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The Friendless God: Where Ram, raga collide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>First-time author and business journalist S Anuradha’s novel The Friendless God received an enthusiastic reception from the audience in Mumbai’s Press Club on Friday. Set against the backdrop of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, the novel traces the parallel, overlapping journeys of atheist mother and struggling Carnatic musician Vaidehi and her Ram adoring son, Kodanda. The quintessential domesticity of these South Indian characters take a sharp turn when a deep attraction for Lord Ram compels Kodanda to embark on an ambitious journey all the way north, to Ayodhya. This, even as political fracas rages in the country.While senior business journalist described the book as “racy yet descriptive, with a touching conclusion”, the author admitted to being stirred into creative action by her own experience in the newsroom during the 90s, when she realised that “information (on the topic) was scarce” and of whatever available, “very little was given out to the public”. Of course, the book isn’t only forked into the private and the political – the main narrative is interwoven with strands of the Tamil-Telegu conflict in language and music, widowhood in India, Carnatic music, Kalamkari painting and, of course, generous morsels of Indian history. In between snatches of passage reading where she was joined by the author, Venkatesh highlighted a paragraph that throws light on the novelist’s attention to her peripheral characters — citing the tenderness inherent in the description of a Muslim boatman, who ruffles the waters of a sunset-hushed Sarayu river despite his apprehensions, to ferry Ram Bhakts to Ayodhya.Hosted by the Indic Book Club and attended by an audience well-geared with questions, insights and high praise, the event excused itself from the predictability of book launches with its immediate socio-political resonance.

Retd IPS officer, others held for staging anti-govt protests

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eight persons, including a retired IPS officer, were arrested here today for staging a demonstration against the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh. “Retired IPS officer S R Darapuri and seven others were arrested as they attempted to take out a rally at a public place without permission. They were arrested from the Chowk area,” said Additional Superintendent of Police (Lucknow West) Vikas Chandra Tripathi. In a related development, over 20 protesters were placed under arrest in Jhansi. “In all, 31 people have been arrested in connection with the protests so far,” said Tripathi. Those arrested were protesting against the recent violence in Saharanpur. Some of them had assembled at the Roomi Gate (in Old Lucknow), while the others, including Darapuri, had gathered near the UP Press Club, he added. After retiring from the police service, Darapuri had joined the All India People’s Front (Radical), a political outfit. He had also contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Robertsganj.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NDTV press conference: Press Club president got email from CBI before event

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the day that NDTV had organised a press conference at the Press Club in Delhi, the President of the Club, Gautam Lahiri received an email from the CBI to ensure that ‘their point of view’ is also put into perspective. Lahiri confirmed the news to DNA, and when asked if the email constituted violation of press freedom he said: “It doesn’t.” DNA has learned that the email was received before the conference started and Lahiri said he didn’t respond to the official mail. He added: “I said this during the press conference we would present the both sides of the fact.”Earlier, the CBI has responded strongly to a New York Times editorial on the NDTV raids, calling it “one-sided” and asserting India does not require “any lesson” on freedom of the press from the US daily.
ALSO READ India doesn’t need lesson on freedom of press from NYT: Full text of CBI letter slamming editorial on NDTV raidsIn response to the June 7 editorial ‘India’s Battered Press’, the CBI s press information officer and spokesman R K Gaur said the editorial “gives the impression” that action is not being taken against other big loan defaulters and that the raids on NDTV’s founders were a part of a “vendetta” against the broadcaster.”The editorial is one-sided and doesn’t consider the investigation history of the case” against RRPR Holdings, NDTV s holding company, by different tax and law enforcement agencies in India since 2011, he said.
ALSO READ CBI raids on Prannoy Roy’s residences: Govt denies ‘witch-hunt’ of NDTV, says law is taking its courseGaur said in the entire case against the NDTV “due process of law” is being followed.”India has a robust and independent judiciary that strongly protects democratic freedom and that an aggrieved person can always approach. India does not require any lesson on freedom of the press from The Times,” he said in his letter to the Editor, adding “our institutions and traditions are nurtured by our rich and diverse cultural heritage and democratic ethos.”
ALSO READ Income Tax Department accuses NDTV of concealing income of Rs 1600 croreAt the gathering Prannoy Roy had said, “I commit here today that we will answer all the charges openly and transparently. What all I ask is to please make it a time-bound process.” Roy, who spoke at the end of the protest meet, countered the charges, as a “concocted set of facts”, saying, “Radhika and I, NDTV have never touched one rupee of black money, never bribed a person”.The NDTV founder, also said, their fight was not against the CBI or the ED, but against politicians, who, he alleged, want to “eviscerate these institutions”.”Please don’t believe there cannot be smoke without fire. Politicians can make smoke without fire,” he said. Members of the Press Club of India, the Federation of Press Clubs of India, Delhi Union of Journalists, the Press Association, the Foreign Correspondents Club, the Indian Women’s Press Corps and the Editors Guild of India were also present.The NDTV had described the actions as a “witch-hunt” based on “same old” false accusations.With inputs from agencies

NDTV searches: Journalists claim Emergency-like situation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Several senior journalists today came together to protest against an “Emergency-like situation” which they alleged was due to “attempts to muzzle the voices” of media with NDTV founder Prannoy Roy demanding that issues involving his channel be resolved in time-bound manner. The protest, which saw some senior journalists like Kuldeep Nayyar, Arun Shourie, H K Dua and S Nihal Singh in attendance at the lawns of the Press Club of India here, came days after the CBI conducted searches at the residence of Roy here and three other locations for allegedly causing losses to a private bank. The NDTV had described the actions as a “witch-hunt” based on “same old” false accusations. Former Union minister and veteran journalist Shourie alleged that the government has been controlling the media through two major instruments — one by “offering bribe” through advertisements and the other by “subterranean spreading of fear”. “Now they are using the third instrument, which is overt pressure and they have made NDTV an example of that. I believe this will intensify in the coming months,” he said. Shourie alleged that the government would in future not only resort to managing but also suppressing the voices of dissent. “If you (journalists) think that if you give prominence to articles of some of the ministers in newspapers or give them air time, they will help you in crisis. “In fact, when the assault comes on you, none of them will help,” Shourie said. He said the present government is run by “two and half men”, without elaborating whom he referred to. “There is no minister here. The government is of two- and-a-half men,” he alleged. “Instead of buying peace with concession, I would urge non cooperation…just boycott their (government’s) press conferences, deny them that,” Shourie said. Eminent jurist Fali S Nariman said no one is immune to being prosecuted from criminal offence. “But the manner and circumstances and the so-called justification of the CBI raids give me reason to believe that all this is definitely an unjustified attack on press and media,” he said. “We are meeting here to stop future deligitimisatioon of the media,” he said, adding similar attempts to muzzle the voices of media were made by the Indira Gandhi government. Veteran journalist Kuldeep Nayyar urged journalists to rise to the occasion in this battle for independent media. “We cannot and should not allow anybody to muzzle the voice of media. We are facing more or less the same situation as in the Emergency,” he said. Addressing the gathering, Roy said, “I commit here today that we will answer all the charges openly and transparently. What all I ask is to please make it a time-bound process.” Members of the Press Club of India, the Federation of Press Clubs of India, Delhi Union of Journalists, the Press Association, the Foreign Correspondents Club, the Indian Women’s Press Corps and the Editors Guild of India were also present.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Vinod Dua, Raj Kamal Jha recipient of Mumbai Press Club awards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai Press Club’s RedInk Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism for 2017 will be given to veteran journalist Vinod Dua, while the RedInk Award for Journalist of the Year will be given to Raj Kamal Jha, Chief Editor of the Indian Express. The Press Club made announcement of winners of this year’s awards today. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will give away the awards at a function at NCPA here on June 7. “The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises Dua’s extensive and versatile contribution in different formats and subjects. He was among the country’s first psephologists, co-anchoring election analysis programs alongside Dr Prannoy Roy on Doordarshan,” the Press Club noted in a release here. Jha was selected for Journalist of the Year 2017 award for “providing exemplary stewardship over the last couple of years” to his paper, the release said. Jha led from the front to make Indian Express part of an international investigative team that cracked the global money laundering scam known as `The Panama Papers’, it noted. Besides, Redink Awards for Excellence in Journalism will be given in 11 other categories to 30 journalists for meritorious work in TV, print and digital formats.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kerala IPS Officer’s autobiography to hit stands tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day before unveiling his bare-all autobiography on 30 years of his professional experience, senior Kerala IPS officer Jacob Thomas today said he paid the price for fighting corruption, but has no regrets. The book “Sravukalkkoppam Neenthumbol” (While Swimming along with Sharks) will be released by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tomorrow at the Press Club here. Kerala former Vigilance Director Thomas said the book is about his life. “I have written my life experiences, which are my own. No one can tell it as accurately what I have experienced’, the officer told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Protest against fee hike in Panjab University turns violent, 52 students arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>52 students were arrested after a protest against fee hike turned violent at the Panjab University campus in Chandigarh on Tuesday as the agitators clashed with police, forcing the latter to use force, resulting in injuries to both sides. Some mediapersons were also injured during the protest.After registering a case of rioting and damage to public property against the protesting students, police have arrested 52 students out of the 66 identified by the university authorities, police said. The agitating students wanted to hold talks with Vice Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover on the fee hike issue as they were observing “PU Bandh” against the recent hike.When the students were not called for discussion, they tried to forcibly enter the VC office in the varsity campus by jumping the barricades set up by police. Police resorted to water cannons to disperse the angry students. The situation turned violent when students allegedly started pelting stones and flower pots at cops, forcing the police to lathi charge and lob tear gas shells, leading to injuries to several students including girls.Several student bodies including Students for Society (SFS), National Students Union of India (NSUI), Punjab University Students Union (PUSU) had given a joint call for ‘Panjab University Bandh’ in protest against the fee hike. “We resorted to use force after students turned violent,” UT Chandigarh SP Eish Singhal said, adding that some police vehicles were also damaged. “On our side 22 cops sustained injuries,” SP said. “We have arrested 52 students so far for rioting and damaging public property,” he said.After police used force, some protesting students took shelter in a Gurdwara situated on the campus. Earlier, the protesting students boycotted classes. Some students could also be seen forcing the shops to close. Some photo journalists and reporters who were covering the protest have also sustained injuries allegedly caused by police cane charge.Chandigarh Press Club strongly condemned the alleged lathi charge by the police on photographers and journalists.In a release issued here, the Press Club’s president Jaswant Rana and Secretary General Barinder Singh Rawat along with the governing council members demanded inquiry into the incident and registration of FIR against those police personal who were involved in lathi charge.A delegation of the Chandigarh Press Club will meet the UT Administrator, UT Adviser and UT IGP in this regard to take strict action against those involved in this incident, the release said. The students have been protesting against the “significant” hike in tuition fee announced by the PU senate last month for the 2017-18 academic year.In some courses, the fee hike was steep. In the B Pharma course, the fee was raised from Rs 5,080 to Rs 50,000 and in MA (journalism) course, the fee was hiked from Rs 5290 to Rs 30,000. For PU’s dental course, the fees was increased from Rs 86,400 to Rs 1.50 lakh.With the students demanding rollback of the fee hike, the PU had justified the average 12.5 per cent hike while considering the financial condition of the university as the it has anticipated a deficit of Rs 244 crore for the financial year 2017-18.

HP Governor launches campaign against drug addiction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that drugs distort society and lead to heinous crimes, Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat today called for an “all out war” against the menace in the state. Inaugurating the campaign against drug addiction organised by Shimla Press Club here, he said the state should be made “drug free” as it was ruinous for people, especially for youth and society at large. The Governor said drug trade had increased fivefold in states like Manipur, Mizoram and Punjab during past one year as assessed from the seizures made by the investigation agencies and the quantity of drugs which escaped the lenses of investigating agencies was much more. He said drugs not only affected the physical and mental health of the addict but also incapacitated them, led to an increase in crime and called upon the media to aggressively participate in the campaigns against drug abuse to eradicate the “social evil”. He said the use of intoxicants not only negatively impacted the wellbeing of the individuals, but also distorted society and led to heinous crime, poor health, poor performance in education. Devvrat said a mass campaign against drug abuse was the need of the hour. The Governor announced rupees grant of Rs one lakh to the Press Club Shimla for organising the campaign against drugs.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ladakh digitally cut off due to OFC failure near Zojila

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The breakdown in the network of BSNL and Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) line from Srinagar to Leh has left the locals and mediapersons in particular despondent. Ladakh has been digitally cut off from January 25 due to heavy snowfall around Zojila leading to OFC failure near Shaitan Nalah. As per reports, there is four to five feet snowfall around Drass sector, thus this region has been cut off from Kargil and BSNL team due to constant snowfall couldn?t reach Drass to check the fault. Interacting with Press Club Leh members yesterday, BSNL TDM Phunchok Dorjay said that Army at Sonamarg detected the fault somewhere near Shiatian Nalah but BNSL team from Kargil couldn?t reach Drass to detect the fault. ?If there is a technical fault, it can be restored within two to three days. But if there is a major damage to cables then the services can be restored only when the road is clear,? Dorjay said, adding Broadband, Wimax, WLL, Army telecommunication, Mobile and ISD/STD services are affected at the present. A delegation of the Press Club Leh met Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) Sonam Dawa to apprise him about the problems faced by the media fraternity in updating daily news.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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