Las Vegas F1 Grand Prix- Countdown Starts!

The wait is almost over after so many months of wondering what it will look like to see the world’s best racing cars here on the busy Las Vegas Strip.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix is a planned Formula One Grand Prix due to form part of the 2023 Formula One World Championship, with the event taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States, on a temporary street circuit including the Las Vegas Strip.

It seems to be a big, impossible challenge, revamping one of the most well-known streets in the world the Las Vegas Strip, into a racing circuit. But the inaugural Formula 1 Heineken Silver Vegas Grand Prix, set for Nov.16 to 18th, is hustling to do just that in a $560 million civil-planning and engineering feat underway before the track goes hot within a few hours.

Las Vegas F1 Grand Prix Countdown StartsThe F1 World Championships season consists of a series of races, known as the Grand Prix, held usually on purpose-built-in circuits and, in a few cases, on closed city streets.But it is going live in the busy streets of Las Vegas, with enough modifications and protections erected in the brightly lighted streets inside the city itself.

Have you ever heard names like Michele Alboreto, John Watson, Eddie Cheever, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg,  Derek Daly, Marc Surer, Andrea de Cesaris, Niki Lauda, Derek Warwick, Elio de Angelis, Mario Andretti; they are all legends in the grand prix car racing challenges.

Of course, you might have heard of Lewis Hamilton, who holds the record for the most race wins in Formula One history, with 103 wins to date. Michael Schumacher, the previous record holder, is second with 91 wins, and Sebastian Vettelis, third with 53 victories.

You might wonder about the prize money for the winner of the F1 race.To put this in perspective, Mercedes’ win as ‘constructors’ champion in 2020 saw them take home $135 million, while Aston Martin – known as Racing Point at the time – took home $60 million for finishing last, which, as you can see was less than half of Mercedes’ winnings.

F1 is returning to Las Vegas for the first time since the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, with an all-new circuit twisting through some of the city’s most famous landmarks set to provide thrilling scenes under the lights.

The new Las Vegas Grand Prix has strong support from the state and local government and will be held at night on a course awash in neon lights and before a crowd of up to 100,000 each day of the weekend. Pook estimates that 20,000 to 25,000 people attended the inaugural Caesars Palace Grand Prix for comparison’s sake.

Tickets were priced at roughly $2,000 a year ago for the Las Vegas race. Prices for practice on Thursday and qualifying races on Friday have also dropped dramatically. The current  price dropped about 50% from $385 to $180 for Thursday and on Friday.

Vegas track has 17 corners, is one of the three longest in Formula One, and has one of the lengthiest straights: nearly 1.2 miles along Las Vegas Boulevard, aka the Strip. Drivers are expected to reach a top speed of 212 mph, running around in 50 laps. But those are just specs. What makes it unique is the location, The Las Vegas Strip.

The CEO of F1’s parent company issued a public apology to Las Vegas for the many challenges its residents have tolerated and endured on the road to bringing the Las Vegas Grand Prix to the city by this weekend. There will be 105,000 people, so the sheer scale of it, even for Las Vegas, will be the most significant event Las Vegas will have, said Greg Maffei.

And that is not just the race crowd itself, as thousands are expected to visit Las Vegas next week to be a part of the race experience, even if they don’t have tickets to the event.

Just after the event, these roads will have to be repainted for normal traffic patterns.Thousands of temporary lights will have to be dismantled. A three-story huge grandstand across from the Bellagio fountain will be dismantled as well.

(Dr. Mathew Joys, is an accredited journalist and columnist contributing to English and Malayalam media. He is the GIC Global Media Chair and Director of Indo American Press Club.)

Director Siddique’s Legacy Left Behind Will Enrich the World of Cinema: GIC Red Carpet

Global Indian Council’s Center of Excellence Media & Visual (Red-carpet) organized a condolence Zoom meeting on August 11, 2023, at 9:00 PM Eastern Time to commemorate the demise of Director Siddique Ismail. RED CARPET is one of the GIC’s Centers of Excellence with a vision to promote GIC and Indian Diaspora through visual arts, especially film production etc.
The meeting was presided by Red Carpet CoE Chairman Tom George Kolath from the New York Chapter, and the program was coordinated by Mrs. Preethy Pynadath from the Austin Chapter of GIC.
GIC Global General Secretary Sudhir Nambiar welcomed the audience and expressed his condolences on behalf of GIC. Siddique’s creations will last for a long and the film lovers will not forget him and will live through their minds.
PC Mathew stated that “Siddique’s talents as a director, story writer, and producer and more over his great personality influenced many film lovers and his friends. His skill in giving life to the characters gained through his real-life experience is amazing. His films displayed the world the “truth of life” mixed with thoughtful humor and made it unforgettable.”
On behalf of the Global Indian Council Center of Excellence, Cinema & Visual media “Red-carpet,” Chairman Tom George Kolath had a brief outline about Director Siddique and shared his experience acting in his movie ”Fingerprint”. Since movies are the fastest technical media of the century, we can relate ourselves to many stories, and many arts of cinema influence our lives too.
The special guests were T.R. Ajayan, Swaralaya Festival Chairman, and Kirali TV Director, Actor, Director, and writer Madhupal. Asianet Executive Editor Anil Adoor and Director of Photography Jithu Damodhar delivered condolence speeches.
 T. R Ajayan, Chairman of Swaralaya Festivals and Kairali TV director shared a detailed briefing of Dir Siddique’s films and focused on no matter what we all are, somehow we are connected to art and culture. He appreciated GIC giving importance to art, culture, and visual media.
Madhupal, a very known actor, award-winning director, writer, and Chairman of the Kerala state cultural activities and welfare fund board, was kind enough to join our Zoom meeting.
Anil Adoor, Associate Editor of Asianet Television, mentioned Dir. Sidique is known him for over 20 years, is a good friend, and has much respect for an organization that celebrates the legacy of a popular filmmaker from the other part of the world.
Jithu Damodar, a cameraman man of Dr. Siddique spent with him the past five years. While sharing his testimony, he was speechless and mentioned he is indebted to Siddique sir; his thoughts will always be with him.
Sunil Hali (the chief editor of Radio Zindagi and publisher of The Indian Eye, best of all our cousin of Our favorite actor Anupam Kher) said losing the director of Bodyguard is a big loss. Creative people create footprints in our hearts.
 Dr. Anil Paulose, NY chapter President, says doctors treat people with their expertise and but filmmakers heal people by entertaining them.
 Tirlok Malik, one of the executive members of Redcarpet, a very talented filmmaker who worked with the nationally award-winning movie Ambadker, My dear kuttychathan, shared his thoughts on Dir. Siddique.
 Dr. Sheetal Desai shared her condolences. He will never die and will remain in our hearts.1Dr. Mathew Eapen, Chair of COE health and wellness, said, never seen such a human person. He was privileged to receive the Asianet Healthcare award from Dir. Siddique.
GIC Global President PC Mathew and GIC Brand Ambassador Retd DGP Mrs. Jija Madhavan Hari Singh conveyed their condolences messages and remembered his great work and movies.
Film Director Siddique’s Condolence Resolution Prepared by the Global Goodwill Ambassador Jija Madhavan Hari Singh IPS (Rtd. DGP of Karnataka State, India) was read in the meeting in addition to her eloquent speech.
The resolution states that “Director Siddique’s recent passing has left a void that will be deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing him and experiencing his exceptional talents. Whether it was through his directorial brilliance, his innovative production ventures, or his captivating performances on screen, he demonstrated a rare and genuine passion for his craft. GIC remembers Siddique with gratitude for the legacy he has left behind, a legacy that will continue to enrich the world of cinema and touch the lives of countless individuals. “
GiIC Global Ambassadors KAMLESH Mehta (New York), Santy Mathew ( Kerala), and Adv.Seema Balasubramaniam (Australia) also joined in the meeting to express their condolences for the great film Director Siddique.
RED-CARPET Co-chairs Komal Khatri and Sunil Hali, and Sherry Yohannan, Prof. KP Mathew, Preethy Pynadath, Sanu Zack, Sunith John expressed their condolences. A creative person like Dir. Siddique will be remembered for his works and stay in our hearts.
The Cabinet Members Prof.Joy Pallattumadom (Vice President). Yamini Rajesh and Media Chair Dr. Mathew Joys, Dr. Saji Thomas, Dr. Eapen Jacob, Joy Parikkapally (Mary Land), Elizabeth, Saju Thomas (Ontario), Lagi Thomas, Jaisy George (Dallas Chapter President) Anila, Monu Thomas, Jacob Abraham were also present and expressed their condolences. sanity Mathew ( Kerala), and Adv.Seema Balasubramaniam (Australia).
 At the end of the meeting, everyone cherished all the beautiful thoughts of Dir. Siddique and Emcee Preethy extended their gratitude to the GIC executive board and Red Carpet, mentioning that Artists never die; they live thru their talented works.
Global Treasurer Dr.Tara Shajan. passing her respect and condolences with a heavy heart, mentioned that no other films made her so happy than late Siddique, With  her vote of thanks, the meeting was concluded.

Does India Need Uniform Civil Code?

The Indian Government is exploring the possibility of implementing a Uniform Civil Code. Religions and Communities should educate themselves on why personal law needs reform. We must modernize, democratize, and strengthen our institutions to make this transformation. People think that India needs the Uniform Civil Code to bring together its many different cultures. India runs by personal rules that don’t come from any religion at the moment.

“Uniform Civil Code is defined in the Constitution of India under Article 44 of the Directive Principles of the State Policy. According to Article 44 of the Constitution, the government must make every effort to provide UCCs for its residents across India.”

There is a fear that if a uniform Civil Code is enacted, it will erode the identity of every community, and they will be forced to adopt uniformity for the solemnization of marriage for the burial of the dead, and all kinds of things, which is total without basis because the object of uniform civil law is not to dictate you what customs and rituals you want to have. It is only about unity about the uniformity of justice.

The beauty of Indian democracy is the worst diversity in terms of culture cast and religion that it has it. Practical difficulties – India is a country with diversity in religion, ethnicity, castes, etc. Hence it is practically not feasible to come up with uniform rules for personal issues like marriage due to the cultural diversity. It is also difficult to convince every community to replace their age-old rules and traditions.

If we talk about freedom struggles or wars with Pakistan, the freedom fighters and our defense forces contributed to defending our land without caring about their religion. Indians are citizens and not people belonging to different communities. The Prime Minister has given a vision of “Amrit Kaal” and as citizen we have to work towards the realization of this goal. Abolition of racism, offering equal opportunities for higher education, supporting minority children in their education, and providing loans for minorities are some of the landmark decisions of the Narendra Modi government. When India is moving ahead to become a global superpower, Western powers with vested interests are putting all offers to defame India, and Indians have no union.

The collective effort to implement a uniform civil code would benefit the nation and humanity. It is natural if a man marries a woman, but if someone goes for four marriages, that is unnatural. Therefore, it is not against any religion but the collective decision that would benefit humanity. It was among the central promises of the BJP to form a committee for the implementation of the UCC.

According to reports, a meeting was held between Union Minister Amit Shah, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, and Solicitor General. Earlier, the Center had left the matter to the Law Commission. The Supreme Court had earlier also clarified that the issue falls within the purview of the legislatures. It is crucial that such a move comes at a time when elections are near.

Earlier for 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP promised to implement the Uniform Civil Code. The BJP is hinting that the legislation will be enacted with only a year to go before the next Lok Sabha elections.

Almost all laws in India (Criminal, Civil, Contract, Motor Vehicle Act etc.) are the same for any religion. But personal rules differ from religion to religion. There is also a change in religion and laws. A change from this is intended by the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code.

That is laws regarding marriage, divorce, property rights, alimony, wills, adoption, etc., differ from religion to religion. For example, according to Islamic law, a person can have up to 4 marriages. But according to Hindu law, a person can legally marry only once. New Delhi: The Center is exploring the possibility of implementing the Uniform Civil Code. According to reports, a meeting was held between Union Minister Amit Shah, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, and Solicitor General.

Earlier, the Center had left the matter to the Law Commission. Earlier, the Supreme Court had also clarified that the issue falls within the purview of the legislature. At this time, introducing UCC would only make things worse as it would make Muslims more insecure and vulnerable to being attracted towards fundamentalist and extremist ideologies. People worry that the UCC will remove their freedom of religion: Many people, especially religious minorities, think the Uniform Civil Code takes away their right to religious liberty. They fear a universal code of conduct because it would override their traditions and replace them with rules set by the majority religious group.

It is crucial that such a move comes at a time when elections are near. The plural democracy is an identity of modern India. Hence initiatives should be concentrated on bringing harmony in plurality, rather than blanket uniformity for flourishing Indian democracy.

A little progress each day, adds up big results. There are only two options: try to make progress or make excuses!

VRIKA THEO, A Novel By Prof. K.P. Mathew

Have you ever heard about Jews eat their own children? Yes it is mentioned in the Bible at Second King 6:24-30 that presents an astonishing narrative wherein two Israelite mothers agree to eat their children. The city of Samaria is under siege, and food is scarce, but this hardly lessens the shock of the mothers’ cannibalism.

This suspense thriller takes the reader through so many similar secrets, traveling through the Holy Land; and breaks even the DaVinci Code suspenses.

Picture : TheUNN

The novel begins with Rocky Rex from California joining as a researcher in Zion Archeological Center for Scroll Studies (Zacss), Tiberias in Israel. Rocky is assigned to research the scroll with Melka Kohan, the Senior Technical Assistant—the opportunity to conduct expeditions under Simeyon Yakin, the Director, a world-renowned researcher. The journeys started when a Bedouin shepherd recovered some scrolls from Qumran caves in 1947. More than 50000 scrolls dating back 2000 years were recovered from 11 caves in Qumran.

Rocky and Melka undertake the task of exploring new scrolls and to study about the wise men who went to give gifts to infant Jesus. Rocky falls in love with Melka, a Jewess. Melts parents had migrated from Poland during the Nazi persecution of Jews in the second world war. On their off days, Rocky’s trips with Melka became like a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

After a large number of setbacks, they obtain hints about the researcher who has studied wise men. During their visit with the researcher, they are taken as hostages by the Al-Qassame battalion at Ramalla. They are taken to the  gallows. The timely military camando operation by Israel saves their life. They do not retreat. They meet numerous tragedies in the Judea desert on the expedition to the cave.

At last, they find out the cave and discover and collect the scrolls written two-millennium pass by Hjuvalos, a Greek scholar. The scroll depicts his adventurous journey in search of infant Jesus. It is the only scroll discovered about Jesus; they realized that it could be abducted and that their lives be in danger. Yakin began the arduous task of retrieving the writings from the decaying scroll in great secrecy. Rocky and Melka give all their help to Yakin.

Hjuvalos started his journey from Athens according to his master’s wish. He reaches Korinthto say goodbye to his family. He fell in love with a dancer, Zenobia, as the festival in the temple was going on there. He had forgotten the mission, and years passed. At the Agora, he saw the wise men who returned after presenting gifts to infant Jesus. He feels guilty. He leaves his lover and sets sail to meet Jesus. Passing Ephesus and Miletus, the ship broke down. At Coos Island, he is caught by cannibals. Escaped from there continued the journey. Reached Galilee via, Patara, Myra, Paphos, and Cyprus is. His long travel experience is a direct reflection of that era.

In Galilee, Hjuvalos becomes a member of the court of scholars with his philosophical insight. His goal was to look for the prince, who he thought was the child of Jesus.

Scanning the scrolls, editing them, and recovering the inscriptions was very trying. Participating in Jewish religious ceremonies at Melka’s house gave him a new insight into their culture and traditions. Attempts to steal the scrolls from Zacss made them panic. How many times did they think all was lost? They secretly shifted the scroll research to the distant farmhouse of Jewish film producer Perus They followed their mission.

At Galilee, Hjuvalos was suspected as the spy of the neighboring state. He was deployed with the enslaved people for the construction of the fortress of Tiberias. After a decade of work, he became limp in an accident. He was abandoned on the street. He begged there. One chief among the Qumran community accidentally met him. He took care of him.  Impressed by his philosophy, wisdom and linguistic skill, Hjuvalos was taken with them to Qumran to translate the old testament into Greek. Once, Hjuvalos visited Jerusalem with the Qumran leaders to buy materials.

His description of taking part in the prayers in the Jerusalem temple is a nostalgic recollection of before it being destroyed. Hjuvalos had been once again with the group that had gone to Jerusalem. He was surprised to see his erstwhile lover Zenobia. They shared their past. She had fled to Galilee to find the prince even before he could. She became a court dancer. She became a prostitute. Eventually, she came across Jesus. She became his disciple with Martha and Maria. She took him home from Lazar and talked to him. He thought about the pledge to join the Qumran community that would be excusable. He returned to Qumran.

Due to the unsurpassable struggle of the mind, he decided to go out in search of Jesus. He rushed to meet Zenobia. The news from her shocked him and filled him with grief. Jesus was taken to Golgotha to be crucified. When he got there, Jesus was on the cross between two people on the crosses. Pushing aside the soldiers in a rush, he stepped forward and bowed with both hands at Jesus’s feet.

Pushed by the soldiers, he falls away. Jesus sees it. They see each other. He gets up. His lameness is healed. He has pushed away. Then Jesus said it is fulfilled. He felt guilty that he could not see Jesus earlier. Worried and retreating, a monk took him to his abode in the cave. Meanwhile, Yakin is killed before he completes the retrieving of the scroll. The scrolls were stolen. Rocky and Melka were interrogated as culprits by the police, but finally, Ruben Perus is caught. And attempt to destroy the only scroll about Jesus.

Rocky and Melka very adventurously find the lost scroll hidden in a cave in a farmhouse under police supervision. They get the last part of the Hjuvalos’ writing in the scroll. One day Jesus appeared to Hjuvalos who was meditating in the cave. “ You are searching for me. Be my witness”. Jesus said and disappeared.

To be a witness to Jesus, Hjuvalos has written the scroll about his journey in search of infant Jesus started from Athens, and finally, he saw Jesus on the cross and his appearance to him. That’s what Rocky and Melka found as the gospel of Hjuvalos, which ought to be the first gospel of the Bible. There are hints about what Jesus had revealed to him about future events and hid in another cave.

Melka also joins Rocky on his way back to California to get married there. They determined to return to Qumran and find the prophecy scroll given by Jesus.

The readers are kept in the ecstasy of suspense, thrill, and the glory of a nostalgic era and places. It is a pilgrimage through the Christian and Judaic religions, culture present, and first-century Holyland. The way of exploring the mysteries is marvelous. The manipulation of suspense and the exposure of the vast treasure of knowledge of the holy land in all its diversity makes the novel more attractive; and worth reading!

Cleopatra Comes To India

Not everyone thinks Cleopatra was so beautiful, But that’s how Julius Caesar said.

Cleopatra’s name is still remembered amongst so many other crucial things. Now BJP leader and former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said that soap made from donkey milk would enhance the beauty of women. Menaka’s remarks were made in a speech delivered in Baldira, Uttar Pradesh.

Picture : News18

About 46 years ago, I read the masterpiece of the English drama, one of Shakespeare’s most tragic and love stories, Antony and Cleopatra. Truly, I could understand only less than fifty percent of its conversations. I understood much of Cleopatra’s wielding immense political power through her sexuality. I understood the rest of the story later watching the movie Cleopatra. This epic saga of romance, greed and betrayal was starred by Elizabeth Taylor, as the seductive Egyptian Queen who was determined to cling on to the throne, and seduce the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison). When Caesar was murdered, Cleopatra turned her affinity to his general Mark Antony (Richard Burton) immediately.

Cleopatra used to bathe in donkey’s milk, says Menaka in a speech that has gone viral on social media. Soap made from donkey’s milk costs Rs 500 in Delhi. Menaka asked why we didn’t start making donkey and goat milk soap. So let us think about the Queen of Denial with Menakaji.

Cleopatra was throned at the age of 17, and she died after 22 years. She spoke nine languages. She also knew to read Egypt’s hieroglyphics and unique writing in Egypt. She also knew Greek and most of the languages ​​in the Mediterranean region, including Hebrews and Arabs.

With this vast knowledge, the world encyclopedia was open wide to her.

Apart from languages, she mastered alchemy, medicine, zoology, economics, geography, history, astronomy, international diplomacy, mathematics, and many other disciplines to access all the knowledge of her time up to date. Not that much alone.

Cleopatra spent much of her time in a special type of ancient laboratory. She wrote some findings related to herbs and beauty products. Unfortunately, all her books were destroyed in the fire of the great Library of Alexandria in 391 AD. The famous physicist Galen really had a chance to study her research work and could transcribe many of the recipes devised by Cleopatra. A special cream that could help bald men re-grow their hair was a notable one. Galen also recommended remedies that included beauty tips, but none came to the open world.

The queen of Egypt was a genius who was also interested in herbal healing. Thanks to her knowledge of languages, she had access to numerous papyri that are lost today. Her influence on the sciences and medicine was well-known in the early centuries of Christianity. It is believed that Cleopatra killed herself by allowing an Egyptian Cobra to bite her. Still, for the Roman-era writers Strabo, Plutarch, and Cassius Dio affirmed that Cleopatra poisoned herself using either a toxic ointment or by introducing the poison with a sharp implement such as a needle.

Cleopatra’s death has evoked themes of eroticism and sexuality in works that include paintings, plays, and films, especially from the Victorian era. Modern works depicting Cleopatra’s death include Orientalist painting, Neoclassical sculpture and cinema. Wax statue of Cleopatra on display at Tussaud’s London Wax Museum is a popular attraction.

And now Menakaji at least remembered the beauty Queen Cleopatra when she remembered donkey’s milk, nothing political! I still don’t know whether Cleopatra bathed in donkey’s milk, but surely, that name will fetch good market if a soap comes out with that ingredient.

Though so much funny stories roam around, without a doubt, Cleopatra is a unique figure in the history of humanity. Thanks Menakaji for reminding the legend and beauty Queen Cleopatra to live in Indian History in the future soap days.

Global Indian Council Announces New India-Based Chapter

Global Indian Council, incorporated in the State of Texas as a nonprofit, nonreligious, and nonpolitical organization, giving equal opportunity to people, has been formed with the objective of giving back to the community to connect, support, promote, and empower youth, students, and professionals worldwide in ventures that would benefit the society at large.

Atlanta Consul General Dr. Swathi Kulkarni kick-started the organization, and the officials were sworn in by Hon. Former Ambassador Pradeep Kapoor, who was well inspired by its vision and mission.

“It deserves special mention that GIC continues its long journey with solid footprints across the seas with Chapters established in prominent cities in the United States, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, the UK, and India, and many are in the process of launching,” said Dr. Jija Madhavan Hari Singh, the Goodwill Ambassador of the organization.

Global Indian Council’s Global President, Mr. PC Mathew, announced the names of the office bearers presented by the Global General Secretary Sudhir Nambiar in the Global Cabinet held on March 12, 2023, and congratulated the new office bearers for their passion for serving the community. He also thanked the cabinet member Dr. Mathew Joys for taking the initiative for its formation and expressed his gratitude to the Brand Ambassador, Santy Mathew, for his tireless support.

GIC Northern Kerala Chapter based in Kozhikode will be led by prominent leaders and professionals:

 

  1. Prof. Varughese Mathew – President (Principal, St. Xavier’s College, GIC Founders & CoE Marginalized Community)
  2. Dr. Anoopkumar A S – Vice President, (ICU Baby Memorial Hospital), 3. Adv. T. K.RAJMOHAN.

IPS Retd – Secretary (Specialist at Community Participatory Road Safety Program (CPRSP),

  1. Attakkoya Pallikandy -Associate Secretary (IndoArab confederation Council.& Global NRI Meet at Goa).
  2. Prof. P Reshma – Treasurer (Associate Professor, Sociology), 6. Dr. Ms.Rathi Thampatty – Associate Treasurer)

(Former Principal, Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan College), 7. Adv. P.S. Sree Hari – CoE Member ( Pravasi & OCI Legal),

  1. Dr. Jaykish Jairaj – National Council (P V S Hospitals), and 9. Adv. Abdul Jaleel Onath – State Council

(MD JSR legal solutions, Leading Legal group/ HC)

Global Vice President Prof. Joy Pallattumadom, Treasurer Dr. Tara Sajan, Assoc. Treasurer Tom Kolath, Associate Secretary Adv. Yamini, Compliance Officer Adv. Susan Mathew, Public Relations Officer Adv. Seema Balasubramanian, Chairs and Co-Chairs of the Center of Excellence, congratulated the Chapter Office Bearers; and offered all support to the projects and plans envisaged by the Chapter in due course.

Love Is Life, Hatred Is Death

“Strength is Life; Weakness is Death.

Expansion is Life; Contraction is Death.

Love is Life; Hatred is Death”.

Any idea who said these famous words in 1893?

If not, the following narration of an incident will reveal the inspiration that molded a legend in an Indian village about 160 years ago; and kindled Indian religious and cultural concepts worldwide.

Imagine a classroom or may be kids sitting around a teacher under a banyan tree.

In that class, the teacher asked the children.

“Children, what do you want to be when you grow up?” One bright boy said: Teacher

Another: Doctor

So big jobs were said, one by one..

The teacher approached the last child and sat on the other end.

“Who do you want to be, kid?”

Boy: “I want to be a horseman.”

Teacher: “What..? Just a horseman? Aren’t you ashamed, kid. Bad! Bad!”

All that day, the boy was teased by all the children, and he was humiliated. He came home in the evening, sadly.

His mother was standing at the door waiting for him as usual.

Seeing her son’s face withered, the mother asked, “What’s the matter with you, Unni?”

Child: Teacher scolded me… All the children made fun of me…

Mother: Why?

Boy: “When the teacher asked me who I wanted to be, I said I wanted to be a horse-drawn carriage driver”.

The mother laughed and hugged her son and said, “Why my son should be a horse and carriage driver… but what kind of horse and carriage driver should he be?

Mother: Son come on, let me show you something to remember.”

The mother took her son to the pooja room and opened the door to a large picture. She pointed to the image of the horse carriage.

“Look at the Geeta Upadesam picture. There is a chariot on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Arjuna as a passenger is seated at the back. The chariot is driven by a charioteer (driver), Lord Krishna. He is holding the reins”.

His mother said, “Unni, you should become a horse carriage driver like this and lead the whole world; that is what mother wants.”

Mother’s words flowed through the child’s body like a thousand watts of electricity. The child’s sadness and humiliation suddenly changed to extreme joy.¦.

Who was that intelligent mother who changed her son’s thinking with a single word?

Goddess Bhuvaneshwari!

Who was that boy? Narendra !! Yes, our very own great- SWAMI VIVEKANANDA.

International Anti- Corruption Day: Stop Corruption!

Have you ever heard about the surprising Corruption Perception Index (CPI)?  In 1995 Transparency International developed CPI to measure Corruption across sectors and practices in various countries and rank them comparatively. The index now collects data from 180 countries. Organizations like the World Bank also capture corruption data through their Worldwide Governance Indicators. 

 

Corruption is spreading everywhere where the easy money is involved, whether in politics, education, public works, transportation, the medical system, or even getting a basic driving license or a shop permit.

 

Corruption is a significant impediment to peace, security, and development. From education to the environment, from business to sports, from gender equality to access to your rights, justice, and more – Corruption undermines all areas of society’s development. 

 

Corruption has existed in history from time immemorial. Some of the earliest writings on anti-corruption measures are in the Code of Hammurabi of Babylonia, the Great Edict of Horemheb in Egypt, and Arthashastra in India. These texts spoke about bribery practices among officers of the state and law. 

 

“Corruption is cancer, cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity.” — Joe Biden said few years back at the same time, he was the vice president of the USA.

 

Globally, Corruption saps economic growth, hinders development, destabilizes governments, undermines democracy, and provides openings for dangerous groups such as criminals, traffickers, and terrorists. 

 

Decades ago Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s first  governor- general warned  “One of the biggest curses from which India is suffering – I do not say that other countries are free from it, but I think our condition is much worse – is bribery and corruption. That is poison”.

 

Corruption significantly impacts poor people, as it directly increases costs and eats up the tax the citizen pays. For example, Corruption in the wholesale purchase of drugs and medical equipment now pushes prices up and can lead to sub-standard or harmful medicines. The greedy corrupting officials help the introduction of counterfeit drugs and vaccinations with health hazards, and the life-long impacts on children far exceed the financial costs. 

 

In 2003, the world came together to adopt a landmark agreement named the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Since then, 188 parties have committed to the Convention’s anti-corruption obligations, showing near-universal recognition of the importance of good governance, accountability, and political commitment. 

 

The world today faces some of its most significant challenges in many generations – challenges threatening prosperity and stability for people across the globe. When the U.N. Convention Against Corruption was adopted by the General Assembly in 2003, it decided to observe a special day against Corruption. 

 

International Anti-Corruption Day is celebrated every year on December 9th, which goes much unnoticed. 

 

The 2022 International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) highlights the crucial link between anti-corruption and peace, security, and development. At its core is the notion that tackling this crime is the right and responsibility of everyone and that only through cooperation and the involvement of every person and institution can we overcome the negative impact of this crime. States, government officials, civil servants, law enforcement officers, media representatives, the private sector, civil society, academia, the public, and youth alike all have a role to play in this. 

 

The 2022 IACD also marks the start of our efforts to keep the twentieth anniversary of UNCAC. This is reflected by the theme of this year’s international day, “UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption”. Over the next year, culminating with IACD 2023, together with partners worldwide, we will be reflecting on a world made better. Thanks to the collective push afforded by the Convention and what gaps remain to ensure this is a robust mechanism for the years ahead. The U.N. has launched a unique campaign on Corruption in the last two years with the theme ‘Recover with Integrity.’

 

In the USA, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) advocate for timely changes and demands accountability for those corrupt actors. It also promotes accountable regulations to prevent and combat crime by leading U.S. government engagement. 

 

As a result, several anti-corruption initiatives, including the fight against foreign bribery, promote and regulate U.S. firms doing business overseas. There are measures advancing transparency and accountability in public financial management.

 

India is really in the grip of Corruption everywhere, and we are victims of that malpractice. We need to expose corrupt officials, politicians, and anyone who demands bribes for any service, one by one.

 

Integrity, transparency, and the fight against Corruption must be part of the culture. These ingredients have to be taught as fundamental values at the school levels. We have created bribery and Corruption, but now we need to eradicate the social evil that is spreading like cancer.

 

That is why an organization like Global Indian Council, Inc considers Corruption a crucial issue at all levels and moves forward with a responsible action plan for a ‘Campaign against Corruption in the days ahead.

Corruption is cancer, remove it- or it will kill you and the system that stabilizes society and democracy!

Disability Is Not A Barrier To Success In Life 

What we call differently-abled people are people with different abilities, which cannot be denied.

“The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. The Day observance aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains derived from integrating persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life. 

The main program of the observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at the UN Headquarters in New York will include the Opening, panel discussions, and cultural events. Member States, civil society organizations, and the private sector are welcome to organize their events to celebrate International Day to raise awareness and promote the rights and perspectives of persons with disabilities worldwide”. (UN Department if Economic and Social Affairs)

Many disabled persons endorse that the biggest inspiration in their success, is Lipin Raj, who got into the civil service despite his visual impairment. The author as a disabled person, turned himself as an inspiration to many, but never compromises his attempts with a sense of inability!

Many people around us put aside the handicaps of life and put success into their own hands. Alix Louise Savage is an Australian Paralympic wheelchair racer and leading coach. Sauvage is considered Australia’s most famous disabled sportswoman. He won nine golds and four silvers in four Paralympic Games and eleven golds and two silvers in three IPC Athletics World Championships. And has won four Boston Marathons. He also achieved world records in 1500m, 5000m, 4x100m, and 4x400m relays. 

She was the Australian Female Athlete of the Year in 1999 and the International Female Wheelchair Athlete of the Year in 1999 and 2000. In 2002, her autobiography Louise Sauvage “My Story” was published. Many world-renowned people have come forward with the message that disability is not a barrier to success in life. Beethoven, a world-renowned pianist, born in Germany, was hard of hearing. American writer Helen Keller was visually challenged. 

Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and others are also great people who have overcome crises. Indian woman Arunima Sinha overcame physical challenges to become one of the world’s best mountaineers. They have conquered many peaks in the world, including Mount Everest. Ira Singhal, who topped the civil service examination in 2014, and Shekhar Naik, who led the Indian blind cricket team to victory in the Twenty20 match in 2012, have also fought tirelessly in the face of adversity. 

December is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The United Nations decided to celebrate this day to end the inequality and discrimination faced by people with disabilities in social life. 

In 1975, the United Nations made the Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Later 1982 was celebrated as the year of the differently abled. Then the period from 1983-92 was also observed as a Decade of Persons with Disabilities. Finally, in 1992, it was decided to celebrate December 3rd every year as Diversity Day 

A sign of cultural superiority is the vision to embrace more diversity. When one imagines primitive man struggling for basic survival, such as food, shelter, and security, artistic growth may seem like a spectacle. But in modern times, when we communicate as a global village, cultural promotion becomes an integral part of social life. 

A diversity perspective is also an approach that goes beyond dichotomies such as black-white and male-female. It is essential to include people with disabilities in this holistic approach. According to the World Health Organization, around 100 million people worldwide have some form of disability. It is also basic etiquette to share the joy of the cultural world that humanity has built. 

The United Nations promotes enabling inclusive development by ensuring the participation of the differently abled in the mainstream of society. To this end, the United Nations takes the initiative and intervenes to bring about changes in legislation and policy approaches at the national level. The World Health Organization, a part of the UN, also plays an essential role in coordinating Disability Day celebrations. 

The celebration of this day also reminds the world every year of the importance of protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, they too have equal rights to live.

Freedom Of The Press – Just A Mirage!

In a democracy where the First Amendment protects freedom of the press, government accountability to the media is critical to the survival of democracy. It is generally accepted that an independent media acts as a watchdog that can investigate and report wrongdoings by the government.

Although virtually every state has a law protecting reporters from disclosing sensitive information about their reporting to law enforcement, including the identity of confidential sources, Congress and federal courts have refused to recognize such a privilege. So is freedom of the press just a mirage?

Journalists often rely on confidential sources to write reports dealing with issues of legitimate public importance.

Picture : Freedom House

State shield laws are legal protections that give journalists the privilege of not being compelled to disclose confidential or unpublished information. Some states have enacted shield laws to protect the source of a journalist’s report. The Press Clause of the First Amendment ensures that everyone is protected in their right to disseminate information to the public. By favoring corporate-structured news media, Washington’s law favors institutional media, over citizen-journalists.

Still in some cases, reporters have either gone to jail or been sentenced with substantial fines. In order to make ourselves aware that journalists are not above the law as we think these days, a current scary incident needs to be mentioned here.

Priscilla Villarreal, according to a report that appeared in the Houston Chronicle, was just a freelance blogger. Villarreal is a journalist whose main job is to share newsworthy information with the public. She published it on her Facebook page after she confirmed with a Laredo police officer, some public information about a border agent who had committed suicide.

For several years, Villarreal has been embroiled in a legal dispute that raises fundamental questions about the law protecting press freedom and whether journalists in Texas are protected by the First Amendment. Any law that could be used to arrest a journalist for informing the public, could become a shocking precedent.

Villarreal’s arrest has drawn national attention for the constitutional concerns it raises. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that the First Amendment protects the right to publish information obtained from government sources, even when the source of that information violates confidentiality.

The journalist was arrested and charged under Texas state law: Locking up a journalist for asking a question or threatening to “get out” is a misdemeanor. It would be good if citizen journalists knew that if the media workers are almost not protected, if they try to bring more courage and bring many things to light. If the government seizes the reporter and puts him in jail, there will be no legal loopholes to release, or strong media organizations to collectively respond. Freedom of the Press, if that makes any sense, it means freedom to criticize and oppose, that is the absolute  truth.

Be passionate about what you write and believe in your ability to convey timeless ideas. Governments that do not believe that freedom of speech belongs to every individual, governments that fear the writer’s words more than weapons, are suffocating and silencing journalists, and this will continue, while the media activists who have lost their responsiveness remain silent!

Chrislam – Will It Ever Be A Reality?

Have you heard about “Chrislam”? It is not a new concept or ideology. Years back while reading  Arthur C. Clarke’s  fantasy novel, “The Hammer of God”, which describes the crisis caused by the imminent collision of an asteroid with planet Earth, this word “Chrislam” appeared somewhere in it.

 Of course,  now, I understand that Chrislam is the movement that earned momentum, which is evident while reading an old article from EMIRATES NEWS: The world religious leaders today adopted the Human Fraternity Document signed by His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayyeb, and His Holiness Pope Francis of the Catholic Church, in Abu Dhabi in 2019.(NUR-SULTAN, 15th September 2022 (WAM).

The pope and the grand imam of al-Azhar have signed a historic declaration of fraternity, calling for peace between nations, religions and races, in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths.

Chrislam was derived as an attempt to syncretize Christianity with Islam. 

In the heartland of Islam that envelopes countries like Saudi ArabiaYemen, and Bahrain, frequent outbreaks of fanatic extremism create enough suffering for the Christian community. But amidst this turmoil, they are able to share the love of Christ in surprising ways.

Sometimes this hatred explodes beyond hostility to hidden interests or agendas or policies or even countries and becomes a rejection of Western civilization. Eventually, it questions the principles and values that it practices and professes. These are indeed seen as innately evil, and those who promote or accept them as the “enemies of God.”

Basically the Muslim and Christian views of their creator God has some similarities and resemblances. Christians believe in one eternal God Who created the universe. Muslims also believe these qualities to their Allah. Both view God as Omnipotent , all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present. 

Today, the descendants of Hagar, Ishmael, and Esau (Edom) are all Muslim nations (Islam). As we discussed, the “pure royal lineage” of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants, including Messiah, is Jewish (Israel). Again, although the nations are predominately Muslim, there are millions of Christian Arabs who love the Lord!

Religious leaders know very well that  Islam and Christianity cannot be reconciled, for the differences between the two religions are vast and the similarities are few.

Allah and Yahweh are different deities. Allah is unknowable and unapproachable; Yahweh is personal, knowable, and invites us to approach His throne of grace. Allah has never spoken directly to a human being; Yahweh has spoken to people throughout history and continues to do so today. Allah reveals his will but not himself; Yahweh reveals Himself in creation, conscience, the canon of Scripture, and Christ – the Word who became flesh. 

From a broader outlook the essential concept of Chrislam is that Christianity and Islam are interrelated and compatible. On the other hand it seems that anyone can be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time. Like Christianity or Islam Chrislam is not attributed as an actual religion of its own, but a diluting the differences and distinct views between Christians and Muslims.

Advocates of Chrislam points that Jesus is mentioned 25 times in the Qur’an. Christianity and Islam having similar teachings on morals and ethics. But the two largest monotheistic religions fight against each other gives the rise of atheism and other forms of spirituality. Chrislam is viewed as the solution for the ongoing conflict between the predominantly Christian Western world, and the Muslim dominated Middle East.

From the history, Chrislam refers to the assemblage of Islamic and Christian religious practices in Nigeria; in particular, the series of religious movements that merged Muslim and Christian religious practice during the 1970s in Lagos, Nigeria. The movement was pioneered by Yoruba peoples in south-west Nigeria.

The underlying religious concept of Chrislam is that “to be a Muslim or Christian alone is not enough to guarantee success in this world and the hereafter.” As a result, Chrislam combines both Muslim and Christian practices.

“Sources generally describe Chrislam as a new one-world syncretic religion, linking it to what is about to become its headquarters: the Abrahamic Family House, an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, whose main attractions will be a synagogue, a church, and a mosque, according to a concept by architect Sir David Adjaye. Construction is underway and is expected to be completed in 2022”.(ST.NETWORK). So at least the world has a monumental infrastructure to link with the concept of Chrislam!

Chrislam – Will It Ever Be A Reality?

Have you heard about “Chrislam”? It is not a new concept or ideology. Years back while reading  Arthur C. Clarke’s  fantasy novel, “The Hammer of God”, which describes the crisis caused by the imminent collision of an asteroid with planet Earth, this word “Chrislam” appeared somewhere in it.

Of course,  now, I understand that Chrislam is the movement that earned momentum, which is evident while reading an old article from EMIRATES NEWS: The world religious leaders today adopted the Human Fraternity Document signed by His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayyeb, and His Holiness Pope Francis of the Catholic Church, in Abu Dhabi in 2019.(NUR-SULTAN, 15th September 2022 (WAM).

The pope and the grand imam of al-Azhar have signed a historic declaration of fraternity, calling for peace between nations, religions and races, in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths.

Chrislam was derived as an attempt to syncretize Christianity with Islam.

In the heartland of Islam that envelopes countries like Saudi ArabiaYemen, and Bahrain, frequent outbreaks of fanatic extremism create enough suffering for the Christian community. But amidst this turmoil, they are able to share the love of Christ in surprising ways.

Sometimes this hatred explodes beyond hostility to hidden interests or agendas or policies or even countries and becomes a rejection of Western civilization. Eventually, it questions the principles and values that it practices and professes. These are indeed seen as innately evil, and those who promote or accept them as the “enemies of God.”

Basically the Muslim and Christian views of their creator God has some similarities and resemblances. Christians believe in one eternal God Who created the universe. Muslims also believe these qualities to their Allah. Both view God as Omnipotent , all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present.

Today, the descendants of Hagar, Ishmael, and Esau (Edom) are all Muslim nations (Islam). As we discussed, the “pure royal lineage” of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants, including Messiah, is Jewish (Israel). Again, although the nations are predominately Muslim, there are millions of Christian Arabs who love the Lord!

Religious leaders know very well that  Islam and Christianity cannot be reconciled, for the differences between the two religions are vast and the similarities are few.

Allah and Yahweh are different deities. Allah is unknowable and unapproachable; Yahweh is personal, knowable, and invites us to approach His throne of grace. Allah has never spoken directly to a human being; Yahweh has spoken to people throughout history and continues to do so today. Allah reveals his will but not himself; Yahweh reveals Himself in creation, conscience, the canon of Scripture, and Christ – the Word who became flesh.

From a broader outlook the essential concept of Chrislam is that Christianity and Islam are interrelated and compatible. On the other hand it seems that anyone can be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time. Like Christianity or Islam Chrislam is not attributed as an actual religion of its own, but a diluting the differences and distinct views between Christians and Muslims.

Advocates of Chrislam points that Jesus is mentioned 25 times in the Qur’an. Christianity and Islam having similar teachings on morals and ethics. But the two largest monotheistic religions fight against each other gives the rise of atheism and other forms of spirituality. Chrislam is viewed as the solution for the ongoing conflict between the predominantly Christian Western world, and the Muslim dominated Middle East.

From the history, Chrislam refers to the assemblage of Islamic and Christian religious practices in Nigeria; in particular, the series of religious movements that merged Muslim and Christian religious practice during the 1970s in Lagos, Nigeria. The movement was pioneered by Yoruba peoples in south-west Nigeria.

The underlying religious concept of Chrislam is that “to be a Muslim or Christian alone is not enough to guarantee success in this world and the hereafter.” As a result, Chrislam combines both Muslim and Christian practices.

“Sources generally describe Chrislam as a new one-world syncretic religion, linking it to what is about to become its headquarters: the Abrahamic Family House, an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, whose main attractions will be a synagogue, a church, and a mosque, according to a concept by architect Sir David Adjaye. Construction is underway and is expected to be completed in 2022”.(ST.NETWORK). So at least the world has a monumental infrastructure to link with the concept of Chrislam!

Digital Rape?

Digital Rape – is a new terminology for me, and somehow my subconscious mind led me to a misunderstanding. It has nothing to do with modern digital technology, except some correlation with the fingers that you use to text on your smartphones.

The term ‘Digital rape’ does not relate to any sexual offense committed digitally, like defaming someone’s identity on the Digital platforms. It refers to the act of forcibly inserting fingers or toes inside the other person’s private parts without their consent. The word digital rape is derived from the word ‘digit’, which also means a ‘finger including the thumb or toe’; hence digital rape is meaningful now.

Similarly, there is a term “Digital Rape” that people often misinterpret-able and wonder how someone can rape digitally.Not knowing the actual term, they often consider it digital abuse. Sometimes it is confused with defacing someone’s identity on the digital platform. People think sharing naked pictures, or video’s on a digital platform without the owner’s consent is called Digital Rape.

Digital Rape is a term used to classify cases of rape. In the case of digital rape, the perpetrator used his finger or fingers to violate and force the sexual act upon the victim. Simply, a person is accused of Digital rape when the perpetrator used his/her finger or fingers to penetrate the vagina of the victim without her consent.

In India, until 2012, these types of offenses were not considered under the purviews of rape.In June 2022, there was a case in Noida, India, where a five-year-old girl was subjected to digital rape by her father.

In order to understand the sensitivity of this subject, three cases clear out the real meaning of the term ‘digital rape’.

Case 1: 2 year old digitally raped in Mumbai

In Mumbai, a 2-year-old girl was brought bleeding to the hospital. On examination, doctors found that her vagina was raptured, though there weren’t any sign of sexual assault or rape.

Case 2: 60 year old digitally raped in Delhi

In another incident which was occurred in Delhi, a 60 years old woman was sexually assaulted by an auto rickshaw driver, who used an iron rod to penetrate the 60 years old passenger who was visiting her relative’s wedding. Again, the driver was arrested but wasn’t convicted under Section 376 of the IPC.

Case 3: Conductor sentenced to 20 years in prison for digitally raping four-year-old girl onboard school bus

On December 12, 2018, Times now news published a report that explained a digital rape case. Here, a school-going girl was digitally raped by the conductor.

It all comes down to the point that the dignity of a female can be violated even without being raped. And how digital rape can have the same effect as rape.

But knowing that there are other ways that a man can use to violate a woman or child’s dignity; Supreme Court had to make some changes to its definition of rape. Keeping all the above cases and heinous instances of crime, the purpose of rape was extended in 2013.

According to this new definition, rape is considered an act of forcefully penetrating a woman’s vagina, mouth, anus, or urethra by a penis, any foreign object, or any other part of the body.

In many reports, it has been made clear that most of the time, the  offenders who disrespects  the modesty of a woman or violated the dignity of a child, is someone they knew personally. Usually, these crimes are committed by people close to the victim. Cousins, close friends, uncles (other relatives), neighbors, and sometimes their own father came out to be accused.

Luckily, most of the cases now do justice to the victim. And the offender has to spend a minimum of 5 years in jail. In some cases, the offender has to serve a lifetime prison sentence of 10 years, which can also be extended later.

Thankfully, the term digital rape has joined the definition of rape, and now there are strict laws for criminals who think digital rape is not raping. Better be aware of this terminology, and it’s consequences too!

DIGITAL RAPE ?

Digital Rape – is a new terminology for me, and somehow my subconscious mind led me to a misunderstanding. It has nothing to do with modern digital technology, except some correlation with the fingers that you use to text on your smartphones.

The term ‘Digital rape’ does not relate to any sexual offense committed digitally, like defaming someone’s identity on the Digital platforms. It refers to the act of forcibly inserting fingers or toes inside the other person’s private parts without their consent. The word digital rape is derived from the word ‘digit’, which also means a ‘finger including the thumb or toe’; hence digital rape is meaningful now.

Similarly, there is a term “Digital Rape” that people often misinterpret-able and wonder how someone can rape digitally.Not knowing the actual term, they often consider it digital abuse. Sometimes it is confused with defacing someone’s identity on the digital platform. People think sharing naked pictures, or video’s on a digital platform without the owner’s consent is called Digital Rape.

Digital Rape is a term used to classify cases of rape. In the case of digital rape, the perpetrator used his finger or fingers to violate and force the sexual act upon the victim. Simply, a person is accused of Digital rape when the perpetrator used his/her finger or fingers to penetrate the vagina of the victim without her consent.

In India, until 2012, these types of offenses were not considered under the purviews of rape.In June 2022, there was a case in Noida, India, where a five-year-old girl was subjected to digital rape by her father.

In order to understand the sensitivity of this subject, three cases clear out the real meaning of the term ‘digital rape’.

Case 1: 2 year old digitally raped in Mumbai

In Mumbai, a 2-year-old girl was brought bleeding to the hospital. On examination, doctors found that her vagina was raptured, though there weren’t any sign of sexual assault or rape.

Case 2: 60 year old digitally raped in Delhi

In another incident which was occurred in Delhi, a 60 years old woman was sexually assaulted by an auto rickshaw driver, who used an iron rod to penetrate the 60 years old passenger who was visiting her relative’s wedding. Again, the driver was arrested but wasn’t convicted under Section 376 of the IPC.

Case 3: Conductor sentenced to 20 years in prison for digitally raping four-year-old girl onboard school bus

On December 12, 2018, Times now news published a report that explained a digital rape case. Here, a school-going girl was digitally raped by the conductor.

It all comes down to the point that the dignity of a female can be violated even without being raped. And how digital rape can have the same effect as rape.

But knowing that there are other ways that a man can use to violate a woman or child’s dignity; Supreme Court had to make some changes to its definition of rape. Keeping all the above cases and heinous instances of crime, the purpose of rape was extended in 2013.

According to this new definition, rape is considered an act of forcefully penetrating a woman’s vagina, mouth, anus, or urethra by a penis, any foreign object, or any other part of the body.

In many reports, it has been made clear that most of the time, the  offenders who disrespects  the modesty of a woman or violated the dignity of a child, is someone they knew personally. Usually, these crimes are committed by people close to the victim. Cousins, close friends, uncles (other relatives), neighbors, and sometimes their own father came out to be accused.

Luckily, most of the cases now do justice to the victim. And the offender has to spend a minimum of 5 years in jail. In some cases, the offender has to serve a lifetime prison sentence of 10 years, which can also be extended later.

Thankfully, the term digital rape has joined the definition of rape, and now there are strict laws for criminals who think digital rape is not raping. Better be aware of this terminology, and it’s consequences too!

HOLY WOUND- It Is Not That Holy!

An Adults Only Review of the movie

Holy Wound- that may sound like something related to the Holy Angel, Holy Family, or the tortured wounds of Jesus Christ. Sorry, you are misled when you hear about a recent controversial  Malayalam movie named like that. Still, it had already been screened in several film festivals, including Sahasrara International Film Festival, KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, and Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, and in an earlier interview with OTTplay.

Holy Wound is a unique movie depicting the story of two young Malayali village girls who have been in love since childhood. ‘Holy Wound’ is a 2022 Malayalam drama movie, written by Paul Wiclif., directed by Ashok R. Nath, produced by Sandeep R, and music by Ronnie Raphael, with Janaki Sudheer, Amrita Vinod, and Sabu Praudeen in the lead roles.

There are umpteen movies with the drama revolving around female homosexuality, but very low in Malayalam language. Of late  one to join this league is Holy Wound, an erotic silent movie. Obviously the story is about two gay women, one  gets married against her will and is subjected to sexual harassment, and another who is forced to become a nun.

Although love may not be the real reason for the revolving of the globe as such, ‘most adults’ lives are powerfully influenced  by their experiences in intimate relationships. It is  believed that the psychologically healthy adult must have the capacity for work to earn, and love to cherish life. The significance  of intimate relationships is no less significant for lesbians than heterosexuals. Taking granted the ‘new normal’ of accepting, the third category of the genre is still ‘not so normal’ to the common person, that too in a village where the people live in poor living conditions.

Having seen that most lesbians spend much of their adult lives in intimate love relationships, we are eager to turn to findings about the nature of lesbian relationships. Suppose the movie’s message is to encourage lesbians; sorry to say that all the frames whenever these girls meet show their sexual gratification. The heroin Kala has enough sex almost every day, in various positions Vatsyaayan had imagined; she still urges her lesbian girlfriend to stimulate her passions to an ecstatic stage. Maybe the Director thinks that her relationship with her male partner living together is always for his satisfaction only, and he needs it so often.

The movie convinces us that gender is not a barrier to intense love. Love is the indescribable passion of two minds. Holy Wound movie moves forward with the intense emotional moments when two girls who have been in pure love since childhood reunite years later. The film’s visuals are arranged so that its emotion is never lost through the green expression of such moments. Preparing moments based on the realism of lesbian romance will give the audience a whole new experience of emotional bliss and ecstasy. Good thing it is restricted for age+18 audience, and if it brings international recognitions, the Director can be proud of his efforts!

Set in the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, the story is about the life memories and desires of a 25-year-old girl Kala who finds her livelihood by fishing in the lake or collecting shells. Her cruel husband and a pervert continuously exploit her physically and mentally. She longs for real love and touches from a compassionate soul. She searches for Sherin, her teenage friend and one with whom she can share her emotions and feelings and share a very intimate physical relationship quite often.

The movie could have emphasized the concept that whether gay or lesbian, they can lead a happy life without the actual sex in its helms. Here the story fails and brings the negative message that these lesbian girls cannot live without their way of satisfying each other.

Of course, the end part of the movie, where a nun is lying naked in an open boat with her lesbian friend in the solitude of the lake, could hurt religious sentiments. The film is erotic and less touching on the lives of the original life system in a remote village. Preparing moments based on the realism of lesbian romance will give the audience a new experience of emotional scenes. It can be understood that Holy Wound drives home the message that homosexual relationship is not unnatural, and two partners belonging to the same sex can be in a relationship.

Though presenting a whole movie with all the sensors and emotional frames is weird, it may be beyond imagination that people started ignoring the efforts, emotions, and hard work that has delivered this masterpiece creation as a silent movie will attract meticulous attention. Nothing told, but everything revealed blatantly!

Anek: A Brilliant Movie Juxtaposing Northeastern Issues

“You are right; violence is not a solution.” The subject drops his gun. 

Immediately the message goes, “Subject is captured” – that is the climax of the story ANEK.

Anek is going to create a buzz all around the country for its unique theme, concept, and the conspicuous subject of juxtaposing the issues of the north eastern Indian states within the movie’s storyline. For so many decades, Northeast India has remained neglected and ignored by the mainland central government, which eventually caused an identity crisis for the North-easterners. 

The story portrays the plight of the people living in these seven northeastern states of India. It is a fact that we cannot deny. They are many years behind the rest of India. These seven states, or sisters, as they are called, have rich soil and natural resources but no outlets. The only major venue to sell their products may be in West Bengal. But seldom do the products reach theirs on time. They are stereotypically looked down upon by mainlanders as foreigners from neighboring countries like Tibet, Nepal, Thailand, China or even Myanmar, 

There are many subplots around the main event. Ayushman Khurana looks fabulous as an undercover cop Joshua, assigned to deal with the insurgents in this less explored hilly region. Aspiring and struggling boxer Aido, the role portrayed by gorgeous supermodel Andrea Kevichüsa is exceptionally fantastic and outstanding. Even the role performed by other cast deserves intense applauses from the heart.

The side stories revolving around the main story of intense fights and gun shots,  first the Ayushmaan’s character then his girlfriend’s journey, and her father’s ideology; also the Tiger Sangha, the Johnson group & local people, the Indian Government etc. From starting to end movie tries to focus on multiple aspects which actually resulted in undercooked fun. First of all, you lose the lead where the story wants to focus, the lead character is missing in half of the film, romance is on low profile and undeveloped, and many of the characters like J.D.Chakravarty’s had nothing to do with it. This movie is quite confusing but well-written dialogues and brings a good concept of Northeast Indian people and how and why they become rebellious where the Indian Government is responsible for not treating North Eastern Indian people equally.

Guys, this movie is realistic and intelligent writing where the script writer Anubhav Sinha is playing with audience and cast by showing negative character of everyone in the film except Aido ( Andrea Kavinchusa ) her performance was really authentic and outstanding a character of boxing girl who gets ill-treatment  by her coach and team members and she wants to play and win in boxing for India. Her father who is running a rebellious Johnson group against Indian government,  and Ayushman  Khurrana ( Joshua aka Aman ) an undercover agent of India to gather the information of NE Indian rebellion,  his performance was really brilliant and authentic. The performance by Manoj Pahwa as as boss of Indian army and defence was really intelligent and precise in the movie and performance by Kumud Mishra as defence counselor was really brilliant and outstanding and performance by every supporting cast was really authentic and distinctive, hats off to maker’s that they took NE people to make movie original.  Somehow the music and songs  are not really compelling to listen but shocking scenes are engaging and engrossing where screenplay was slow burn and cinematography was really good but not that impressive. The locations were realistic to shoot the movie.

At the end, Aido fulfills her promise and wins her boxing championship for India, confirming that India is our own for all Indians.

Thanks to filmmaker Anubhav Sinha for bringing this crucial issue to the forefront through mainstream cinema. I loved watching Ayushman Khurana’s performance; though the concept is sometimes confusing but intelligently written.

Hoover Dam And Lake Mead: Any Alert!!

Hoover Dam near Las Vegas, is known globally for its cute architecture. The reservoir created by the damming of the Colorado River became Lake Mead, drew thousands of visitors to this wondrous contrast of desert and water. Lake Mead gets water from Lake Powell, the second-largest reservoir in the country. Its water supply is around a fourth of what it used to be.

Now the Lake Mead is at an elevation of 1,046.3 feet. That’s more than 40 feet lower than the 1,087.1 feet elevation two years ago in June 2020. The latest two-year projection from the federal agency shows that the lake could drop as low as 1,020 feet within the next two years.

From 1983, fast-forward nearly four decades, Lake Mead is now 178 feet lower and continuing to shrink, may find alarming!

The megadrought currently choking the western United States is the worst drought in the region in more than 1,000 years. It’s having an enormous impact across many states and on several major reservoirs, including Lake Mead, a water source for millions of people in the West. 

Last week measured at 1,044.03 feet, its lowest elevation since the lake was filled in the 1930s. If the reservoir dips below 895 feet — a possibility still years away — Lake Mead would reach dead pool, carrying enormous consequences for millions of people across Arizona, California, Nevada and parts of Mexico. A dead pool would not mean no water was left in the reservoir, but even before Lake Mead was hit, there were concerns that water levels could fall so low that hydroelectric power production would be hindered.

A clear high-water mark known as a “bathtub ring” is seen on the shores of Lake Mead at the Hoover Dam near Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 10, comparing the reservoir when filled in the 1930s. (Photo by Bridget BENNETT).

Astounding to hear the latest news of a body in a barrel, human skeletons along the shorelines, ghost towns, a crashed B-29 Superfortress that used to track cosmic rays, Prehistoric salt mines etc., are revealed when the water level dropped. What all will the receding waters of Lake Mead show in the days ahead?

The Colorado River Basin, a lifeline of the American Southwest, is shrinking. And, with it, the country’s two largest reservoirs are going dry. Just 30 miles east of Las Vegas sits Lake Mead on the border of Arizona and Nevada. It’s the largest artificial reservoir in North America.

Lake Mead pumps water from the Colorado River to nearly 25 million people. It’s a significant water source for residents and tribes in Arizona, Nevada, California, parts of Mexico and some of the country’s most productive agricultural sites. About 75 percent of the water goes to irrigation for agriculture. That supplies about 60 percent of the food for the nation that’s grown in the United States.

But the lake has been declining for decades due to rising temperatures and climate change, cracked earth and mud where water used to be. Now it’s only 30 percent full, an historic low. Over the years, rusted debris and sunken boats have emerged, more recently, some darker discoveries, human remains lost for decades.

Below Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam provides hydroelectric power to 1.3 million people across three states. But the dam is operating at 67 percent of its capacity. If the reservoir’s elevation falls below 950 feet, the dam’s turbines will stop spinning.

States in the Southwest have started limiting some of their use of the Colorado River Basin. And last month, federal officials took unprecedented action to temporarily keep enough water in Lake Powell, one of the country’s largest reservoirs, to continue generating hydropower for a million homes.

Southern California already started restricting water use, including watering of lawns to once or twice a week, for about six million residents. It’s also having a significant impact on Lake Mead, a primary water source for agriculture and millions of people in the American West.

In Nevada there have been measures to remove grassy lawns and save irrigation water that they can put back into the system. So there is a spirit of ensuring that people can protect water for the folks in their jurisdictions.

Now as a creative solution,  the following report is highly impressive. Regarding the Mississippi Water Letters of June 26, citizens of Louisiana and Mississippi south of the Old River Control Structure don’t need all that water. All it does is cause flooding and massive tax expenditures to repair and strengthen embankments. 

The best solution would be for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build an aqueduct from the Old River Control Structure on the Mississippi to Lake Powell, fill it, and then send more water from there down the Colorado to fill lake Mead. About 4.5 million/gals a second flow past that structure on the Mississippi. As mentioned, New Orleans has a problem with that much water anyway, so let’s divert 250,000 gallons/sec to Lake Powell, which currently has a shortage of 5.5 trillion gallons.

Lake Mead has a somewhat larger shortage, about 8 trillion gallons, but it could be filled in about 370 days at 250,000 gallons/sec.Hence, this megadraught is not the catastrophic end of everything, alternative solutions will pave way for better days ahead.

Understanding Medicare Fraud

“Corruption, embezzlement, fraud are all characteristics which exist everywhere. It is regrettably how human nature functions, whether we like it or not. What successful economies do is keep it to a minimum. But, unfortunately, no one has ever eliminated any of that stuff”- said. Alan Greenspan, on the evil characteristic of frauds in general.

In USA, the system of Medicare benefits has been an abundant resource for fraudsters. Medicare improper payments were estimated to be $25.74 billion in fiscal year 2020. However, the amount of improper payments made in Medicare are significant, during 2019 representing to an amount of $28.91 billion.

Medicare fraud occurs when someone, whether doctors or patients or scammers, knowingly deceives Medicare to receive payment when they receive a higher payment than they should. Committing fraud is illegal and should be reported. Anyone can commit or be involved in fraud, and there are cases of fraudsters  including doctors, other providers, and Medicare beneficiaries.

Some common examples of Medicare fraud include billing for services that were not provided, over billing, billing unnecessary services, misrepresenting dates of service or providers of service, and paying kickbacks for patient referrals.

Medicare fraud happens when someone illegally use their Medicare card to get medical care, supplies, or equipment, or sell their Medicare number to someone who bills Medicare for services not received, or provide their Medicare number in exchange for money or a gift.

But sporadic instances of frauds are committed by greedy doctors, and a recent case reported, unveils an example of similar cases.

Ravi Murali, 39, formerly from Wisconsin, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 54 months in federal prison for Dr. Murali’s role in defraud Medicare. He pleaded guilty to this charge on March 31, 2021.

Dr. Murali wrote thousands of fraudulent orders for Durable Medical Equipment (DME). Other participants in the scheme used Dr. Murali’s fraudulent orders to bill Medicare $26,000,000, of which Medicare paid $13,000,000.

As we all know, Medicare is complicated. What may seem like an error to the beneficiary, may result from a misunderstanding about benefits.

It may also be abuse, which involves billing Medicare for services that are not covered or are not correctly coded. The provider has not knowingly and intentionally misrepresented the facts to obtain payment.

Medicare fraud assumes criminal offense. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) defines fraud as “the intentional deception or misrepresentation that the individual knows to be false or does not believe to be true,” and that is made “knowing that the deception could result in some unauthorized benefit to themselves or some other person.

Some common examples of suspected Medicare fraud or abuse are:

  • Billing for services or supplies that were not provided
  • Providing unsolicited supplies to beneficiaries
  • Misrepresenting a diagnosis, a beneficiary’s identity, the service provided, or other facts to justify payment
  • Prescribing or providing excessive or unnecessary tests and services
  • Violating the participating provider agreement with Medicare by refusing to bill Medicare for covered services or items and billing the beneficiary instead
  • Offering or receiving a kickback (bribe) in exchange for a beneficiary’s Medicare number
  • Requesting Medicare numbers at an educational presentation or in an unsolicited phone call
  • Routinely waiving co-insurance to attract business

The federal government has made significant strides in reducing fraud, waste, and improper payments across the government.

The CMS “Guard Your Card” campaign tells people how they can protect themselves against fraud by:

  • Never give out their Medicare or Social Security Number to anyone except those you know should have it.
  • They reported any suspicious activities like being asked over the phone for their Medicare/Social Security number or banking information. Medicare will NEVER call you uninvited for this information.
  • By checking their billing statements and reporting suspicious charges. Using a calendar to track doctor’s appointments and services helps quickly spot possible fraud and billing mistakes. Check claims early by logging into gov.

Any suspicious activities may be reported by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Under the False Claims Act (FCA), the government may pay a reward of up to 30% to people who report healthcare fraud. In September 2019, TELG client Kevin Manieri was awarded more than $12 million for reporting that a drug company defrauded Medicare and other government insurance programs by encouraging doctors to prescribe an unnecessary medication to patients.

Health care fraud is a felony under Michigan’s Health Care False Claims Act, punishable by up to four years in prison, a $50,000 fine and loss of health insurance. It’s also a federal criminal offense under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

While Abandoning Afghanistan!

“What happened in Vietnam?” – we had been hearing the question on different platforms for so many years. On U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam in 1975, many political analysts said China or the Russians would take it over; even now, we are blaming it as America’s humiliating military defeat. “The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 because the country’s Taliban rulers at the time hosted Osama Bin Laden along with  other Al Qaeda leaders who plotted the Sept.11 attacks on America. Since then, Islamist terrorist groups, particularly the far more radical Islamic State, have established other footholds worldwide, from Mozambique to the Philippines to West Africa.”

When U.S. troops withdrew from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport within the stipulated time, the nation’s most prolonged war cost was more than $ 2.3 trillion. During the last 20 years, more than 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan alone. World astonished to hear that even while retrieving, thirteen U.S. soldiers were killed in the latest suicide bombing in Kabul Airport.  Taliban’s praise of China is aimed at gaining recognition for their government at the international level by establishing links with power like China. China and Pakistan are now the only countries in the region that fully support the Taliban.

According to diplomats, the Taliban decided to end trade with India due to pressure from the two countries. Whether all other hypothesis is right or wrong, this development is a real threat to India in the days ahead. Though we are doubtful about China, America is still stronger in technology, manufacturing, and military power. China is not ready to replace the U.S. in the region unless Pakistan pushes them to do so. Generally, it is criticized that the U.S. could have remained involved in Afghanistan, including by helping the country to maintain stability and combat terrorism and violence, The Taliban infiltration began after the United States began withdrawing from Afghanistan. First, they conquered each of the provinces. The American-trained Afghan fighters had to look on helplessly. Eventually, the militants took over. Not only did the militants take power on the soil they had fought for 20 years to drive out the militants, but they also took the lives of 13 American soldiers before withdrawing from there.

Have you ever heard the old sarcasm on U.S.: “They nurtured terrorist organizations by giving U.S. dollars to Pakistan to fight terrorism. American soldiers were shot dead with guns provided by the United States. When the U.S. was sifting through Afghanistan to capture Bin Laden, Pakistan hid him in their base and made the U.S. play a monkey. Unaware that Bin Laden was hiding in the next room, Hillary Clinton went to Pakistan, blamed India, and befriended Nawaz Sharif. She said a poor developing country was seeking permanent membership in the U.N. Security Council. Sharif and his group laughed at Hillary’s joke. How about American intelligence” if that was the actual story,  the U.S replied promptly later.

The story remains the same even after 21 years, US went to overthrow militants and terrorists in Afghanistan, but now left by handing over power to them only!. (Do not try to teach new tricks to old dogs, or democracy to Islamic conservatives.) We may be hearing more about the foolish things that happened on our quick withdrawal, leaving so many supporters helpless in the terrorists’ hands and leaving many weapons, bomber planes, and ammunition with the enemy..

The whole world knows that the Taliban captured Kabul, but they have no power to speak. Terrorist organizations like ISK, more potent than them, are growing in Afghanistan. Pakistan will be ready to help them.  This is where the importance of USA or NATO needs to be highlighted; America is burdened with more challenges and responsibilities, including the refugees and terrorists being spread everywhere!

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