Archive | August, 2013

My art is inspired by real people: Mazarine Memon

Posted on 28 August 2013 by admin

“My paintings are the result of my ongoing fascination with the human psyche, representations of primarily women, both symbolically and literally.”

“While I had the opportunity work on national advertising campaigns for renowned brands in India something was missing. I did not enjoy an advertising brief dictating my art.”

DIVYA KAELEY

Mazarine Memon is an aspiring author and an award-winning established artist. Skilled in a variety of mediums – oils, acrylics, charcoal, pencils, pastels, pen and inks or a fusion of mediums, Mazarine has had several international solo and group showings.

Mazarine was born in Bombay to a Zoroastrian family. She loves Italy, but calls Toronto home and paints and conducts workshops from her home studio, ‘The Art Brewery’. In conversation with Generation Next, the artist talks about her stint in advertizing, a successful venture into the world of art and her creative life in Canada.

1. You are of Iranian ancestry, Indian by birth, Canadian by choice and Italian at heart. Tell us something about your journey from India to Dubai and Canada?
Once we left India in 1992, it was inevitable that we would move on to experience different cultures, adopt a different lifestyle. Both my husband, who is in advertising, and I love to travel and we started off with a short holiday to Dubai and never looked back.
Two years later we applied for immigration to Canada and within the year we had moved to Toronto to begin yet another journey. And although I will always be an Indian at heart, Canada is home to me now.
2. How did the transition from advertising to art happen?
I attended Sophia Polytechnic in Mumbai to become a Commercial artist and then worked as an art director at several Advertising Agencies in Mumbai. While I had the opportunity work on national advertising campaigns for renowned brands in India something was missing. I did not enjoy an advertising brief dictating my art. In advertising you can’t be creative for the sake of being creative, you got to do what is good for the brand. The strategic message dictates the creative campaign, and I wanted to go off and do something off my own, which is not a good marriage. Which is why, I divorced the advertising business to become a full time artist so I can create what appeals to me. Although art is not as lucrative financially, it allows me freedom of expression which is good for my soul.
3. One of the posts in your blog mentioned that you felt like an “expat” in Canada? Why?
When you move around as much as I did, home is not any one place anymore. I am not sure if I would say that is a bad thing really. I have enjoyed my life as an expat living in Dubai and returning to Canada after nine long years seemed like I had to re invent my life here as I had when I had first immigrated 1994. I had carved out a life for me in the Middle East, people knew of me, of my art. I knew coming back here after such a long hiatus was going to be tough, but then we as a family have always enjoyed an adventure and the challenges that come with it. Now nearly four years later, we are back to the ‘Canadian way of life’ and loving every minute of it!
4. How would you define your art?

I am a realistic abstract artist. My unique style has been described as ‘mysteries in colour’. Every collection and piece of art is almost always inspired by real people, but you need to work through the clues before the canvas reveals itself.
5. What are some of the constant refrains in your art work?
I approach my work as a continuum, where themes from past collections are reviewed and examined. Stylistically, I disassemble imagery from these and recycle the parts as I create a new body of work.
6. From Dubai to Canada – Does the change of places also affect your art?
Absolutely! My paintings are the result of my ongoing fascination with the human psyche, representations of primarily women, both symbolically and literally. My years in the Middle East allowed me to study the cultural differences between the ever burgeoning expat community and the locals. The collections produced during my stay in Dubai, communicate a sense of wonder, experimentation, discovery and balance.
7. Indian artists are creating waves all over the world. Is Canada open enough to artists of South Asian descent?
I believe it is slowly getting there. The multicultural and ethnic population is getting increasingly savvy about the arts from South Asia. As well I believe that Canadians are an adventurous lot by nature and are enjoying the richness and diversity of the South Asian culture and its many art forms. However it has a long way to go, Indian artists haven’t yet created the kind of waves in Canada as it has in other parts of the world.
8. Where do you get inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from all of nature’s creations, but I find the human figure the most fascinating and specifically the woman form. “It is not just beautiful, it is incredibly expressive. It has a language of its own. It perhaps has a larger vocabulary than any spoken word. This ‘language of the body’ has been the subject of most of my work. News paper articles and images captured by photo journalists are another source of inspiration for me. An entire collection is sometimes based on a single event.
9. What are your future projects?
I have a couple of projects that are vying for attention, however the one that has me interested and excited is called ‘Journeys’
‘Journeys’ will be a project about the many aspects of life. Transitions from one phase to another. ‘Journeys’ is about change and how man adapts to it or fights it; embraces each success that comes with it or stumbles through its failures. With this collection I hope to move away from the comforts of my canvas and explore different mediums, like installation, or photography to tell my story.
10. Any advice for aspiring artists.
Art is a passion and not always a means to make a good living….but it feeds the soul, it’s liberating and artists are discerning with the work they produce and the avenues that art can be marketed through. I would tell artists, keep painting, and creating work, there will always be many who won’t appreciate it enough but when it finds that perfect home it will have a place of pride and that is what is important.

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Back to School

Posted on 28 August 2013 by admin

It’s back to school time. For some it’s a happy time after a few weeks’ of relaxation, for other’s it’s a stress time with papers due and tests to be taken and to do loads of homework. For parents, it’s probably a relief that their kids will be back at school and there will now be some discipline in their lives in terms of going to bed and waking up time in the mornings.

It’s hard to miss back to school time even if you are not a parent or if your kids don’t yet go to school. Every mall you go to, every shop you enter have big flyers and sales that continue to remind us that it’s back to school in a few days.

It is interesting to watch how back to school sales range from buying a car to buying furniture to buying crayons and everything in between.

 Has this important event of our kids’ life also been commercialized to the extent that we worry that our kids will know about brand names and that they would want them sooner than we would expect them to know about brands and how they lure our kids.

 Doesn’t it worry all of us that our kids would fall prey to pressures of fitting in in terms of fashion and labels and higher costs of these brands. Uniform sounds like a very good idea to keep kids and their parents’ sane in the tricky times when mortgage rates have risen and Canadian household debts are skyrocketing steadily and not declining and when our college and university going students are taking longer to stay at their parents’ home and taking longer to pay off their student loans and debts.

While we are not in any way suggesting that retailers do not market to potential buyers or to make money to grow Canadian economy, however shouldn’t the society be taking measures where our kids do not fall prey to materialistic and superficial aspects of life rather than living a meaningful life.

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Canada’s Traditions Will be Defended

Posted on 28 August 2013 by admin

Amneet Singh

Ottawa

The blue-helmeted peacekeepers that so famously have facilitated peace in times of war are a matter of pride for Canadians. It was Canada that developed the signatory symbol for the United Nations now known so famously and respected so widely. But have we lost our way?

 For so long Canada has been an international symbol of peace. As defenders of it and promoters of social justice, we have acted as beacon of neutrality and country defined by its politeness. But, over the last decade this credibility diminished, we began to close the door on refugees fleeing war-torn countries, denying them healthcare upon their arrival and prioritizing dollars over compassion.

In 1995, when a civil war had already climaxed in Punjab – Jaswant Singh Khalra was in the midst of an international tour. As Mr.Khalra toured Europe and eventually arrived in Canada, he stood before politicians in June of 1995 on Parliament Hill, pleaded for their assistance in his quest for justice and showcased evidence of targeted killings and disappearances of upto 25,000 Sikh youth in Punjab by government forces. He was applauded and politicians took the opportunity for their photo-ops, to be shared with an ever-growing and active South Asian voter base.

In June of 1995, beneath the fancy photo-ops and toe curling tales that Jaswant Singh Khalra narrated, an unfortunate series of events began to unfold back home in Punjab. There was a plan to put an end to embarrassing expose of fake encounters and disappearances by the police and Jaswant Singh Khalra was the target.

After traveling much of the world, Jaswant Singh Khalra had become unbearable nuisance to the perpatrators of these crimes. Mr, Khalra’s peaceful movement, empirical data and undisputable evidence was more dangerous than anything the state had ever seen. As a result, upon his return to India, Jaswant Singh Khalra became a victim like those he advocated for, he was kidnapped, tortured and disappeared by the Punjab Police in September 1995.

 With the disappearance of Jaswant Singh Khalra – the world was left in shock. Amnesty International pleaded for action to be taken and eventually named him an International Defender of Human Rights on the 50th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His evidence was co-opted by the Government of India, a National Human Rights Commission was established , files were sealed and investigations stalled in a case that remains unfinished, 18 years later.

 When Jaswant Singh Khalra delivered his last international speech in Canada and paid for it with his life – how did the Government of Canada react? It didn’t. After successive Liberal and Conservative Governments Khalra’s evidence was ignored and any discussion surrounding human rights was equated to terrorism and/or extremism. Former Liberal MPs and leader Michael Ignatieff called the Sikh communities attempts to raise the issue “visceral” and a shield for extremists to promote a hidden agenda. The Conservatives ignored the issue entirely. But, under the leadership of Jack Layton and now Tom Mulcair the diasporas desire for recognition of trauma and suffering, the need for healing was prioritized. Jack Layton defended the community’s right to share its story as a fundamental right in a democracy and in April 2013 Canada’s New Democrats, under the leadership of Tom Mulcair adopted this position as a party policy. With thunderous applause MPP Jagmeet Singh stood before 2000 delegates from across the country at the Federal NDP Policy convention and challenged them to reaffirm Canada’s role in the world as a defender of social justice and a reputable promoter of peace. With a standing ovation the call was heard and a resolution Recognizing Jaswant Singh Khalra as an Important Defender of Human Rights was formally adopted.

But above all, a focused and determined opposition under the leadership of Tom Mulcair sent a strong message – that Canada’s traditions would be defended, people would be put before profits and policy and substance would form an unwavering opposition ready to govern on principles Canadians once proudly claimed on a world stage.

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Trudeau takes a swing at Quebec religion plan, other politicians stay on sidelines

Posted on 28 August 2013 by admin

A media report this week published leaked details of the controversial PQ proposal — saying it would prohibit people like doctors, teachers and public-daycare workers from donning turbans, kippas, hijabs and visible crucifixes.

The Liberal leader castigated the idea and said the Parti Quebecois government would damage Quebec’s reputation if it proceeded with such a policy.

“Like we saw with the (recent) soccer turban ban, people laughed at Quebecers,” said Trudeau, a Quebec MP.

“And I don’t think it’s who we are and I don’t think it honours us to have a government that does not represent our generosity and openness of spirit as a people.”

The Prime Minister’s Office, for its part, said: “It’s a debate that will occur at the provincial level,” while Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney tweeted late Wednesday that “freedom of religion is a universal principle.” The previous day NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, whose party has nearly five-dozen seats in Quebec, sidestepped the issue by calling the leaked report a “trial balloon.”

Trudeau said the purported plan was responding to a non-existent problem and said he couldn’t understand which rights the PQ was seeking to protect that weren’t already protected in the Canadian or Quebec charters of rights.

He said state institutions should indeed be neutral, like the Quebec government says, but he added that the individuals who work there are entitled to their religion and freedom of expression.

Past polls have suggested such a plan would have strong public support in Quebec. However, news of the impending details has drawn the wrath of several Quebecers.

Dr. Sanjeet Singh Saluja, who wears a turban as part of his faith, said Wednesday that the PQ’s controversial “Charter of Quebec Values” would drive people from the Sikh, Jewish and Muslim communities away.

“The sad thing is I don’t know if I’d be able to stay here in Quebec,” said Saluja, an emergency-room doctor with the McGill University Health Centre.

“Even though I love my practice here in Quebec, my faith is something that’s important to me and I don’t feel comfortable giving up that part of my persona and I don’t think a lot of people would be willing to, either.”

Saluja, who was born and raised in Montreal, said this type of legislation could have a significant impact on hospital wait times in Montreal because many resident physicians in the city come from Middle Eastern countries and wear hijabs.

A spokeswoman for McGill said training for the Middle Eastern residents is funded by their own governments. She said their Montreal stints usually last from four to six years and the university admits approximately 35-40 trainees per year.

The PQ minority government, lagging behind in popularity, hopes to win votes by championing a “secularism” plan that polls have suggested has considerable support in the province.

Polls have suggested that while the idea has strong support it’s far less of a priority for Quebec voters than other issues, like the economy.

A few hours after Trudeau attacked the PQ plan, Kenney tweeted his own objection: “A child is no less Canadian because she or he wears a kippa, turban, cross, or hijab to school. Kids have always worn religious symbols in Canadian classrooms, w/out jeapardizing (sic) social cohesion. So why is this suddenly a divisive issue?”

Mulcair was more cautious Tuesday when asked about it while in Montreal.

“I’m not going to respond to trial balloons,” said Mulcair, adding his party presented a substantive report in 2007 before Quebec’s Bouchard-Taylor commission on the accommodation of minorities.

“When there is something concrete on the table, I’ll have no hesitation to respond to it.”

The Government of Ontario, however, reacted to the PQ proposal Wednesday without any prompting in an issued statement.

“Our government would oppose the introduction of any legislation in Ontario to restrict or prohibit people’s freedom of expression and religion in public places,” Ontario Immigration Minister Michael Coteau said in the news release with the heading: “Religious Symbols and Coverings in Places that Receive Public Funding.”

“Ontario’s diversity and freedom of expression and religion is a model to the world — where we celebrate and respect each other’s differences.”

CONSERVATIVE SNUB TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS COULD COST BILLIONS

New Democrats are urging the Conservatives to negotiate an end to the ongoing foreign service strike or risk losing billions in economic benefits that international students bring.

“Instead of working towards resolution, the stubbornness of the Conservatives could leave hundreds of Canadians unemployed, cost our economy billions and damage our post-secondary education sector,” said NDP National Caucus Co-Chair Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Scarborough–Rouge River). “The Conservatives created this conflict, they must now negotiate with diplomats and resolve the matter quickly.”

Canadian Foreign Service officers have not had a contract since June 2011 and will not issue new visas until the government negotiates in good faith. Canada competes with countries like the U.S. and Australia to attract students from abroad. A 2012 Conservative government study confirmed that international students contribute upwards of $8 billion in economic benefits to the Canadian economy every year.

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INDIA RAINBOW RECEIVES THE HIGHEST ACCREDITATION AWARD

Posted on 28 August 2013 by admin

The Board of Directors of India Rainbow is proud to announce that India Rainbow Community Services of Peel has earned the CARF International (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) Accreditation for a period of three years from June 2013 to June 2016.

After a long two year journey leading up to the final accreditation survey in June of this year, the award is an indication of the organization’s dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of persons served. We were surveyed in the following areas:

• Adult Day Services

• Home and Community Services

• Governance Standards Applied

The final accreditation report applauds the organization’s exemplary conformance, while comparing the

organization’s standards to that of other organizations in a number of areas, based on CARF’s vast survey archives. Gurpreet Malhotra, Executive Director, stated “Our services, personnel and documentation clearly indicate an established pattern of meeting and exceeding CARF’s highest standards”. A special mention in the final report about the areas of our strength commends us on our cultural competency plan, effective staff education, the strategic plan which demonstrates positive results of including all stakeholders, and staff involvement in the planning process. The person centered approach by staff and creative program planning were but a few highlights mentioned. Our volunteer program is fully integrated in the organization’s mission and values and brings a vibrant addition to the programs. Organizational risk management includes many safeguards, while performance improvement and measurement system are woven throughout the organization.

India Rainbow achieved 100% conformance in the following areas of benchmarking:

Leadership, Strategic Planning, Input from Stakeholders, Legal Requirements, Financial Planning and Management, Risk Management, Human Resources, Technology, Rights of Persons Served, Accessibility, Performance Measurement and Management and Performance Improvement.

Our heartfelt thanks to all those who steadfastly supported us during this journey – clients, caregivers, volunteers, funders, networking partners, members of the Board, and above all – our staff who have shown an extraordinary commitment to their work. We could not have done this without any one of you.

Following this achievement, the Board and staff look forward to working closely with our sister organizations in the community to forge new partnerships and set new standards for service delivery while meeting the needs of the growing communities in Peel. We would welcome an opportunity to discuss any upcoming projects that aligns with our vision and mission.

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Is Back-to-school Commercialism Threatening to Consume Your Child’s Mind and Your Pocketbook?

Posted on 28 August 2013 by admin

As the mother of four children, now young adults, I have not participated in the back-to-school shopping frenzy in quite a while. When back-to-school shopping was something I had to do, my young children were usually the ones who reminded me due to the television commercials that filled the airways around this time. Now we have cable TV and the Internet that also plant the back-to-school shopping seed in the minds of children as early as July. Typically this triggers kids to nag their parents to get to the stores to buy the back-to-school items and clothes that commercialized media leads them to believe they need to have.

I had an experience last year about this time when shopping by myself where a mother and her two children, ages of about 6 and 8, stood before me waiting to pay for their purchases. The older child was whining because they had not been able to find a Sponge Bob tee shirt to go along with the Sponge Bob jacket they had found. “You promised me that all my school clothes and school supplies would be Sponge Bob. You promised!”

The child’s voice proceeded to get louder and louder which then led to tears, wails and a meltdown. The sibling then joined in to remind mom that she needed to find a Dora the Explorer sweatshirt to go with her Dora the Explorer backpack and would not be satisfied until they found one. I suddenly felt bad for all the parents out there that are pressured by their young children for particular items they saw advertised on a screen machine.

The back to school commercials are doing their very best to lure your extremely impressionable children into the “I want. . .”, “I need. . .”, or “I must have . . .” mindset that can add one more stress to your parenting. Here are two things to keep in mind that will help you curtail the back-to-school monster that may be threatening to consume your child’s mind and your pocketbook.

Take control of screen machine viewing. Do not expect your child to be able to resist ads for toys, candy, snacks, cereal, drinks or clothes without your help. If your child watches any TV, you can be sure that she is receiving numerous media messages that promote the notion of consumption being the pathway to happiness, love, acceptance, and success. Take the time to limit the number of commercials your child sees through careful monitoring. You can record shows and eliminate commercials in the playback or watch public television stations (PBS) that are still relatively commercial free or rent children’s videos or DVDs to diminish your child’s exposure.

Help your child become media literate and analyze commercials. When your child asks for products they have seen advertised, explain that the purpose of commercials is to make people want things they may not need. Whenever possible, watch TV with your child and talk about what you see so you can help him think critically about what media is trying to portray. If your child is very young she may not be able to tell the difference between a show, a cartoon, a commercial or real life. If your schedule prevents you from watching TV with your child, talk to her later about what she watched. Better yet, record the programs with commercials so that you can watch them with your child at a later time.

Remember, the goal of advertising is to make a profit. Your child’s attitudes and values are formed by his experiences – experiences you have control over. With anything your child does, always ask, “How is this experience (watching TV commercials) helping my child become the person I want her to be?” Then let your answer be your guide.

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Need to Make and Maintain a Shared View on Tackling Terrorism

Posted on 28 August 2013 by admin

Dr. Hasan Askari

Lahore

  Pakistan has experienced more terrorist attacks since the new federal government under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power in the first week of June 2013.

 Now, after experiencing a lot of violence, the Muslim League government is gradually moving in the direction of adopting a straight policy of countering terrorism. The statements of the prime minister and the interior minister are now clearer on tackling the terrorist groups. However, the federal government still avoids publicly endorsing military operations in the tribal areas. It continues to make vague statements on talks with the Taliban.

 Another major change in the policy of the Nawaz Sharif government is the decision to set up a National Security Council under the title of Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS). This was decided in the first meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) on August 22, 2013.

 The Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) is a reincarnation of the National Security Council set up by General Pervez Musharraf in 2004 under an act of the parliament. However, the federal government has attempted to control the political fallout of reviving the NSC by giving it a new name and describing it as the reconstituted cabinet committee. If it was simply a reconstitution of the DCC there was no need to renaming it because the DCC meetings are attended by all those made members of the new committee.

 There appears to be three major reasons that the PMLN government wants to hang on to using the words “cabinet committee.”

 First, the PMLN, like the PPP, was opposed to setting up the National Security Council going back to the time when the civilianized military government of President General Pervez Musharraf wanted to establish a National Security Council in 2003-2004. Despite the opposition of these political parties, the parliament passed a law in April 2004 with the support of the pro-Musharraf PMLQ and its allies. The PPP government kept the NSC dormant during 2008-2013, although the law was done away with.

 Second, the military top command was not keen about the DCC as the highest policy review and policy making body on defence and security affairs because the top brass of the military could not be its regular members as they were not part of the federal cabinet. Their participation in the DCC was described as being in “attendance” along with the top most intelligence officers and senior bureaucrats who participated on “invitation.” Musharraf’s NSC and the proposed CCNS give the top brass a status equal to the civilian members.

 Third, the structure of the NSC set up during the Musharraf rule had unwieldy membership that excluded key cabinet members. Although the key cabinet members attended the NSC meeting but they were not formal members. The proposed CCNS includes those cabinet members and excludes others who were included for the first time in 2004.

 Traditionally, the military top commanders have been keen to establish NSC in the post-military rule phase which provides a legal and constitutional cover to the role of the military in the national security affairs in expanded mode which includes issues of related civilian policy domains.

 If we examine NSC type institutions in other countries, one fact appears reasonably conspicuous: the role of the command of the military is limited when it comes to the final level. However, in the states ruled by the military their presence at the highest level is integral to the system.

 Perhaps one can argue that in Pakistan, the defence and security affairs, including the key foreign policy areas were the preserve of the military and the ISI during the years of direct and civilianized military rule. The Foreign Office used to give input to this process but it was mainly doing the implementation task.

 The situation has changed somewhat during 2008-2013 when the decision-making in the above mentioned domains is done through a civilian-military consultative process. This also includes the meetings between the service chiefs, especially the Army Chief, and the Prime Minister and the President. The role of Foreign Office has also improved. Much depends on the intellectual and professional caliber of the Foreign Minister and his/her capacity to maintain a relationship of confidence with the military and intelligence top command.

 The proposed CCNS institutionalizes the ground realities of policy making in Pakistan. It can strengthen and deepen the consultative process provided the CCNS functions regularly and the civilian take up security and defence affairs in a more professional manner.

 The CCNS should meet on a regular basis rather than in an emergency situation only. It needs to meet once a month, or more, if required. An office of a “civilian” National Security Advisor (NSA) should be established on a regular basis that should also look after the CCNS secretariat, directly under the Prime Minister. There must be a regular research support system under the NSA that provides insights into defence and internal and external security. The NSA should maintain a link with the research-centres/think-tanks, the academia and others who work on these affairs.

 The top civilian leaders and the military high command need to develop a shared view on terrorism and its sources and how to tackle it by military and non-military means.

 The civilian leaders should not ignore extremism and terrorism in order to win the votes and support of those who sympathize with Islamic militancy. The military should also change its dual policy of fighting against some extremist group while ignoring others, hoping these radical Islamic groups may help to achieve the military’s domestic and foreign policy agenda. Both need to adopt non-discriminatory policy for controlling extremism and terrorism. All those who kill people and terrorize them must be tackled.

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Mumbai gang rape raises concerns over women safety yet again

Posted on 28 August 2013 by admin

Divya Kaeley

“We cannot afford to let our women and children live in insecurity and must make sure that such attacks against women are dealt in the severest manner.” – Kapil Sibal

 The gang-rape of a young photojournalist in Mumbai triggered an avalanche of outrage across the country on Friday and condemned as despicable and shameful stirring memories of a similar attack last December in New Delhi that led to nation-wide protests.

As people from all walks of life voiced their anguish, Political parties, media associations and Bollywood were one in demanding harshest punishment to the perpetrators of the crime in a city which is seen as far safer for women than the national capital, The attack also had its echo in Rajya Sabha which erupted in anger with agitated members expressing serious concern over increasing atrocities on women and the government assuring “harshest” action against the culprits.

Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal said sex assaults must be dealt with “in the severest manner”.”We cannot afford to let our women and children live in insecurity and must make sure that such attacks against women are dealt in the severest manner,” he said.

Hundreds of people including members of several journalists’ associations gathered in south Mumbai to stage a silent protest. Some wore black armbands, while others carried placards reading “Stop rape” and “City of shame.” Media associations in Chennai said the “horrifying incident” has shocked the entire country once again raising the issue of safety of women.

The Mumbai gang-rape victim underwent surgery on Friday and is stable, doctors have said. According to a spokesperson of the Jaslok Hospital where the woman photojournalist is admitted, the victim is able to speak but is still in a state of mental shock.
The photojournalist was brutally gang-raped yesterday inside the deserted Shakti Mills Compound in Mahalaxmi by five men one of whom has been arrested and the other four identified. Her male friend was tied up when she was gang-raped.

But at a time when the whole nation is raging over the brutal gang-rape of a woman photojournalist in Mumbai, a Samajwadi Party leader on Saturday came up with a bizzare approach to stop such heinous incidents. Underlining that there was a need to change mindset of the society, Naresh Agarwal said education and attention to what clothes are worn are also important. Reacting to Agarwal’s comment, Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar said that men advise women what to wear. “Our men wear what they want but advise women what to wear,” said Babbar.

The outrage over the Mumbai gang-rape resonated in Lok Sabha on Saturday with members voicing concern that such incidents continue despite laws being made stringent, a view shared by the government. As members from various parties expressed anguish, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said a report has been sought from the state government on the incident and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde will make a statement in the House on Monday. Nath said despite stringent laws, such crimes continued to take place. Congress president Sonia Gandhi too on Saturday expressed anguish over the gruesome gang-rape of the 23-year-old photojournalist.

Media persons on Saturday held a sit-in protest here condemning the gangrape of a photojournalist in Mumbai and demanded speedy justice for the victim. Scribes from both print and electronic media, camera persons, photojournalists as well as some senior editors joined the protest held near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Income-Tax cross roads here. The protesters displayed placards and banners demanding that the culprits be brought to book immediately.

Many students from different journalism schools and members of Gujarat Media Club also participated in the dharna.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Police is set to leave for Ahmedabad to interrogate self-styled godman Asaram Bapu after another team, which had been sent to Chhindwara Gurukul where the girl, who has accused him of sexual exploitation, has been studying, gathered some vital evidences. ”We have got some vital evidences from the Gurukul and now we are planning to send the team to Ahmedabad to interrogate Bapu. He may be brought here,” said a police official, adding that it is not yet confirmed that when this team would leave.

“It may be on Sunday after the team from Chhindwara is back,” the official reportedly told media.
Till now, the police has verified that the victim and her parents along with Bapu were present in the ashram on August 14 and 15 and the spiritual guru had left the ashram on August 16.

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12 Rules Of Etiquette For Your Office Holiday Party

Posted on 28 August 2013 by admin

Ask about the dress code — and stick to it.

If the party is at someone’s home, call ahead and ask about the dress code.

But dress is important no matter where the party is being held. “You don’t want people talking about what you wore the day or night after the party,” Pachter said.

And for women, the holiday party is not the time to start showing cleavage. “You don’t want to dress seductively; it’s still a business event,” she said.

Have a snack before the party.

“Eat a little before you go to a business social event,” Pachter said. “If you drink, you’ll have something in your stomach, and if the food is delayed, you won’t be hungry.”

Don’t forget to show up.

It’s not really optional, said Pachter. And if you’re invited to more than one office party, you should try to show up at all of them.

“People will expect you to be there,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for you to meet people, and the person you talk to may wind up being the person who interviews you for your next job in three months.”

Bring a gift.

This one is key if the party is at the home of your boss or a fellow co-worker.

Opt for a box of chocolates, coaster set, or other trinket, Pachter recommended. Most people also like receiving wine, but if you’re unsure, stick to a non-alcoholic gift.

Be engaged.

Don’t stand in the corner texting your friends or posting photos to Facebook.

“You want to be seen as a team player,” Pachter said. “Get to know the people you work with outside of the regular work day.”

Act like you are enjoying yourself.

Don’t just engage with the two people you sit next to all day — mingle and let people know you’re enjoying yourself.

If it’s a sit-down meal, make sure you arrive on time and socialize during the cocktail hour, before guests take their seats for dinner.

People who are uncomfortable making conversation can even prep a few topics ahead of time, like new movies or holiday vacation plans, Pachter recommended.

Don’t stuff your face.

“You’re not there for the food — you’re there for business, so if you don’t like the food, don’t eat it,” Pachter said.

And if it’s a holiday dinner party, don’t send the food back. The rest of the table will have to wait for you, and you’ll upset the flow of the meal.

Stay sober by setting a guideline ahead of time.

Getting drunk at the office holiday party is the biggest no-no on this list, and the one most people have trouble abiding by.

“I tell people to set a guideline before they go, which is generally one drink,” Pachter said.

She offered another pro tip: order a drink you don’t love, and that way you’ll nurse it all night instead of guzzling one after another.

Keep your dating life on the down-low.

“If you are dating someone at the company and still keeping it a secret, this is not the time to start dancing romantically, because then everyone will know,” Pachter said.

Don’t try and sneak out.

“Don’t show up fashionably late, and say goodbye and thank you when you leave,” Pachter said. “You want to take advantage of the time, or have a really good reason why you are leaving.”

Sure, stop by the after-party.

If the after-party is standard protocol, it’s fine to stop by.

“Sometimes it’s good to stay for a little while and leave,” Pachter said. “But don’t be the last person out the door.”

Don’t forget to say thanks.

If the party is at someone’s home, be sure to send a thank-you note.

A handwritten note beats an email, and if the party was hosted by a co-worker and spouse, be sure to include them both.

Now build yourself up for the big event.

http://www.businessinsider.com/

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Asin out of ‘Welcome’ sequel!

Posted on 28 August 2013 by admin

New Delhi: Asin Thottumkal, who has starred in successful movies like ‘Ghajini’, ‘Housefull 2’, ‘Ready’ etc has reportedly been ousted from Anees Bazmee’s ‘Welcome’ sequel. It is said that the South Indian actress` father Joseph Thottumkal is to be blamed for her exit from the movie.

According to a tabloid, the 27-year-old actress’ father refused to compromise when it came to the fee for the film. He reportedly demanded nothing less than Rs 1 crore for her daughter, and because of this obstinacy Shruti Hassan was signed in place of Asin.

“After Sonakshi Sinha opted out of the project, Anees had finalised Asin. But her father proved to be a problem. He refused to negotiate the price he had initially quoted for his daughter and that proved tobe the deal breaker,” a source close to the film revealed.

On the other hand, Anees stated that he had no problems in casting the ‘Ghajini’ star, but instead Shruti Hassan suited the role more.

“Asin was one of the heroines we had been considering as I had worked with her in Ready. We signed Shruti as she fits the bill perfectly. We have no issues with Asin,” Anees said. In contrast to Anees` statement a close friend of Asin revealed that the real problem was date issues.

“It’s true that there was some going back and forth between Asin’s dad and the producers. But it was only over date issues as the actress is also supposed to shoot for Umesh Shukla’s film in October. Asin didn’t want them to suffer because of it, so she told her father to convey the same to Anees bhai. Asin is extremely fond of the director. The two will work together again in the future,” Asin’s friend said.

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