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Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama hails Liquor Prohibition in Bihar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had informed him about his government's prohibition policy.

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FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is seen in an undated photo. VOA

Patna, Jan 11, 2017: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who is in Bodh Gaya for the 34th Kalchakra puja, termed the liquor prohibition in Bihar as a good decision.

“Prohibition in Bihar is a good step,” he said on Wednesday while addressing thousands of devotees gathered here from across the world for the ongoing Buddhist spiritual event, about 110 km from capital Patna.

The Kalchakra puja is among the most sacred events of the Buddhist religious calendar.

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He said that during his short visit to Patna last month Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had informed him about his government’s prohibition policy.

The Dalai Lama also reminded his devotees that Lord Buddha said consumption of even a drop of alcohol is a sin and how Mahatma Gandhi also tried to bring in prohibition.

The Tibetan spiritual leader has been living in India in self-imposed exile since 1959 when he fled his homeland after Chinese Communist troops took over Tibet.

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Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Nitish Kumar’s decision of imposing prohibition in the state and urged all political parties and people to back his move.

Modi has termed Nitish Kumar’s decision of prohibition a “brave step” for social change.

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“Taking an initiative for social change is very difficult, but Nitish Kumar has initiated it by enforcing prohibition. All people including political parties should back him for it,” he said.

The Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance government enforced total prohibition on April 5 last year in the state. Since then, more than 16,000 people have been arrested on charges of either consuming or transporting liquor in the state. (IANS)

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Astronaut Floats in Space on Mural Sporting a Gandhi Patch on Shoulder

The mural that looks up from the vista that opens to the iconic glass-fronted UN building a block away commemorates the occasions

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Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN. Wikimedia

The high-tech future of green jobs and the Gandhian virtue of the dignity of work meld their messages on a six-storey high mural commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the centenary of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN that was inaugurated on Tuesday.

The mural that looks up from the vista that opens to the iconic glass-fronted UN building a block away commemorates the occasions.

The other themes on the mural, a joint effort of the ILO and the Indian mission, include the concept of “green”, environmentally sustainable jobs and the greening of the world by planting trees.

India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said at the inauguration that the mural addresses global concerns of decent jobs and the environment.

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Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN. Pixabay

He said the mural effort goes beyond the diplomatic work at the UN of dealing with resolutions to a new diplomatic area of reaching out to people to create broader awareness of issues.

Victor Ash, the artist who painted it while perched high on a cherry-picker, told IANS: “I mixed different ideas and came up with this ‘green astronaut’ that is also worker – the worker from the future who would be working in space.”

And to commemorate the anniversary of Gandhi’ birth, he said he added Gandhi’s image as a logo on the arm of the astronaut.

Ash said that one of his inspirations was India’s record in 2017 of planting 66 million trees on a single day.

The mission building with a red-stone facade was designed by the internationally acclaimed Indian architect Charles Correa, but one of its sides was bared to the bricks after the neighbouring building was torn down and a hotel was built on the site with a deep setback.

The mural now decorates that side without impinging on the building’s Correa design.

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The other themes on the mural, a joint effort of the ILO and the Indian mission, include the concept of “green”, environmentally sustainable jobs and the greening of the world by planting trees. Wikimedia

The mural was one of several sponsored across the city by ILO to commemorate its centenary with a project called Street Art for Mankind that aims to spread the message of decent work for all with sustainable development and social justice.

Portugal-born Ash said that he had painted a mural at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai during its Summerfest.

He said that he had started as a street-artist in Paris, where he had studied, and later went into doing paintings for galleries.

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“But it was only the studio work and exhibiting in galleries was not reaching such a broad public,” he said.

“So I went back to the street and did murals because it has a much bigger impact and you can actually transmit messages much better than just exhibiting in galleries for a few specific people.” (IANS)