My greatest “Hichki moment” is the death of my parents: Shahrukh Khan reveals to Rani Mukerji

Enlightening up about the loss of his parents, Shahrukh Khan has revealed to Rani Mukerji in an interview that the death of his parents could have taken over his life wholly but he decided to overcome the sad moment by letting acting incite in his life. The Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji is promoting her upcoming film Hichki by asking celebs to share the hiccups they confronted in life.

“My greatest ‘Hichki moment’ is the death of my parents. I was 15 when my father passed away and 26 when my mother passed away. It was very sad for us. The empty house without my parents used to come to bite us (my sister and me). The loneliness, pain, and sadness of the loss of both my parents, could have been overwhelming enough to take over my life wholly. I decided to overcome this Hichki moment by letting acting fill up my entire life,” the 52-year-old superstar said in the interview. Khan added that “My parents went away suddenly. We got to know they had cancer and within two and a half months, they were gone. I didn’t know what to do. I just felt one night, while at their mazaar that I should fill this void with something. I got a fortunate break in films. For me, acting is not work but a place to vent out my feelings”.

Commenting on his life ahead, Khan said, “I always say this that one morning, when I wake up, I will realize that I have spent all these emotions and now have nothing more to give (as an actor). Otherwise, death is a hiccup from which there is no coming back. I realised that and therefore, overcame it by giving my work, my all. The God who gives us life and the problems and roadblocks, also makes us find ways to overcome those.” Hichki, Rani’s upcoming film in which she will be see playing the character of Naina Mathur who has Tourette Syndrome (a disorder which forces an individual to make involuntary repetitive movements or sounds). The film emphasizes on turning disadvantages into opportunities and working down as challenges that life throws at once and finally winning over them. The movie is all set to release on March 23, which is produced by Maneesh Sharma under the Yash Raj Films banner.

Subramanian Swamy alleges Sridevi was murdered, claims difficult to drown and die in bathtub

On Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy expressed his opinion that veteran actress Sridevi was murdered, even as the forensic reports dismissed any kind of strategic play in her death. Swamy also alleged his blame at the underworld terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, stating that we must take serious cognizance of the “illicit relations between cinema actresses and Dawood.”

“It doesn’t appear to me the facts that have come out in the media are consistent. She never drank hard liquor so how did it enter her system? Was she forcibly fed? What happened to the CCTV, we have not heard a word about that. It suddenly appears in the media that she died of heart failure as if it’s pre-planned,” Swamy told ANI. He concluded saying that “If you ask my opinion I’ll tell you that I think it’s murder”. Contrary to the initial reports of the actress died due to cardiac arrests, the mystery around the death of Sridevi has shocked the whole country since the forensic report stated that she died of accidental drowning after losing balance and falling in a bathtub full of water.

The hints of alcohol in her body were also found. The veteran actress passed away on late Saturday night in Dubai, where the actress went to attend a family wedding. The actor’s body was reportedly sent for preserving after the postmortem. Following the completion of necessary paperwork, Sridevi’s mortal will depart for India. There are also rumors spreading that Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor was summoned by the Dubai police for an investigation into the case. Kapoor was allowed to go back to his room after the police recorded his statement.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat compared volunteers with ‘general society’, not Indian Army, says RSS

On Monday, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said that its chief Mohan Bhagwat did not disregard the army or comment on its preparation in the course of a speech given a day earlier in Bihar’s Mirpur. The RSS clarified in a statement by spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya that Bhagwat said if the nation’s law calls for raising an armed force, the preparation time for ordinary citizens would be six months, but volunteers of the RSS would take a shorter time to be ready, because of the army-like discipline they follow.

“This was no way a comparison between the Indian army and the Sangh swayamsevaks but it was a comparison between general society and swayamsevaks. Both are to be trained by the Indian Army only,” the statement said. The 67-year-old chief had reportedly said that the RSS has the ability to make an “army” to battle for the nation within three days if such a situation ascends, whereas the army would take 6-7 months to prepare. However, Vaidya said that the RSS chief did not question the army’s capability nor was he portraying a comparison between the army and the swayamsevaks.

He added Bhagwat was stating to the time that the army would take to groom ordinary citizens facing swayamsevaks. Bhagwat was heard saying in a video clip posted by RSS on its Twitter handle that the Sangh is not a military or paramilitary organization, but a family organization.

Padmaavat box office collection: It has an extraordinary 1st Thursday

The Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus has collected some extraordinary numbers in its extended first week. The film presently stands at 166 crore* which is a huge number, bearing in mind the fact that it had to witness a lot of controversies and had a delayed release as well. On the other hand, no one was sure about the position till the two days remaining for the film to release as there were many protests going and warning to disrupt the shows as well.

But luckily, for the Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the team, everything went fine at just the right time and the results are just mind-blowing. The Shahid-Deepika-Ranveer starrer film had to suffer loss at the box office as the film didn’t release in several states. The Bhansali’s period drama had enjoyed the long Republic day weekend and also the Wednesday paid previews made an addition to the total. The film has collected Rs 10.25 crore on Day 8 at the ticket window, as per the BoxOffice India site. The film stands at 166 Cr, which is a huge number. Bhansali’s film has proved to be blockbuster and has been appreciated by both the audiences as well as the critics. Many Bollywood celebs, on the other hand, took to their respective social media handles to praise the film and wrote some amazing words for the film.

The ace filmmaker Bhansali also talked about Ranveer-Deepika and revealed that he would continue to work with them in future as well. “I love Deepika and the effortlessness which she brings on the set. I even feel that her performances are detailed and nuanced which makes me want to work with her again,” Bhansali said about Deepika. While commenting on Ranveer, he said, “I think Ranveer is aware of his strengths and limitations and hence he knows what to extract from him. Ranveer would achieve much more greatness only if he could become a little effortless too.”

India and ASEAN Connect

In the 1990s, the Indian government had initiated a policy which aimed to ‘Look-East’. While much of a headway was not made as the liberalization of the economy had not happened in the early years, the process was slow.

After the onset of the new century, the world developed an inclination for the Indian as well as the East Asian markets as they were rich in their natural reserves and also offered a host of services at a competitive price.

The Indian government in the later years of the recent decade favoured and signed many pacts with the East Asian nations, which aimed to boost trade and military ties in the region.

The guests of honour at this year’s Republic Day parade are the officials/ premiers of ASEAN countries who are here to pursue a futuristic goal. The biggest factor that has catalysed the current interest of ASEAN in India is the tough stand taken by Chinese on the territorial fronts in the ASEAN region.

The other factor is also the wave of mass Chinese economic might which has shadowed every other mid-sized economy, and Indian economy seems to be the only light house in these situations.

While the projects instituted between the Indian government and the ASEAN nations have not shown much of progress, the ASEAN trust is a promising response for the Indian market which will provide the right amount of push for the economic cooperation which will define the new economic narrative required for the global markets.

The ASEAN nations and India will also put the penetration through logistics by investing in road and rail connectivity which will foster cultural relations and cement economic ties as well.

The ASEAN nations have certain peculiar resources which if tapped by Indian manufacturers, will enhance the overall productivity of the bloc. The Indian service sector if works together with the ASEAN will yield in the world’s largest service sector bloc.

The co-operation in energy sector will be another way to go forward, where not only the conventional sources of energy would benefit the Indians, but also the boost that the renewable energy resources shall get is beyond the scope of imagination.

Also, the routes of tourism and circuital development will help the ASEAN and Indian markets to benefit from the tourist flows which come find a deep attraction in the region.

Also, there is a major possibility of formation of a bloc resembling the European Union, which if translated into a reality will be a bigger bloc than the EU in all respects.

It will worth observing how the current regime responds to the latest developments and will counter the Chinese constructively through leadership and partnership.

The Asean Map showing the nations who shall be the prospective partners in growth with India, and counter Chinese resurgence.

Looks like a team of good bowlers and one great batsman, says Srikkanth

The former Indian captain Kris Srikkanth considers that the Indian cricket team’s united batting failure in both innings of the second test in Centurion, which helped South Africa win the series with a match to go, could have been evaded with better performance. Srikkanth described India’s mild batting at Centurion in his column for TOI.

“To say the defeat in the second Test was an embarrassment is an understatement. The manner in which the batsmen surrendered in the second innings proved beyond doubt they lacked the stomach for a battle,” said Srikkanth. The 58-year-old former cricketer wrote that “I am not going to get into the manner in which the Indian batsmen lost their wickets, all I can say is the South African bowling was not as menacing as it was made out to be and it was lack of application that cost the game. A target of 287 was not easy at the same time it was not impossible”.

The first century from India’s side came from Kohli, who made 153 in their first innings of 307. In the same innings, the next highest score following Kohli was made by opener Murali Vijay’s 46 followed by 38 from R Ashwin. The other team players disappointed as many players weren’t even able to touch the 20 runs mark. “My heart goes out to Virat Kohli the batsman. The manner in which he handled the bowling in the first innings made us believe he was playing on a different wicket against a different attack. He deserved support from his top order colleagues. Barring M Vijay and later R Ashwin, there was little else for Kohli to fall back on,” Srikkanth wrote.

“To score half the team’s score and do that effortlessly shows the class of Kohli. It was a pity that his early fall in the second innings shut the match as a contest. I did expect the batsmen to come out with a better show during the chase. At the end of the day this team looks like a team of good bowlers and one great batsman,” the 58-year-old added. However, the former captain added that he was happy to witness India’s pace bowlers and Ashwin do well across both Tests in South Africa. “The Indian bowlers, on the other hand, have done a terrific job. Barring the first innings at Cape Town where they leaked 40 runs more that they should have. They did makeup in the second innings by bowling the hosts cheaply. Honestly, the team management could not have expected anything better from their bowlers,” the 52-year-old wrote.

The third and final test will start from January 24 at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

Walking With AIDS:Aiding the Unaided

The one of the most dreaded and incurable diseases that the mankind faces today is AIDS. Despite so much of publicity about AIDS, the 5% of the Indian society is affected by AIDS (study by NIMHANS, 2014).

The disease is spread in humans through mosquito bites, blood infusion, use of infected blades, and unprotected intercourse. The causes, whatever they may be the disease comes with a social stigma that causes a the person affected to live a life in lurch.

The people who are known to be suffering from AIDS have been subjected to termination from their jobs, not only in the private sector but even in the public sector. The frequent occasions and ostracization that follow the disease, led the Supreme Court to rule that the doctors, or the paramedics to not to disclose the identity of the persons suffering from AIDS. The law even made efforts to curb the social ostracization, which even amounted to economic losses, in the form of loss of employment.

The Supreme Court took the view that the disease being without any cure, and the person expecting death in all the cases, must be dealt with in a humane manner, by not only the State bu the society as well. The people who were subjected to treatment like outcastes, were taken care of by the Parliament in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017, which came into force last year in April.

The act aims to ensure prevention of the disease as well as ensure that the human rights of the persons affected with the disease are not transgressed.

Thus, there is also a mechanism in place to provide people suffering from AIDS on the government support. The disease has no cure, but if detected at an early stage, the virus may be kept under control and the disease may not create havoc in the lives of the patients.

The annual average wages for a person who suffers from AIDS in our times, annually, must be somewhere around INR 1.80 lacs, which only includes the amount of sustenance and medicines.

While the people who suffer from AIDS, are burdened with meeting the familial expenses as well, there exists a mechanism in various states to put them on government support.

Today, a bench of acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Gita Mittal while hearing a PIL filed by an AIDS patient, remarked that the support that the Delhi Government provides to these needy people is even less than Rs 100/- a day, which is Rs 1000/- per month. The Court even said that the Delhi government can provide free water and electricity when it is cash strapped, but cannot provide humanitarian assistance in the form of minimum wages to these needy people.

The issue delves deeper as the governments all over have not tried to subsidise the medicines needed to keep the virus in check, be made available to people easily, as they remain highly priced.

The state support has to be multifold, as they will have to provide medicines at an affordable price, while they  ensure a payment of minimum wages to the patients who find it tough to find employment due to their failing health.

The lives of those walking with AIDS must be aided, while the ones with aids to support their needs, must not be aided at the cost of those in need.

The move of the HC is a right step at enabling beneficial treatment towards the patients of AIDS.