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Adobe After Effects Video Tutorial: Flying Liquid Blobs

first_imgCreate organic flying liquid blobs in this After Effects Video Tutorial.Giving your 2D designs an organic feel can make your animations look much more professional. The most common way to make your design more natural is through a process called secondary animation. In short secondary animation is animation that happens between the start and end keyframe of any given shape movement. The technique uses Newtons laws of motion to visual display inertia.In the following tutorial by PremiumBeat blogger Evan Abrams we will take a look at how to make a flying liquid blob that utilizes secondary animation to make a visually captivating animation. The video covers:Auto OrientingShape LayersKeyframesIf you are still interested in making your 2D animations look more realistic check out our post on secondary animation, or if you want to take your After Effects skills to the next level look through the After Effects section of our blog where you can find many more helpful tutorials.This video was first shared by Evan Abrams on his Youtube Channel. You can get the project file download link there. Thanks for sharing Evan! Check out more tutorials from Evan Abrams on the PremiumBeat blog.Have any tips for creating realistic 2D animations in After Effects? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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5 Simple Cinematography Hacks for Under $50

first_imgNeed a makeshift camera rig on a small budget? Check out these five cinematography hacks that can be made for under $50.Top image from FilmoraBeing on set always requires you to be on your toes and use whatever materials you have to get the shot. Sometimes you may forget a piece of equipment, or something on set will break. Then you’ll need to figure out a quick fix to make sure that the shoot goes on.Like the 5 Filmmaking Hacks we’ve previously covered, all of these cinematography hacks are great DIY fixes. Also, make sure you have plenty of gaff tape on set. You’re going to need it.1. Camera Bean BagImage from Chris Hansen via DIY Photo Cheapo DepotIf you don’t have a few hundred bucks to spend on a Cinesaddle or Vbag, try making your own. With a Ziploc bag and some beans, rice, or kernels of popcorn, you can instantly make your own camera cushion for some extra stabilization.If you want something a little tougher than a Ziploc bag, try a pencil case for small cameras or a softshell laptop case. For best results, put a Ziploc bag inside of another case. Be sure to let the air out of the Ziploc bag, so it can conform around the camera.Supplies: Ziploc Bag (~$0.08 each), Pencil Case (~$3), 1 lb Beans (~$7) or 1 lb Rice (~$5) or 1 lb Popcorn Kernels (~$4)Estimated Cost: $8.082. Baby Powder ViewfinderImage from John Korda via Shitty Rigs Using an empty bottle of baby powder, this new dad built an amazing viewfinder. He cut out the bottom of the baby powder bottle, then attached a magnifying glass. With a little gaff tape and rubber bands, he had built his own custom viewfinder.Supplies: Baby Powder Bottle (~$4), 2 Rubber Bands (~$0.17 each), Magnifying Glass (~$6)Estimated Cost: $10.34For the following Dolly Hacks, let’s assume you already have a tripod. Any tripod will work with these cinematography hacks. 3. Dolly Hack: Furniture SlidersVideo from Filmora Video EditorStick moving furniture pads under your tripod legs to create a dolly. Furniture slider pads are designed to move heavy furniture throughout a house without scratching the floor. They’ll be able to handle just about any weight of camera setup.Furniture sliders are designed for indoors, so these won’t really help you if you are out on location.Supplies: Your Tripod, Furniture Slider PadsEstimated Cost: $10-$204. Dolly Hack: Wheelchair (Rolling Chair, Stroller, Shopping Cart)Image from monnomestdavid via Shitty RigsTrying to pull off some smooth dolly shots without tracks? Try using a cart with wheels. A wheelchair is the best option, as they are built to give a smooth ride. Finding a wheelchair is a bit harder, but you can get them online. You can usually find a deal on a used one.Also take advantage of your location. Shooting in a hospital? There are wheelchairs around. Grocery store? Try a shopping cart. Library? Use a rolling book cart. Office? Rolling chair.You don’t have to have a stabilizer rig like the photo above, you can just as easily sit in the chair and have the camera over your shoulder.Image from bdht via Shitty RigsYou can also build a dolly rig out of a baby stroller. Go for the jogging stroller for extra speed and a smoother ride. There are plenty of used strollers available for cheap online.Estimated Price: ~$50 for a Used Jogging Stroller, up to ~$100 for a New Wheelchair5. Dolly Hack: Skateboard (Rollerblades)In this video, see how Tyler Mannheimer builds a skateboard dolly rig.Video from TPV ProductionsIn the video, you saw them attach a fluid head to a skateboard, but you can also use a skateboard many other ways. You can sit on it, and have a second person push you. If you already have a handheld stabilizer, you can also just hop on a skateboard and go. If you can’t skateboard, throw on a pair of rollerblades.Estimated Price: $37Want more DIY Hacks? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

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NAB 2018 Announcement: Canon’s C700 Goes Full Frame

first_imgAt this year’s NAB Show, full frame filmmakers found out what they should expect from Canon’s new C700 FF. Here’s what we know.All images via Canon.NAB 2018 certainly attracts the big guns from some of the best digital camera makers in the game. Not to be outdone by their competitors, Canon has unveiled their new much-hyped digital full frame offering: the Canon C700 FF. While the camera has been announced for some time, it’s finally on the floor and getting some pretty rave reviews.Here’s everything you need to know about this new offering.Full Frame CMOS SensorSo, as the FF name would imply, the C700 FF is full frame (38.1 x 20.1mm) and supports readouts at Super 35mm, Super 16mm, anamorphic modes, and full size. The CMOS sensor is 17×9 and can record at nearly 6K-5.9K (5925 x 3140). The new full frame sensor also offers a broader range of tonality and lower noise. It can also exceed 15 stops of dynamic range, which should yield more natural skin tones and greater cinematic grading.Oversampling 4K ProcessingAlong with the new full frame CMOS sensor, the Canon C700 FF also uses a new “high-quality debayering algorithm” for its oversampling 5.9K in 4K, UHD, 2K, and FHD recording. This reduces graininess and moiré for higher-quality video recording compared to native 4K image capture.Other FeaturesIn many ways, the C700 FF is the same camera as the C700 in terms of features and looks (you can’t distinguish between the two on the NAB floor). However, this just means that the original C700 capabilities are now available full frame, like the 5.9K RAW 60p recording (72fps at 2K crop and up to 168fps). Both EP and PL mount models are now available with the EF mount option, including Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus tech.Here are some more tech and specs:Built-in ND filters5.9K full frame CMOS sensorNew sensor modes: full frame, Super 35mm, and Super 16mm15-stops dynamic rangeGreater range of lens optionsDual Pixel CMOS AF system with Canon EF mountSupports Canon Cinema RAW, ProRes and XF-AVCCost: $33,000And for more NAB 2018 coverage, check out these other great articles:NAB 2018: Blackmagic is Releasing A New Pocket Cinema CameraNAB 2018 Announcement: The Sony FS5 Gets an UpdateNAB 2018: Blackmagic Announces DaVinci Resolve 15NAB 2018: SmallHD Unveils 5 New Focus MonitorsNAB 2018: LaCie’s Rugged Hard Drive Gets Tougherlast_img read more

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21 Free Motion Graphics Templates for Adobe Premiere Pro

first_imgDownload the 21 Free Motion Graphics for PremiereClick the button below to download the free pack of 21 Motion Graphics for Premiere. In the download, you’ll find everything you need to get started. These motion graphics are free to use in any personal or commercial projects. By downloading, you agree not to resell or redistribute these free assets. DOWNLOAD 21 FREE MOTION GRAPHICSUsing The Free Motion Graphics TemplatesThe great thing about using the Essential Graphics Panel to create templates like this is that it allows you to customize certain parameters and aspects of your motion graphics without going back and forth between After Effects and Premiere.As I mentioned above, the download includes the AE project file, so if you’d like to customize fonts, colors, and animation in a very specific way that we didn’t include in the template, feel free to open the project up and change whatever you’d like.With each of these templates, you’ll find specific tools that you can use to customize the animations, colors, and text to your liking.Before using these templates, be sure you are up to date with the most recent versions of Premiere and After Effects.Step 1: Install the fontsIn the download folder, you’ll find all the fonts you need to use the title graphics. Install these fonts before trying to use these graphics — otherwise they might not look correct.Step 2: Install the .mogrt files into PremiereTo install the .mogrt files (the template files that Premiere uses for the Essential Graphics Panel) in Premiere, you need to open the Essential Graphics Panel.In the bottom right-hand corner of the Essential Graphics panel, you’ll see a little plus button and square (pictured above). Click on that button and install the template that you want.At the time of this posting, there is no way to install multiple templates simultaneously; you have to install one at a time.Step 3: Using/customizing the templatesOnce you’ve installed your templates, drag your graphic of choice down to the timeline. Now, once you select that graphic, you’ll notice some customization options in the Essential Graphics Panel. Here you can change colors, text, and various opacities, and you can turn certain elements on or off.This will be different for each graphic, as the customization options depend on the needs and capabilities of each particular graphic.What’s truly fantastic about this workflow is that you can copy and paste the same graphic to a different place in your timeline, and once you change the copy, the original will remain unchanged. This is not the case with other workflows (dynamic link, etc.).BONUS: Pair with RocketStock’s 15 Free Lower ThirdsRecently, RocketStock released a similar pack of 15 FREE Lower Thirds. We created this pack of motion graphics templates specifically to play nice with that freebie pack. So, if you merge the two, you’ll have a pretty nice library of drag-and-drop motion graphics that all have a similar visual style.To find out how to use these lower thirds (which also covers the process for using and installing these graphics), watch the video below:The Essential Graphics Panel is the way of the future. Get used to it, experiment with it, and find some great and ways to add some really clean and professional motion graphics to your video projects.Enjoy!Looking for more on motion graphics? Check out these articles.17 Free Anamorphic Lens Flares for Your Videos and Motion GraphicsHow to Create a Motion Graphics Template in Adobe After Effects3 Typography Motion Graphics Tips | After Effects TutorialLearn How to Create 2D Motion Graphics with After EffectsAnimate Your Text With Handwriting Motion Graphics Want to add some motion graphics to your videos — without After Effects? Download these 21 Free Motion Graphics templates for direct use in Premiere Pro.One of the best new additions to the creative cloud in the last few years has been the extremely convenient Essential Graphics Panel. This is a handy way for After Effects and Premiere Pro to coexist in perfect harmony.Using this free pack of motion graphics templates for Premiere, you can quickly add customizable motion to your video projects without ever opening After Effects.This Free Pack of 21 Motion Graphics for Premiere includes the following:8 customizable animated text titles.13 clean and modern transitions with customizable colors..AE project file (customize however you’d like).last_img read more

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Recognition and Gratitude (A Note to the Sales Leader)

first_imgWe tend to believe that the greatest levers we have to pull when it comes to improving salesforce performance are things like compensation structures and bonuses. And compensation is surely a critical component when it comes to building a high-performing sales organization.But there are two far more powerful levers: Recognition and gratitude.I Recognize . . .One of the most powerful forces in improving salesforce performance is to recognize sales people for their successes and their contributions. Too often we make the mistake of believing that because someone is doing the job that we don’t need to recognize them when they succeed. We think we don’t need to recognize them for their contribution. This is wrong. Human beings have a deep, inborn need to be significant. They need to know that what they do matters, that it’s making a difference, and that they’re contributing.Thank You for Your ContributionThe second lever, gratitude, is equally as important. It’s important to say thank you. It’s important to express your gratitude for a job well done. It says that you notice, that you care. It also tells the salesperson that you care about them as an individual, as a person.There are some people who are money motivated. They want a monetary reward for everything they do. A few don’t care about recognition or gratitude. But they are the exception, not the rule.The struggle with always using compensation and monetary rewards is that it begins a process where everything is done for monetary rewards. Things are done for pride. Things are done for meaning. Things are done for unit cohesion, because you’re part of the team.Like everything in sales and sales management, it comes down to balance. Is there anything wrong with monetary rewards? No, of course not. But monetary rewards should be part of the strategy that also includes things like recognition and gratitude. Absolutely. And if you’re ignoring these two levers, you’re ignoring them at your peril.QuestionsAre you relying too heavily on monetary rewards alone?When was the last time you recognize someone for the excellent work that they did?When was last time you said thank you to an employee for doing a job well.?How important is it for individuals to feel significant what affiliative make a contribution?Find three people to recognize and three to thank this week.last_img read more

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You Don’t Play for the Critics

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Before I go to see a movie, I normally read the review in the New York Times. They have smart reviews, and I always learn something.Then I look at Rotten Tomatoes to see what the reviews there say. Rotten Tomatoes has two scores, the critic’s score and the viewer’s score. The critics score is always way lower than the score of the civilians, the people who went to see the movie because they wanted to see it. Sometimes the two scores are so far apart that you might easily believe they didn’t see the same movie. They didn’t.Critics are paid to be critical. Some people who believe themselves to be critics take their payment in the form of significance or importance (see Yelp). They both watch the movie from the same place, a place of judgment, a place of discovering what is wrong with the movie, rarely looking for what is right.Creating For CriticsThere are some who create to please the critics. They want to be recognized by the establishment, the people who they believe to be invested with the authority to pass judgment and sort the wheat from the chaff, the worthy from the unworthy. They want to be told that their work is good by people whose judgment they somehow believe increases their worth. They need acceptance.Creating For Your AudienceBut there are others who create because they are creators. They don’t create to try to please anyone other than themselves. They do their work because it brings them joy and satisfaction, and they hope that it is appreciated by the people it is designed to serve, the audience. They don’t create with the critics in mind because they aren’t trying to please the critics.You don’t play for the critics. You play for the audience. You don’t create in hopes that someone will judge your work worthy. You create because you are a creator, because that is what creators do.last_img read more

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Protect Your Mindset from Negativity

first_imgI watched a young woman post her very first video to LinkedIn this week. She was asking experienced salespeople to help her understand how to deal with what she called “the roller coaster” of sales. She explained that the roller coaster was made up of highs,when she was engaging with clients, helping them, and closing deals. The lows, she described as the rejection she felt when cold calling, and the challenges of winning deals. She said that she loved her work, but she wanted to know how to live on the roller coaster.For a lot of people, her interpretation of events sounds like an accurate portrayal of sales. But it isn’t. It isn’t an accurate portrayal of anything other than an individual’s interpretation of a certain set of events. This interpretation is unhealthy. Let me explain why.In the Normal Course of Business There is no reason to interpret events that happen in the normal course of business as negative events. To do so is to invest emotional energy into something that provides no return for the investment you make. More still, it’s an inaccurate interpretation, and one that causes people to have a change in their mindset. It moves them from optimistic, future oriented, and empowered to pessimistic, backwards looking, disempowered. That shift in no way benefits the person whose mindset is changed by an event.In sales, you are very likely to be told no every single day. Provided you’re prospecting and asking people to meet with you, a no answer is more likely that a yes answer. If this is true (and if you’re reading this you know it is), then why would one attach a negative meaning to something that happens every day in the normal course of business?More still, no matter how well you sell, you are still in a lose deals. No one bats 1000 percent in sales, and no one goes undefeated. For most people, a 33 percent average is enough to put them on the leaderboard, provided they are prospecting and doing the necessary work.Interpreting events that happen in the normal course of the work you do as something negative will change your mindset from one that is empowered to one that is disempowered. It can shift you from being a person who is acting on their world and doing the things that are in their control, to someone who believes the world is acting on them, and that they are powerless to change the results. It makes you susceptible to people who are negative, pessimistic, cynical, and skeptical. All the things that you can’t be and succeed at the same time.Sometimes, through no fault of your own, you run into a string of no answers or a string of losses all in a row. Other times, you run into a string of yes responses, simply because the Gods of prospecting smile on people who take action.If investing negative emotional energy in any outcome would provide better results, I’d be the first one to endorse it. But the opposite is true. Your outcomes are better when you invest positive, future oriented, optimistic, empowered emotional energy into whatever it is you’re doing.Like a boxer, the best advice I can give you is to protect yourself at all times. Protect your mindset from negativity, and anything or anyone who will cause you to believe that the things that happen in the normal course of business should somehow be treated as a catastrophe. Don’t invest too much meaning in things that in the larger scheme of things, mean nothing.last_img read more

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Fire breaks out at RK Studio in Mumbai’s Chembur

first_imgA fire broke out at the famous RK Studio in Chembur in Mumbai on Saturday afternoon, a senior fire brigade official said.Six fire tenders and five water tankers have been pressed into service to douse the flames, said the official.RK Studio houses the logistics of the RK Films production company, both established by and named after Bollywood actor Raj Kapoor.P.S. Rahangdale, the chief of the Mumbai fire brigade, said an alert call was received by the department around 2.22 p.m. and fire fighters reached the spot within five minutes.“The fire was confined to electric wiring, electric installation, decoration equipment in the 100×80 sq ft area on the ground floor of the building,” he said.The efforts to douse the blaze were on and later the cause of the fire will be ascertained after a proper inquiry, said another official.last_img read more

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Gujarat forms body to help Patidars

first_imgA day after talks with the Patidar representatives, the Gujarat government on Wednesday announced the setting up of a body to help in the economic development of unreserved communities like the Patidars. The proposal was approved by the Cabinet at a meeting in Gandhinagar.The Cabinet also approved a plan to set up a commission, headed by a retired High Court judge, to conduct an inquiry into the alleged police excesses during the Patidar quota agitation. The government will withdraw all cases filed against the members of the community for rioting and damage to public property. “A new body will be created for the economic development of upper castes that have been excluded from the quota. This was the demand of the Patidars, and the government has accepted it,” Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said.last_img read more

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Trouble brewing on Manipur University campus again

first_imgEmbattled Vice-Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey has banned the staff and teachers’ associations of Manipur University after returning from long leave on Saturday. The associations reacted on Sunday, threatening to resume their agitation that could put the university on the boil again.Mr. Pandey had gone on a month’s leave from August 2 after the Ministry of Human Resources Development had advised him to stay away on the recommendation of the State’s BJP-led coalition government that feared a “law and order situation” on the campus. ‘Financial irregularities’ The Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) had on May 30 launched an agitation demanding his removal for alleged administrative and financial irregularities on the campus. The Manipur University Teachers’ Association (MUTA) and the Manipur University Staff’s Association (MUSA) joined the students’ protests later.‘Charges baseless’Mr. Pandey, who had joined the trouble-prone university in December 2016, dismissed all charges against him as baseless. He insisted that the unions were against him for tightening the administration and setting a few things right.“I returned to Imphal and took charge after my leave was over on August 31. I have informed the MHRD, the Governor and the Chief Secretary of Manipur besides the Registrar of the university about my rejoining,” he said.‘Subversive activities’ Hours after he rejoined, Mr. Pandey issued an order saying that the Manipur University Act of 2005 has no provision for the existence of employees’ bodies such as the MUTA and the MUSA. Both the associations, he said, were found to be directly involved in subversive activities leading to the current turmoil on the campus and indiscipline in the university.‘Violating ruies’ The two associations, the order said, have been found guilty of violating rules and thus been banned “with immediate effect and also from holding any meeting or otherwise” for maintaining discipline in the university.In a joint statement on Sunday, the MUTA, the MUSA and the MUSU said that the “virtual order” issued by Mr. Pandey “during his period of leave be condemned as null and void and so non-binding”. They also threatened to resume the agitation that was suspended temporarily if the “competent authority does not take action” against him.Fact-finding committee The three groups had on August 23 suspended their 85-day agitation after they signed a memorandum of understanding with the MHRD and the Manipur government. A fact-finding committee was set up according to the agreement and Mr. Pandey was advised to be on leave “during the period of inquiry and until follow-up action is taken on the inquiry report by a competent authority”.Mr. Pandey said the question of remaining on leave did not arise since the fact-finding panel “is yet to start its work”.last_img read more

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Bank dacoit killed in shoot-out in Odisha

first_imgA fugitive bank dacoit, Babu Naik, was killed in an exchange of fire with the police in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Tuesday. Naik escaped from police watch on November 25 while undergoing treatment at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur. Five policemen, including a havildar and four constables, were suspended for his escape. Naik was arrested for his involvement in a dacoity at the Buguda branch of Utkal Grameen Bank on May 24, 2017. He had earlier escaped from the Bhanjanagar sub-jail on September 11 this year. On October 9, he landed in police net when some bombs with him exploded after his bike met with an accident near Bhanjanagar.“On Tuesday, Naik, along with his accomplice Tapan Jena, was tracked down near Bantha village. Both of them were injured in the exchange of fire with the police. Naik succumbed to his injuries while being shifted to Berhampur for treatment and his aide was arrested in an injured condition,” said Berhampur Additional SP Santanu Dash. Two pistols were seized from them.Highway robbers held In another incident, Anant Kumar Machhua of Nayagarh district, the kingpin of a highway robber gang that had escaped with a truck loaded with foreign liquor, was arrested after an exchange of fire in the Khallikote police station area. Nine members of the gang were also arrested and ₹ 17 lakh worth looted liquor was seized.last_img read more

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Restive UP Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar drops portfolio

first_imgAfter months of baiting, the BJP’s disgruntled ally in Uttar Pradesh, Om Prakash Rajbhar, handed back the Backward Class Welfare Department to the Yogi Adityanath government on Thursday, accusing it of neglecting OBCs and discriminating against them. A Cabinet Minister, Mr. Rajbhar will, however, retain the post of Disabilities Welfare Minister, of little political value in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Mr. Rajbhar is the president of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, an ally of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. The two parties contested together in the 2017 Assembly elections, with the SBSP winning four seats, while additionally transferring its crucial Rajbhar vote for the BJP in Purvanchal. In a letter to Mr. Adityanath, Mr. Rajbhar said there was anger among the OBC community as the BJP government had not implemented the subcategorisation of the 27% OBC quota as per the recommendations of a social justice committee and failed to give scholarships to students from these castes.Mr. Rajbhar also rued that not a single member recommended by him was included in the committee of the Backward Class Panel. “The people of the Backward Castes have a lot of expectations from me but due to the government’s persistent disregard, I am not able to provide them what’s due to them,” said Mr. Rajbhar.The SBSP chief’s muscle-flexing comes a crucial time politically as the BJP faces the challenge of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party in the State.Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma rushed to his residence to apparently appease him. Since Mr. Adityanath is out on tour in Kerala, his office is yet to respond to the resignation. However, the government got to work to publicise work done for the backward community. In a statement issued, the government said that it was working for all sections of the society and that it reflected in the increased budget under its tenure for the welfare of Backward Castes. If the budget allotted for Backward Castes in 2016-17, the final year of the Akhilesh Yadav government, was ₹1,300 crore, after coming to power the Yogi Adityanath government increased it to ₹1,654 crore in 2017-18 and ₹1,889 crore in 2018-19.UltimatumMr. Rajbhar has given the BJP time till February 24 to fulfil his demands, after which he will decide whether to continue the alliance or not. His main demand is the subcategorisation of the 27% quota into three categories as per the report of the panel headed by retired Allahabad High Court Justice Raghavendra Kumar. While the report has still not been made public or tabled in the Assembly despite being sent to the government in October, as per a leaked copy the panel has recommended the split of the 27% OBC quota into three parts: Pichda Varg (Backward Caste), who get 7%; the Ati Pichda (More Backward), who get 11%; and the Atyant Pichda (Most Backward), who get 9%. Rajbhars are a Most Backward Caste. The BJP, however, is in a sticky situation over the report as it clubs Kurmis and Yadavs in the same bracket. While the BJP wants to isolate the Yadavs to polarise the non-Yadav OBC vote against the SP-BSP, it cannot afford to antagonise the Kurmis, who are the main vote bank of its ally Apna Dal, especially in areas around Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency.The government has so far remained silent on the report.last_img read more

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J&K’s parties, separatists urge de-escalation

first_imgJ&K’s mainstream political parties and separatist groups on Wednesday urged India and Pakistan to “de-escalate” in the wake of the Indian Air Force’s strike inside Pakistan and a counter strike by the Pakistan Air Force in the past two days.“I urge both countries to shun violence,” appealed National Conference president Farqooq Abdullah. “History bears testimony to the fact that war did not help both the neighbours resolve their long pending issues,” he added. Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said she hoped that the leaders of both the countries show restraint and take a step back to think about the catastrophic consequences that would follow a war. “Pakistan has expressed its intention to crack down on terrorism and initiate a dialogue with India,” Ms. Mufti said. “Perhaps the best gesture to gain India’s trust at this point would be the safe return of Wing Commander Abhinandan back home,” she added.Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq urged India and Pakistan “not to escalate the situation and desist from warmongering… Only talking to one another is the way forward,” he said.Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai also urged “nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, to shun war”. “After fighting costly wars, we have to finally sit on a negotiating table for a solution,” he said.Suspend political activitiesMeanwhile, former chief minister and NC vice president Omar Abdullah urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi “to suspend” political activities until Wing Commander Abhinandan was returned safely.“It can’t be business as usual with him criss-crossing the country at tax payer expense making political speeches while our pilot is a Pakistani captive,” he tweeted.last_img read more

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BJP MP Sharad Tripathi, MLA Rakesh Baghel exchange blows at Collectorate in U.P.

first_img The video clip of the incident surfaced on TV channels.A senior police official present in the meeting intervened to pacify the two and restore order as tempers ran high.In the meantime, Tandon, the State medical education minister, left the place.The video shows Tripathi getting furious, complaining that his name was missing from the foundation stone for a road in the district’s Mehdawal area.Asked to comment, BJP district president Set Bhan Rai said, “The minister called me and told me about the clash between the MP and the MLA during the meeting as I was somewhere else. The State BJP president also asked me about the incident.” Two elected representatives of the ruling BJP came to blows during the district planning committee meeting here on Wednesday evening in full public glare.The incident took place when the planning committee meeting was underway at the collectorate in the presence of minister in-charge of the district, Ashutosh Tandon.The party State president Mahendra Nath Pandey took “serious” cognisance of the incident and summoned both the lawmakers to the State capital.“I have taken serious cognisance of the incident and have summoned both of them to Lucknow. Disciplinary action will take as per the party discipline,” said Pandey.“The incident is ‘ashobhniya’ (indecent) and ‘amaryadit’ (indignified),” he added.BJP MP from Sant Kabir Nagar Sharad Tripathi and MLA from Mehdawal, Rakesh Baghel, got involved in a verbal duel over taking credit for a newly laid road during the district planning panel meet.After a brief exchange of words, laced with abuses, both came to blows with one of them using a shoe to thrash the other, leaving officials and party leaders stunned.UP’s Sant Kabir Nagar BJP MP Sharad Tripathi attacked local BJP MLA Rakesh Baghel with shoe during a public meeting after an altercation began over MP’s name missing from inauguration plate. pic.twitter.com/BL6RiMTLkX— Piyush Rai | ‏‎پیوش رائے (@Benarasiyaa) March 6, 2019 last_img read more

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Gold seized at Biju Patnaik Airport

first_imgThe air intelligence unit of the Customs department on Wednesday seized 278.83 gm of gold from two passengers at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here, Customs officials at the airport said. The value of the seized gold is ₹ 9.08 lakh, said the officials who intercepted the two passengers. The passengers, hailing from West Bengal and Jharkhand, had arrived from Bangkok. On searching their luggage, the officers found white gold rings of foreign origin, having purity of 99.99%, concealed under buttons of garments, the officials said.last_img

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Climate Panel: Even Greater Confidence of Looming Warming

first_imgThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sent a strongly worded message to policymakers around the world early today: The new science of the past 6 years has only reinforced the already-confident conclusions of the 2007 IPCC assessment report. The world is warming, humans are behind most of the warming, and continued spewing of greenhouse gases would warm the world to dangerous levels by as early as midcentury, the report finds.Climate contrarians seem to have scored no points with the panel, leaving climate science still squarely behind curbing greenhouse gas emissions if the most serious consequences of global warming are to be avoided. As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations, a sponsor of the IPCC, put it at this morning’s press conference: “The heat is on; we must act.”The IPCC’s Working Group I on the physical science of climate change found no evidence that greenhouse warming has stopped, as contrarians would have it. During the past decade, the global temperature may have “paused,” most likely due to natural climate fluctuations, the panel finds. But a single straight line still neatly fits the jagged upward trend of temperature of the past 40 to 50 years. The decade of 2002 to 2012 was the hottest decade ever recorded despite ocean cooling in the tropical Pacific Ocean. And the warming of the upper 2 kilometers of the world ocean—a huge heat sink relative to the atmosphere—continued apace through the 2000s. So “warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” the report concludes.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)From all the signs, the panel concludes that it is “extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” That statement is strengthened from the “likely” characterization in the 2001 report and “very likely” in the 2007 report.Given those findings and the rest of the improved understanding of the climate system, the IPCC projects that if carbon dioxide gas emissions—the primary cause of warming—continue to grow at the recent rate, the world would warm 2oC above 19th-century levels by the middle of this century. Two degrees of warming is a widely though informally recognized “danger level” above which society would suffer serious consequences. Only draconian emission reductions would avoid the danger level by 2100. And only such measures would avoid continued warming beyond 2100, the report says.Of course, a strengthening greenhouse would drive more than warming. A continuation of high emissions that have already shrunk summer sea ice on the Arctic Ocean would eliminate it by midcentury, according to the report. Even draconian emission controls would only limit sea level rise to a serious 40-centimeter rise by 2100. Business-as-usual emissions would drive sea level up by a disastrous 80 centimeters, though the panel rejected suggestions of a truly catastrophic rise.Extremes of weather and climate would also increase. The panel finds that humans have already contributed to an increase in the frequency and duration of heat waves and an intensification of heavy precipitation events. Further warming will not only “very likely” drive further such changes but also likely intensify droughts and tropical cyclones by late in the century, at least in the western North Pacific and North Atlantic.The message for climate negotiators gathering in Warsaw in November was clear enough. Climate change “threatens our planet, our only hope,” said Thomas Stocker, co-chair of Working Group I. And that means, according to IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri, that “there is a need for us to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases if we really want to stabilize climate.”last_img read more

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The Latest Shutdown Information for NIH- and NSF-Funded Researchers

first_imgUnless lawmakers reach a last-minute deal to keep the government open, at midnight tonight the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will go into a sort of hibernation mode. For more information on the shutdown, see this post from Jeffrey Mervis and David Malakoff on our sister site ScienceInsider.On Friday, we described the likely impact on scientists funded by NIH and NSF if an agreement to continue funding the federal government isn’t reached by midnight tonight. Here’s what we’ve learned since Friday: (Link takes you to our sister site, Science Careers.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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ScienceShot: Wind Patterns Forecast Jellyfish Attacks

first_imgFor a tiny creature, the few-millimeter-wide Irukandji jellyfish (Carukia barnesi, pictured) has an outsized sting. A brush with the transparent marine animal causes severe muscle pain, vomiting, and a spike in blood pressure and heart rate that can kill. Lifeguards in areas of Australia that are prone to Irukandji blooms close beaches when a single sting is reported. Now, scientists have developed an early warning system for the deadly jellies that could prevent stings, unnecessary beach closures, and the resulting blow to the tourist industry. When the researchers analyzed all documented Irukandji attacks at the Great Barrier Reef from 1985 through 2012, as well as local weather patterns, they found that stings most often occurred after a calming of nearby southeasterly trade winds. The change in winds, they think, alters currents, pulling offshore, deep-water critters to shallower waters. Closing beaches where winds have relaxed, they calculated, could decrease the number of days with jellyfish stings by 61%. The new observation, reported online today in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, could not only help focus beach closures, but could also lead to new, earlier ways to inform beachgoers about such events—smart phone alerts rather than last-minute signs, for example.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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Two Of A Kind

first_imgTo speak in haste, and then repent at leisure is a trait that has characterized mankind ever since Adam propositioned Eve. Oops! Better make that “humankind,” to be politically correct, and lest I go the way of Messrs Dean Jones and Natwar Singh.Former Australian cricketer, now commentator, Dean Jones, dresses up as a teacher while doing a piece to the camera commenting on the Asia Cup cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the rangri Stadium in Dambulla in 2004What in the world do these two gentlemen have in common? Until last month, almost nothing other than the biological fact of gender. The first is a middle-aged cricketer-turned-television commentator from Australia, the other a senior citizen in the world of Indian politics and diplomacy. The two, I reckon, have never met. But on Aug. 8, their astrological stars found a common nemesis when both uttered words on live television, which, despite subsequent apologies, effectively pulled the plug on their respective careers.Jones, during a live telecast of the second cricket test between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Colombo, saw bushy-bearded South African Hashim Amla take a catch to dismiss Sri Lankan batsman Kumara Sangakkara, and remarked: “The terrorist has got another wicket.” Six words that reverberated ominously through the corridors of world cricket. Deano, as Jones is affably called by colleagues and fans, had – perhaps unwittingly – hit racial amity for a huge symbolic six!Embroiled in the Iraqi oil-for-food scam after a fact-finding report from Justice R.S. Pathak, Natwar Singh sought support from his Congress party colleagues and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. None was forthcoming. Much like a drowning man flapping his arms in manic desperation, Natwar went first for the prime minister, calling him “weak and indecisive” and threatening to highlight Manmohan’s name in the Guinness Book for being the first and only one of 11 Indian prime ministers who had to be nominated for the job as he “hasn’t even won a municipality election.” Pointing out haughtily that Manmohan came into public life “knowing nothing of foreign policy,” he insinuated that the prime minister had learnt international politics chela-like from Ustad Natwar. He then trained his guns on the federal cabinet. Without naming names, he said it contained “rapists and murderers.” Finally, it was Justice Pathak’s turn. “This man hung around me when I was in Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet, wanting an appointment at the World Court,” said Natwar, his legendary scowl intact, adding, “head bowed and hands folded in abject gratitude. And this is how he would greet me after he got the appointment.”Former Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh addresses media representatives outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence in New Delhi Dec.7, 2005 after resigning following charges that family and friends skimmed the UN oil-for-food scheme in IraqIn the span of four searing television minutes, Natwar Singh had savagely attacked the two main constitutional pillars of India – its Executive (the prime minister and his cabinet) and its Judiciary (a retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) with words and gestures of utter ridicule, disdain and contempt.A deeper look at the two outbursts reveals some interesting subtexts.Those familiar with the 75-year-old veteran’s public life and career would remember Natwar Singh as a part of India’s political elite. Natwar Singh himself, I believe, would be quite offended if he were not described as an upper-crust member of the country’s ruling fraternity. His lifestyle, his haughty nose-in-the-air demeanour and his self-congratulatory biodata on the government’s website would convince the reader that when an ass gets a public lashing it evokes pity, but when it happens to a pompous ass the reactions are far less sympathetic.What do you think Natwar calls himself? His New Delhi residence name-plate proclaims “Kunwar Natwar Singh” – a title smelling unmistakably of a feudal aristocracy that went out of vogue when princely titles were abolished. His “royal” connections include the fact that he married into the Patiala Maharaja’s family.His biodata on the Ministry of External Affairs website flaunts his academic and literary pedigree. He has authored nine books and several dozen articles in reputed journals. By that yardstick, he deserves to be called “a man of letters” – and never mind that the phrase now has more to do with the three “letters of introduction” Natwar Singh wrote on behalf of his son Jagat’s cousin and assorted friends to Iraqi officials, on the basis of which the Iraqis sold them crude oil at a depleted price compared to the then international rates. This oil was then resold through an intermediary Swiss firm called Masefield AG, and the Natwar-backed boy brigade made a tidy killing.What makes this crummy tale of kickbacks intriguing is that it occurred in 2001 when the Congress Party was not in power at the Center! Apparently, Natwar through his long-standing affiliation with the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty (Indira Gandhi awarded him a Padma Bhushan in 1984) had enough residual goodwill with Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party to swing deals even from the sidelines.Another website entry lists “Good conversation followed by prolonged periods of reflective silence” as one of Natwar’s special interests. His television outburst effectively wiped out whatever “good conversation” Natwar might have participated in during his lifetime. Though one must concede that he now has ample time for “prolonged periods of reflective silence” as he rides into the political sunset.When the dust finally settles on the Natwar Singh episode, it will have left behind at least one political corpse and two conclusions. These have wider implications for the entire Indian polity and for the new dynamic of national governance through the medium of live television.CONCLUSION ONE: The episode sounds the death-knell of a certain kind of old-world style of Indian politics.  It was a world of noblesse oblige where benevolent favors were tossed out by persons of high birth or rank, and the groveling beneficiaries were expected to remain perennially indebted. It was also a world of lifelong feudal protection for the loyal and faithful among the underlings.South Africa batsman Hashim Amla celebrates his first test century against New Zealand at Newlands stadium in Cape Town, South Africa in April 2006We know Justice Pathak as a legal luminary in his own right, but don’t we also know that top posts in international organizations are lobbied for through government functionaries? And so “Thakur” (so much more macho than the effete-sounding “Kunwar”) Natwar Singh probably thought nothing of demanding back his pound of flesh in the form of a clean chit from Pathak when the latter sat in judgment over Singh’s political future. The judge however was extremely judicious. He gave a clean chit to the Congress Party and blamed Natwar Singh for misusing his party position. But in what has served as an escape clause for Natwar, Pathak admitted he did not have enough evidence to indict Natwar or his son for financial wrongdoing. Poor Natwar has become a laughing stock as he parades this as proof of a clean chit, not knowing – or pretending not to know – that absence of conclusive evidence can never be truly construed as conclusive evidence of absence.Conversely, Natwar Singh – self-proclaimed Congress Party servant and loyal courtier of the Nehru-Gandhi durbar – thought he was within his rights to seek protection in his hour of strife from party leader Sonia Gandhi. Hadn’t Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru openly expressed shock when his own son-in-law Feroze Gandhi had exposed the Mundhra scandal in the late 1950s by indicting a Nehru loyalist in the cabinet?True, but this is another century and another generation. Sonia, her English still far better than her Hindi, clearly thinks “kickback” is a four-letter word. It would be politically suicidal for her to intervene in another kickback scandal, having seen her husband lose a national election on the Bofors taint. Little wonder then that she refused to stir while the yuppies in Congress – said to be cosy with the U.S.-World Bank-IMF lobby – masterminded the downfall of a family loyalist who claims he’s being targeted by the U.S.-backed Volcker Report for his opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal.CONCLUSION TWO: The episode highlights the sea-change that television has wrought on Indian politics. In the old days when print was king, my hunch is Natwar would have gotten away. After all, even if he lost his mind temporarily and mis-spoke, the late-night deadline would ensure there was enough time to sober up and make a few key calls to newspaper biggies. But live television is ruthless. Be it a parliamentary session or a press conference, it governs the way we are governed. Natwar’s outburst came straight and raw into millions of homes, and its repeated telecasts must sound to him like nails pounding into an already sealed coffin.Dean Jones is another victim of the live wire. Imagine the scenario of a newspaper report, and you can bet Deano’s copy would have been screened by several “gate-keepers” – from sports editor to proof reader – and the offending word blue-pencilled out.But the Dean Jones episode has stirred up the pot with many ladles. First comes an inside story. Yes, he did say it, but only after he thought that both the audio and video were switched off during the commercial break between overs. That’s partially right. The audio and video for all transmissions were switched off,  except one, and that one happened to be the transmission to South Africa. The country Hashim Amla represents, and whose listeners first yelled wolf to the Jones remark.Would all be well had Jones’s remark not gone on air? In other words, is it okay to call Amla a “terrorist” in situations that aren’t public? And here comes another inside story – that Amla’s South African team-mates have been known to call him precisely that, if only in jest. On the record, several team-mates denied this vehemently, saying they’d never use the word even as a jibe. Their word was accepted by the authorities, but the cricketing world at large knows better. In the South African team itself, why, one may ask, do “colored” players still eat at a table separate from the whites? It’s tempting to speculate on some other what-ifs.What if the Jones remark had been completely off-air, but if one or more of his fellow-commentators had complained about it to ICC or Cricket South Africa or the management of Ten Sports, which aired it? Would Jones be sent back home on the next available flight?What if Ten Sports – belonging to a United Arab Emirates-registered conglomerate – was owned by a non-Muslim? Would Jones have suffered a penalty as severe and swift? Curiously, the only commentator to have jumped to Jones’s defence (or close to it) is the former Indian wicket-keeper Saba Karim – a Muslim. He told a Mumbai newspaper: “We must always see in what context he has said it. Dean Jones is popular with so many cricketers, maybe it came out inadvertently. He must be given a chance to explain his stand.”What if Jones had uttered the T-word in less combustible times? Would the reaction to Jones have been any less knee-jerk had Marco Materazzi not taunted Zinedine Zidane with the same word during the World Cup soccer final? Or any less racially-edged had the world not seen so many Islamic terrorist-detonated blasts since 9/11?The debate is endless. It’s a matter of the psychological, ideological and socio-cultural baggage the sayer is carrying as much as the mental baggage the listener is filtering it through. Sportsmen are not the only ones to slip up. In June, U.S. President George W.Bush had a characteristically insensitive exchange with blind reporter Peter Wallsten of Los Angeles Times. Bollywood actress Rimi Sen told a website Rohit Shetty is such an “amazing” director that “he can make even a black African look pretty.” Feroz Khan was black-listed by the Pakistani Government for returning their hospitality with a bald statement about Pakistani Muslims killing each other in the name of Islam. And our otherwise tolerant South Indian friends protested vehemently against the Mehmood character in Padosan when the film was first released in India.Hollywood star Mel Gibson abused “f…..g” Jews when pulled over for drunk driving. “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” he told a Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy who Gibson thought to be Jewish. Former sex symbol Bridgette Bardot was found guilty by a Paris court for commenting disparagingly on the growing number of Muslim immigrants in her native France and for hitting out at their religious practice of killing sheep during festivals.Even comic-book characters aren’t spared the scrutiny. Students of international politics find in their reference list a 1971 publication by two Chilean Marxist scholars. Title? “How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic.” Contrast that with a more recent study from the University of Mississippi which concludes that the Scrooge McDuck stories are “essentially anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist.” Long live academic freedom! Related Itemslast_img read more

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