India's democracy allows for fetishised nationalism, knee-jerk rejectionism

By Mayank Chhaya

India, or at least parts of it, is going through a weird phase of fetishised nationalism and knee-jerk rejectionism. The divide is between those who profess unquestioning nationalism and are staunch supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and those who castigate everything and are virulently antagonistic to the prime minister.

Bihar liquor ban should be 'participatory', not agenda: Experts

By Bhavana Akella and Sushil Kumar

New Delhi : Bihar on Thursday joined the states that have banned liquor, with newly elected Chief Minister Nitish Kumar prohibiting sale and consumption of alcohol from April 1, 2016. But experts feel the decision should be "participatory" and not a "political agenda".

Gujarat, Nagaland, Manipur (in some parts), and Union Territory of Lakshadweep have banned liquor while Kerala has since August 2014 been implementing the ban in a phased manner.

मुस्लिम राजनीति में चूकते ओवैसी

By काशिफ़ युनूस

ओवैसी के लिये बिहार चुनाव एक दुखद हादसे की तरह था. ओवैसी इस हादसे को टालना चाहते थे. वह उन नेताओं में हैं जो बहुत नपी-तुली चाल चलना चाहते हैं. कर्णाटक में मिली शर्मनाक पराजय से सबक सीखते हुए ओवैसी उत्तर प्रदेश पर ही अपनी पूरी तवज्जो रखना चाहते थे लेकिन अख्तरुल ईमान द्वारा किए जा रहे बारहा आग्रह को ओवैसी ठुकरा न सके. अख्तरुल ईमान की मदद करने मैदान में उतरे ओवैसी ने ज़बरदस्त हार का सामना किया और अब बिहार चुनाव के नतीजों के उत्तर प्रदेश में पड़ने वाले असर से ओवैसी खासे चिंतित हैं.

Religious fervour marks Gurpurab in Punjab, Haryana

Chandigarh : Holiest of Sikh shrines 'Harmandar Sahib', popularly known as Golden Temple, in Amritsar and other gurdwaras elsewhere across Punjab and Haryana saw religious fervour as 'Gurpurab', the birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated on Wednesday.

Thousands of devout thronged the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar from early morning to offer prayers.

Sad that Aamir feels like leaving India: Digvijaya

Panaji : It was sad that Bollywood star Aamir Khan and his filmmaker wife Kiran Rao felt like leaving India in the face of intolerance, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said on Tuesday.

Digvijaya Singh was talking to reporters after a press conference at the Congress state headquarters, after a review meeting of the state unit's executive committee.

"It's sad that Aamir Khan, who is an icon among film actors not only in India, but across the world, is feeling the same thing.

Separatist shutdown affects life in Srinagar

Srinagar : Normal life across the Kashmir valley was partially affected on Tuesday due to shutdown called by separatists to protest the killing of guerrillas in south Kashmir.

Private vehicles were plying on capital Srinagar's roads, but only partial public transport was seen in uptown and civil lines areas of the city. However, markets in old city remained closed.

Banks, post offices, schools and government offices were also impacted due to the strike in the city and other places in the Valley with reduced attendance due skeletal traffic availability.

Mobile phone-based alerts for pregnant women launched

Kolkata : A mobile phone-based alert system for pregnant women in rural areas was launched here on Monday to help them stay healthy till delivery.

Called 'M-Health Service', the service requires the would-be mothers to register via a cellphone. Periodic text messages will convey to them necessary treatment details to take care of issues that crop up during pregnancy.

FTII students are not criminals, talk to them: Benegal

Panaji : Students are not criminals or crooks and should be engaged in dialogue, veteran award-winning filmmaker Shyam Benegal said on Monday.

He also questioned the students for their quantum of outrage against FTII chairman Gajendra Chauhan.

Benegal, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an International Film Festival of India event in Panaji, said political ideology has no role to play in the discharge of duties of the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

Kejriwal opposes Lalu's dynasty politics

New Delhi : Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday told his party that he was opposed to RJD leader Lalu Prasad's dynasty politics and he couldn't help if the latter hugged him.

"At Nitish Kumar's swearing in, Lalu Yadav was on the stage. He shook hands, pulled me towards him and hugged me. And held my hand and raised it," Kejriwal told the AAP National Council meeting here.

"This was projected and questions were asked.

Bihar to initiate moves to ban liquor

Patna : The Bihar government will soon take steps to impose a ban on liquor in the state, Excise and Prohibition Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan said on Monday.

The minister made the comments soon after taking office.

"We will start work to impose a ban on liquor in Bihar. It would be visible in the next six months," he told the media here.

In July, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had declared that prohibition would be imposed if he retained power in the assembly elections.