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Free Wi-Fi at Taj Mahal from 16th June

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Lucknow:  The visitors at the Taj Mahal will get free Wi-Fi Internet facility across the sprawling campus for 30 minutes, from June 16.

Any browsing or usage like downloading, surfing after this period would invite charges at Rs.30 an hour, a Bharatiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) official said.

Chief General Manager of BSNL (UP-West) Pradeep Kumar told IANS that the trials have been completed and the service will be launched by Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shanker Prasad in Agra on June 16.

He informed that while bandwidth is being provided by BSNL, the system integrator – Quadgen, a Bengaluru based company – is providing the wireless support.

Due to security and other reasons, the ASI has only permitted the Wi-Fi availability in a radius of 30 metres from the main gate of the Taj Mahal, officials further said.

Millions of domestic and foreign tourists visit the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Officials said there were frequent complaints from tourists, specially foreigners about the lack of Wi-Fi facility.

Following this, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) requested the BSNL to work on the project, to start the facility in the complex.

Wi-Fi Internet facility at public places in Agra is currently available only at the Agra Cantonment railway station.

If the trial at the Taj is successful, BSNL plans to extend the facility to Fatehpur Sikri as well.
(IANS)

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In films ‘Victoria & Abdul’ and ‘American Made,’ Life is Stranger than Fiction

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Actors Ali Fazal and Judi Dench
Actors Ali Fazal and Judi Dench pose during a red carpet for the movie "Victoria and Abdul" at the 74th Venice Film Festival 2017 in Venice. voa

Stephen Frears’ heartwarming drama Victoria & Abdul is about the deep friendship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim between 1887 and 1901, and Doug Liman’s American Made about Barry Seal, a 1970s audacious American pilot, who, during the Nicaraguan Crisis worked for the CIA, the DEA and the Colombian cartel.

As different as these two films are, they are both based on true stories, proving yet again that often life is stranger than fiction. Both films feature intelligent plots and superb acting.

Victoria & Abdul

Stephen Frears’ film Victoria and Abdul, opens in 1887, with the festivities for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, celebrating her 50-year reign.

Abdul Karim, a young Muslim clerk from Agra, India, is sent to the banquet all the way from India to present the queen with a gift from India, a ceremonial coin. To the dismay of Queen Victoria’s courtiers, the Indian servant strikes a deep friendship with the octogenarian Queen Victoria, defying class and racial boundaries.

According to the movie, Abdul Karim impressed the British sovereign with his depth of spirit and good looks. Soon the unlikely friends became inseparable, discussing philosophy, literature, even Indian cuisine. In a span of 14 years, Abdul Karm became the queen’s confidant and munshi, her teacher, in Urdu.

But the queen’s courtesans and her family, sidelined by Abdul, questioned her sanity and considered her removal.

Historian and author Shrabani Basu based her book of the same title on the queen’s journals in Urdu and on Karim’s private diary. Basu discovered Abdul Karim’s personal diary in possession of Karim’s surviving nephew Abdul Rashid in 2010, over a century after the queen’s death.

This was the only document on the relationship between royal and servant that survived the wrath of Queen Victoria’s children. Immediately after her death in 1901, the royals evicted Queen Victoria’s munshi, burned everything he had received from the queen and swiftly shipped him and his family to India. In 1909 Abdul Karim died in Agra leaving his diary as his only testimonial of his deep friendship with the empress.

Director Frears offers captivating cinematography while Dame Judi Dench portrays a free-spirited Queen Victoria and Indian actor Ali Fazal embodies a charming and loyal Adbul Karim.

Though the film does not depict a romantic relationship between the two, it does hint to it. Dench describes the queen’s reaction to Karim:

“She had a ready eye for somebody good-looking, which he is very, so it was easy to imagine a kind of tired, poor person suddenly looking up and seeing this wonderful good-looking young man. How lovely somebody at last beautiful to look at,” Dench said.

But, author Basu says, “At the heart of this book is a story of friendship, a friendship of two different people from two different specters of this world, one is the Empress of India, one is a clerk from Agra jail, and somewhere they have a bond they find this link and a common space.”

Actor Tom Cruise
Actor Tom Cruise poses while promoting a film in Mexico City. voa

American Made

American Made, by Bourne Identity filmmaker Doug Liman, offers a satirical look at the political crisis in Nicaragua.

It shows the involvement of the United States in the revolution during the late 1970s and 1980s through the perspective of pilot Barry Seal, who, for the right price, delivers guns to Nicaragua on behalf of the CIA, and cocaine into the U.S. on behalf of the Colombian cartel. Somewhere in between, Seal also works for the DEA.

Tom Cruise offers an engaging interpretation as Barry Seal, piloting the plane and doing all the stunts throughout the film. Cruise explains what drew him to the character:

“He just couldn’t help himself,” Cruise said. “He just had to live this life. He literally when you are talking about someone living on the edge, he didn’t even realize he was on the edge. He was just living life and not really thinking of necessary ramifications and what’s going to happen.”

As in most of his action film projects, Cruise pushes his boundaries.

“I don’t make a movie just to make a movie,” he said. “It’s not what interests me. What interests me is the passion of cinema, the passion of storytelling. That’s when it gets very exciting, not just a job. I love this too much.”  (VOA)

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Was Taj Mahal Once a Shiva Temple? The Debate over the Tomb Continues

According to some historians, Taj Mahal was incipiently a Shiva Temple offered to the Mughals as a form of the gift by a Rajput king

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Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal. Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi, August 16, 2017: The famous monument from the Mughal era, Taj Mahal is once more in contention as the Central Information Commission (CIC) has requested the Central government to clear up unequivocally whether it is a tomb or a Shiva Temple. An RTI came to the CIC regarding the same, in response to which the quasi-constitutional body solicited answers from the culture minister.

But where did this question come from and what is the source?

According to some historians, Taj Mahal was incipiently a Shiva Temple offered to the Mughals as a form of the gift by a Rajput king. The hypothesis says that the temple was later formed into the monument that dwells graves of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his adored wife Mumtaz Mahal, mentioned IndiaNews.

Also Read: Firozabad Glass Industry is Declining: Is Taj Mahal to be Blamed? 

In 2015, a case was recorded in Agra by six lawyers, requesting that the tomb ought to be given over to Hindus for worship. The litigation solicited to forbid Islamic religious actions performed in the monument and remove the graves.

PN Oak, a revisionist historian also made the claim in his 1989  book “Taj Mahal” that the name Taj Mahal was procured from a Sanskrit word “Tejo Mahalay’ meaning a Shiva Temple.

The Cultural Minister Mahesh Sharma denied the claims in response to the question put forward to him that the Seventh wonder of the world was a Shiva Temple.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Beware Users! You May be Prone to In-House High Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Radiation Risk

From Television to all kinds of Wifi-enabled gadgets, these devices emit electromagnetic fields (EMF), putting your health at danger

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Electronic appliances emit EMF radiation
Person using electronic appliances. Pixabay

New Delhi, August 14, 2017: A number of studies have associated electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation exposure with serious health concerns, including the risk of cancer, miscarriage and a higher risk of leukemia among children. However, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to the low-level electromagnetic field.”

Manas Ganguly, Executive Partner and Founder, Brightsandz Technologies told ANI, “As much as Internet and telecommunication have become the part of our modern lives, cell towers have become a feature of city skylines. The profusion of cellular technology and cell towers has caused a concern on the health impact of radiation of humans”.

Recently, Lok Sabha was informed that a total of 284 mobile towers in India were discovered to emit radiation levels above the authorized limit.

The Telecom minister Manoj Sinha stated in a written reply to the LS, “During the audit carried out by TERM Cells, total 284 base transceiver stations (BTSs) installed on various mobile towers by various telecom service providers (TSPs) have been found exceeding the prescribed electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation limits as on 20 June 2017.”

Also Read: Whole-brain radiation technique to treat brain cancer causes memory loss: Study 

According to Manas cell phone towers are the most evident sources of radiation. Furthermore, there are other sources of radiation in our homes, offices and other living spaces that we are unaware of.

He continued, “With the advent of 24*7 hyper connectivity, IoT, Smart homes, Home automation, our exposure to such radiation is only going to compound manifold. Depending on our lifestyles and habits, we have multiplied our EMF Radiation exposures from 100X (hundred-fold) to 10,00,000X (million-fold).”

He noted, “While the evidence linking EMF radiation to these health hazards is scratchy and not well formed, a precautionary approach will be prudent. The risk from EMF is compounded by the fact that it is invisible and insensible.”

Here is a list of 8 EMF radiation sources  reported by ANI that can be found inside homes as indicated by Manas:

1. Cellphone 

According to Manas, it is equivalent to a mini-microwave that you are carrying around.

It is stated that radiation from mobile phone increases exponentially in low coverage areas or shadow zones. Cell phones radiate at close quarters to the brain indulging users in the highest risk.

Hack: The use of earpiece will help negate the side effect of using cell phone up to 98%

2. WiFi: 

A WiFi after-all is synonymous to a mini cell tower. It is noted that WiFis are rarely switched off. And hence the risk profile is hugely involved. We have a low in- consistent and perpetual radiation exposure.

Hack: It is advised to switch the WiFi off when not in use. In addition to it, one can also switch to the wired internet wherever possible.

3. Stabilizer/Inverter: 

Stabilizer is the highest source of in-premise EMF. Also, the older these appliances are, the greater the EMF. These devices create high EMF even at a distance of 3 to 5 feet.

Hack: Remove the stabilizer from your bedroom and relocate to any covered area outside the home.

4. Old electric circuitry:

Electrical circuitry inside houses can create a consistent EMF.

Hack: To avoid the shortfalls of an electric circuit, old wiring needs to be changed with a new one.

5. Electric Shaver, Hair Dryer:

These devices have an extremely localized EMF and are more prone to produce damage due to closeness during-use. The tip/nozzle of these devices can create up to 70/100mG EMF.

Hack: Avoid using the devices most of the time. While using the hair dryer, maintain at least 1 feet distance between the head and the nozzle.

6. Power distribution equipment:

Most of our cities and colonies/RWAs have old power distribution facilities. Such set up has a high EMF which could be significantly high as well and are perpetual in nature.

Hack: Maintain a minimum distance of 50-100 feet from such sources.

7. Laptops:

Laptops carry both radiations as well as EMF profile. The bottom of a laptop has a very high EMF exposure at point of contact which can be harmful to adult fertility

Hack: Use a laptop radiation shield to reduce exposure to devise radiation from laptops.

8. Microwave Ovens:

Microwave ovens despite being “sealed” for radiation, still leak heavy radiation. Moreover, they leak more radiation as they get older. It was attributed that an operational microwave is a potential risk to the person working in the kitchen.

Hack: It is advised not to use a microwave for long periods and. Always use a Microwave radiation shield.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.