Actress Deepika Padukone at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
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Silent Deepika stirs storm
REPORT ON PAGE 3
Her new film faces lawsuit and boycott calls after she joins student protest
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
JANUARY 10, 2020
MCI (P) 078/03/2019
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Farmers arrested after four tiger
carcasses found in Goa sanctuary
Forest Department officials on
Wednesday found a fourth tiger
carcass in the Mhadei Wildlife
Sanctuary in Goa.
It was spotted a short distance
from the area where the carcasses of
a tigress and a cub were found on
The first carcass of a cub was
spotted on Sunday with 70 per cent
of the body decomposed and all its
Forest officials believe the tigress
and her three cubs were poisoned by
farmers for killing their cattle.
Three farmers have been arrested
under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Space mission with one astronaut
Indian Space Research Organisation
chief K. Sivan detailed the country’s
first manned mission to space on
Tuesday, saying the four men
shortlisted for the programme will
receive physical fitness training in
Russia for 11 months, but the first
space flight in December next year
may carry just one.
Under the mission, named
Gaganyaan and expected to cost
Rs10,000 crore, India is expected to
send the astronaut, an Indian Air
Force pilot, to a low-earth orbit
(2,000km altitude) where most of the
man-made objects in outer space are
Nine-judge Supreme Court bench
to hear Sabarimala issue
A nine-judge constitution bench of
the Supreme Court will hear from
Jan 13 the issue of allowing women
and girls of all ages to enter Kerala’s
Sabarimala temple along with other
contentious issues of alleged
discrimination against Muslim and
On Nov 14, last year, a five-judge
constitution bench in a 3-2 verdict
had referred to a seven-judge bench
the pleas seeking review of its historic
2018 judgment allowing women and
girls of all ages to enter the temple.
Modern Indian art pioneer dies
Akbar Padamsee, one of India’s finest
contemporary artists, died in
Coimbatore on Jan 6 at the age of 91.
The Mumbai-based painter, who
spent a considerable time in Paris,
was one of the pioneers of modern
Indian art along with M.F. Husain
Hyderabadis can now register
cases with patrol officers
Under a citizen-friendly initiative
launched by the Hyderabad Police in
the new year, a person in the city
need not visit a police station to get a
He can do it with the patrolling
personnel in his neighbourhood.
Police Commissioner Anjani
Kumar said that one can give a
complaint in writing with address and
mobile number to the patrol car
officers of the area.
Restrictions on refined palm oil
India imposed restrictions on imports
of refined palm oil and palmolein on
Wednesday, a move observers said
was in retaliation against top supplier
Malaysia after its criticism of the
Indian government’s actions in
Kashmir and a new citizenship law.
Industry sources told Reuters that
the ban will hit Malaysia, the main
supplier to India of refined palm oil
and palmolein, but is likely to help
Indonesia, the biggest exporter of
crude palm oil.
India suffers hottest decade
The last decade was India’s hottest on
record with the national weather
office calling the impact of global
warming “unmistakable” and
extreme weather killing more than
1,500 people last year.
India, home to 1.3 billion people,
is at the forefront of climate change
suffering devastating floods, dire
water shortages and baking
Temperatures between 2010 and
2019 were 0.36 deg C above the
long-term average, the hottest decade
since records began in 1901, the
Indian Meteorological Department
Bengaluru showcases creativity
There were bursts of colour everywhere
– from beautiful landscapes to portraits
to abstract art to body painting.
More than four lakh people
participated in the celebration of art
and culture, showcased at the 17th
edition of Chitra Santhe (painting fair)
in Bengaluru last Sunday.
This year’s event was dedicated to
farmers and over 1,300 artists from
different states, such as Manipur, Tamil
Nadu, Sikkim, Maharashtra, Goa,
Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha,
displayed their works.
While some showcased the lives of
farmers, the others stuck to what they
were best at – displaying paintings of
animals, Buddha, Lord Shiva and
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Deepika Padukone at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus.
“ Rather than a partisan approach, wish she’d used
her celebrity to build a bridge between students.”
– Screenwriter and commentator Advaita Kala
Deepika’s Chhapaak faces lawsuit
One of Bollywood’s top stars sparked
a social media storm on Wednesday,
attracting admiration and vitriol after
showing solidarity with students who
were attacked at the Jawaharlal Nehru
University (JNU) in New Delhi this
Indian film stars have traditionally
shied away from politics, fearing their
films could be boycotted or their
safety threatened. The industry also
relies heavily on government support.
But Deepika Padukone, the coun-
try’s top-earning female celebrity ac-
cording to Forbes India, broke the
mould when she attended a demonstra-
tion at JNU on Tuesday evening.
The 34-year-old, who was in the
national capital to promote her upcom-
ing film Chhapaak – that tells the tale
of an acid attack survivor – stood
silently as controversial former JNU
students’ union president Kanhaiya
Kumar gave a speech.
The protest came two days after
masked attackers went on a rampage
inside the campus of the prestigious
university, leaving 34 students and
faculty members injured.
Police reportedly stood by and did
nothing, while videos purportedly
from the scene showed masked men
swinging batons as students screamed
No one has been arrested in connec-
tion with the violence.
The incident has been blamed on
the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi
Parishad, a student body linked to
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The
group denied involvement.
But Deepika’s appearance led to
calls – including from BJP spokesman
Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga – for Chha-
paak to be boycotted, while others
accused her of a publicity stunt ahead
of its release today.
“It is said Bollywood doesn’t take a
stand,” screenwriter and commentator
Advaita Kala said on Twitter.
“@deepikapadukone has decided to
take a stand with the Leftist students
“She should be informed that
ABVP students have also been in-
jured. Rather than a partisan ap-
proach, wish she’d used her celebrity
to build a bridge between students.”
But others jumped to her defence,
calling for people to go and see her
movie in solidarity, leading to a battle
of hashtags including “#ISupport-
Deepika” and “#boycottChapaak”.
“The female of the species is, and
was, and will always be the strongest
of the two #DeepikaPadukone,”
tweeted leading Bollywood director
Anurag Kashyap. “Let’s all those who
stand against the violence go to
@bookmyshow and show them. Make
our silent statement which will be the
Bollywood celebrities Sonakshi
Sinha and Bhumi Pednekar were
among those who tweeted in support
of the actress.
The violence at JNU is the latest in
a series of clashes that have killed at
least two dozen people amid protests
over a controversial new citizenship
law Mr Modi’s government passed last
month. It speeds up citizenship claims
from persecuted non-Muslim minori-
ties from Pakistan, Afghanistan and
Bangladesh, stoking fears that Mr
Modi wants to marginalise India’s Is-
lamic minority, which he denies.
On Wednesday advocate Aparna
Bhat, who represented acid attack
victim Laxmi Agarwal in court, also
threatened to take legal action against
the makers of Chhapaak.
The film is based on Laxmi’s life
and Deepika plays a character based
on Laxmi in the film.
Ms Bhat’s contention is the filmmak-
ers have not given due acknowledge-
ment to her in the film’s credits.
The advocate, who played a pivotal
role in real life to ensure justice was
served to Laxmi in the case fought at
New Delhi’s Patiala House Courts,
took to Facebook and wrote a few
posts to vent her ire and also an-
nounce that she would be taking the
makers of Chhapaak to court.
Earlier in the day, social media was
flooded with the rumour that the
name of the real-life acid attacker in
the film was changed from Basheer to
Rajesh in order to protect the culprit’s
In the real incident on which Chha-
paak is based, the man who commit-
ted the crime is Nadeem Khan.
The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha
(ABHM) warned the makers of film of
countrywide protests if the name of
the acid attacker was not changed
within 48 hours.
“If you are making a film based on
real life, keep all the characters real,”
said Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, presi-
dent of the ABHM.
“It’s a calibrated propaganda to
defame Hindu religion.
“We will stage protests and won’t
allow the film’s release We will take
legal action. We will do everything in
our capacity if the makers of Chha-
paak don’t listen to us.”
However, pre-release screenings on
Wednesday revealed the name of
Nadeem has been changed to Basheer.
AFP, Indo-Asian News Service
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