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It, however, remains open to question whether the government will be able to keep its third promise of bringing the guilty to book.
The doubts arise because while the policemen implicated in the murder have been suspended – the time-honoured official ploy to deflect attention – the prime accused, Minister of State for Backward Classes Welfare, Ram Murti Verma, remains free.
The delay in apprehending him is believed to be the ruling party’s disinclination to annoy the Kurmi community to which he belongs. In fact, the state’s Minister for Public Works, Shivpal Singh Yadav, lost no time to say that Verma will not resign till the death was “thoroughly” investigated. Since the Kurmis comprise nine percent of UP’s population, they cannot be ignored.
Now that the journalist’s death is being described as a case of self-immolation, the chances of the minister being put behind bars have become even more remote. As a Samajwadi Party (SP) member confessed, the forensic report which referred to the alleged suicide bid means that the “exercise” of defending the minister has been completed. Clearly, the law has not been allowed to take its own course.
This episode typifies the breakdown of law and order in one of India’s largest states under a government in thrall to caste-based politics.
It was Jagendra Singh’s articles about the minister’s alleged wrongdoings which angered the latter and led to the journalist’s horrifying death. It was on the basis of his dying declaration that the policemen were caught, and a FIR was filed against the minister.
If Akhilesh Yadav has acted after being inactive for nearly two weeks, the reason perhaps is that the grisly incident has occurred at an awkward time for the nascent Janata Parivar, a combination mainly of the parties of backward castes of the Hindi belt.
At a time when the latter’s two important constituents – Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) — are gearing up to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar, the shock and revulsion over the journalist’s gruesome death cannot but undermine the electoral position of the two parties to a considerable extent.
During the polls, the backward caste angle will feature prominently in the discourse on the horrific incident, not only because all the important players in the tragedy belong to the backward caste, but also because caste has always been a crucial element in the so-called cow belt.
As parties dependent almost entirely on the support of the backward castes, the Yadavs and Kurmis, the JD-U and the RJD cannot, but be discomfited by the unfolding developments in neighbouring UP, which will continue to be in the limelight in the foreseeable future since the Supreme Court has decided to intervene. The Allahabad High Court is also probing the tragedy.
In contrast to the unease in the JD-U and RJD camps, the BJP’s base among the upper castes, who make up a sizable 14 percent of Bihar’s population, will be further strengthened since the party is bound to play up the spectre of lawlessness in the neighbouring state.
Fears in this regard have been further accentuated by the arrest of a JD-U MLA, Anant Singh, on charges of kidnapping and murder in Bihar.
But burning alive a critic is in a different category. It is closer to the activities of another notorious politician of UP who is suspected of feeding those who earn his displeasure, to crocodiles in a pond in his estate.
UP’s descent can be contrasted with Bihar’s brief regeneration under the government of the JD-U and BJP between 2005 and 2013, when lawlessness was curbed, and the first steps towards development were taken.
After the rupture between the two parties, however, it is back to square one as far as the hopes for economic growth are concerned. Although Nitish Kumar has become chief minister again after briefly stepping down to atone for the JD-U’s defeat in last year’s general election, he is now too busy propping up his fragile alliance with the RJD, to focus on development.
He will now have to dispel fears about the return of the jungle raj. But the two incidents in UP and Bihar will make his task extremely difficult. (IANS)
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
One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.
The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.
As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Speaking on the recent report, Kamini Sawhney, Director, Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), said, "MAP is focused on changing the notion of a museum in India, by enabling more relevant and inclusive programming, both online and in our space in Bengaluru. The audience research commissioned by MAP, and conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, provides valuable, and actionable insights which we hope will help museums across the country better understand their consumer base, improve decision making and deepen social impact." As much as 62.3 per cent college students and 47.6 per cent professionals/homemakers perceive culture as anthropological and sociological. Music was the most popular cultural event likely to be attended, followed by heritage tours and plays/comedy shows for Indian audiences.
Over 70 per cent of college students visit museums with family and friends; working professionals, homemakers and senior citizens also predominantly visit with groups/ spouses (indicating a need to focus on increased group programming/facilitation). As much as 68 per cent of people were optimistic about going outdoors for activities and events in 2021. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.(IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Art, Culture, India, Museum, Music
What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?
Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Vaz also said that the promotion of feni was also in sync with the Prime Minister's vision for India to go "vocal for local". "There is no conglomerate, multinational company owning the drink. So every time we sell feni, it is a direct cash injection into Goa. If you sell a feni cocktail in Calangute (a popular beach village), it makes a direct impact in Valpoi and Bicholim, because this money is going down there," the Association official said at a press conference in Panaji.
The Association held the media briefing to announce a road map ahead for the feni industry, especially vis a vis streamlining aspects related to production, standardisation and marketing of the brew to make it popular in other Indian states and abroad.
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. | Photo by Ishvani Hans on Unsplash
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. "We request the government to allow the sale of feni in duty free stores in airports and cruise liner terminals. The government should also support us through the department of Tourism, so that feni can be promoted in its programmes. iIf you go to Scotland, they promote Scotch. Goa should promote its feni to Goa," Haldankar said, adding that traditional distillers should also be given subsidies and other measures should be taken to standardise feni, which he said, "would require further subsidies and financial assistance from the government".
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: deforestation,cashew,distillers,association,government, goa, feni, India