who will turn 18 in 2018. Now, you are getting an opportunity to be a part of the force which develops India,” said the prime minister. He called them the Bhagya Vidhatas’ of our country

  • Surgical Strikes and National Security

Modi hailed the surgical strikes (29 November 2016) on the Independence Day and stressed upon the fact that his government is serious about tackling various national security issues. He said, “After the surgical strike, the entire world had to acknowledge India’s strength.” The concern for national security is a natural one in an independent India. Our armed forces always showed their capabilities in handling both terrorism and during the war.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Condemns Religious Violence on 71st Indian Independence Day, Warns “Will Not Accept Violence In The Name Of Faith”

  • Breakthrough measures of Modi government

Modi said that people are celebrating a Mahotsav of honesty today. His government implemented various praise-worthy measures like One Rank One Pension, GST, and demonetisation.

Talking about his government’s commitment to armed forces, Modi said, “For 30 or 40 years, the matter of One Rank One Pension was stuck. But our government took steps to fulfill the demand of our security personnel.” He said that GST gave the nation a new direction to competitive federalism and that GST was rolled so fast across the country, all thanks to technology. He said, “After GST enrollment, our truck drivers save 30 percent of their time in travel now.”

PM Modi spoke on demonetisation, “Today, I want to proudly tell people that within just three years, we have recovered black money of Rs 1.25 lakh crore.” Through Note ban, the black money came out. It was their endeavor to recover black money and then to make it a constructive part of the economy. Demonetisation proved to be a successful move against corruption. “The businessmen with black money used to run shell companies. After demonetisation, three lakh shell companies were found. And out of that, we canceled the registration of 1.75 lakh companies,” said the prime minister.

On development measures, he said, “Today, roads and railway tracks are being constructed twice as fast. Today, over 14,000 villages have got electricity. 29 crore people have got bank accounts now.”

  • Modi opposes Triple Talaq

His government supports the movement against Triple Talaq and India will also support Muslim women in their struggle. “I believe India will fully support the women in their struggle. The women of this country created a revolution against Triple Talaq. There was an atmosphere against Triple Talaq in the country with even the media supporting the women,” he said.

  • Gorakhpur tragedy

The prime minister was being criticized for not speaking on the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy which has killed over 70 children so far. But, Modi broke his silence today. He said, “In the last few days, some of our innocent children died in a hospital. All the countrymen stand together at this time.”

  • Militancy in Kashmir

On Independence Day, taking a peacemaking approach towards Kashmiris, Modi expressed his opinion that the Kashmir issue can be solved only through peaceful means.  He said, Na gaali se samasya sulajhne wali hai, na goli se, samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (Kashmir problem can’t be resolved by either bullet’s or by abuses. It can be resolved only by embracing all Kashmiris).

He promised to bring prosperity to the militancy-infested state. “The development of Jammu and Kashmir is also a commitment of the people and the government there,” said Modi.

  • No leniency for terrorism

Prime Minister spoke of involving common Kashmiris in India’s growth story but took a tough stance on militancy. “A lot happens in Kashmir. A lot of claims have been made. A lot of people abuse each other. There are a lot of separatists. But there will be no leniency for terrorism. I have told many to become a part of democracy,” said the prime minister.

  • Communalism and Casteism are poison for the country

Modi said that violence in the name of faith is not acceptable and described casteism and communalism as poison for the country. The comments assume importance in the backdrop of various incidents of lynching by cow vigilantes. He said that issues like communalism and casteism can’t benefit the country in any way. “Therefore, violence cannot be emphasized in the name of faith,” Modi said.

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393