Kolkata: The state Agriculture department is taking all necessary steps to ensure that farmers do not face any inconvenience due to unusual rainfall in Birbhum, East Burdwan and a part of Murshidabad district.The Agriculture department came in touch with other concerned departments in this connection and a meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday in Birbhum. A meeting for East Burdwan district has already taken place and a similar meeting in Murshidabad district will also be held. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThough the drizzle due to depression since Monday has brought a little respite to the situation, the state government is eyeing a permanent solution and taking all necessary measures in this regard. According to a senior official of the state Agriculture department, it is always good if the soil remains moist during the harvest of paddy as it ensures a better yield. So steps were taken to extend support to the farmers as soon as unusual rainfall was noticed in different parts of Birbhum, East Burdwan and Murshidabad. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOn Wednesday’s meeting at Suri in Birbhum, state Agriculture minister Asish Banerjee and Pradip Majumdar, the agriculture advisor to the Chief Minister, will be present in the discussion along with senior representatives from the Zilla Parishad, all the concerned MLAs, senior officials of the state Irrigation department, Power department. It is learnt that the state Irrigation department is leaving no stone unturned to supply water in such areas including Nanoor in Birbhum. The rice mill owners were also directed to supply water from the reservoirs in the mills in such areas and the owners have assured all assistance in this connection. The official said after identification of such areas, the first step is to create the necessary infrastructure so that farmers do not face any problem and decisions in this regard will be taken in the meeting. The meeting for Birbhum district is scheduled on Wednesday and a similar one will be held for Murshidabad as well. However, the schedule of the meeting in Murshidabad district is yet to be finalised. Banerjee said that the endeavour is to create the infrastructure that will also ensure sufficient supply of water not only for paddy cultivation but for other crops as well. It is learnt that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was also concerned over the situation and directed concerned officials to take measures in this connection.
The classic Urdu oral storytelling art form of ‘Dastangoi’ intertwined with the defiant poetry of the early 20th century brought alive the journey of Gandhi from ‘Mohandas to Mahatma’ in the national Capital.39-year-old Fouzia Dastango, credited as the first female Dastagoi artiste, presented ‘Dastan-e-Gandhi’ on the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi through the dying art form of ‘Dastangoi’ here recently.”The aim of Dastaan-e-Gandhi is to revive the abiding interest in the inspiring story of Mahatma Gandhi using newer ways to involve various stakeholders, including intelligentsia, academia and voluntary organizations to spread Bapu’s Message,” she said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”The young generation which is shaping today’s India and who will create the country’s future should be told about his life and his mission, and this is what we are doing,” she explained.’Dastaan-e-Gandhi’ performed by Fouzia and Fazal Rashid touched upon India’s struggle for freedom and Gandhi’s tryst with Satyagraha and his fight against injustice and racism. The event was organised by India International Center in collaboration with Sarvodaya International Trust. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveProfessor Danish Iqbal, who penned the script for the performance, said it was a “mounting challenge” to present the life of Mahatma in an hour format.”There are many facets to Mahatma’s life. It was very challenging to present his life in a ‘Dastangoi’ format. But we focussed on the underlying the message of his life rather than talking about his milestones,” he said. Iqbal, who teaches at Jamia Millia Islamia University here, said many efforts were being taken to revive the art form of ‘Dastangoi’ and that the youth are the torchbearers of such a revival. “‘Dastangoi’ is a simple, yet powerful art form. It is performed by a minimum of two artistes. It does not require the expensive paraphernalia of lights, set and costumes. The art form is now being revived, especially by the young who are creating groups, like in theatre, to take Dastangoi to the masses,” he said.Fouzia, who has been performing ‘Dastangoi’ since the past 8 years, said her cultural roots have found their way back into her work.”I owe my performances to the by-lanes of Old Delhi. It is here that I performed for the first time. Apart from that, the events around me also translate into my work,” she said.The artiste has presented ‘Dastangoi’ on a range of issues, including the languages of Delhi, women issues and those concerning children.Talking about the relevance of Gandhian philosophy in contemporary times, Indira Verma of Sarvodaya International Trust said, “You call it idealism or romanticism, but I have a hope or I must say I am sure, the day will come when Gandhiism will become a reality more than a philosophy which will make this world a better place.” Fouzia said her dream was to perform at the Jama Masjid, where people from all walks of life, can be her audience. She summed up in her classical way of “Chaley Chalo ke Voh Manzil abhi Nahin Aayi (move ahead as the destination is far away)”.
Kolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a 23-year-old youth whose body was found hanging from the ceiling inside his house in Bishnupur, South 24-Parganas. Police have started a case of unnatural death in this regard. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the victim might have committed suicide after being jilted in love. The victim, Asish Mondal (23), a resident of Joyrampur area might have in depression for the past few days, Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifepolice suspect. On the fateful day, the family members knocked on the door of the victim repeatedly but he did not respond. They reported the matter to the local residents who in turn informed police. Police personnel broke open the door only to find the victim hanging from the ceiling fan. The body was recovered and sent for an autopsy. The investigating officers seized a laptop and a mobile phone from the victim’s room. Police said the victim used to stay at his maternal uncles’ house in South 24-Parganas for the past few months. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe family members of the victim told police the victim used to play various games on his mobile phone. He also used to talk to his friends. Cops are yet to ascertain the exact cause behind him committing suicide. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that he had a relationship with a girl. The victim’s family members told police that the youth often spoke on phone for nearly an hour during the night. They also heard him talking on phone on Saturday night. Police are investigating if he had taken the drastic step after the girl with whom he had a relationship refused to continue it. Police are waiting for the autopsy report which might throw some light on the death of the victim. The investigating officers are also examining his mobile phone and laptop which might provide clues in this connection.
Kolkata: A student of Class VII, who was riding on a bicycle as a pillion with his aunt, was killed after being hit by a speeding truck. The victim’s aunt sustained serious injuries and is undergoing treatment at a local hospital.The incident occurred near Padmapukur area of Baruipur in South 24-Parganas on Saturday morning. Police said the victim, Imran Sardar (11), was returning home on his aunt’s bicycle at around 9 am when a truck hit them from behind. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSardar died on the spot while his aunt received several injuries in various parts of her body. The truck driver and helper fled the spot immediately after the accident happened leaving the vehicle at the site. Local residents rushed to the spot and rushed the injured woman to the hospital. After being informed, the police reached the spot and recovered the body of the victim and sent it for postmortem. The incident resulted in traffic jam in the area for nearly half-an-hour with the vehicles coming to a standstill. The situation was later brought under control by the police personnel. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSome local residents also staged a demonstration protesting against reckless driving of vehicles. They alleged that there is no proper traffic management system in the area as a result of which accidents often take place in Baruipur. They also claimed that the accident would not have happened had there been some traffic police personnel deployed in the area. The agitation was later lifted by the locals following assurances from the top cops. Police said Sardar was a student of a private school at Madarihat and a resident of Balarampur area of the same district. The vehicle has been seized and raids are being conducted to nab the truck driver.
Kolkata: Two persons arrested for duping several job seekers on the context of proving them with jobs in the Indian Coast Guard. One of the accused pretended to be an officer of the Indian Coast Guard and was wearing coast guard uniform. The duo were identified as Subrata Biswas and Dipankar Ghosh.According to the sources, the cheaters recently published an advertisement in a newspaper mentioning that several openings are there in the Indian Coast Guard. To get a job, the job seekers needed to go through a course from their institution. After successful completion of the course, they will guaranteed a job in the Indian Coast Guard. In the advertisement, it was also mentioned that no fee was needed to be given for the Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifebeginner’s course. The cheated job seekers alleged that though no fee was to be given for the beginners course, Biswas and Ghosh took money in other ways from them. On Wednesday, they were asked to appear at their institution and asked to sign on a bond where it was written that the job seekers did not have to pay them . Later, the job seekers were asked Rs 60,000 after which they would get the selection letter. On hearing this, the job seekers felt they were being duped and informed Gopalnagar police station. Later, police arrested the duo and recovered several incriminating documents and a set of Indian Coast Guard uniforms from the office. It is suspected that the duo might have connection with a fake job racket.
Kolkata: The Special Task Force have arrested two persons from the city and recovered crude heroin weighing around 3.2 kg from the city.Acting on a tip-off, the STF officials on Saturday evening intercepted a private vehicle on Munsi Prem Chand Sarani under Hastings police station. During a search, the police found the heroin kept inside the car. These materials were kept concealed inside the door in such a manner that they would avoid the eyes of the people who would open the door from outside. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe police recovered about 3.208 kg (approx) of crude heroin and the accused were held for interrogation. After an interrogation the police arrested the duo — Dipak Roy (46) and Kumar Chetri (34). Roy is a resident of Anlong in Assam while Chetri hails from Tezpur area of the same district. According to the police, the approximate cost of narcotics may be between Rs 3 crore to Rs 12 crore. Police are trying to know if the accused are a part of any interstate narcotic smuggling racket. They are interrogating the duo to know the names of other accused, who might have been involved in the incident.
Kolkata: Kashmiris living in the city are spending sleepless nights after scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution as they are unable to talk or meet their relatives, who are at present living in the Valley. “It has been four days I couldn’t talk to my sons, who stays in Kashmir. My mind is not working. I don’t know what to do. I urge the government to allow us to talk to our relatives over the phone,” Mushtaq Ahmad Mattoo, who has been running a Kashmiri Shawl shop in Kolkata for the past 25 years, told Millennium Post. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataWhile the mobile data internet services, cellular networks, and SMS services were snapped at 11 pm on Sunday, flight operations in Kashmir will remain cancelled from Wednesday. “On Sunday, I booked my flight ticket to go to Kashmir on August 9. But, today I came to know from my travel agent that it has been cancelled because there will be no flights operating in Kashmir from tomorrow,” Mushtaq said. Another Kahmiri Shawl shop owner, on the promise of anonymity, shared his ordeal and pointed out that he had stopped travelling in train because of rise of mob lynching incidents. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”I am a Muslim and top of that I am also a Kashmiri. I don’t travel in trains because I am afraid that people having fanatic mentality might kill me and no one will come to my rescue,” he said. Meanwhile, tour operators have also claimed cancellation of flights to Kashmir will incur loss to their business. “Kashmir is a popular tourist destination. On an average, we take at least 90 people for Kashmir tour every year. If flight operations are suspended in Kashmir then it will hit 40 % of our profit,” said Ziaul Haque Shaikh of Adventure Education Tours (Mumbai) Pvt Ltd, who takes people on tour across India. Following the revocation order, Article 370 of the Constitution that provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir no longer exists.
December 6th is the feast day of Saint Nicholas, a figure recognized as one of the many inspirations for Santa Claus. But the real saint is very different from the jolly old man we know. For a start, he is often named as the patron saint of merchants, bankers, sailors, small children, and prostitutes.Nicholas was born on March 15, 270 in Patara, Lycia in the Roman Empire to very wealthy parents.Detail of a late medieval Greek Orthodox icon showing Saint Nicholas slapping Arius at the First Council of Nicaea, a famous incident whose historicity is disputed.When Nicholas was only eighteen years old, his parents died and he inherited their fortune. However, he didn’t luxuriate in that money but tried to distribute it to the poor.Nicholas was a devout Christian. He knew that to gain entry to Heaven, he needed to do good on Earth without reward or recognition. As such, he would often give his money away anonymously.This attitude towards generosity gave rise to a story which many of us will identify as being a source for the modern day interpretation of Santa Claus. However, it is also this story which sets Saint Nicholas up as the patron saint of prostitutes.The dowry for the three virgins by Gentile da Fabriano (c. 1425), Pinacoteca Vaticana, Rome.Nicholas heard tales of an honest man who had fallen into poverty. He had three daughters but with no money, he had no dowry to offer any suitors to marry them.Given the times they lived in, poor and unmarried women would often be sold by their fathers into slavery or prostitution.However, Nicholas was moved to help this family. One night, he strolled past their house and threw a bag of coins through the window. There was enough money for a dowry, and the father was delighted. He married off his eldest daughter very handsomely.Saint Nicholas Saves Three Innocents from Death by Ilya Repin (1888).While it was good news for the eldest daughter, there were still the two other daughters to care for. The man’s poverty was unabated, and he faced having to sell his second daughter. The night before the sale was due to take place, Nicholas again threw in a bag of coins which enabled the second daughter to get married.The poor man was determined to identify and thank his benefactor. So, the night before his third daughter was to be sold off, he waited up for and accosted Nicholas when he threw in the final purse.Saint Nicholas, Russian icon from first quarter of the 18th century (Kizhi monastery, Karelia)The father fell to his knees and thanked Nicholas for his generosity. Nicholas would take nothing in return except the father’s solemn assurance that he would never reveal Nicholas as the mysterious benefactor.Over the years, this story has been embellished and details have been added that tie Saint Nicholas to traditional Christmas customs. For example, in one version the money lands in a shoe, explaining the tradition in Holland of leaving out a shoe for “Sinterklaas” rather than a stocking.Saint Nicholas depicted in a 14th century English book of hours.In another version, the father shut the window, hoping that the benefactor would be obliged to knock on the door, but Nicholas merely threw the coins down the chimney instead – starting an association between Saint Nicholas, chimneys, and gifts which persists to this day in our own culture.Other tales are told about the saint, linking him with other poor unfortunates who then went on to claim him as their protector.In one story, he was on a ship when a terrible storm hit. However, he rebuked the waves and shamed them into being calm. From then on, he was the patron saint of sailors.Russian Orthodox statue of Saint Nicolas, now in a corner near the church in Demre.As well as the protector of young girls, he also became the patron saint of young boys after a resurrection miracle was attributed to him.The stories differ as to whether the boys’ murderer was a butcher, a greedy innkeeper, or a shopkeeper who merely hated children. In any event, this odious man killed three young boys, stole their money, dismembered them and hid them in pickling barrels.Nicholas heard of the incident. He visited the scene of the crime and prayed intensely to God who heard his prayers and brought the three boys back to life.Ruins of the 4th century church on the island of Gemile where some scholars believe Saint Nicholas was originally entombed.When he was Bishop of Myra, Nicholas is also said to have intervened in the execution of three men. He declared the men were innocent and that one of the jurors who had convicted them had received a bribe.Because of this story, and due to his famously generous spirit as well as his trustworthiness, he became the patron saint of pawnbrokers, bankers, and money lenders.Samuel Littlewood in his book The Story of Santa Claus links Nicholas’ trustworthiness and his patronage of children with a theory that when small children cry “Nix!” to call a playground truce, they are calling on this very saint to protect them and ensure that their agreement is honored.A classic American image of Santa Claus.In 1087, some sailors from the city of Bari took Nicholas’s bones from Myra and brought them back to their own land, arriving in port on May 9th. As a result, Nicholas was given two saint’s days: May 9th and December 6th.However, a rather quaint old Russian tale provides an alternative reason for his dual celebrations. Saint Cassian was walking down a road when he came across a peasant whose cart was stuck in the mud. Cassian refused to help because it would sully his saint’s robes.Later on, Nicholas passed by and he helped the carter, becoming covered in mud as a result.Photograph of the desecrated sarcophagus in the St. Nicholas Church, Demre, where Saint Nicholas’s bones were kept before they were removed and taken to Bari in 1087. Photo by Sjoehest CC BY-SA 3.0When the two saints came back to heaven, Cassian assured God that he’d acted responsibly and had not soiled his heavenly clothes while walking the earth. Nicholas admitted that he had done the opposite, but God was so pleased with Nicholas’s actions that he decreed the saint should have two days honoring him.In contrast, God decreed that Cassian should have only one day in his honor – that being February 29th (meaning his day comes round only once every four years).Read another story from us: The Christmas Truce of 1914 – When WWI Enemies Briefly Mingled as FriendsWhile there are many tales told about Santa Claus and his generosity – with new ones being made up every year – it should be remembered that Saint Nicholas has just as many tales that deserve to be retold during the festive period.
Betty White is 97 years of age! On January 17th she celebrated her 97th birthday with friends … and poker. “Sources close to her tell TMZ she’s using the special occasion as a reason to hook up with some friends Thursday night and play poker,” reported TMZ. “We’re told Betty’s poker pals go way back — she’s been anteing up with them for decades.”This might come as no great surprise to fans of Betty White, the last surviving member of the Golden Girls cast, whose age has never been an issue with her.Betty White at the Time 100 gala in 2010. Photo by David Shankbone CC BY 2.0Last year, in an interview in Parade magazine, Betty White joked that she credited her age and long life to hot dogs and vodka.Parade asked, “Does she have any tricks or tips for living happily and healthily for more than nine decades? Indeed: ‘Enjoy life,’ she says. ‘Accentuate the positive, not the negative. It sounds so trite, but a lot of people will pick out something to complain about, rather than say, Hey, that was great! It’s not hard to find great stuff if you look.’ ”Photo of John Hillerman and Betty White from The Betty White Show.White was born in 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois, moving to California with her parents as a child.She began her television career in the late 1930s. In her twenties she had tried to break into acting but was unsuccessful at first. She was turned down over and over for being “unphotogenic,” but she was never deterred. “You just keep plugging away,” she said to Parade. “You don’t give up.”Photo of Allen Ludden and wife Betty White, who were appearing in a play in Ogunquit, Maine.She starred on Life with Elizabeth in the 1950s and then stayed popular with TV audiences through appearances on talk, game, and variety shows.White reached even greater fame when she co-starred on the Mary Tyler Moore Show playing Sue Ann Nivens, the TV chef and helpful homemaker with a sharp wit. In a Minneapolis television newsroom, when she wasn’t pursuing male colleagues, Sue Ann “could be counted on to make funny, yet poignant, quips at Mary Tyler Moore’s expense.”Photo of Gavin MacLeod as Murray Slaughter and Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.White won two Emmy Awards for her work on the series.Her next big hit was the 1980s’ Golden Girls, playing the sweet and naive Rose Nylund alongside co-stars Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, and Estelle Getty.“We all had such fun together,” Betty recalled in October 2015 at the age of 93 to US Weekly, decades after the groundbreaking series in which four women proved that life doesn’t stop at 60. “It was such a special experience.”The Golden Girls. Photo by Getty ImagesThe secret to the show’s success was the cast members’ chemistry.“It started the first day of the first read-through for the pilot,” White recalled. “We showed up for the read-through [and] it was like batting a tennis ball over the net. It was so exciting to be with four people with that chemistry. I’ll never forget that first read. It was like we had been working together forever. I still get goose bumps thinking about it.”Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens, hostess of the WJM-TV Happy Homemaker show, from the television program The Mary Tyler Moore Show.Betty White and Rue McClanahan (who played Blanche, the man-hungry Southern belle) were already pals, having worked together on Mama’s Family, and were delighted to reconnect on the Golden Girls set. “They would play little word games on the set when the cameras weren’t rolling,” says an observer. “There was such love and friendship between them.”It was otherwise with Bea Arthur.Although they very much respected each other as actresses, high-spirited White and introverted Arthur (who played sharp-tongued Dorothy) sometimes clashed. “You didn’t mess with Bea!” Betty once said of her co-star, who died of cancer in 2009 at age 86. “Bea was very strong. But you loved her.”White has served for more than four decades as a trustee and on the board of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, and in 2012 published a book, Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo, with photos and anecdotes of her favorite animals there.Read another story from us: Golden Girl Bea Arthur was one of the First Female Marines to Serve in WWIIHow does she want to be remembered? “Warmly,” she told Parade. “I hope they remember something funny. I hope they remember a laugh.”
The “General Lee” from the TV show Dukes of Hazzard fame was back in a chase evading the law again. Though this time it wasn’t Boss Hogg it was escaping from it was the Florida police department. A Florida man and former horse jockey is behind bars in connection with arson (his wife’s home took the brunt of that) and leading officers on a high-speed chase in a Dodge Challenger painted to look like the Dodge Charger ‘General Lee’ from Dukes of Hazzard. The Dukes of Hazzard was an American action-comedy TV show spanning 147 episodes over 7 seasons from January 26, 1979 to February 8, 1985. The series took its inspiration from the 1975 film Moonrunners, which had many identical or similar character names and concepts.The General Lee. Photo by Greg Gjerdingen CC by 2.0The show portrayed the wild adventures of “the Duke boys”, cousins Bo and Luke Duke, who lived on the family farm in fictional Hazzard County, Georgia, along with their attractive female cousin Daisy Duke (where purportedly the name of the low cut jean shorts derived from) and their wise old Uncle Jesse.The cast of Dukes of Hazzard. Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty ImagesThe Duke boys drive rampantly around town, skidding out, going aerial in famous slo-mo jump shots, and having a good time in their customized 1969 Dodge Charger, dubbed the “General Lee”. All the while of course they’re evading the crooked county commissioner Boss Hogg and the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane and his equally inept deputies. However, due to the Duke boys’ fundamentally good nature, they often grudgingly end up helping Boss Hogg out of some sort of trouble he’s gotten himself into.Tom Wopat (Luke Duke) and John Schneider (Bo Duke)The famous General Lee car (referring to the Civil War Confederate general Robert E. Lee) which serves as a focal point of the show was based on a 1969 Dodge Charger. It was orange with a Confederate flag painted on the roof, the words “GENERAL LEE” over each door, and the number “01” on each door. Since it was built as a race car, the doors of the car were welded shut for the show. Due to the constant flow of damaging stunts and jumps the cars were required to do, an estimated 309 Chargers were used throughout the run of the series. Only 17 of them are still known to exist.The General Lee and Dukes of Hazzard logo. Photo by Greg Gjerdingen CC BY 2.0Back to the chase at hand. Click Orlando reported that Oswald Pereira, the driver of the aforementioned General Lee, is looking at a variety of charges including arson, fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement, and resisting without violence. Police say Pereira got into an argument with his wife and set the house ablaze before taking off in the painted Dodge Charger. We can only imagine if he felt like one of the Duke boys racing off with the hapless Sheriff Coltrane hot on his heels. It is also unclear at the moment just why exactly Pereira had this mock-up version of the General Lee car.Related Video:The car however, didn’t make it through the entire chase. At some point, Pereira ditched the Dodge for a GMC Yukon. With officers hot on pursuit he led them on a high-speed chase to the adjoining county, where he was finally found hiding in the closet of a mobile home and arrested. His ill-advised moment, which could’ve been taken directly from a Dukes of Hazzard chase, over and done with.Related Article: Hundreds Of Dodge Chargers Were Destroyed Making The Dukes Of HazzardPereira was the only person injured in both the blaze and ensuing car chase. He is a former horse jockey and the people who know him say that he is a very nice man who loved his job. Which makes this all the more weirder. They also say that he was a devoted family man who must have been “very distraught” to set the fire and go headlong into the chase. However, a look at the records paints a slightly different story in that he was arrested for theft earlier this year and domestic abuse in 2018.It is unclear what will become of the General Lee car used in the chase.