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New Delhi, April 15, 2017: Indo-Pak relations have been under speculation since an age old time. Governments shake hands towards an era of peace and certain “forces” are always in action to worsen the ties.
However, art is a field which has bound the common masses of both the nations. Pakistani singers like Atif Aslam enjoy huge popularity in the nation and Indian actors and Bollywood movies are loved all around the neighbouring country.
Poetry is one such field. India is home to many famous urdu poets and Pakistani poets are also invited to participate in the “mushairas” organized in the nation. However, in the wake of recent events (Death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav)- Indo-Pak relations are once again souring and the Indian Urdu poets do not want this to affect the rich cultural exchange between the nations.
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Eminent Urdu poets believe cultural exchange between the two countries and visits of artists must be kept away from the purview of politics. Many Urdu poets expressed this desire on the sidelines of the Jashn-e-Bahar Mushaira here last evening.
A galaxy of poets, including Javed Akhtar, recited their poetry at the mushaira (symposium) to a packed house. In its 19th edition, this was the first time the Urdu poetry symposium had no representation from Pakistan amid growing Indo-Pak tensions.
However, Kamna Prasad, the founder of the non-profit Jashn-e-Bahar Trust that organises the event, attributed the absence of Pakistani Urdu poets at the event to “mathematics” of how many poets can be invited and the Trusts aim to get poets from places where interest in Urdu was rising.
Poets at the event strongly pitched for cultural exchange between India and Pakistan despite tensions. They also agreed that inviting poets from Pakistan could be troublesome for any event in the current scenario.
“When Pakistani poets used to come, it used to be a great congregation. If they are called now, there will be an uneasy atmosphere, people will come opposing it,” Syed Aijazuddin Shah, famous as Popular Meeruthi, told PTI on the sidelines of the event.
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Echoing Shahs views was Hussain Haidry, a young Urdu poet from Mumbai, who said culture and politics must be kept separate.
“When 100 people stand up and say why poets and artistes from Pakistan cannot come, 10 people who are currently opposing their coming will go away,” the 31-year-old said.
Songs like Purani Jeans or Atif Aslams numbers are loved on both sides of the border.
Artists have no religion, no country, for them art is everything, Haidry said. Further, poet Minu Bakshi saidPolitics and culture should remain completely separate. Naseem Nikhat, a poet from Lucknow, said, “We must call them (Pakistani artistes) as we are known to be soft-hearted and welcoming. We must be open-minded. Barring cultural exchanges will yield no results.”
However, poet Mansoor Usmani said Indo-Pak relations were very sensitive and caution needs to be exercised. Other poets who recited their poetry were Abdullah Abdullah from New York; Jawaid Danish from Toronto, Basir Kazmi from Manchester, Shahjahan Jaffery from Kuwait City and Aziz Nabeel from Doha.
It was Akhtar, who drew the loudest cheers from the crowd for his couplets and nazms.
Prasad exuded confidence that Urdus future was bright with young people still enamoured by the beauty of the language.
“The young generation, when they send sms they send it in Roman script but couplets are still in Urdu. If you want to learn Urdu, be in love and if you want to be in love, learn Urdu,” she told, mentioned PTI.
In her opening remarks at the event, Prasad strongly condemned the trend of hate poetry.
Among the eminent personalities present during the evening were Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla, former Union Minister Farooq Abdullah and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar.
Member of Parliament and actor, Shatrughan Sinha, who was the Chief Guest at the event, said, “Indian film industry owes its existence to Urdu. All our immortal dialogues and songs are heavily dependent on Urdu.”
The event was presided over by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, leading Urdu poet and critic.
Amarendra Khatua, Director General, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, was the Guest of Honour at the poetry symposium. Among the Indian poets, Aqeel Nomani, Nusrat Mehdi and Aalok Shrivstav also participated.
-prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram Twitter @NikitaTayal6
Facebook must pay a $4.75 million fine and up to $9.5 million in back pay to eligible victims who say the company discriminated against U.S. workers in favor of foreign ones, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The discrimination took place from at least January 1, 2018, until at least September 18, 2019.
The Justice Department said Facebook "routinely refused" to recruit or consider U.S. workers, including U.S. citizens and nationals, asylees, refugees and lawful permanent residents, in favor of temporary visa holders. Facebook also helped the visa holders get their green cards, which allowed them to work permanently
In a separate settlement, the company also agreed to train its employees in anti-discrimination rules and conduct wider searches to fill jobs.
The fines and back pay are the largest civil awards ever given by the DOJ's civil rights division in its 35-year history.
"Facebook is not above the law and must comply with our nation's civil rights laws," Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke told reporters in a telephone conference.
"While we strongly believe we met the federal government's standards in our permanent labor certification [PERM] practices, we've reached agreements to end the ongoing litigation and move forward with our PERM program, which is an important part of our overall immigration program," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "These resolutions will enable us to continue our focus on hiring the best builders from both the U.S. and around the world and supporting our internal community of highly skilled visa holders who are seeking permanent residence." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Facebook, Employment, Justice Dept., Recruitment
Tomatoes are a staple in the Indian diet, be it a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian dish. It has to be a part of each meal in some form. As puree, paste, flavour, or diced into the dal. This tangy, sweet, and juicy ingredient was not always Indian. In fact, it did not even grow in India until the British sanctioned it. It is a product of colonization and has come a long way to become part of our everyday meals.
Originally, the tomato was considered poison. Its actual native is debatable. Some say it is European while others argue that is came from indigenous parts of Spain and Portugal. Either way, it is a plant species that is associated with the legendary Nightshade. It looks very similar to this poisonous plant that tomatoes were not even harvested for a long time, for fear of picking Nightshade instead. It was believed that Nightshade caused the blood to turn to acid and that tomatoes had the same property. Later research proved that the plant itself may be poisonous but the fruit is not.
The fruit if the woody nightshade plant Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Tomato is considered a fruit instead of a vegetable because it is cooked. But this theory has an interesting tale behind it. in the United States, in 1887, a tax was levied on the transport of vegetables, but not on fruits. By then, tomatoes had become a huge part of the American diet and traders could not afford to pay the ten percent duty. So, they began to call the large loads they transported fruits, just to avoid the tax due. In time, this is how the tomato came to be regarded. Some scientists went even further and stated that it is a berry. Botanists claim that since it is a part that grows from the flower's ovary and contains seeds, it is a fruit and not a vegetable. But this is a debate that will never end.
Incorporating tomatoes into the Indian diet must have happened so long ago that people do not remember a time without tomatoes, considering how it is the fundamental ingredient of most cuisines. The tomato has a name in every language as well, so the trading between nations, the voyages that brought them to India, and the decoding of the fruit-vegetable must have taken place far earlier than our ancestors remember. Or, perhaps we liked it so much that we decided to use it everywhere and make it our own. Nonetheless, it has been a delightful addition.
Keywords: Tomato, Fruit, Vegetable, Nightshade, Voyage, Staple
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television