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There might be cities and towns with strange names in India, but some of the names do remind us of the near-200 years of colonial rule.

McLeod Ganj: Annexed by the British after the second Angle-Sikh war, it is a typical British designed hill station located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It’s a suburb of the city



of Dharamsala, the abode of the Dalai Lama.

As a result, of the large Tibetan population, it is also referred to as ‘Little Lhasa’ or ‘Dhasa’ (an allusion to Dharmasala).

It’s also has a political significance attached to it as the Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered there.

Like other hill stations, its major industry is tourism. Snowcapped peaks, blue skies, fresh air are available in generous amounts, all that are absent in modern day Indian cities which are engulfed in smog and other pollutants.

Other tourist attractions include, inter alia, Tibetan handicrafts, carpets and apparels.

It also has a fusion of ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions that make attaches a spiritual significance to it. Tsuglagkhang, the Dalai Lama’s temple, is its most important Buddhist holy site.

It also hosted the inaugural Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) in Nov 2012, where filmmakers and actors from India and abroad participated.


Fraserganj: It’s located in the south of WestBengal, near the borders with Bangladesh. It derives its name from Sir Andrews Fraser, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal (1903-1908).

According to legend, the Lieutenant accidentally landed on the shores of this small town after a shipwreck. He was saved by a local woman, Narayani, with whom he subsequently fell in love.

Today, it is a tourist destination with its share of mangrove forests and its pristine beach.

The primary occupation of the residents of Frasergunj, by virtue of its geographic location, is fishermen as the salinity of the groundwater inhibits agricultural activities.


Port Blair: Located in the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Island it is, this tiny city is also the capital of the Union territory.

It derives its name from Lieutenant Archibald Blair of the British East India Company, previously known as Chatham Island. In 1789, the Lieutenant it was established as the penal colony under the government of Bengal.

It is accessible from major cities – Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam. It is also a major tourism destination with colonial era ‘Cellular Jail’, white-sand beaches, towering coconut trees and glittering sky-blue waters.

It also has strategic importance for India as it is home to a major naval base – INS Jarawa – along with the Indian coast Guard and Indian Air force.


Havelock Island: Located in Andaman and Nicobar Island it is famous for its many beaches and its abundance of flora and fauna.

It is named after British General Henry Havelock, who served in British India.

Today, it is home mostly Bengali communities, many of whom settled there during the 1971 Indo-Pak war which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.

The Indian government gave settlement to many fleeing Bangladeshi’s in this island.

The occupants’ major sources of livelihood are fishing and tourism. Its Elephant beach is a major attraction for tourists because of the elephants that reside there.


Vasco Da Gama: It is a city in the west coast of Goa, named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama.

It was founded in 1543 by the Portuguese and remained in their hands until 1961 when the Indian army retook the state.

Like other parts of Goa it has many beaches but unlike other beaches in Goa it sees very little tourist attraction.

But its 400-year-old Igreja de Santo André (St. Andrew’s Church), located at the entrance of the city experiences many footfalls.

The city has strategic importance as the Indian Navy has a base in the city. The Naval Aviation Museum near the airport, a tourist attraction, chronicles the history of the Indian Naval aviation. (image courtesy: mystudycorner.net)


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It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies.

Well, if you'll notice then the moon takes twenty-nine days to complete its lunar cycle, whereas women's menstrual cycle is generally 28 days! Coincidence? I think, not.

It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies. In fact, in ancient times it was said that the natural rhythm of women was to menstruate under a new moon and ovulate under a full moon.

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Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourised in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed Pak TV channels to stop airing what it calls indecency and intimacy in dramas, Samaa TV reported.

A notification issued by the authority states that it has been receiving numerous complaints from viewers who believe that the content being depicted in dramas does not represent the "true picture of Pakistani society".

"PEMRA finally got something right: Intimacy and affection between married couples isn't 'true depiction of Pakistani society and must not be 'glamourized'. Our 'culture' is control, abuse, and violence, which we must jealously guard against the imposition of such alien values," said Reema Omer, Legal Advisor, South Asia, International Commission of Jurists.

"Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourized in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated, as per the report.

The authority added that it has directed channels time and again to review content with "indecent dressing, controversial and objectionable plots, bed scenes and unnecessary detailing of events".

Most complaints received by the PEMRA Call Centre during September concern drama serial "Juda Huay Kuch is Tarah", which created quite a storm on social media for showing an unwitting married couple as foster siblings in a teaser for an upcoming episode. However, it only turned out to be a family scheme after the full episode aired, but by that time criticism had mounted on HUM TV for using the themes of incest to drive the plot, the report said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Pakistan, Islam, Serials, Dramas, Culture, Teachings.


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Dozens of female high school and university students in Afghanistan have joined vocational centers to learn tailoring and cosmetology

Dozens of female high school and university students in Afghanistan have joined vocational centers to learn tailoring and cosmetology as the women and girls have been banned from school and university since the Taliban took over the country, Tolo News reported.

According to these girls, sitting at home is very difficult for them, therefore they are willing to learn a profession.

"It has been a couple of months that we are at home since schools and universities were closed. We have to learn a profession or a job because we can't sit like this at home," said Samira Sharifi, a student.

"I want to learn a profession for my future to help my family, we want our schools to be opened so that we can carry on with our education," said Mahnaz Ghulami, a student.

Most of the trainees in the vocational centres are students of high schools and universities.

After the closure of high schools and universities across Afghanistan, Herat female students have started gaining vocational training in the province.

"We have decided to learn tailoring along with our education," said Shaqaiq Ganji, a student.

"It's necessary for every woman to learn tailoring to help her family and her husband, especially in this bad economic situation," said Laili Sofizada, a teacher.

Due to the closure of schools and universities, the number of students in vocational centers doubled compared to recent years, the report added.

"Our classes had the capacity of 20 to 25 students but we increased it to 45 students, because most of the students have lost their spirit, and their schools and universities have closed," said Fatima Tokhi, director of technical and professional affairs at the Herat department of labour and social affairs.

The Labour and Social Affairs department of Herat said the department is working to provide more opportunities for Herat girls and women to learn vocational training.

"The art and professional sector and the kindergarten departments have started their activities, we support them and supervise their activities," said Mulla Mohammad Sabit, head of the labour and social affairs of Herat.

During the past two months, most of the women and girls who worked in state and private institutions lost their jobs and are trying to learn handicrafts and vocational training. (IANS/JB)


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