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Eminent Gujarati playwright Taarak Mehta passes away at the age of 87

The nation is mourning the passing away of Taarak Mehta, well known author, humorist and columnist, and misses his humor already!

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Taarak Mehta, Wikimedia

Ahmedabad, March 1, 2017:  Following a prolonged illness, Eminent playwright and humorist and Taarak Mehta, widely known for his Gujarati column “Duniya Ne Undha Chasma”, breathed his last today at the age of 87.

According to family sources, “the writer died at 87 after a prolonged illness due to age-related problems at his residence in the city.”

The writer’s family has made the decision to donate his body to be used in medical research purposes.

Mehta’s famous columns were first published in Gujarati weekly magazine ‘Chitralekha’ in 1971. His columns were adapted into a popular TV serial, “Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma” in 2008 which made him a household name all across the country.

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Through Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his tributes to the writer in a series of tweets.

According to PTI reports, Modi tweeted, “Taarak Mehta’s writings always reflected India’s unity in diversity. His characters like Tappu live in people’s hearts.” The PM also said Mehta was a man who “never left the company of his pen and satire”, Along with a photo taken with Mehta.

“Tributes to famous playwright and humourist Taarak Mehta.He spent a lifetime dedicated to satire and pen.I have had the good fortune of meeting Taarak Mehta. I had also met him when he was honoured with the Padma Shri award,” he added.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also expressed his condolences following the writer’s demise. In his tweets he said, “Gujarati writer and Padma Shree (sic) Tarak Mehta ji passes aways. May his soul rest in peace.”

“Tarak Mehtaji will always be remembered for his rich contribution to society and the laughter he gave to millions,” in a tweet, BJP President Amit Shah stated, expressing grief over Mehta’s death.

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In the memory of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Mehta is the person “who always brought smile to our faces.” He tweeted, “Saddened by the death of Tarak Mehta – humorist and columnist. He always brought smile to our faces.My condolences to family members.”

In his visit to Mehta’s residence to pay homage, the Senior state Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said, “The beauty of the writings of Tarak Mehta was that it had nothing against anyone, nothing vulgar and not even a bad word, but it made us all laugh. The loss is very grave.”

Mehta has authored numerous comedy plays and books. A number of columns in newspapers on contemporary issues have been penned by him as well.

Actor Jitendra Thakkar, who has acted in many plays written by Mehta, said, “His writing was a class apart. His writings did not have any vulgarity, but made generations laugh till pain in our stomaches.”

Several film and television actors have mourned his demise.

“Extremely saddened by the passing away of Shri Tarak Mehta… a great humorist in any language! RIP Mehta Saheb,” Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal tweeted.

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Actress Richa Chaddha stated, “Rip Tarak Mehta. Thank you for the humour. You shall be missed.”

According to Munmun Dutta, who plays the character of Babitaji in “Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashma”, the writer was full of life despite poor health: “Saddened by the news of #TaarakMehta sir passing away.Last time when I met him, I could see his health failing him.He was still spirited… and full of life… My respect to him.”

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

Next Story

Are There Enough Jobs In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Led India?

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

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VOA
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. Pixabay

For people streaming in from rural areas around New Delhi, the first stop is a collection of busy city intersections where contractors select daily wage labor from the crowds of young and old waiting every morning to get work.

Many standing at these intersections say they get work for barely half the month. “I have the ability to work hard. I never turn down any work. But I would prefer to get a cleaner, permanent job,” says 29-year-old Tek Chand. “The problem is one day I have money to buy rations, the next day I don’t.” Like millions of others, he migrated from his village three years ago to seek work and a better life in the city.

FILE - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019. VOA
As India prepares for general elections on April 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being attacked by opposition parties for failing to make good on a promise he made in 2014 to create millions of jobs for India’s huge young population. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party rebuts that criticism and says India is generating new opportunities as it becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies.

Job creation is a massive challenge for a nation with one of the world’s youngest populations — half the country’s 1.3 billion people are under the age of 25.

Recent data shows that joblessness has soared to record high levels. Opposition parties have made joblessness one of their principal election planks and have accused the prime minister of failing the estimated 8 to 10 million young people who enter the workforce every year.

The independent Mumbai-based Center for Monitoring Indian Economy estimates that unemployment reached 7.2 percent last month and that 11 million jobs were lost in 2018. With a working population of 500 million, that translates into more than 30 million people waiting for jobs. An unpublished official survey that showed unemployment at a 45-year-high has also been widely quoted by Indian media.

India's main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019.
India’s main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019. VOA

On the campaign trail, the head of the main opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, who is seen as Modi’s principal challenger, talks repeatedly about a “jobs crisis.”

“Our government is refusing to accept that we have a massive crisis and potential disaster in front of us,” Gandhi told a group of university students in New Delhi recently, many who will be first time voters.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. It points to a recent industry report that jobs have been created in the medium and small sectors.

The BJP says millions of people have found work in the transport and infrastructure sectors or as delivery boys in booming online businesses as India becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. They point out that the issue is not jobs but livelihoods, and point to millions of people who are not counted in job data.

They are self-employed people like cab owner Chain Pal Singh. As the app based taxi business boomed, Singh’s friend, who operated a cab, persuaded him to quit his job and take out a loan to buy a car. His decision has paid off — in four years he has earned enough money to invest in two more cabs.

Singh says he is much better off than when he held a job. “I used to earn about $225 dollars a month. Now in some months I can earn almost double that amount. Its beneficial for me.”

Following defeats in key state elections in December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told parliament last month, “This truth has to be acknowledged. The unorganized sector has 80 to 85 percent of the employment.” He pointed to millions of commercial vehicles sold in recent years and questioned if they had not generated jobs for drivers.

Economists admit India’s large informal sector has made it difficult to calculate employment, but they say joblessness or underemployment remains the country’s biggest challenge. While scarcity of jobs is not a new problem, two disruptive economic steps in the last two years exacerbated the problem.

In 2016 a sweeping currency ban meant to tackle the problem of illegal cash, dried up jobs as it created huge currency shortages, particularly in small businesses and in the countryside. A poorly-implemented tax reform known as the Goods and Services Tax a few months later was another blow to businesses.

Meanwhile, Modi’s “Made in India” campaign, which aimed at making India a manufacturing hub like China, has made a slow start and sluggish labor-intensive sectors cannot cater to growing numbers of job seekers.

“We can’t keep patting ourselves on the back that we are the fastest growing economy specially if all these other indicators are not growing at a rate that will absorb the growing labor force,” says Santosh Mehrotra, a human development economist at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

Also Read: The Mental Health ‘Epidemic’: About Six in Ten Teen Say, They Feel A Lot Of Pressure To Get Good Grades

He points out that exports, another sector that created a number of jobs has also not been performing well.

As the campaign heats up, the opposition will try to keep the spotlight on jobs, or lack of them, even as the BJP tries to focus on national security following a recent confrontation with Pakistan. The final verdict on whether to give Prime Minister Modi a second term in office will be delivered by millions of voters when they cast their ballots. (VOA)

One response to “Are There Enough Jobs In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Led India?”

  1. If the employment picture is bleak despite the construction of so many more Kilometers of roads, railways, air ports, bridges, toilets and other infrastructures compared to the five or even ten years of UPA government, imagine where we would be if we had UPA III government .