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Singapore-Top Indian origin engineer dies

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Singapore: A top Indian origin engineer died at the age of 94. He was a great asset in the development of Port of Singapore Authority and the Changi airport. Moreover, his journey of life was about to get published through the book, Engineered For Success. A Vjiaratnam died yesterday.

Mr Vjiaratnam was born in 1921 in the northern Ipoh city of Peninsular Malaysia. He later moved to Singapore and went on to study civil engineering at Brighton College of Technology in Britain on government scholarship in 1950.

On return from Britain, he joined the then Public Works Department and played a key role in the formation of the Port of Singapore Authority in 1964. He also played an important role in developing Changi Airport.

Mr Vijiaratnam also played an important role in the port’s containerization programme, among other things, and rose to become its chief engineer.

He was also the first pro-chancellor of Nanyang Technological University, serving from 1992 to 2005.

Mr Vijiaratnam was the only Singaporean to represent the country in hockey, rugby, soccer and cricket. He played for about a decade from 1946.

He was part of the national hockey team that went to the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He was also chairman of a local newspaper, Tamil Murasu for 10 years from 1995.

A chartered engineer, he became the first Asian to serve as vice-president of the Britain-based Institution of Structural Engineers.

Singapore National Olympic Council vice-president Tan Eng Liang, a water polo player who also went to the 1956 Olympics – said: “Vijiaratnam was exceptional in being able to play four sports at a high level, and that athletes today could learn from him. He was a role model in the way he was able to juggle both sports and a successful career.(IANS)(Image-wikipedia0

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Jaipur Literature Festival Takes A Questionable Stand On The #MeToo Movement

JLF's fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned.

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#MeToo, women
The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

After several star speakers of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival, including C.P. Surendran, Suhel Seth and Chetan Bhagat, among others, have been accused of sexually harassing multiple women, on the sidelines of the popular lit fest, the organisers, in a cautiously worded one-sentence tweet on Thursday, have supported the rising tide of the #MeToo campaign in India — but questions still remain.

“The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival unequivocally stands by the women who have courageously spoken out for equity and dignity and is committed to supporting and amplifying their voices,” the official handle of the JLF said in a tweet on Thursday.

The statement came two days after a petition was started on www.change.org by writer-editor Rajni George, asking its organisers to support the #MeToo India and stand up “against sexual harassment”.

#MeToo
Jaipur Literature Festival

“We write today regarding the serious and credible allegations of sexual harassment made recently against a number of men in and around the literary world, as part of the MeToo movement in India.

“We, the undersigned, are dismayed, saddened and angered by these accounts. We admire the work that the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) undertakes. As India’s largest and most recognised literature festival, we believe JLF is ideally placed to take the lead in addressing this urgent issue,” George’s petition said.

JLF’s response in the one-line tweet is general, and does not specifically mention whether any of the allegations that have now surfaced were earlier brought to the notice of the organisers.

It also does not make it clear whether the doors of the festival will remain closed for the accused in its future editions, or not. It further makes no comment whatsoever on several instances that are said to have taken place on the sidelines of the annual event.

#MeToo
Sanjoy K. Roy, with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore.

Notably, many of the accused have featured in prominent sessions at what is described as the “greatest literary show on Earth”, and, in many instances, the festival has been instrumental in increasing their popularity as well as readership.

On its part, JLF, produced by Teamwork Arts, headed by Sanjoy K. Roy, and with writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple as co-directors, has been instrumental in bringing societal issues to the fore. In fact, the 2018 edition of the festival in January this year had come to a close with a hard-hitting debate on #MeToo, long before the campaign gained momentum in India.

Also Read: Watch Jaipur Literature Festival Live On Twitter

Many in the literary circles feel the benchmark that JLF has itself set over the course of its journey, its coming of age and gradual but distinct shift from controversies to substance in the recent years, its fast spreading presence in the international arena, calls for a more substantial stand on its part, as far as #MeToo is concerned. (IANS)