India to host the first ever BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy

The BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy will see its maiden event in India this year. This will begin with a qualifier round to be held in Goa between 26 and 29 October 2017. The best navigators and riders will be tested. BMW Motorrad commenced its operations in India earlier this year. The winning team from the qualifier in India will compete with teams from across the globe mentions the Car and Bike team of NDTV.

“The event is a celebration of the BMW motorcycles. The ride combines leisure, adventure, and the challenge of the rider. It is used to check team spirit, fitness, riding ability, and persistence. The event welcomes both men and women to participate”, informs Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group, India.

CNN News 18 explains that the top three participants from the Goa event will be representing India as a team for the final trophy. This is scheduled to be held in Mongolia next year. These selected participants will ride a personalized BMW GS motorcycle during the event. This will be a 10-day event; with seven days of riding, two days for in and outbound journey and a one-day briefing. This will test the participant’s physical and mental capabilities through a series of challenges. It will examine their team spirit and way to live and deal with encounters in this world.

The international trophy began in 2008. It is held once in two years. All BMW GS motorcycle owners in India can register for the event through the BMW website.

Sources-

  1. NDTV- https://auto.ndtv.com/news/bmw-motorrad-gs-trophy-coming-to-india-soon-1743774
  2. NEWS 18- http://www.news18.com/news/auto/bmw-motorrad-international-gs-trophy-indian-national-qualifier-to-debut-in-goa-1505099.html

Freedom of speech and expression

Freedom of speech and expression is not just a modern day practice, but rather a dedication to the martyrs of the then freedom struggle in the country that lost many lives so that this freedom could be achieved. It is a part of Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.  This essence of democracy calls for free debate and discussion to enable citizens understand issues around them.

It is like an encouragement to enable an artist generate a plethora of ideas without fear. It invites performers from their respective domains to bring to the forefront a huge array of perspectives that could serve to change the policies and practices of a country. This could be well seen in films made by filmmakers like Rajkumar Hirani, Prakash Jha, Kamala Hassan and certain others. They have gone by the actual role of their art to not just be one to ideate but also profess an ideology of being anti-establishment so that one side of it does not only receive the selective light, but every side so that it can be seen in totality and developed if seen as faulty.

But questions and faults are not easily digested. Hence, in the recent past, this glorified freedom has taken a back seat. Censorship and politically supportive pieces have become a celebrated priority.  “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,” said George Orwell.

Hence, irrespective of the content and favouritism, it is a need to shape public opinion in society. There are debates and discussions, documentaries, investigative developmental journalism and citizen journalism that have emerged in the post-modern times so that all views are amassed and presented. The citizens of a country can then take a stance based on it and contribute to effective governing of a country. The right to information, anti-corruption campaigns, gender sensitisation and scams in various areas in society are some talks of the town that emerged in the light of it.

On one hand it is these criticisms that help the politicians to improve their functioning processes and mend the system accordingly; on the other hand it could benefit the political climate as in the case of Donald Trump, who after so much criticism from the media still managed to be elected as the President of USA.  It also helps people improve or sort out the differences of the nation if an individual is given to make a point that could transform into a standpoint in the future.

It also calls for the need of people of a community or culture to examine their practices of a society as seen in works of Perumal Murugan and Salman Rushdie. It also makes people think about the way they actually view society as seen in paintings of MF Hussain. But many times it is the artist that is questioned and not the issue. Only certain people like Khushwant Singh with his then column and Cyrus Broacha- Kunal Vijaykar with their television show through satire have not been victimised for their free expression although they have been criticised quite often for it.

A free mind and world is like an open chamber of new thoughts and ideas. It helps writers, artists, thinkers and decision makers to explore an issue by looking at a canvas of views and take a stance on various issues to facilitate effective functioning. Hence, there is a need for freedom of speech and expression.

LET Chief killed in Pulwama encounter

Abu Dujana, a 27 year old Laskar-e-Taiba commander was slewed in a combat with security forces and militants on Tuesday. He was shot in Hakripora village, Pulwama district of Kashmir.

The Hindustan Times reported that he is a native of Gilgit-Baltistan locality, situated in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He has been the militant of foreign origin who had the most prolonged living period. He also had been awarded 15 Lakhs, as prize money for the 12 militant attacks. The internet services of the region have been disconnected as a defensive directive. “He has been in the forefront for many attacks in the region and the most wanted militant,” informed SP Vaid, the Director General of Police.

CNN-News 18 stated that the operation began as early as 4:30 am, Tuesday morning. The firing between the two groups sustained till 9:30 am. Dujana and his aide, Arif were killed after security forces set their house on fire. Dujana is listed as a terrorist in the A++ category. He killed eight CRPF personnel in Pampore and two policemen in Anantnag this June.

Intelligence agencies were alerted when Dujana was in the district to meet his wife. He attended the funeral of Burhan Wani, the then Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.  Abu Ismail, his close associate, has been named as his successor.

News Source: Hindustan Times, CNN News18

Image Source: PTI

Goa BJP Chief Vinay Tendulkar triumphs in Rajya Sabha polls

Goa state BJP President Vinay Tendulkar emerged victorious on Friday by winning the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state. The polling and the counting were held on the same day. This is the first time that the BJP has its representatives in the three seats in parliament, two in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha as reported by Business Standard.

“I am happy with the support received from my party legislators along with our alliance partners. I aim to work for the progress of the state. With this win, the party completes its election circle with representatives at the level of panchayats to both the houses of parliament.” Tendulkar said.

The Deccan Herald mentioned that Tendulkar won by a six vote margin and secured 22 votes. He contested the elections against seating Congress MP Shantaram Naik, who secured 16 votes.  Naik was looking forward to a third term in the Rajya Sabha. The strength of the state legislative assembly is 38 at present due to resignations from two MLAs earlier this year. Tendulkar managed to secure 12 votes from his party, ten votes from the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party, Goa Forward Party, NCP and Independents.

“The Congress party appealed to attract secular votes from the BJP allies, but as per the results we see that no ally responded to the appeal”, Chandrakant Kavlekar, Leader of Opposition, told reporters.

Freedom fighter Tilak’s great grandson accused with Rape charges

Freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s great grandson, Rohit Tilak has been booked with charges for allegedly raping a woman. She was also forced into “unnatural sex”. A case had been filed against him on Monday night. The police informed The Indian Express.

NDTV reported that the woman was 40 years of age and knew (Rohit) Tilak for a couple of years. The police informed that she had been raped repeatedly with the excuse of marriage. Tilak has been accused with charges of rape, voluntarily causing hurt, unnatural offences, insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace and criminal intimidation based on numerous sections of the Indian Penal Code.

The Times of India mentions that he also happens to be the grandson of late Jayantrao Tilak, a senior Congress leader and Member of Parliament. Mukta Tilak, the Bharatiya Janata Party Mayor of Pune is his aunt. He had contested the Maharashtra Assembly Polls in 2014. He was the Congress candidate from Kasba Peth seat in Pune; and lost to Girish Bapat, from the BJP.

The Police informed that the 40 year old complainant separated from her husband ten years ago. She has been in touch with Tilak since two years.

Sourced from Indian Express and NDTV

India’s first solar powered railway unit launched

The Indian Railways launched the first 1600 HP solar powered Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) train on Friday. This first of its kind unit was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The launch happened at Safdarjung Railway station in New Delhi.

The Indian Express reported that this development happened due to the solar mission to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The solar power loaded unit was at the Shakurbasti shed. The shed has provisioned a dual fuel system in 16 of 1400 HP driving power cars. Prabhu in his Railway Budget this year mentioned about the plan to generate 1000 megawatts solar power in the next five years. Jackson Engineers Limited, a Noida based firm has been entrusted the responsibility to provide solar panels for such coaches to be used for the pilot projects in Chennai and Amritsar.

The Economic Times informs that the train is scheduled to journey from Sarai Rohila in New Delhi to Farukh Nagar in Haryana. The train has a total of 16 solar panels. These panels produce 300 watts of power individually and are fitted on six coaches. These panels cost Rs 54 lakh and are manufactured through the “Make in India” initiative. It can travel for 72 hours with the help of its power back-up battery.

 

Sources: Indian Express, Economic Times
Image Source: Indian Express Photo by Abhinav Saha

 

Speeding tanker kills six software engineers in Pune

The night journey for 15 software engineers was a tragic one. A water tanker rammed into their minibus. Six were killed and nine were injured in the incident that happened late Sunday night.

A report in Mid-day notified that the deceased had gone to Sonai in Ahmednangar district for a friend’s wedding. They had been on their way home to Pune after the function. A Lonikhand police station official mentioned “The young techies who died include Vaibhav Mane (27), Vishal Chauhan (29), Nupur Sahu (26), Akshay Dabhade (28), Mahesh Pawar (28) and Nikhil Jadhav (26).”

As per a report in The Times of India the bodies were taken to Sasson Hospital for postmortem and other procedures. The injured persons were rushed to a private hospital in Wagholi. Inspector Sarjerao Patil stated, “The water tanker was heading towards Ahmednagar when the driver lost control. The vehicle hit the minibus on the opposite direction after it went over the road divider.” Ranjit Kadam , an engineer from the group informed TOI, “I was only fortunate to receive minor injuries on my finger since I was seated next to the driver in the front seat.”

The tanker collided with a car after hitting the minibus. A couple escaped with minor injuries.

Sources: TOI, Mid-Day