SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
IN ASIAN GAMES
ALLIES IN ROW
AND THE WORLD
IS YOUR OYSTER
REPORT ON PAGE 5
Longest-serving bodyguard reminisces
about Singapore’s founding
Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on his
100th birth anniversary:
Personal bodyguard Karuppiah Kandasamy (left) with Mr Lee Kuan Yew, as Singapore’s first prime minister
leaves the Westin Stamford Hotel following a lunch with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in 1989.
Get tabla! delivered to your doorstep.Call 6319-1800 or e-mail email@example.com.Catch us online at www.tabla.com.sg
September 22, 2023
An idol of Hindu god
Ganesha inside a model of the
LVM3 rocket that carried
India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar
lander during the Ganesh
Chaturthi festival in Hyd-
erabad on Wednesday.
Across India, there were
echoes of the historic mission
at this year’s Ganesha Chatur-
thi celebrations, which go on
till Sept 28.
An online video from Tamil
Nadu shows local designer
replica taking off, complete
with spewing flames to mimic
a rocket launch.
In Kolkata, a Ganesha cele-
bration at Salt Lake had a
model of the rocket on top of
the idol, placed against a back-
drop image of the Moon’s
surface with Earth suspended
in the distance.
Ganesha festival with a side of rocket
An SPH Media Limited publication
(English/Malay/Tamil Media group)
Wong Wei Kong
V.K. Santosh Kumar
For editiorial matters,
write to us at
For advertising enquiries,
Advertise with us by calling
5277 (Maheswari) or
For home delivery, call
(Mon to Fri
Catch us online at
Lower house votes to reserve third
of seats for women
India’s lower house of parliament on
Wednesday passed a bill that would
more than double the number of
women lawmakers in its ranks,
following several failed attempts over
the past decades to enact the measure.
The proposed law would reserve
one in three seats in India’s lower
house and state assemblies for women
once it takes effect, which could take
until the end of the 2020s.
It would not take effect before
national elections next year but will be
a further fillip to the already
commanding position of Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s party ahead
of that poll.
A total of 454 lawmakers voted for
the bill, with only two against.
Modi invites Biden to 2024
Republic Day celebrations
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
has invited United States President Joe
Biden to the Republic Day celebrations
on Jan 26, 2024.
This was revealed by US
Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti on
Wednesday, news agency ANI
Rapper Shubh’s India tour
Canada-based Punjabi singer and
rapper Shubhneet Singh, popularly
known by his stage name Shubh, has
drawn flak over his alleged support for
BookMyShow announced on X that
the artist’s Still Rollin India Tour has
been cancelled and a refund of the
tickets will be done within 10 days.
Earlier in the day, the ticket-booking
app faced a boycott call on social
media for hosting a singer who is
allegedly a Khalistani sympathiser.
Akasa Air cuts flights as pilots quit
Indian budget carrier Akasa Air has
been forced to cut flights for now after
many of its pilots quit abruptly,
sparking a legal dispute in court where
the company has warned that further
resignations may even force it to shut
A small group of pilots “abandoned
their duties” and left without serving
their mandatory contractual notice
period, causing a disruption of flights,
but the airline is on course to invest in
growing its operations and ordering
more planes, CEO Vinay Dube told
employees in an e-mail on Tuesday –
the same day the airline’s counsel told a
Delhi court that Akasa was in “crisis”
and may shut down after the abrupt
Akasa told the court it cancelled 600
flights in August and would be forced to
cancel up to 700 more in September if
the resignations continue.
Class 9 student dies of heart attack
Atif Siddiqui, 14, a class 9 student of
City Montessori School in Lucknow,
Uttar Pradesh, fainted and died of a
suspected heart attack while in the
classroom on Wednesday.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital
but was declared dead on arrival.
Man hiding in trunk exposed by
A man in Bihar’s West Champaran,
who was wanted by the police, hid
himself in a big trunk to evade arrest in
Baithania village, but a phone call gave
away his location and he was arrested.
The police had asked Santosh Yadav
to go to the police station, but he
refused. A team from Majholia police
station raided his house but family
members said he did not live there.
One of the police officers then tried
to call Yadav on the phone.
Yadav, while hiding in the trunk in
the house, answered and said: “Sir, I
made a mistake and I will not repeat it.
Please don’t arrest me. I will go to the
police station tomorrow.”
The police personnel immediately
opened the trunk and took him into
Impostor ‘treats’ patients at
maternity hospital for 3 days
A man posing as a doctor “treated”
patients at Srinagar’s premier maternity
hospital for three days before he was
arrested on Wednesday
Medical Superintendent Muzaffar
Sherwani said the man was found in the
hospital’s labour room, where he was
conducting rounds and examining
When confronted, he said he was a
doctor from Anantnag’s Dialgam area
and claimed to be a cardiologist.
“When we asked him for documents
to prove his qualifications, he was
unable to do so,” said Dr Sherwani.
“We called the police and he was
Kerala lottery is the best in India,
Kerala’s Finance Minister K.N.
Balagopal on Wednesday said the
state’s lottery is the best in the country
as it includes the maximum number of
prizes in a single draw.
After taking part in the Onam
Bumper lottery draw on Wednesday,
which had a record Rs25 crore ($4
million) as the first prize for a ticket of
Rs500, he said: “For this draw, more
than 75 lakhs tickets were sold and 5.5
lakh ticket holders will win a prize.
“There are 1 lakh agents who sell
tickets and eke out a living. The state
government receives around 3 per cent
to its kitty and most of the proceeds
from this goes to funding the treatment
expenses of the poor.”
Rare reptiles seized from house in
Several rare wild reptiles, including five
sugar gliders, were rescued from a
house in Gomti Nagar, Lukcnow,
during a raid by the forest department
The action came after a tip-off
about illegal trade of wild animals. The
animals were kept in cages and plastic
The owner of the house has been
Football coach sticks by his
‘heroes’ despite China drubbing
India’s football coach Igor Stimac said
his second-string men’s team “ran out
of gas” in the second-half against
China but hailed the players as
“heroes” despite a 5-1 drubbing in
their Asian Games opener on Tuesday.
With most local clubs refusing to
release key players, citing domestic and
Asian competitions, India fielded an
unfamiliar line-up under captain Sunil
Chhetri after arriving in China late on
After a fairly even first-half at the
Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium,
they wilted in difficult conditions in
the second period, conceding four
Stimac said India would have given
China a “huge problem” had they
fielded their best team. “Still, these
players are heroes to me,” he added.
India needed a vastly improved
performance in their next two group
games, against Bangladesh and
Myanmar, if they were to advance.
India revs up for maiden MotoGP
at circuit where F1 stalled
India hosts its maiden MotoGP on
Sunday as the premier motorcycling
championship looks to tap a
potentially lucrative new fan base and
succeed on a track outside New Delhi
where Formula One stalled.
But the lead-up to the race has seen
concerns raised about the safety of the
Buddh International Circuit, with
particular fears about walls that are too
close to the asphalt.
Some MotoGP personnel and riders
also had problems getting visas for
India, but the organisers on Tuesday
blamed a technical glitch and said the
issue was on the way to being resolved.
September 22, 2023
Canada this week divulged it had intel-
ligence possibly linking Indian govern-
ment agents to the murder of a separa-
tist Sikh leader – the kind of news that
usually sparks uproar among democrat-
ic allies. Not this time.
India is being courted by the United
States and others as a counterweight to
China, and Prime Minister Justin Tru-
deau’s rare attack just days after the
G20 Summit in New Delhi is putting
Western nations in an awkward posi-
“India is important in Western calcu-
lations for balancing China,and Canada
is not,” said Ottawa’s Carleton Univer-
sity professor of international relations
“This really puts Canada offside
among all other Western countries.”
Mr Trudeau announced on Monday
that Canada was “actively pursuing
credible allegations” that Indian agents
were potentially involved in the murder
of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nij-
jar in June.
At that point, Ottawa had already
been discussing the matter with key al-
lies such as those in the Five Eyes intelli-
gence sharing alliance, which also in-
cludes the US, Britain, Australia and
The results have been muted. Britain
refused to publicly criticise India and
said bilateral trade talks would continue
as planned. Indeed, a statement from
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly about
the affair did not mention India by
Britain is in a difficult position,
caught between supporting Canada and
antagonising India,a country it wants as
a trading partner and ally to help con-
front China, said India expert Chietigj
Bajpaee of the Chatham House think
tank in London.
“Short of there being any definitive
evidence of India’s involvement, I think
the UK response is likely to remain mut-
ed,” he added. A free trade deal would
be a “major political win” for both In-
dia and Britain.
White House National Security Ad-
viser John Kirby said the US was “deep-
ly concerned” and encouraged Indian
officials to cooperate in any investiga-
tion. India rejected the idea it was in-
volved in the murder.
The Washington Post reported Mr
Trudeau had pushed for a joint state-
ment condemning India at the Group of
20 summit and was turned down.
Mr Kirby said “any reports that we
rebuffed Canada in any way whatsoever
are false, and we will continue to coor-
dinate and consult with them on this”.
The muted response to Mr Trudeau’s
allegations is stark when compared to
the uproar after Russian double agent
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia
were poisoned by nerve agent in En-
gland in 2018.
Britain, the US, Canada and others
threw out more than 100 Russian diplo-
mats to punish Moscow for an attack it
has always denied carrying out.
“Our Five Eyes partners are under-
standably reluctant to really wade into
this, given everybody’s interest in ad-
vancing ties with India,in the context of
the ongoing tension with China,” said
Mr Wesley Wark of the Centre for In-
think tank in Waterloo, Ontario.
“It’s a bit of a waiting game. If the
Canadians come up with very solid evi-
dence about egregious Indian state in-
volvement in an assassination attempt,I
think we’ll hear more from our allies in
support,” he said.
With allies unwilling to contemplate
any kind of joint condemnation of In-
dia,the Canadian options now look lim-
ited – at least until it can provide incon-
“If we don’t get our allies to support
this,Canada’s not going to be able to do
a great deal to move India,” said former
Canadian Security Intelligence Service
head Richard Fadden.
“And I think the greatest thing we
can aspire to in the short term is to get
India not to do this again.”
The diplomatic row escalated on
Thursday when India’s official visa
processor, BLS, in Canada said that it
had been told to stop handling applica-
tions, before taking down the notice.
“Important notice from Indian Mis-
sion: Due to operational reasons, with
effect from 21 September 2023, Indian
visa services have been suspended till
further notice,” BLS International had
posted on its website.
There was no immediate comment
from India’s foreign ministry.
Allies stay neutral in Canada-India tension
A banner with the image of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar at the Guru Nanak Sikh
Gurdwara in Surrey, Canada, where he was killed in June.
“India is important in
for balancing China,
and Canada is not. This
really puts Canada
offside among all other
– Ottawa’s Carleton University
professor of international relations
Avant-garde artist Amrita Sher-Gil’s oil
on canvas The Story Teller has unseated
Sayed Haider Raza’s Gestation as the
auction worldwide, at a whopping
Rs61.8 crore ($10 million).
The 1937 artwork, sold in New Delhi
on Saturday at Saffronart’s Evening
Sale: Modern Art, was among the more
than 70 art pieces by eminent artists in-
cluding M.F. Husain, V.S. Gaitonde, Ja-
mini Roy and F.S. Souza at the auction.
It was only last month that the 1989
Gestation,also an oil on canvas,was sold
at Rs51.75 crore by Pundole’s auction
house in Mumbai, becoming the most
expensive Indian artwork sold at auc-
“The record price achieved by Sher-
Gil’s The Story Teller is an important
milestone in the Indian art market and
testament to the artist’s immense skill
and enduring legacy as one of India’s art
treasures,” said Saffronart CEO and co-
founder Dinesh Vazirani.
Touted as one of the 12 works select-
edbySher-Gilherself as hermost impor-
tant works, The Story Teller is widely
considered an example of the artist’s
most honest and expressive composi-
nent artist are women, primarily be-
cause she could lend her empathetic self
most easily to their condition.
The painting was first exhibited at
Sher-Gil’s solo exhibition at Faletti’s Ho-
tel, Lahore, in November 1937.
Her other well-known portraits of
women include Three Girls, Women On
The Charpai, Hill Women and Young
Born to an Indian father and Hungar-
ian mother on Jan 30,1913, in Budapest,
Hungary, Sher-Gil came to be known as
one of the greatest avant-garde women
From the early age of five, she im-
mersed herself in drawing and painting
with watercolour. Her early works con-
sisted of vibrant illustrations of Hungar-
In 1921, the Sher-Gil family moved to In-
dia and settled in Shimla.
It was there that she honed her obser-
vational skills, capturing the essence of
those around her through meticulous
sketches. She died at the young age of 28
In 1976, Sher-Gil was declared by the
Archaeological Survey of India as one of
The auction also smashed a few other
Renowned painter and art educator
K.K. Hebbar’s 1959 untitled work sold
for Rs2.64 crore – more than seven times
its estimate. Raza’s monumental work
Earth sold for Rs19.2 crore, early expres-
sionist Tyeb Mehta’s Red Figure for Rs9
crore and Souza’s Caribbean Palm for
Indo-Asian News Service
Record $10m paid for Indian artwork at Delhi auction
The Story Teller.
|Singapore Press Holdings|
|Copyright © 2023 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co|