Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Munnar tea plantation on verge of lockout

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Thiruvananthapuram: With the daylong meeting of the ‘plantation labour committee’ (PLC) failing to resolve the impasse over the demand of Rs 500 as daily wage for plantation workers in Thiruvananthapuram, the trade unions declared an indefinite strike from Monday.

Over 10,000 women plantation workers from the Kannan Devan Hills Plantations (KDHP) Company Private Limited owned Munnar tea plantations went on a strike earlier this month. However, their demand of 20 per cent bonus was accepted after nine days of strike.

At that time, the talks was held under Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and it was assured that their demand of raising their daily wage from Rs 231 to Rs 500 would be considered at the PLC meeting.

Post the marathon nine-hour-long meeting on Saturday, state Labour Minister Shibu Baby John told reporters that the Association of Planters Kerala (APK) did not accept the trade unions’ demanded of Rs 500 as daily wage.

“The state government has put up some suggestions before the APK. They said they will look into it and return for the next round of talks scheduled for Tuesday evening,” said John.

Meanwhile, the trade unions announced that they will initiate an indefinite strike from Monday as the women workers in Munnar are firm on their demand of Rs 500 as daily wage.

A male plantation worker told reporters, “the men would also join the indefinite strike from Monday. We are waiting for the return of our women leaders from the capital city and tomorrow (Sunday), we will meet as many employees as possible to launch our strike from Monday.”

An APK representative terming the situation as “most unfortunate” said, “we will have no other option but to declare a lockout, if they (unions) insist on Rs 500.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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Acting is Not My Cup of Tea, Says Yo Yo Honey Singh

Does stardom bring insecurity in its wake? "I think the statement is wrong. Not just stars -- anyone can be insecure. It is a part of nature, and insecurity is not a part of my nature," he said

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Yo Yo Honey Singh
Yo Yo Honey Singh at a concert.

BY DURGA CHAKRAVARTY

He regularly makes news with his instant winner rap numbers, as well as the often-controversial lyrics of the songs. Rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh, who enjoys a following of 5.3 million on Twitter and 3.4 million on Instagram, has belted out numerous hits, and has been tagged a pioneer of Punjabi pop since the late 2000s.

To take his game to the next level, Singh has also tried venturing into the world of acting. He made his acting debut with the 2012 Punjabi film “Mirza: The Untold Story”, and two years later made his Bollywood debut with “The Xpose” alongside Himesh Reshammiya.

The rap sensation has tried a few more times since then, to be a star in front of the camera. However, releases such as “Tu Mera 22 Main Tera 22” and “Zorawar” — which is marketed as one of the most expensive Punjabi films to date — did not help him recreate the frenzy he so effortlessly triggers off among fans as a singer.

Singh is now convinced he doesn’t want to act in films anymore.

“I tried acting and I realised it is not my cup of tea. I think I should not do it,” Singh told IANS.

His streak with hit music, of course, will continue. Not only is he regularly spinning chartbusting non-film hits, his rap numbers have contributed to the success of film soundtracks such as “Cocktail”, “Chennai Express”, “Khiladi 786”, “Boss” and “Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety”. The last mentioned has won him the Best Music Director’s trophy at many popular awards ceremonies including International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA).

Yo Yo Honey Singh
Singer Honey Singh. (Wikimedia Commons)

If the expectations of fans has only increased with each new release, Singh is cool with it. “I don’t take it as a pressure. Making a good song is more important to me, and I don’t take any stress about a song being a hit or not,” said the rapper, whose real name is Hirdesh Singh.

“I really like making songs from the bottom of my heart, and whether it is a hit or not depends on people,” he added.

Over the past five to six years, the Hindi film industry has seen a surge in rappers such as Badshah, Raftaar and Ikka, to name some. They too have been belting out hits. Has Bollywood music become all about cutthroat competition now?

Also Read: Coca-Cola on Track to Complete its $1.7 bn Investment in ‘Fruit Circular Economy’

“I believe if a person makes multiple music, or does work there is no competition for them. If you are doing multiple things then there is no competition for you,” said Singh.

Does stardom bring insecurity in its wake? “I think the statement is wrong. Not just stars — anyone can be insecure. It is a part of nature, and insecurity is not a part of my nature,” he said. (IANS)