Representation of Indian Culture in the 69th Republic Day

Ministry of Defence awarded the state of Maharashtra with the award of best tableau in the Republic Day Parade 2018. Out of the tableaus of fourteen states, Maharashtrian tableau depicting the rajyabhishek (coronation) of Chhatrapati Shivaji on June 6,1674 at the Rajgarh Fort. Assam won the second prize while Chattisgarh won the third.

State Chief Minister Devendra congratulated the state for the win. He also congratulated the team from Nagpur which won in the Cultural dance category and the inter state dance competition team, both of which also won the first prize.

The idea behind the floater was conceptualised by  Prof. Narendra Vichare, who is an expert the field of  art and design.  Maharashtra has won this award six times in past while Vichare has been awarded with the award 3 times in the years 1993, 1994 and 1994. Responding on this achievement to Mumbai Mirror, Vichare said, “It’s a great feeling to win again. I worked on the concept sketch for three months starting July. Many meetings were held and changes were suggested. I am happy with the result.”

With art production completed by Art Director Nitin Desai, the team decided to use horses instead of conventional use of elephants in the floater. The grandiose nature of coronation has been depicted by use of fortified Maratha architecture as base and majestic orchestra of tutari being played by the artists around the entire floater. In the front end of the floater, there is a massive depiction of Shivaji while towards the end there are artists are enacting the ceremony. These 10 artists are from Bhairi Bhavani theatre group in Mumbai.

Other key tableaus from the parade include one from Assam which depicted the traditional mask making tradition of Majuli Island of Assam. The floater depicts one of the scenes from Ramayana with monkey-god Hanuman, many-headed demon god Ravana present in the scene.

Even Chattisgarh and Manipur showcased the ancient art forms of the states.

Depicting the traditional handicraft industry of India, 2 states i.e. Jammu and Kashmir and Tripura showcased their woolen, pashmina industry and bamboo industry respectively.

From the state of Kerala, the floater showcased the Keddukazacha festival celebrated in Adoor. In this festival, village communities around the region compete with each other by creating the most beautiful Edupa Kala or decorated structures.

Punjab depicted the concept of ‘sangat and pangat’ i.e. symbiosis of spirituality and social service; Himachal Pradesh talked showcased Buddhism in the Spiti region of the state; and Gujarat marked the century of Gandhi Ashram.

Other than the states, Union Ministries and the Armed services also showcased their tableaus. In the category of Ministries, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports won for depicting Khel India; while tableaus of Punjab Regiment and Indo Tibetan Border Police won in their categories respectively.


President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the nation on the eve of 68th Republic Day

In the backdrop of intensifying row and violence over Padmaavat, President Ram Nath Kovind on on the eve of Republic Day called for a “civic-minded” social order where one can disagree with opinions even which had a historical background without mocking the other person’s self-respect.

Civic conscious nation is built by civic-minded neighbourhoods, whether in our cities or our villages. Where we revere the next-door individual’s privacy and rights. Where we do not trouble our neighbours – while celebrating a festival or when resort to a protest or on any other event.

Where one can debate with another on a viewpoint – or even with a historical setting – without mocking a fellow citizen’s self-respect and personal space. This is fraternity in action, the President added in his first Republic Day-eve address to the nation.

Kovind also pointed out that institutes should be “disciplined and morally upright”, in addition they are always “more important” than the persons in office. The institutes should also esteem their “fraternal relationship” with other institutes, he said.

In his address, the President emphasized the struggle of millions of people led by Mahatma Gandhi in getting independence of the country which was tracked by writing the Constitution for the country.

He said that the country cannot be content without meeting the rudimentary needs and essential dignity of our under privileged people.

He referred to those from a less privileged socio-economic background, from the weaker communities and from families that still live at the edge of poverty. He emphasised that it is our sacred obligation to eliminate the curse of poverty in the shortest possible time. This is not negotiable for the Republic.

Observing that the “promise of a developed India beckons us”, Kovind said this is the new stage of our nation building project on which we have embarked. “This is the Republic that our young people need to take forward and enhance – in keeping with their vision, their ambition and their ideals. And their vision, ambition and ideals.”

Calling for reforms, upgradation and enlarging the education system, the President said over 60 per cent of the country’s population are below the age of 35. “It is in them that our hopes lie. We have made strides in spreading literacy; now we must expand the frontiers of education and of knowledge. Our aspiration must be to reform, upgrade and enlarge our education system – and to make it relevant to 21st century realities of the digital economy, genomics, robotics and automation…”

Highest stage of India’s nation building project is to contribute to building a better, amalgamated and cohesive world at peace with itself and at peace with landscape which is the ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – of the World being One Family, he said.

Sources: NDTV, The Hindu

Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, who led Guard of Honour for Obama, sues Indian Air Force

When Barack Obama visited India in January 2015, he was accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. It was a grand welcome followed by the Guard of Honour, where the battalion was lead by a woman officer. This way, Wing Commander Pooja Thakur became the first woman officer to lead the Guard of Honour for a major visiting dignitary at the presidential palace.

However, on Thursday, she sued the Indian Air Force for denying her permanent commission. She has moved to the Armed Forces Tribunal, alleging that IAF’s decision to deny her full service was “biased, discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable.”

According to a report by NDTV, The Air Force has been asked to respond in four weeks. 

Thakur, who is being represented by retired Major S Pandey said, “IAF says Pooja Thakur was offered permanent commission in 2012, she declined it then and it can be offered only once. No new offer can be given.” Adding to this, he said that this was not a gender issue but a procedural one.

Justifying her initial refusal of permanent commission, he said that she refused the offer as she was not ready to take up full service at the time.

Daughter of an Army Colonel, Thakur  joined the Air Force in 2000.

In June, the Air Force took in its first batch of women fighter pilots, but only as short commission officers – they have to retire within fourteen months without any benefits. With Permanent commission, they will have a chance to rise to the rank of Lieutenant General and retire at 60 with full benefits.

Women were allowed in the air force as full officers only in 2010 after nearly 50 women officers including 22 from the IAF moved to court. 250 women benefited after the high court ruled in their favour.

PM Modi delivers 16th ‘Mann Ki Baat’

Speaking at the 16th edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on farmers’ woes, calling for action from people across the nation. Throwing light on the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme, he said that only 20-25% of farmer population have benefited from it. “In the coming years, we hope to bring at least 50% inclusion of farmers,” he said, adding that comprehensive and simplified use of technology should be able to achieve this.

Highlighting the importance of Martyrs Day, Modi emphasized on the need to observe silence at such events claiming that “the minds become one through such events.” He further spoke about the significance of Khadi, urging people to include atleast one pair of the material in their wardrobe. “An additional 18 lakh man days can be generated if Khadi is brought back,”he said.

He then spoke about the Republic Day celebrations, praising the Gujarat and Haryana governments for having chosen the most educated girl to the hoist the flag across villages. Congratulating the Haryana government for registering a rapid increase in the sex ratio, he lauded their dedication to the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign that was launched by him earlier in the state.

Talking about his latest brainchild- StartUp India, Stand Up India; Modi praised the young minds that showed increased enthusiasm in the programme. Saying that ‘startups have innumerable opportunities’, he spoke about Sikkim where a lot is being done in the agriculture sector through various startup initiatives.

Modi also announced that India will be playing host to the ‘International Fleet Review’, which will take place at Vishakhapatanam in Andhra Pradesh from February 4- February 8, where various countries will showcase their naval strength. He further added that Guwahati will play host to the 12th edition of the South Asian Games, where all the SAARC countries will be participating.


Go Air flight makes emergency landing

Earlier today, following an anonymous tip regarding a bomb on board, a GoAir flight carrying over 150 passengers made an emergency landing at Nagpur. After carrying out standard operation procedure, no suspicious item was found.
The call was made from an Odisha registered number. The caller allegedly mentioned the flight number and said, “ Suitcase mein bomb hain”. An airport manager confirmed the incident. The manager at Biju Patnaik airport received the anonymous call forcing G8 243 to land in Nagpur. The flight took off at 8.20 am from Bhubaneshwar and at 9. 29 landed at Nagpur.
After the emergency landing, the passengers were deplaned. The aircraft was then taken to a remote parking bay for security checks. Once security officials completed a thorough check, the passengers boarded the aircraft and the flight continued its journey.
On further investigation it was found that the call was made by a person named Sanjeev Mishra, who is allegedly mentally unstable. Mishra allegedly made two hoax calls over the past 18 hours.
Security has been tightened across the nation in light of the upcoming Republic Day celebrations. French President Francois Hollande will be the chief guest of the same.

Driver of missing taxi from Pathankot found dead

Ahead of French President Hollande’s visit for Republic Day, Delhi police alerted all security agencies in the wake of an incident over missing taxi.  As per reports three unidentified men hired the taxi in Pathankot. In mysterious circumstances, the driver of the taxi was found dead near Kangra in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday. Though the police has not been able to track the car and the missing persons, Delhi police from its official handle on twitter has published photos of the taxi and three unknown men.
On January 20th another vehicle of Inspector General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)  was stolen outside his residence from Noida sector-23 . The police is investigating the case though an alert has been issued.
“There is no need to panic but we urge people to stay alert. Citizens should inform the police control room if they see any suspicious activity around them,” said deputy commissioner of police Rajan Bhagat said.
Delhi police has already made India gate and its surrounding area as a no-vehicle zone considering terrorist threats from different agencies. NIA(National investigative Agency) is already conducting raids at different places across the country in search of suspected ISIS links.

Kolkata hit-and-run case: Former RJD leader’s son arrested

Kolkata: The city police arrested Sambia Sohrab, the son of former RJD leader Mohammed Sohrab late on Saturday night in connection with the hit-and-run case that happened on January 13 at Red Road. Sambia has been identified as the prime accused in the accident that killed an IAF officer.

Sambia, his brother Ambia and father have been absconding since Januray 13, trying to escape the clutches of law. Sambia had been constantly changing his mobile phone number to erase any traces as well. However, Sambia’s cellphone tower was located near central city at around 8.30 last night. The police then tracked him down and finally arrested him at around 11.15p.m. at Park Ciricus when he was trying to escape to his in-laws’ place.

The accident took place on January 13 on Red road where the IAF personnel where rehearsing for the republic day parade when a white-coloured Audi mowed down the street, hitting 21-year-old Corporal Abhimanyu Gaud. Sambia was allegedly behind the wheel of the car when the accident occurred. The car barged into the parade area breaking down three guard rails before it hit the officer.


Sources: Zee News ,  IBN Live