Group President, Group Managing Director & Editor In Chief: Dr.Shelly Ahmed
Showing posts sorted by date for query Kerala. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query Kerala. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How Akhila became Hadiya – and why her case has reached the Supreme Court?

A young woman adopted Islam, defying her Hindu family. The case has roiled Kerala.

It is called Devi Krupa – the blessings of the goddess. But inside the modest single-storeyed house in TV Puram village in Kerala’s Kottayam district, a young woman has been confined against her wishes, on the orders of Kerala High Court. Outside the house, six policemen stand guard round-the-clock.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Why Beef Politics Is Far More Dangerous Than The Historic Wrongs Of Ayodhya?

A court recently framed criminal conspiracy charges against BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi, Uma Bharti and nine others in the 1992 Babri masjid demolition case. It's been fifteen years and the CBI has blown hot and cold on the case over the years. 

What a difference a decade or two makes. Once these leaders were described as hardliners and firebrands. Now in the age of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, they have been turned by Modi-Shah skeptics into the conscience of the party.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Song Of The Rain: On The Monsoon Trail In The Western Ghats

The behaviour of plants and animals in Kerala's Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary shows monsoon is going awry.

I love being at home, in Wayanad, when the south-west monsoon arrives. This hilly district of northern Kerala is still full of tall trees and myriad creatures, and drenched in rain for several months in a year. From my window, I see Banasuramala, a beautiful mountain 2,000 metres high, gracing the southern horizon, and canopied hills to the west.

Is PM Modi's Reaction Against Lynch Mobs Sincere Or Empty Noise?

It took hundreds of people gathering in public places in several cities for Narendra Modi to break his vow of silence. A day after the #NotInMyName rallies rang out in spirited protests against the recent spate of lynching of Muslims in India, the prime minister spoke on social media against such crimes.

Gau bhakti, or devotion to the cow, isn't an acceptable reason to resort to violence, Modi said, citing the ever-convenient example of Mahatma Gandhi to uphold the value of ahimsa (non-violence) as a way of life.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

No State Is Too Small For The Modi-Shah Grand Plan For The BJP

There's a crucial difference between this BJP and that of yore. A forceful drive to imprint the BJP's presence on unmapped political terrain, displayed by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, was a feature never seen in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-LK Advani era.

Its absence was not for want of ambition because the BJP's principal strategist of those times, Pramod Mahajan, was as obsessed with displacing the Congress as the principal "national pole" of the big guns of today.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Is PM Modi's Reaction Against Lynch Mobs Sincere Or Empty Noise?

It took hundreds of people gathering in public places in several cities for Narendra Modi to break his vow of silence. A day after the #NotInMyName rallies rang out in spirited protests against the recent spate of lynching of Muslims in India, the prime minister spoke on social media against such crimes.

Gau bhakti, or devotion to the cow, isn't an acceptable reason to resort to violence, Modi said, citing the ever-convenient example of Mahatma Gandhi to uphold the value of ahimsa (non-violence) as a way of life. It's the same icon, by the way, who was called a "chatur baniya" a few days ago by the PM's close aide Amit Shah, who is also the president of the party leading the government at the Centre.

Opinion: Lynching The Diversity Out Of India

The new jungle justice system has obviously been given political imprimatur.

Junaid Khan, 15 years young, had gone for Eid shopping with his brothers to Delhi. He was never to return. On his way home to Ballabgarh, a hate-fuelled group of men pounced on him. He was stabbed during the attack and literally bled to death in excruciating pain. His brothers were assaulted too, but escaped with their lives. Beef eaters, yelled the rancorous chorus. No one in the train compartment helped. Junaid is the latest victim of the rising violent culture of cow-related mob lynching in India. It is a Frankenstein's monster on the loose taking giant strides. The ominous predator is out there as you read this.

Friday, June 09, 2017

INNLIVE Explains: The Qatar Crisis And How It Affects India

With four Arab nations cutting their diplomatic ties from Qatar for fostering terrorism, West Asia is headed into a major turmoil in the coming days.

Travel within the region from Doha, the capital of Qatar, is likely to be impossible in the immediate future. Qatari citizens resident in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been given two weeks to return to their home country. Bahrain has also asked Qatari diplomats to leave its territories in 48 hours, though Saudi will continue its services to Qatari pilgrims.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Drought-led migration makes girls prey to trafficking, pushes Andhra Pradesh's Kadiri towards HIV/AIDS

Dr Mano Ranjan has been working at the Institute of Infectious Diseases situated on the Anantapur-Kadiri Road in Andhra Pradesh since 2009. This is the premier institute for the entire Rayalaseema region (southern Andhra Pradesh) for those suffering from HIV/AIDS. Dr Ranjan gets 25 new HIV/AIDS patients every day. "It is a ticking time bomb," he says.

Thirty percent of the cases are from hamlets in and around Kadiri, unarguably the HIV/AIDS capital of Andhra Pradesh. The hospital has 26,000 plus registered cases, 8,000 of whom are widows. It is shocking that most of the victims are in the age group of 25 to 40. Another 3,000 cases are children born most often to an HIV-positive parent.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cow Politics: Will The New Rules On Animal Markets Result In An Unofficial Ban On Cattle Slaughter?

Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan maintains the sale of cattle for slaughter outside markets is not affected by the rules. But they are ambiguously worded.

There has been confusion ever since new rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act were notified on Thursday, May 25.

These rules disallow the sale of cattle – cows, buffaloes, bullocks, calves and camels – for slaughter in animal markets .

Saturday, May 27, 2017

How Three Pakistani Nationals, Living In Bengaluru, Managed To Get Aadhaar Cards?

Employee marks attendance through Aadhaar based System in the Planning Commission.
Recently, three Pakistani nationals who were living in India under false identities were arrested in Bengaluru. Among their identity documents, there were also Aadhaar cards that all of them seemed to possess.

The two men and one woman have been identified as Khasif Shamsuddin, Samira Abdul Rahman, and Kiron Ghulam Ali. An Indian citizen, Muhammed Shihab, a native of Kerala, reportedly helped them.

So how did these Pakistani nationals manage to get Aadhaar cards?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

This Mosque In Kerala Will Be The First In The Country To Offer Friday Sermons In Sign Language

The mosque also has ramps, arm rests in toilets, and wheel chairs for the differently abled.

A mosque in Malappuram in Kerala will render the sermons and speeches offered during the Friday namaaz in sign language for the benefit of the hearing-impaired believers.

According to INNLIVE, the new Masjid Al-Rahma that is offering this service is located in a 5-acre campus and can accommodate up to 500 people.

Rare 'cobra lily' plant spotted in the wild after 85 years in Nilgiris

There are only a few hundred plants of the genus found in a small area in these hills.

Two species of genus Arisaema, or cobra lily, have been spotted in the wild after 85 years, The Hindu reported on Monday. While one species was found in Thia Shola, the other was spotted in the Pennant Valley forest area. Barely a few hundred plants of the genus can be found within a small area in the Nilgiris.

The plants were found by nature enthusiasts KM Prabhu Kumar and Tarun Chhabra. The find was published in the May 2017 issue of Phytotaxa, a journal on botanical taxonomy. “The first species is attractive by means of its translucent spathe and the latter by its long caudate limb with a filiform thread,” Kumar and Chhabra wrote. Specimens of the plant were last collected by E Barnes in 1932.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bras with metal hooks, dark pants banned? CBSE dress code for medical test aspirants is ambiguous

It bans metallic objects. But does that justify making an exam-taker take off her bra because it has a metal hook?

“Is it possible for me to hide an electronic device on the tiny metal hook of my underwear. Should women invigilators be aware of this?” This was the question raised by a girl who was forced to take off her bra before appearing for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test – a highly competitive examination for admission to medical and dental colleges for the undergraduate MBBS and BDS courses – in Kerala’s Kannur district, recently.

Monday, May 01, 2017

An Indian politician gifts brides laundry bats to tackle abusive husbands

This minister’s message to Indian women is simple: “If your alcoholic husband is physically abusive, thrash him.”

When one suffering woman asked Madhya Pradesh minister Gopal Bhargava if it was all right to beat up her abusive spouse with a mogri, the wooden bat traditionally used to wash clothes, he took the idea seriously. After all, Bhargava had been receiving numerous such complaints.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Earthy, caustic, funny and declining: Dakhani finally gets its due in documentary ‘A Tongue Untied’

The language of the Deccan, famous for its humour and literature, has been relegated to dialect status, as filmmaker Gautam Pemmaraju finds out.

Subah ki dhoop mein agar saaya lamba nazar aya, tum apney kad ke baarey mein ghalatfehmi mey mat rehna (If in the morning sun you see that your shadow is long, don’t get deluded about your height): Ghouse ‘Khamakha’ or ‘Khamakha’ Hyderabadi.

When people hear of Dakhani, they tend to associate it with the unique dialect spoken in Hyderabad, often understood by outsiders and locals as a form of hybridised Urdu. There are other associations with Dakhani too – ribald humour and wry social commentary; an idiom so earthy and direct that it might border on insult to more sensitive ears; philosophical reflections on human nature, as in the verse above.

Gautam Pemmaraju’s ambitious documentary A Tongue Untied: The Story of Dakhani explores the cultural history of the language. The production began as a grant from the Indian Foundation for the Arts in 2012 to document the tradition of humour and modern satire in performance poetry. The filmmaker soon found that mere documentation would be inadequate.

“This began as a very conventional art history project, but it has expanded slightly,” Pemmaraju said. “Very soon, the mandate expanded into not just looking at humour and satire through poetry, but at the elephant in the room, which was, ‘What is Dakhani?’ That became something I needed to tackle in order to explain everything else.”

Dakhani is far more than a dialect, he said. It is a language that developed in northern India alongside Urdu. When it moved to the Deccan plateau, it gradually developed a literary culture that lasted 350 years, from the 14th century when the language first seems to have appeared, to the early 18th, when Aurangzeb finally gained control of the Deccan.

People across the Deccan speak forms of Dakhani with regional infusions even today, from its northern reaches in Aurangabad, to Marathwada and Telangana, down southwards to the northern parts of Karnataka. There are a few Dakhani speakers in Tamil Nadu and north Kerala and in Hyderabad, there is even an entire news channel in Dakhani.

Pemmaraju is now looking to raise funds to complete the editing of A Tongue Untied.

The film will be a culmination of conversations that began nearly seven years ago. Pemmaraju began his research by meeting poets and organisers of mushairas, or forums where poets congregate to perform their art.

Everyone Pemmaraju met had different ideas of and associations with the language, many of which were stereotypes. Pemmaraju decided to bring some academic rigour to his study. He also met scholars and experts such as historians and philologists who worked with language and history to pin down what Dakhani really was and what were its origins.

“The film in that sense is an aggregation of poets and artistry on one side, and an aggregation of scholarly opinions on the other side,” he said. “What I have been attempting to do is to put these into a narrative that makes sense and gives viewers a broad picture of the language and the colour of the language.”

With 60 interviews, 70 hours of filmed footage and 40 hours of archival footage, Pemmaraju has had a difficult task cutting the film down to a viewer-friendly length. The final film will be driven by around five experts in the language as well as by poets and artists. Parts of the film are devoted simply to hearing how people in different regions speak the language today.

“What is striking immediately is the diversity of Dakhani,” Pemmaraju said. “It’s a large region, and there are many forms of the language.” There were also many interlocutors, who had a lot to say because of their deep sense of ownership and pride in the language, he added.

While Dakhani is broadly thought of as a language of Muslims, its presence across the plateau also means that there is a rich body of material available in the Devanagari script, for instance, which has not been studied well. Dakhani is also heavily influenced by Marathi, and many Persian words that appear in Dakhani seem to have travelled there via Marathi.

One of Maharashtra’s famous poet saints, Amrutray of Paithan, even wrote a Sudamacharitra, or the story of Sudama, friend of Hindu god Krishna, in Dakhani at some point during the 18th century.

Mushairas have been a crucial part of the culture of Hyderabad and areas around it for decades now. From the 1970s and ’80s, the Hyderabadi diaspora began to organise mushairas where they stayed as well, leading to such gatherings in places as disparate as Chicago and countries in the Middle East.

Zinda Dilan-e-Hyderabad, an organisation formed in the mid-1960s to promote literary activities, particularly those pertaining to humour and satire, organised the first modern mushaira at that time. The organisation’s last mushaira was in 2010, but there are other groups who still conduct them.

Senior poets and scholars all agree that the quality of poetry is declining, Pemmaraju said. The texture of poetry has also changed greatly in recent times, he added. Early poetry tended to have pithy statements about poverty and the immediate circumstances of people. There was also a fair amount of sharp satire directed at religious figures, political leaders and even at poets themselves. Now, poetry is far more political.

Take one, by Sardar Asar, a couplet in a ghazal that says:

Bam key nazdeek jaako dekha mai,
Zafrani hai, hara thodeech hai
I went near a bomb to look at it
It was hardly green – it was saffron.

“Of course there is a milieu of social conservatism [in Islam] which informs all this, but you can very clearly see the poetry has shifted from pithy folk wisdom to this direct commentary on politics,” Pemmaraju pointed out.

That said, Dakhani is ultimately a cultural history of southern India, particularly of the “Islamic encounter” south of the Narmada that is pre-Mughal. “I don’t think it’s a counterpoint between the north and the south,” the filmmaker said. “It’s not a battle. It’s looking at a vernacular region’s oral traditions which reveal to us a richer history.”

Friday, August 12, 2016

Health Crisis: India's Wealthier States Are Showing An Alarming Decline In Immunisation Process


The warning signs from the latest National Family Health Survey data have gone unnoticed so far.

A fair amount of media attention has been given to the resurgence of diphtheria in Kerala, which has been attributed to some Muslims rejecting immunisation efforts due to misinformation. However, a much more dangerous and widespread trend of declining immunisation rates as evidenced by the recent National Family Health Survey 4 data, seems to have gone entirely unnoticed.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Odisha's Night Terror: 'How The Forces Shoot At Defenceless Villagers?'


Five people, including a child, were allegedly killed in firing by security forces in July. An inquiry is underway but villagers have no hope for justice.

On the overcast morning of July 26, Rahula Nayak, a subsistence farmer in his 20s, joined a few hundred villagers, mostly Kond Adivasis, making their way to Gumudumaha, a village in mourning, nestled in the Eastern Ghats in south-central Odisha’s Kandhamal district.

Zakir Naik Speeches Pro-Terror, IRF Paid Money To Lure Youth For Conversion: Mumbai Police


No member of the IRF or any other NGO run by Naik was questioned.

In a 71-page report on controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik, the Mumbai Police have said his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) paid anything between Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 to lure a youth to convert to Islam.

Spotlight: More Than 10,000 Indian Companies Have Defaulted On 'Provident Fund' Payments


The numbers of defaulting companies and institutions is growing.

It should have taken 30 days for Sanjaya Kumar, 27, from Odisha to withdraw his father’s provident fund of Rs 40,000, the post-employment rainy-day or retirement stash that companies must compulsorily deduct from salaries.