TRS wants Telangana HC

Kalvakuntla Kavitha (39), Lok Sabha member from Telangana Rashtra Samithi, does everything with passion, whether it is a political mission or her goal to revive Bathukamma, a floral festival of her newly born state. Daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, she is the first woman Parliamentarian from her state, representing Nizamabad constituency. On Wednesday, she reached the well of the Lok Sabha with other TRS MPs to make a strong demand for a separate high court for Telangana in Hyderabad. At present, Hyderabad already has a high court. Hyderabad is the joint capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for 10 years under the Reorganisation Act. Andhra Pradesh is building its own capital in Amravati.

Kavitha told The Sunday Guardian that there was nothing unusual to ask “for our own High Court at this stage”. In her opinion, it is very much legitimate for the Telangana people “to have our own exclusive institutions”. The judiciary is one of the pillars of any state’s democratic foundation. “We feel that the formation of Telangana is incomplete without its own high court.”

She cited the formation of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand by the Atal Behari Vajpayee government to say, “All these new states had got their high courts within 15 days. And in Telangana, we will have to wait for over three years, or maybe more.”

A separate high court for Telangana, she says, would reduce the pendency of cases. Telangana would be in a position to elevate its own judicial officers to the High Court and the Supreme Court. “We have been totally overlooked so far in this matter. We met Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and he has promised to make a statement in Parliament soon about a separate high court for Telangana.”

Vajpayee story for silver screen

The production of a full-fledged Hindi feature film on former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has started rolling. On Vajpayee’s 93rd birthday on 25 December, a Bollywood firm, Spectrum Movies, announced the launch of the Hindi feature Film Yugpurush Atal in the national capital. The film will be a biopic on Vajpayee’s life. It is expected to be released on Vajpayee’s birthday in 2018. Noted music singer and director Bappi Lahiri has been roped in. The film songs will comprise Vajpayee’s own poems. The script is being written by Basant Kumar, who has been doing research on Vajpayee’s life for over two years. The team includes producers Rajeev Dhamija, Amit Joshi and Ranjeet Sharma along with director Mayank P. Srivastava. The team cut a birthday cake to celebrate Vajpayee’s birthday and announce the making of a film on his life. Srivastava told The Sunday Guardian that “The biopic on Bharat Ratna Atal Behari Vajpayee will be based on real life episodes of his rich life.” Ranjit Sharma said that he had closely worked with Vajpayee and his dream to be associated with this film is coming true.

Delhi-Shimla school turns 100

Can you believe that a Delhi school during the British rule functioned from the capital as well as Simla (now Shimla)? It was Harcourt Butler Senior Secondary School, one of the oldest educational institutions of the Lutyens’ Zone, which is now celebrating the centenary of its existence. It was the only school which functioned from Delhi and Simla as the British government shifted its seat of administration to Himachal Pradesh’s current capital during the summer. The government employees, mostly parents of the students of the school, had to establish themselves at both the places.

The school is located at Mandir Marg, next to Lakshmi Narayan Temple. The road was earlier known as Reading Road because of the number of schools situated on it. The school was named after Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler, who was an officer of the Indian Civil Service. He served as Lieutenant Governor and Governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh from 1918 to 1922. The Harcourt Butler Technological Institute in Kanpur established in 1921 was also named after him. Originally established as Bengali Boys School for the wards of the Central Government employees by some from Bengal, it was renamed as The Harcourt Butler High School after Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler, the then Education Member of the Government of India. It was the first such school established during the British Raj and has survived for 100 years. The school has produced various eminent figures. To name a few—Justice Nasir Aslam Zahidi, Chief Justice of Pakistan; former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda; Congress MP Anand Sharma; Padam Vibushan Nirmal Kumar Verma; famous Indian cricketers from the Amarnath clan—Mohinder, Surinder and Rajinder.

Mystery of Guru Gobind Singh painting solved

The mystery has nearly been solved despite the continuation of a political controversy over the use of “Napoleonic” images in Congress-ruled Punjab government advertisements to mark Guru Gobind Singh’s “Parkash Utsav”. The Bhartiya Janata Party ruled Haryana government too had issued an advertisement with a similar image.

The Shiromani Akali Dal has alleged that Napoleon Bonaparte’s pictures were morphed to create Guru Gobind Singh’s pictures and that the Punjab government had committed a sacrilege.

It has been discovered that Guru’s pictures in the government advertisements were based on an old painting by late Punjabi artist Gurbux Singh Theathi, who was inspired by a French painter Jacques-Louis David’s iconic creation, “Napoleon crossing the Alps” (circa 1801-05).The Amarinder Singh government has denied morphing the image. Government sources say that numerous wallpapers and posters “inspired” by Gurbux Singh’s work are easily available online, particularly on Sikh religious websites. The advertisement making teams had probably “copy-pasted these images without ascertaining their genesis”.Gurbux Singh’s painting shows Guru Gobind Singh astride a horse, with a baaz overhead. It finds a mention in an essay published in October this year by The Quietus, a British online music and pop culture magazine.In “Sikh Painting and Cultural Appropriation”, a Berlin-based writer-editor Gurmeet Singh says: “David’s painting of Napoleon can look ridiculous to us—the lead-guitarist mid-solo—but that’s because it was painted as propaganda, not as a true likeness. When Gurbux Singh painted Guru Gobind Singh a century and a half later, he used David’s Napoleon as a model to convey a different set of ideas.”

Study on children abuse shocks

Many Rajya Sabha members on Wednesday could not believe the countrywide figure—53%—when the government supplied them with information about children’s sexual abuse. The Ministry of Women and Child Development had organised a study on child abuse some years ago in 13 states, including Delhi. The survey team had spoken to over 13,000 children. Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir communicated to the House that the survey found that more than 53% children faced one or more forms of sexual abuse.

According to Ahir’s written reply to a question, 21.90% child respondents reported facing severe forms of sexual abuse and 50.76% other forms of abuse.  Ahir said 50% abusers were persons known to the child and most children did not report the matter to anyone. Children on the streets, at work and in institutional care reported the highest incidence of sexual assault. The survey was conducted in Assam, Mizoram, Goa, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala.

Man Mohan can be contacted at






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