T H E H E A R T B E A T O F T H E I N D I A N C O M M U N I T Y
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
DECEMBER 15, 2017
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Best of both worlds
(Top) Mr Keshavan Nair with family. (Above from left) Mr and Mrs Susheila Nair with family, Ms Charmaine Miranda with
family, Mr Jaya Liang Nan Rengam with parents and Ms Dipna Lim-Prasad.
a lIang nan Rengam,
THe neW P
One parent is Indian, the other Chinese. What do their
children have to say about growing up in Singapore?
REPORTS ON PAGES 12, 13 & 14
PAGE 4 & 5
PAGE 10 & 11
detecting unreported TB
IN A bid to eradicate tubercu-
losis, the govern-
ment in India
has launched a
for early and better diagnosis of
the infectious disease. It started
on Dec 4.
During this period, health
workers are visiting the 186
high-risk tuberculosis districts
in the country.
The government plans to
eradicate tuberculosis by 2025
even though the World Health
Organisation has set the target
period as 2030.
Telangana villages to have
TELANGANA is replacing its
existing public lights with LED
streetlights in 8,000 villages. It
aims to have 15 per cent to 20
per cent of its streetlights pow-
ered by solar energy.
This was announced by Ener-
gy Minister G. Jagadish Reddy
at the All India Power Ministers
In line with Telangana Chief
Minister K. Chandrasekhar
Rao’s aim to provide uninter-
rupted power to people over
the coming years, Mr Reddy
said a capacity expansion plan
of 12,840MW for the next three
years has been planned.
A seashell museum has
opened in Mysuru
MYSURU has opened a seashell
museum, and it is touted to be
the first in Karnataka.
The Kalashree museum is the
brainchild of artist Radha Mal-
lappa, who holds the Guinness
World Record for creating the
largest seashell sculpture last year.
She has recreated St. Philom-
ena’s church, the Taj Mahal and
Hindu idols using seashells. These
are being housed at the museum.
Said Mallappa: “Shell art is a
rare art, which I wanted to bring to
the limelight by opening the mu-
Tribal art museum in Chilika
A FOLK and tribal art museum
has been opened at Barkul near
Chilika in Odisha.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik,
who inaugurated the Purvasha
Folk and Tribal Art Museum via
video conference, said it “will play
a significant role in promoting, pro-
tecting and projecting the state’s
great cultural heritage on a global
The museum has 16 galleries. It
houses folk and tribal artefacts and
handicraft items such as masks,
brass objects, wooden showpieces
and Pattachitra (traditional, cloth-
based scroll painting.
Bengaluru metro to connect
city with airport
THE Bengaluru metro will connect
the international airport at Deva-
nahalli to the city to ferry thou-
sands of passengers daily by 2021.
Law Minister T. B. Jayachandra
said the state cabinet has approved
the report to build the 30km line
between Nagawara on the city’s
eastern ring road and the Kem-
pegowda International Airport at a
cost of Rs5,950 crores.
Delhi to get Rs122-crore
DELHI’S Deputy Chief Minister
Manish Sisodia has approved a
proposal to set up a Rs122-crore
sports complex in Najafgarh.
Spread over 18.2 acres, the com-
plex which is expected to be ready
within 18 months, will have inter-
national level facilities for athletics,
tennis, basketball and swimming.
Fifa has also approved a football
stadium at the complex as a certi-
fied venue for hosting internation-
IIT Kanpur conducts drug
checks on campus
The Indian Institute of Technology
(IIT) Kanpur has been conducting
surprise checks across the campus
and its hostels to curb the use of
drugs among students. It is work-
ing with the police to track ped-
dlers reportedly involved in sup-
plying drugs to students.
According to a report by the In-
dian Express, the drive began after
IIT authorities received complaints
about unauthorised people visiting
the campus, carrying drugs.
IIT is conducting counselling ses-
sions to ensure students are aware
of the hazards of drug use.
Maradona conducts football
workshop in Barasat
ARGENTINE football legend Di-
ego Maradona (above), who was
supposed to play a Match For
Unity against former India cricket
captain Sourav Ganguly in Barasat,
Kolkata, could not take the field
due to tiredness and poor event
management by the organisers.
Maradona had earlier conducted
a football workshop with students
from the Aditya School Of Sports
but it dragged on beyond the
scheduled time forcing him not to
However, he still kicked off the
match and shook hands with the
players and Ganguly.
Air India starts Bhubaneswar to Bangkok flight
AIR India’s first direct flight from Bhubaneswar to Bangkok was flagged off by Odisha
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik from the Biju Patnaik International Airport on Dec 10.
It departed at 3.45pm and arrived in Bangkok at 8.15pm. The flight will be oper-
ated every Thursday and Sunday. Earlier in the day, a flight with 18 passengers took
off from Bangkok at 5.40am and landed at 7am in Bhubaneswar airport (above).
Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda said the direct flight would boost tourism
Breathing fire... Members of the Rajput community take part in a protest against the Bollywood film
Padmavati in Hyderabad.
Rajasthan’s shame and a community’s misplaced valour
OPINION BY RASHMI SAKSENA
Y PADMAVATI is a four-
year-old in rural India, pos-
sibly in the desert state of
Rajasthan. She is lucky to be alive.
She has escaped sex-selective
abortion and female infanticide.
But her fight has just begun.
As she enters her teens she will
face the outlawed menace of child
marriage, dowry demands, domes-
tic violence and honour killing (in
case she dares to select her life
That is if she till then has man-
aged to ward off malnutrition, rape
on her daily trips to find a lonely
spot for defecation, sexual harass-
ment, child trafficking and even ac-
cusations of witchcraft.
Gender inequality is her lot, des-
tined by being born a girl child in
India where, according to govern-
ment figures, in 2011, three mil-
lion girls were missing leading to a
skewered sex ratio of 928 females
against 1,000 males.
Yet, the various “senas” (mi-
litias), purporting to uphold the
honour of the Rajput community
in north and central India, are not
threatening to behead, kill or rise
in protest against those responsible
for such shameful statistics.
The righteous saviours of wom-
en’s honour are not ashamed at
the way society continues to treat
its women. They feel no humilia-
tion when an unborn child is killed
because it is an unwanted daugh-
ter, when she has to expose herself
because she has no toilet to go to,
when she is denied school and re-
mains subjugated to her husband
and in-laws through life.
Instead, they are breathing fire
and brimstone over the yet-to-be
released Bollywood film on the
13th century queen of Chittor, in
the Mewar region of Rajasthan,
who may or may not even have
existed, but lives larger than life in
The film allegedly distorts his-
tory by showing her dancing and
in close proximity with a Muslim
This is unacceptable to the pro-
testing angry valorous Indian men
as Padmavati has over centuries
been sold by them as an ideal of
According to legend, the Mus-
lim ruler of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji,
smitten by the beauty of Queen
Padmavati or Padmini, waged war
on Chittor and demanded her in
return for the captured king.
The queen committed “jauhar”
(throwing herself in the fire to
prevent falling into the hands of
a lustful enemy), while her brave
soldiers went hidden in palanquins
and took on Khilji’s army, securing
the release of her husband.
Interestingly, there is no mention
of Padmini in history. Amir Khus-
rau, who accompanied Khilji dur-
ing the 1303 Chittor siege, does
not mention Rani Padmini in his
This is held as one of the earliest
descriptions of the Chittor battle.
Historian S.C. Chandra states that
none of Khusrau’s contemporaries
make any reference to Padmini.
She is in fact mentioned more
than two centuries later in a 16th
century poem by Sufi poet Malik
Muhammad Jayasi of Jayas in Ut-
tar Pradesh, about 100km from
The point that needs to be high-
lighted and debated in today’s
India is not whether Padmini is a
myth or a historical figure, but the
plight of the India’s socially and ec-
onomically disadvantaged women.
Women in power and authority
in politics, government agencies or
the corporate world remain mere
symbols of what the country’s girls
can achieve if they are allowed the
means to shatter glass ceilings.
Escalating crimes against wom-
en, denial of equal opportunity just
to be born, to live, study, make her
own choices, become her own per-
son and, above all, not be consid-
ered a lesser human being should
be the battle for all — instead of
waging war against the director
and actors of the film Padmavati to
save the honour of a fabled queen.
Indo-Asian News Service
In Padmavati’s land
Rajasthan has the lowest female
literacy rate in India. It stands at
52.66 per cent against 80.51 per
cent for males
Child sex ratio is 888 females per
1,000 males between 0-6 years of
Sex ratio is 943 females per 1,000
15.88 per cent of girls between 15
and 17 years are married off
Prevalence of open defecation in
rural areas is 62.7 per cent
the way society
treat its women.
They feel no
when an unborn
child is killed
because it is
she has to
because she has
no toilet to go
to, when she is
her husband and
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