Wednesday June 19, 2019

The ties between Oxford and India

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photo source :http://oxfordhistory.org.uk/

The revered Oxford institution has been here for centuries . Widely celebrated for its world class educational facilities , breathtaking infrastructure and more importantly its maintenance traditional values . It bring together scholars and students from all over the world to study different subjects , this sets the university of oxford a class apart .

Ties between India and Oxford has been strong since the construction of the famed ‘Boden Chair’ for Sanskrit studies in 1832 . Indian presence was further distinguished by the advent of Sir Monier Williams, a well known Orientalist , who was born in India . A massive fan of the Indian culture , He studied ,compiled and documented various Sanskrit texts and wrote an English Sanskrit dictionary . He has always been a major admirer of the Indian culture and the traditional values they uphold . He became the professor of Sanskrit studies in 1860 and got knighted in 1876. Sir Monier Williams built “The Indian Institute” , getting funding from various princes from India, equivalent to 22,000 pounds and acquired the stamp of approval from Queen Victoria herself .

The Indian Institute is a red stoned building with three stories.  Erected with English renaissance architecture , the ground floor is filled with motifs of elephant, bull and other animals .The second floor consists of pictures of Indian warrior gods , depicted with finely chiselled structures.

The Indian institute originally contained a massive library , several lecture rooms and a museum . In 1927 the main library of oxford was shifted to its top floor , which is operational even now. When the library and museum were thus shifted away from the Indian Institute building, the government of India after independence, filed a formal protest on behalf of the families of the original donors, who felt that it was a breach of trust on the part of the University for moving away the library and the Indian artefacts, leaving nothing Indian in Indian Institute .
Many prominent Indians have held posts in oxford including former President, Sarvepalle Radhakrishnan, Noble laureate, Amarthya Sen, India’s chief scientific advisor, C.N.R. Rao, historians, S. Gopal, Thapan Roy Chowdhury and others . Infact former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is an alumni of the institute .

link :http://m.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/the-indiaoxford-cultural-bond/article8188572.ece

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India: Sugar Mills, Distilleries under The Scanner of Special Task Force of UP Police for Links with Hooch Syndicates

Industrial alcohol allegedly used in hooch is distilled ethanol

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India, Sugar Mills, Distilleries
A few sugar mills and distilleries have come under the scanner of the Special Task Force of the UP police. Pixabay

As more than a hundred people died in ‘poisonous hooch’ tragedies in Uttar Pradesh during the past one year, a few sugar mills and distilleries have come under the scanner of the Special Task Force of the UP police. Working round the clock to bust ‘killer syndicates’ supplying cheap industrial alcohol to bootleggers and gangs involved in manufacturing of illicit liquor, STF has seized more than 10,000 litres of rectified spirit in raids across the state in the past one month.

Industrial alcohol allegedly used in hooch is distilled ethanol and is usually used in manufacturing of paints, fragrance, printing ink and coating. As it is cheaper, the liquor syndicates get it smuggled from distilled ethanol manufacturing units. On June 16, STF seized 5,750 litres of rectified spirit (high concentration alcohol) from the possession of a big time crime syndicate active in Lucknow and Kanpur.

The STF rounded up the kingpin, Suraj Lal Yadav, along with six other members of the gang. During interrogation it was discovered that Yadav was well-connected with some distilleries in Haryana. Large quantities of industrial alcohol was smuggled out of Haryana and pushed into hooch manufacturing dens in UP.

Concerned about frequents deaths in UP due to consumption of poisonous hooch, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched a statewide crackdown on illicit liquor manufacturing gangs after 21 people died in a hooch tragedy in Barabanki two months ago. The STF, considered the state’s premiere crime busting agency, subsequently geared up to intercept scores of tankers and private vehicles being pushed into UP from Delhi and Haryana.

India, Sugar Mills, Distilleries
A few sugar mills and distilleries have come under the scanner of the Special Task Force of the UP police. Pixabay

“The syndicate involved in smuggling of rectified spirit has spread its tentacles in the state. Even murders have taken place in disputes relating to the smuggling. But our raiding parties are determined to bust the gangs. Innumerable cases have been registered by us in the past one-and-a-half years,” said Amitabh Yash, Inspector General(IG) of STF.

Even though the STF, after rounding up the accused handed over the investigation of the case to the district police, the agency is said to have the most precise data on organised crime in North India.

“We seldom investigate the cases as it involves prolonged court work, so our main aim is focused on cracking heinous crimes, particularly organised by crime syndicates. At the moment, gangs involved in illicit trade of hooch are our target,” said Amitabh Yash, known for his skills in dealing with underworld operations and syndicate crimes. When asked whether a few officials of the excise department and a couple of distilleries could be linked with smugglers of rectified spirit, the IG said a report was given in this connection to the government.

While high excise duty makes liquor expensive, hooch, on the other hand, is available for less than Rs 20 per bottle. At places the rates are less than even Rs 10 per liter. A report, in connection with the Saharanpur hooch tragedy in February 2019 which took the lives of over 50 people, reveals that the quantity of rectified spirit mixed in the drink was so high that it had the effect of poison.

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The report says that rectified spirit was smuggled by criminal gangs which were hand-in-glove with local authorities.

“The gangs have links in distilleries and chemical factories from where industrial alcohol is smuggled out at a very cheap price. It is later re-packed in drums and transported to hideouts of manufacturers (of illicit liquor),” said a source in the police.

With widespread sale of hooch across UP, CM Yogi Adityanath has instructed DGP O.P. Singh to take stringent measures against the culprits and ensure that police secures conviction of those accused who are put on trial in cases of hooch smuggling or hooch-related deaths. (IANS)