Noted Russian language professor, Meeta Narain of the Jawaharlal Nehru University was conferred with the prestigious Pushkin Medal at a ceremony at the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in New Delhi on Wednesday. It is the highest international award given to a scholar of Russian language and literature for outstanding contribution to Russian studies abroad.

The medal was presented by Roman N. Babushkin, Deputy Chief of Mission, Russian Embassy. Named after the famous Russian author and poet Alexander S. Pushkin, only a few Indian scholars and public figures have been awarded this medal since its institution in 1977. After the withering away of communism in USSR, the text books for graduate students continued to have a Left fervour. Narain rewrote these books with contemporary flavour, which are now being used in the Department of Russian Language in India, countries of former USSR, Europe, and America etc. Her academic excellence in Russian philology and translation studies has been recognised worldwide.

CBI played games with PC

After the rejection of his anticipatory bail by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday, P. Chidambaram went incommunicado, which “suited” the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate. The CBI immediately issued a lookout notice for him, which made headlines. It suited the BJP to show Chidambaram as “running away from the law”. Trusted sources told The Sunday Guardian that the CBI and Intelligence Bureau knew exactly where Chidambaram was and kept a discreet watch on him. “If we wanted to pick him up, we could have done it any moment,” a high level source said adding “but, as we expected, he went underground to prepare himself for getting relief from the Supreme Court as he knew his arrest was imminent”. Asked why they were playing these games, he said, “We wanted to be 100% sure that he did not get any relief—screaming headlines ‘PC Goes Missing’ were to our advantage.” But the CBI’s plan hit a roadblock when PC suddenly surfaced at the Congress headquarters on Wednesday night. So it was the time to act. The CBI and ED teams rushed to Chidambaram’s Jor Bagh residence and finding the gates locked, the CBI men scaled the wall to enter the premises to arrest him. To the delight of many in the ruling class, it was an unprecedented live show for the whole nation.

Meanwhile, Congress sources said that PC’s press conference was planned in the afternoon by the party’s top leadership and legal guns. Chidambaram was also keen to appear before the media to dispel the perception that he was absconding. Around 6 pm, senior party leaders reached Ahmed Patel’s residence to review the situation. Incidentally, it was Ahmed Patel’s 70th birthday that day. It was decided that PC should appear before the media and then let himself be arrested. That is why, the party’s legal eagles Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi were with PC in his house when he was arrested.

Netflix series Upsets SGPC

The Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee in Amritsar has criticised Netflix for its web series Sacred Games 2, in which actor Saif Ali Khan is seen throwing away his kada into the sea. Kada is one of the five sacred Sikh kakkars, religious symbols. The SGPC says this has hurt Sikh religious sentiments and has asked filmmaker Anurag Kashyap to remove the scene or face legal action. SGPC chief secretary Dr Roop Singh told The Sunday Guardian that “we cannot allow anyone to play with the religious emotions of the Sikhs in any film or serial. If a Sikh character is portrayed, the makers ought to maintain the Sikh ethics and principles.”

‘A Bomb In Your Turban’

Ravi Singh, a Sikh humanitarian campaigner, faced a racial jibe at Vienna airport in Austria recently. He maintained his calm when a woman security person “joked” about finding a bomb in his turban. The founder of Khalsa Singh was returning to the UK and was changing flights. He walked through the metal detector without setting it off. But a woman staffer insisted on giving his turban a scan with a handheld device. When he asked if there was a problem, she said, “Yes, we found explosives.” “I was upset,” Singh told The Sunday Guardian. “She was smirking when she first made the comment but went red in embarrassment when I challenged her. But she said that she won’t apologise.” Singh said he had forgiven her. Jasveer Singh, of the Sikh Press Association in London, said, “In the Western world, anyone with a beard or brown skin or a head-covering can find himself labelled as ignorantly as Ravi Singh was.”


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