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A priest from Kerala has called the bluff on India's obsession with fairness — not only in humans, but also in saints and gods — in a remarkable Facebook post. Jijo Kurien, who wrote a post in Malayalam, drew the example of St Alphonsa, the first Indian-born woman to be canonised, to make his point. Posting two contrasting photographs of the saint, Kurien drew attention to the morphing of her actual image in the later representations of her canonised incarnation. The reason behind this transformation, as Kurien pointed out, is India's fixation with fair complexion.
For its 9th season, Coke Studio Pakistan has decided to take its music to everyone — including the hearing impaired. In a Facebook post, they announced their new show, called, 'Coke Studio For the Deaf'. This is their attempt to make the musical experience accessible to the hearing impaired community of Pakistan with 'music' created with the help of light and vibrations.
The Nitish Kumar government circulated Excise Amendment Bill in the Bihar Assembly on Friday, outlining more stringent measures to enforce the law of prohibition. Proposed measures include putting behind bars all adult members of a family in case liquor is found in their house.
Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel quit on Monday by posting her resignation letter on her official website. Patel had been under the eye of the storm after a strident quota agitation by the Patels, allegations of land scams involving her family members and protests over flogging of Dalits by gau rakshaks.
Over 10,000 Indians stranded in Saudi Arabia will be evacuated and no one will go hungry as ration has been distributed to them, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj announced in Parliament on Monday. Swaraj also said that she was sending Gen (Retd) VK Singh to Riyadh to seek a solution to their problems.
Wrestler Narsingh Yadav was cleared by the National Anti-Doping Agency of doping charges, allowing him to participate in the Rio Olympics, which are scheduled to begin from 5 August. The NADA ruled that the wrestler was a victim of "sabotage" and deserved the benefit of doubt.
Off The Front Page
At 13 years and 255 days, the swimmer Gaurika Singh will be the youngest to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics when she takes to the pool for the women's 100 metres backstroke heats on Sunday. Representing your country at the biggest sporting event in the world is a daunting prospect for any athlete, but for 13-year-old Olympian Gaurika Singh, it pales in comparison with surviving an earthquake in her native Nepal.
A leopard sinking in a well was rescued near Pune with the help of the local people and an NGO. The leopard somehow fell inside a 60-feet-well and was scrambling for life when a farmer nearby heard the noise. The NGO managed to save the female leopard by first dropping a small log for her to float on, and then slowly lowering a box for her to climb in to. After a physical examination, it was found out that the leopard was tired, but was fine. She was eventually released into the nearby forest.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday passed a resolution that the Madras High Court be renamed as 'Tamil Nadu High Court' and not 'High Court of Chennai' as proposed by the Centre. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to take immediate action regarding the same.
The campaign against AFSPA depended too much on Irom Sharmila. The decision she has taken should serve as a wake-up call that the cause must always remain greater than the leader, writes Pradip Phanjoubam in The Hindu. "The possible loss of focus of this campaign because of her changed stance now is what has given cause for anxiety for others in the campaign. Ms. Sharmila herself sounded exasperated last week when she spoke to the media about what she described as lack of support from the public. Here at least, in her longing for a positive outcome, she may have read too much into the public mind. The deluge of support messages and stunned responses to her decision is evidence of this. What the public could not do was emulate her. Nobody can," he writes.
The solutions needed must leverage both technology capacity and human capacity by taking a people-first approach, writes Bhaskar Pramanik in Mint. "A smart city can leverage technology to empower citizens, businesses and governments to connect, have an open dialogue and shape the future together by building urban areas that are more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable," he writes.
The suicide by Rohith Vemula, the killing of Akhlaq and the JNU eruption have all aroused revulsion against atrocities on Dalits and Muslims, says an editorial in The Tribune. "The Gujarat rally's planned assertion of "independence" is reminiscent of mass support Kanhaiya Kumar's Azadi speech evoked. In each of the above cases a forceful response from the PMO was missing. The studied silence of an otherwise voluble Prime Minister has been taken as support, which perhaps it is, by mobs operating in the name of 'holy' cow," it says.
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