October 19, 2018

Do you know why Katiyar is not a star campaigner for the BJP?

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File Image of BJP supporters.| PTI

NEW DELHI: Days ahead of the Assembly elections, senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar courted controversy on Wednesday after claiming that his party had more ‘beautiful women’ than the star campaigner of the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi. 

The comments invited sharp criticism from across the spectrum with Priyanka saying the ‘sexist’ remarks exposed the saffron party’s mindset towards women. 

The Congress demanded an apology for ‘insulting Indian womanhood’ and said the comments reflected the ‘petty and insulting culture of the BJP that commodifies women’. The party also demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. The BJP, however, was quick to distance itself, with Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu saying the comment was “unacceptable”.

It all started when Katiyar was asked about Priyanka being named as a star campaigner by the Congress for the UP polls. “It doesn’t matter. There are girls and women who are more beautiful than her and are also star campaigners,” he said. “Some of them are artists and heroines.

They are more beautiful than her. I think Smriti Irani is beautiful and she is also campaigning for the UP polls.” 

Priyanka retorted, “If that’s all BJP sees in my colleagues who are each strong, brave and beautiful women that have battled through all sorts of hardships to get where they are, then he makes me laugh even more. Because he exposes the BJP’s mindset towards the better half of the population of India!!!.” Priyanka’s husband Robert Vadra also attacked the BJP leader and demanded an apology for his “misogynistic and atrocious” comments. 

Days after reopening, zoo sees black buck’s death

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Just days after the Delhi Zoo was reopened, a black buck has died after getting injured in a fight with another antelope.

“The black buck died three-four days ago after suffering internal bleeding during a fight with another deer. It was immediately attended to by doctors but could not survive,” Delhi Zoo curator Riaz Khan said.

Some sources, however, claimed that the deer died due to the medical negligence of the zoo authorities. Khan, however, said, “It is not a big deal. The antelope died after a fight. We are still waiting for the details and can give more information after speaking to the zoo Director.”

It could not be ascertained if the authorities have ordered an inquiry into the matter.

The black buck has been listed as a ‘Near Threatened’ species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The animal, found mostly in India, Nepal, and Pakistan, is now extinct in Bangladesh.

The zoo had been shut on October 18, 2016, after many free ranging birds, including painted storks, ducks, and rosy pelican, tested positive for the H5N8 Avian Influenza virus. Since the outbreak, as many as 125 birds were found dead. Not all of them, however, tested positive for the virus.

Last month, a baby gibbon was also found dead, adding to the list of casualties Multiple animal casualties have plagued the Delhi Zoo in the past few years, including deaths of migratory birds, deer, ostrich, giraffe, and langurs. Animal lovers have constantly slammed the zoo authorities for their “negligence”.

Capital opens its first model govt school in Rouse Avenue

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The Delhi government inaugurated its first model school on Wednesday. Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, Rouse Avenue, registered itself as the first among the 54 model schools that the government plans to set up.

The school has audio visual teaching aids, projector in classrooms, and a new building. In addition to this, it also has a gym for students.

“This school building will bring pride and happiness to students and teachers. Students will avail top-class infrastructure. This convenience is just the foundation of education, not the ultimate goal. It is the quality of education that matters, more than just providing the basic convenience,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.

Hailing the development, Razia, who had come to pick up her son, said, “Earlier, the school did not have so many facilities. Now it has changed completely. My son Junaid is in nursery, and I am planning to get my elder son admitted in this school as well.”

The Directorate of Education (DoE) aims to create 54 such model schools in the Capital, with basic facilities such as furniture, projectors, RO drinking water, and clean toilets. The effort is a part of the ambitious project Chunauti 2018, aiming to improve infrastructure in government schools.

15 days on, Crazy Sumit case runs out of steam

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Even after the identification and interrogation of the accused 15 days ago, the investigators have failed to make any headway in the infamous Crazy Sumit case, wherein a video uploaded on the social media showed a youth forcibly kissing women in Connaught Place in the name of a prank.

The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police had detained the accused a fortnight ago, but neither the accused were arrested nor the owner of the website, Youtube, booked for promoting obscenity.

The police had registered a molestation case against the two men — Sumit Kumar Singh, 20, and Satyajeet Kadian, 25, students of Bachelor of Computer Application in a private Gurugram college.

In a press conference held 15 days ago, the police said the two were to be arrested after the statements of the girls featured in the video were recorded. When questioned, the girls stated that they were aware of the “prank”, but did not know that the video would be uploaded on the internet. Following that, the police have been confused about how to proceed in the case as there seems to be no “victim”.

The police’s plan to make the social networking site an accused for promoting obscene activities in the city also fell apart after a few days. The cops had recovered a laptop, a video camera, wireless microphones, and an award trophy given by YouTube to ‘The Crazy Sumit’, for getting more than 100,000 subscribers.

At the time, Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav had blamed Google and YouTube for encouraging obscene activities. He had said that the role of Google, its video-sharing site, and an event management company, were to be examined to assess their criminal liability in the making of the video.

Yadav had further said: “YouTube paid Rs 700 to the boys for every 1,000 hits on the video. The trend is to shoot obscene videos to get more hits, and thereby, more money. YouTube and Google are also giving incentives such as recognition and certificates in parties organised by them.

Soaring pigeons to delight Delhiites

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Ghiyasuddin has been waiting for the Republic Day with bated breath. Not because he will be getting a gallantry award or even watching the famed parade, but because this will be the day when his dreams will take flight on the wings of his pigeons.

The 45-year-old, who has been learning and practising the art of training pigeons for the folk sport of kabutarbaazi since his childhood, has risen through the ranks to become a Khalifa. His brother Chaamu is the Ustad (master) of his party, which has many Shagirds (students) working under him.

As fighter jets and aircraft adorn the sky on R-Day, kabutarbaaz in the city, who have been training their pigeons throughout the year, will be gearing up for their own special occasion. The pigeon race or kaburtarbaazi will witness participants from various parts of the country.

“The weather is good this time of the year. One is made an Ustad only after a Pagdi or turban ceremony. The Khalifa works under him, and the Shagirds and volunteers make the entire party. There are 20 such parties in the city, with nearly 1,500 members in each of them,” Ghiyasuddin said.

These pigeons, which acted as postmen during the Mughal era, are bought from places including Agra, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Punjab and Delhi, and are initially trained on the terrace. Decorated with paajeb or anklets, these pigeons are set free from the cages and allowed to roam freely on the terrace, so that they can return home even after going long distances.

“The striking difference in the practice during the Mughal era and now is that more people are involved now. Even 10 years ago, people were not so passionate about kabutarbaazi, and kept the birds only as pets,” Ghiyasuddin said, adding that people belonging to diverse religions come to witness the race.

He further said: “On January 26, fairs are organised at various places in the city, including Old Delhi, Zaffarabad, and Seelampur, where pigeon races are held . The judges, or Munsibs, set specific rules and decide the winner.”

A proud Ghiyasuddin tells that he takes his beautiful pigeons for contests in other cities as well, such as Agra, Mathura, Kanpur, and Hyderabad.

Talking more about the practise of his ancestors, Ashok Kumar, another kabutarbaaz, said, “First, a thread is tied to the wings of the pigeons and they are allowed to roam on the terrace. After a few months, they are allowed to fly. We also feed them herbs including Ama Haldi (turmeric) and mulethi.”

During the contest, three judges are involved from each participating side. The victor is announced based on the decision of these six jury members. The winner party then celebrates the occasion as a mark of happiness.

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