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Maldives president escapes unhurt after blast on boatMale (SAT): The president of the Maldives was unhurt but his wife and two aides were injured in an explosion on board their speedboat as it approached Male, capital of the Indian Ocean archipelago, a senior aide told Reuters.

The cause of Monday's blast was not immediately clear, but it was witnessed by several journalists who were waiting to meet President Abdulla Yameen on his return from the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

"There was a explosion at President Yameen's official speedboat near Male jetty. The president is unhurt, but the first lady was slightly injured," Mohamed Hussain Shareef, minister at the president's office, told Reuters.

Yameen, 59, is a controversial figure both at home and abroad. He rose to power in a bitterly contested presidential election in 2013.

The leader he defeated, Mohamed Nasheed, was jailed earlier this year for terrorism in a case that has drawn international criticism. Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney, called for international sanctions against the Maldives after visiting Nasheed this month.

A broader crackdown against political dissent belies the reputation of the Maldives as a holiday paradise, with radicalised youths enlisting in significant numbers to fight for Islamic State militants in the Middle East.

Yameen had landed earlier at the main international airport of the Maldives, an island chain with a population of 400,000, and was making the short final journey to Male by water with his entourage.

"We don't know if the explosion was from explosives or the inboard engine," said Shareef, reached by telephone from Sri Lanka.

A Reuters eyewitness saw Yameen walking and helping an injured victim soon after the explosion, which occurred when his speedboat was just six feet (two meters) from the main jetty.

Shareef said Yameen had accompanied his wife, Fathimath Ibrahim, to Male's main hospital. A bodyguard who suffered serious injuries and a presidential aide who was slightly hurt were also taken to hospital.

(With agency inputs)

     — Dr. B.C. Dwibedy

Dr. V.N.Mishra has rightly observed in his comments about Poems: for Human Dignity by Dr.M.Bhatnagar -a translated volume of his Hindi poems: “His man fired with faith divine moves on because he is firm in his conviction that one day the heart rose shall bloom in the midst of impediments galore (Poems: For Human Dignity-Introductory cover page remark by Dr. V. S. Mishra). It is definitely a giant leap by the poet towards the quest that this small essay is going to elaborate. 

For the last half a century the poet has been with avowed activity towards glorifying human dignity. A majority of his poems flourish with such themes in the hearts of readers who seek human dignity at every step.  It reminds us of the humanistic ideal: “the primacy of man in everything” or the Pythagorean maxim “man is the measure of everything”.

In his volume Poems: For Human Dignity at the outset the poet hoists the flag of love as the first marker of human dignity. From love has evolved life and with love life is lived and bereft of loveit is shattered. It is the driving force behind every action of man and this vital factor of life is at stake in the present world. Everything that man does looks at love.  Here everything does not include the action of human beasts or rather we can call them human demons that the present world is replete with. The poet expresses his blissful attitude for mankind. He wishes every man to be rich with the worship of love.

Let every man
of the world
in this pure best worship.
(Poems: For Human Dignity-1)

The poet has lived the life of love and dignity and has experienced the pain of undignified life for almost three quarters of a century in the social history of the country. It is not possible for him to withstand such decline. He observes that the scene of love in the life’s drama is full of infidelity that leads to hatred, separation and divorce in conjugal life.

Dr. M Bhatnagar hasunfathomed sympathy for the dignity of woman. The way man is behaving with his creator mother, loving sister, nursing wife or the offspring daughter – it’s all exhibiting only infidelity in the place of love. The poet motivates the world to revive the dignity of woman.  Moreover he is inspiring woman to keep her dignity erect on the touchstone of adversity.

Man has tried to utilize woman as a “purse purchased commodity”. The poet  rather becomes rough in his voice by using phrases such as ‘soulless slave girl’, ‘brainless  hand maid’, ‘lifeless doll’ etc. –metaphors  for woman as in the context of today’s deteriorating  life style.  He has strongly objected to the projection of woman in the world’s eyes as ‘down trodden foot wear of man’. Moreover he rejects the age old Shakespearean maxim by saying that ‘frailty is not thy name’; rather he laments the ignored dignity of woman in every nook and corner of the world.

O, long deprived pitiable, sad,
Prisoner! You jumped in the battle field
Taking the oath of youth
Co-operating with the world-wide
(Poems: For Human Dignity-274)

The poet envisions in every woman the greatness of epic character Draupadi and relates the world affair with the consequences of the fall of her dignity. Draupadi was ravished in the king’s court by Dushasan and the consequence was terrible. A tear from a woman’s eyes is not a good indication for the world. The poet’s prediction is meaningful in this respect.

You will create horrible turmoil
By offering of sacrifices,
Your struggle will not stop, you
Will shake the universe
Have to pay price to you ……
(Poems: For Human Dignity-274)

She is the living embodiment of love herself; when she is ignored her dignity is shattered, love –the driving force gets humiliated, peace is invaded and man’s life becomes barren, he is cursed. The poet’s vision is seen as an eye opener for the human world.

Dr. MBhatnagar invokes integrity in man who is utterly disintegrated from home, land, self and soul for the sake of money.  This is another marker of human dignity but today’s man is divided in a hundred ways by caste, creed , religion, birth and so on; as such he is helpless, oppressed and shameful. In a good number of poems Dr. Bhatnagar uses an abusive tongue for man of this world while lamenting the fall of dignity into abysmal depth.

Bottomless fall of creation’s
grand creature.
Mean, narrow heart vomits
Poison creating disaster.
(Poems: For Human Dignity-80)

In a major part of the volume the poet depicts the fall of dignity.  The notion that man is the replica of god has changed its meaning in the present context. While exploring the delicacies of human life the poet finds the inhuman substances. Man is not able to recognize his own self.

Again and again
our god incites us
to kill other’s god
to destroy the symbols of
their faith
and thus feel that
is secure only for us.
(Poems: For Human Dignity-68)

The poet here definitely points at the selfish attitude of man which induces him to be involved in acts that are not congenial to human dignity.

The division of man in various branches such as caste, religion, birth, status etc. is vehemently criticized by the poet. He inspires man to be united beyond all differences since that unified state of man is a step towards dignity. Then only poverty that compels man to be naked can come to an end.

March, march ahead!
To break
Bestial horns grown on man’s head
And sharp teeth
To snap
The inhuman casteism!
To concentrate
In one string
The society and the individual.
(Poems: For Human Dignity-80)

In a major part of his poetry Dr. MahendraBhatnagar has championed the cause of those who live life in an undignified manner due to poverty, untouchability, starvation caused by injustice and suppression by the strong, terrorized and suffering from violence. These ways of life have converted the life into hell. Man leaves with a new religion –that is the religion of deception. The poet strives hard to bring a change and induce man towards human dignity, to create a new surface – a platform – on which human dignity can take a stand.

Obviously, the poet does not appreciate the naked sense of communal dignity which is a vehicle for disharmony. A sense of communality is the allied force of jealousy and violence. Every community, rather every individual should be cautious that no community, no language, no religion gets damaged due to him/them; then only man will deserve the right of safeguarding his own dignity. The same principle works here- ‘do on to others as you wish to get’. The poet observes that communal harmony itself is a part and parcel of human dignity. Tolerating others’ creed is a healthy habit since it fosters positive sentiment in man leading towards safeguarding dignity.

Live in unity,
this is the call of Karim and Shyam,
There should be one Hind
is the call of Rahim and Ram
(Poems: For Human Dignity-80

In order to live life the common man has to work and earn. Love for labour is another facet of human dignity. Believing in wind-fall gain is detrimental to value of life. The poet tries to inspire man to grow with love for labour and not to tame the habit of swindling. That will control a major part of the world wide corruption. He vehemently criticizes those monks, politicians, ministers who suck blood from common man for amassing wealth and show to the world their fame and pride.

Dignity gives man protection from the attack of narrowness. Dignity of culture, heritage, and citizenship of a country helps man living with honour.  Deception or a life of double standard is not regarded as a worthy way for man. The poet tries to develop in man an indomitable spirit to dominate his complexes such as greed, avarice, anger etc. However, this is a transcended level that is to be reached at with much concentration and avowed activity by man.

                                                Man will love his fellow beings
Will rise above each division
Forgetting the difference
Between the familiar and unfamiliar,
Will welcome all.
               (Poems: For Human Dignity-58)

It will be a life of self-restrained liberty. The poet wants to see man in the form of a free willed, self-disciplined, controlled and balanced fellow traveller. He observesthat a man who exercises his liberty carelessly so as not to care for another’s prestige and recurrently hurts others is not a man who deserves any dignity.

This man
Shot dead
That one
With a bullet,
A different
(Poems: For Human Dignity-64)

Not only that but if a man worships the same god in another name, another form, another language he is abominated. The poet has an aversion towards such people who cannot understand such minimum surface differences and thus cannot tolerate others. He invokes modern man with a great hope.

Consider different languages
And scripts
As the accomplishments
Of human intellect.
Modern men!
Now don’t remain mute
And fence sitters.
(Poems: For Human Dignity-69)

The poet wishes to establish a sublime human religion which will be the marker of human dignity and human identity. He gives a clarion call to go back to the age of homosapiens when man’s identity was not linked with a country, a religion, a caste, a sub caste, a language, a dialect, a colour and a race. Through ages we have developed and we have fostered a block of ego for our dignity and that has taught us all the undignified manners.

Sun gives its light equally to the flowers and weeds and that is its dignity. Man will love the rich and the poor equally- that will be his dignity. Man in his present stature gives a shabby look. It is not the Shakespearean man who is known as the paragon of beauty made in the image of God, but it is the man without dignity. The poet does not find any light in the future path of man.

On man’s future path
Reigns the limitless darkness,
Reigns the thick darkness!
No moon or sun visible
Not even alarm trumpet is heard.
On the cliff of death
Stands the hushed humanity
Staggering off and on!
(Poems: For Human Dignity-151)

The poet heavily draws upon the cause of grief in the down trodden men who are deprived of all the pleasures of life and who are left with no choice but to live without human dignity. The poet advocates in support of them and makes a resolution:

Dignity of human may ever
Be secured and respected
It’s our resolution!
We ourselves be the maker of our fortune.
(Poems: For Human Dignity-151)

The poet’s perseverance towards human dignity is a theme that indicates the progressive nature of his writings.

Narendra Modi with Nawaz SharifNew York (SAT): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not have a bilateral meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif during his current visit to the US, officials said.

"As of now there is nothing, no bilateral meeting on the schedule," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters here.

Modi and Sharif are staying in the same hotel in the city - the iconic Waldorf Astoria. When asked if there will be a "deliberate attempt" to ensure that paths of the two leaders do not cross, Swarup replied in the negative.

"There will be no deliberate attempt (at paths not crossing). If a hand shake happens, you will get to see it. If a pull aside happens you will get to see it," he said.

Sharif is slated to reach New York Friday evening.

Modi will address the Sustainable Development Summit hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on September 25, when the new and ambitious post-2015 development agenda will be adopted.

Sharif is scheduled to address the high-level meeting on September 27.

Modi will be in California on September 26 and 27 and will return to New York on September 28, when apart from meeting US President Barack Obama, he will attend the high-level Peacekeeping Summit at the UN headquarters.

Since Sharif will also be attending the summit, the multilateral gathering will provide a forum for the leaders of India and Pakistan to come face-to-face.

Modi, who arrived here on Thursday for his second US visit, will depart for India late September 28 or the early morning of September 29 but Sharif will remain in the city.

He will address the annual debate of the General Assembly on September 30, a day before India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addresses the gathering of world leaders on October 1. (With Agency inputs)

FishermenColombo (SAT): Sri Lanka Navy on Friday said it has arrested six Indian fishermen for allegedly fishing in Lankan waters.

The Navy said it assisted the Sri Lankan coastal guards in the seas off Kovilan Point to nab the fishermen last night.

"When the arrest was made the Indian fishermen had been fishing 3.5 nautical miles and 5.2 nautical miles off northwest of Kovilan Point," the Navy said.

The arrested fishermen and their two trawlers have been taken to Karainagar to be handed over to the fisheries authorities, it said.

The arrests came days after the Lankan northern fishing organisations rejected a request from their Tamil Nadu counterparts to discuss the recurring issue of poaching by Indian fishermen in the Sri Lankan waters.

(With Agency inputs)

Kolkata (SAT) : Actor-turned BJP leader Joy Banerjee on Wednesday apologised for his controversial remark that "Election Commission is in our hands" and said he uttered the words in over-enthusiam and believed that the CEC is the protector and pillar of democracy.

Banerjee's apology followed his visit to the state chief electoral officer, accompanied by BJP state president Rahul Sinha, after the EC asked party president Amit Shah to explain by September 25 Banerjee's remark that the poll panel was now under the party's control.

"Sir, I believe that the CEC is the protector of democracy and the pillar of democracy. Hence, I apologise for the words I uttered in over-enthusiam and beg you to pardon me. Let me tell you sir I am neither a office-bearer nor any executive of the BJP state committee," Banerjee said in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner through state CEO.

"In that meeting, I tried to say that the Assembly elections would be by CEC and would be impartial and free from rigging. But because of my non-selection of words it came out otherwise," Banerjee stated in the letter.

Sinha later told reporters that he was a film actor and had joined politics only a year back. "He (Banerjee) does not have much experience. It was his slip of tongue. BJP has full respect for democracy and democratic institutions," Sinha said, adding that a letter to this effect was submitted to the EC.

Banerjee had told a public meeting at Mayureswar in Birbhum on September 20, "They (TMC) had defeated us by cheating. But in the coming Assembly election it will not be possible as it will be held under Army vigilance and the Election Commission is in our hands."

In a letter to Shah yesterday, the Commission referred to the purported remarks of Banerjee and also to his remarks on the security arrangements for the Assembly polls in the state due next year.

Rahul Rawail resigns from Oscar jury over rift with Amol PalekarNew Delhi (SAT): Bollywood director Rahul Rawail, a part of the 17-member jury that collectively chose Court as India's official entry for the Oscars, on Wednesday resigned from the panel over differences with jury chairperson Amol Palekar.

Soon after Court - a Marathi courtroom drama directed by first-timer Chaitanya Tamhane - was announced as India's official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards, the news of Rawail leaving the jury started doing the rounds.

When IANS asked Rawail about it, he confirmed the news over the phone from Hyderabad, saying that it's "true".

"I've been hearing that people feel that I was not happy with 'Court' being selected. It is false. I am very happy with 'Court' and I'm proud of it," Rawail said of the movie, which even won the National Film Award in the Best Feature Film category for 2014.

"I'm proud that we had a great jury and some wonderful people who have a great knowledge of cinema and love for it... There was no issue in that, but yes there was one manipulative man. His name is Amol Palekar, who is the chairman of the jury. He is a complete manipulative person."

However, Rawail - who has directed films like Jo Bole So Nihaal and ...Aur Pyar Ho Gaya - clarified that he is not blaming Amol for manipulating for Court.

"It is not that he manipulated for 'Court'. People are saying that Amol must have manipulated for 'Court' because 'Court' is a Marathi film. That is wrong," Rawail said and added that Amol's "general conducting of proceeding was often manipulative".

The Film Federation of India (FFI), which selects the country's official entry in the Best Foreign Film category of the prestigious Academy Awards, to be held in Los Angeles on February 28 next year, appointed Amol as the chairman earlier this year.

Amol's own directorial Paheli was chosen as India's official entry for the Academy Awards in 2005. But it failed to make the cut to the final nomination list.

(With agency inputs)

Anushka Sharma croons Adele's songMumbai: It seems that actress-producer Anushka Sharma wants to try her hand at singing too. In a new 'throwback' video, she can be seen belting out British singer Adele's Rolling in the deep hit.

The 30-second video, posted by Anushka on her Twitter page on Wednesday, shows the star sitting on a chair and loudly singing Rolling in the deep in a very intense way. Though she's not all tuneless as her notes and pitch went haywire.

However this might not be the only time when fans are going to see Anushka singing as the 27-year-old added that she will not 'give up' on singing.

While sharing a tweet of Thomas Edison's quote that read: "Many of life's failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up," Anushka tweeted: "Yes! And that is why I will not give up on my singing . This is a sign! Thank you Mr Edison for this and the Bulb."

(With agency inputs)