Alcohol shops to be shut down on highways

NEW DELHI: Starting April 1 2017, no liquor shops will be seen on national or state highways according to Supreme Court’s orders passed today.

TS Thakur Chief Justice of India headed the Supreme Court bench along with Justices DY Chandrachud and LN Rao that ordered a ban on the liquor sale on the state and national highways. No more licenses for new liquor shops are to be issued in and around the highways according to the Apex Court. However, the Supreme Court in the order mentioned that the already running liquor shops can continue till the license period. The court said that the liquor shops should at least be 500 meters away from the highway. The step has been taken to avoid drunk driving on the highways.

The orders were issued because of a public interest litigation filed by an NGO called ‘Arrive Safe’. According to reports provided by ‘Arrive Safe’, almost 1.5 lakh people lose their lives annually in road accidents. The NGO blamed the easy access of liquor on highways for these numbers.

SOURCES: TOI, India Today

Image Source: Livemint

Haryana bans gun fire for weddings and celebrations

Following the death of an orchestra dancer in its neighboring state Punjab, due to a celebratory gun firing, the Haryana government has banned with immediate effect, the carrying of arms and weapons for any such celebrations and weddings.
While invoking section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, the state government has issued prohibitory orders through district magistrates. Post this move, any gun firings at any social functions will be an offence. Firing in the air will result in a six-month imprisonment.
The additional chief secretary Ram Niwas said, “It has been noticed that some people often indulge in celebratory firing during weddings after consuming alcohol. Taking serious note of such incidents, the Police Department has been directed to put a check on carrying of arms at wedding functions, in coordination with the district magistrate concerned.”
Since the past few months, Haryana has lost many people young and old, to celebratory gun firings and events where intoxicated men indulged in an aerial gunfire resulting either in death. Severe injury to the victims have also been on a rise.The Haryana government’s move has been welcomed so far.

Bhansali’s ‘Bajirao Mastani’ banned in Pakistan

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Bajirao Mastani’ faces formidable hurdles not only in India, but Pakistan too. The film has failed to obtain a no-objection certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) of Pakistan, a day before its scheduled release.

Chairman of CBFC, Mobasher Hassan informed The Express Tribune that the film was banned as it was in Hindi and that their ordinance does not allow Hindi films to be screened. Incidentally, Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan starrer, ‘Dilwale’ has been approved by the board.  He further added, “It is a historical drama that is indirectly against Islam and Muslims”. Speculations were made earlier that few intimate scenes from the film may be the cause for banning the film. However, Hassan confirmed that the film’s “anti-Islamic” nature may be a probable reason for the ban.

However, the Sindh Board of Film Certification (SBFC) in Karachi and the Punjab Censor Board in Lahore, two other censorship boards in Pakistan, have approved of the film. This allows for some hope that the CBFC might review their previous decision. Although, the final decision is yet to be announced.

More opposition for ‘Bajirao Mastani’
More opposition for ‘Bajirao Mastani’

‘Bajirao Mastani’ is a historical drama which revolves around the love story of Maratha warrior Bajirao Peshwa (Ranveer Singh) and his Muslim wife, Mastani (Deepika Padukone). Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra) is the first wife of Bajirao and the film also depicts the troubles faced by her.


Sources :DNA Times of India

Who will the ban affect?

President Pranab Mukherjee recently gave his nod to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995; nearly two decades after the Maharashtra Assembly passed it during the BJP-Shiv Sena rule in 1995. Though, cow slaughter was already banned in the state since 1976, the new act will prohibit the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, which was previously allowed based on a fit-for-slaughter certificate. Only slaughter of water buffaloes, which provides an inferior quality of meat, will be allowed now. The punishment for the crime of slaughtering or eating beef will be imprisonment for five years and a fine amount of Rs. 10,000.

Cow slaughter has been a much debated topic for centuries in India. The debate always had a religious significance as the cow is a holy animal for the Hindus. The beef trade in the state is largely controlled by the Qureshis and the ban is going to render many of them jobless. Inevitably, the ban makes the minority community feel alienated. Kader Chaudhry, a Muslim leader said to Times of India, “This shows how insensitive the government is to Muslims and their issues. After depriving them of reservation and attempts to grab Ismail Yusuf College, it has dealt yet another blow to a section of the community with the ban on beef trade. It is diligently working on agenda of the Sangh Parivar.”

beef CM

Beef is often seen as a poor man’s meat, as it costs only one third of the price of mutton. The ban will make the poor people forgo a cheap source of protein. Also, many poor Muslims would make do with beef on Eid as they couldn’t afford mutton. They would now have to look for other alternatives.

Once the ban is implemented it is going to impact the dietary choices of not only humans, but also animals. Animals in the zoo are fed beef meat. A tiger needs to be fed at least seven kilos of beef every day. Recently, when the beef traders went on a strike, the authorities had to feed them chicken.

Now, with a blanket ban, the tigers will again suffer. Since beef is their natural food, they cannot survive on chicken for too long.

The bill is also being perceived as an anti- farmer bill, as it will directly impact them. Earlier, the farmers would send their cattle for slaughtering once those animals could not work on the farm anymore. But now, the farmers would have to bear the burden of rearing them until their end, which is not very viable economically. Many farmers, due to lack of funds, may not feed their old cattle; thus, causing their death. Hence, the bill passed to protect cattle may eventually lead to more hatred against the BJP. It currently has an image of a development oriented party, but is doing much harm to its image by this bill. In the long term, this bill will affect our exports, our farmers, and even the nutrition of our country. Many restaurants are also contemplating to close down as the bill demands a change in their cuisine. The government needs to weigh these pros and cons before implanting the bill.

Stepping beyond the boundary line

Banned | Photo courtesy:
Banned | Photo courtesy:

S Sreesanth has been described by words like flamboyant, determined, abrasive time and again during his seven year international. But the word “taint” got stuck to him soon after he was implicated in the match fixing controversy in IPL VI. He went scot free in many on and off-field acts during his tenure. But the alleged links with bookies and under performing for profit, landed him in jail and will take him away from the game he claims to be love.

On 13 September, an hour after Sreesanth expressed his faith in the “judiciary and the BCCI”, the  BCCI Disciplinary Committee banned him, along with Ankeet Chavan, for life, for their involvement in spot-fixing during certain matches of the Indian Premier League this summer. After hearing the news the 30 year old made a statement saying “I have done no wrong”.  Before Sreesanth had tweeted, “Been tracking the news channels…me getting a life ban??!! Very surprising…” The tweet was later deleted.

Sreesanth made his India debut in 2006. A brilliant outswinger made Sreesanth a great Test match winning prospect. Ankeet Chavan was a left-arm spinner and was considered Mumbai’s Best Bowler in the previous Ranji Season. Both the players belonged to Rahul Dravid led Rajasthan Royals. They have been banned for life after being found guilty of underperforming and ensuring the occurrence of an event during a match while knowing it is a subject of a bet. Both the players had signals through which it was understood that in the same ball, they will be doing the desired. Sreesanth has been known to tuck in a towel in his tracks before he bowled. Chavan on the other hand was to loosen his wrist band.

Former Indian Captain said “Hail BCCI for taking positive decision against the spot fixers. No room for sob sympathy for anyone who brings disrepute to cricket players/officials.” Many other known figures in the cricket world told the world how they feel. Another cricketer, from Australia, appreciated BCCI’s decision as a cautionary tale saying, “Be careful of what you choose to do!”

Both the players’ careers ( Sreesanth and Chavan) promised so much and ended with so little, and that too with the “taint” which will be with them forever.

Now it’s Kadal’s turn

It seems as if our religious communities are never going to rest. After Kamal Hassan’s Vishwaroopam, it is Mani Ratnam’s Kadal to get grilled by few Christian communities who claim that the movie is anti-christian and even demand the deletion of several scenes.

Kadal released on Februrary 1 and stars Arvind Swamy, Gautham Karthik and Thulasi Nair.

Bumpy times ahead?
Bumpy times ahead?

For more scoop, visit Times of India.

Haasan gets emotional, says will leave TN

“I am a victim of a political game,” said Kamal Haasan at a press conference in Chennai. Distraught by the stay in the release of his magnum opus Vishwaroopam, Kamal hinted at finding another ‘secular’ country to live in. “Like the way MF Hussain did,” he said.

Produced at a budget of Rs 90 crores, Kamal has claimed of pledging all his property on this film. Vishwaroopam was banned in Tamil Nadu after Muslim groups protested over the alleged depiction of their community in a negative light.

Watch an emotional Kamal Haasan talk about his movie, at this link.

A still from Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam. The actor plays a Kathak dancer in the film.
A still from Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam. The actor plays a Kathak dancer in the film.