|Tuesday, January 18, 2000,
Rank row creates problems
Bharati disfavours MP Govt
Verdict in Purulia case deferred
HC: doctors to get pay according
to Bakshi report
Jaswants Israel visit
Rank row creates problems
NEW DELHI, Jan 17 While the insurgents are attacking the security installations in Jammu and Kashmir, relations between the armed forces and the civilian authorities have been marred due to a persisting problem relating to rank.
The Army top brass has taken up the issue with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), but its proposals have evoked little response. The Army top brass has been peeved at the attitude of the MoD, which, they say, was having a negative effect on the morale of this fighting arm of the armed forces.
The problem relates to the functional differences between officers of the rank of Director General of Police (DGP), both the Jammu and Kashmir state police force and the central police organisations (CPOs), stationed in the troubled state and the Army officers of the rank of Lt.Gen who are either posted as Corp Commanders or as the GOCs. The officers holding these ranks are presently considered to hold the same status.
The Army Headquarters (AHQ) has suggested that for the smoother functional coordination, the Lt Gen should be deemed a rank higher than the DGPs. This especially keeping in view the proposal to have a unified command in the future. However, the civilian authorities in the MoD are not amused. This is not the only point of difference between the AHQ and the MoD. The Army top brass is also said to be upset with the MoD for not willing to grant parity in salaries to the non-commissioned officers in the force with the civilian officials of the same rank in the ministry.
Sources said that the Chief of the Army Staff, Gen V.P. Malik, was particularly not happy with the proposals being put on hold as they were directly affecting the working of the force and lack of coordination between the Army and the civilian authorities in Jammu and Kashmir was leading to a large number of casualties.
The two proposals from the Army are apparently part of the larger proposal made to the high-powered committee under the Cabinet Secretary, which is going through the Ajit Kumar Committee report on the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission. The Ajit Kumar Committee was set up specially to go into the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission after there were a number of protests from the officers of the armed forces.
Although the Ajit Kumar panel presented its report in April 1998, yet it was referred to another high- powered committee under the Cabinet Secretary in which the three Chiefs of Staff had also been associated. While the two contentious issues have come up for discussion time and again during meetings of this high-powered committee, but there has not been much action.
The sources said these two particular proposals of the Army were also sent to the Union Cabinet, but were turned down. The matter has now been referred to the group of ministers (GoM), which consists of the Defence Minister, the Finance Minister and also the Home Minister.
Senior Army officials
were of the view that if these two contentious issues
were not tackled at the earliest it could have a major
effect on the morale of the officers. They were of the
view that the government should take a decision on the
two issues at the earliest.
NEW DELHI, Jan 17 The types of aircraft, weapons and missiles used by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Operation Vijay in the Kargil sector to drive out Pakistani intruders will be on display during the golden jubilee Republic Day parade here on January 26.
Briefing mediapersons today about the IAF contingent to mark the day, Air Vice Marshal Satish Jain, Assistant Chief of Staff (Operations) at the Air Headquarters, said its theme could be seen in the light of the operations during the Kargil conflict.
"The aircraft, equipment and weapons used during the operations will be displayed by the IAF contingent," he said.
The highlight of the IAF show will be the flypast which, for the first time, will feature Indias most advanced combat aircraft Sukhoi-30. It will be part of 25 aircraft which will form part of the flypast "weather and visibility permitting".
The flypast will include two shockwave-patterned formations, each consisting of six Jaguar aircraft, with the finale to be accomplished by an SU-30 multi-role aircraft which is to carry out aerobics (Vertical Charlie) at Rajpath.
The flypast will begin with four MI-8 helicopters leaving a trail of colours. This will be followed by the Big Boy formation with an IL-76 aircraft in the lead, flanked by two AN-32 transport aircraft and trailed by two Dorniers.
Air Vice Marshal Jain said three TU-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, the largest of its kind in the world, will also fly past the Rajpath followed by three SU-30 fighter planes.
The planes and weapons to roll out on Rajpath on the Republic Day will include MI-17 helicopters with rocket pods which were extensively used for troop augmentation during the Kargil crisis, MIG-21 Bis Air defence ground attack aircraft fitted with missiles, MIG-27 fighter planes which were also widely used during the operations, Mirage-2000 fighters equipped with 1000 kg laser-guided bombs and laser designated pods.
The armament trailer will have super 530-D beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missiles, R-60 and R-73 air-to-air infra red homing missiles, Magic-1 and Magic-2 air-to-air close combat missiles and 1000 LB bombs and BL-755 bomb clusters.
Bharati disfavours MP Govt dismissal
BHOPAL, Jan 17 (PTI) Union Tourism Minister Uma Bharati, who had resigned protesting the alleged police assault on BJP corporators here, today disfavoured the dismissal of the Digvijay Singh government in Madhya Pradesh.
"I firmly believe that instead of getting the state government dismissed, steps should be taken to ensure that it no longer enjoys the peoples support," she told reporters here.
Attacking the Digvijay Singh government for being "highly insensitive towards women and having no regard for democratic processes", she said "the manner in which the BJP corporators including women had been beaten up on Thursday during the election of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation chairman indicate that the Chief Minister did not have any regard for the rule of the law."
Meanwhile, the BJP said today that it would not allow programmes of Chief Minister Digvijay Singh anywhere in the state till its demands for action against the officials involved in the alleged beating of the BJP corporators and cancellation of corporation chairmans election here on January 13 were accepted.
Till the demands were accepted by the government, the protest would continue, BJP state General Secretary Shivraj Singh Chauhan told reporters near the Chief Ministers residence where the party was holding a dharna.
He said effigies of the Chief Minister were set on fire at about 50 places in the state capital, besides divisional and district headquarters. Effigies would also be hanged on trees and poles on January 19, Mr Chauhan added.
Union Ministers Ramesh Bais and Shahbaz Khan also visited the dharna site today.
On the other hand the controversy took a new turn with the Congress staging a dharna in protest against the reported statement of Governor Bhai Mahavir.
Congress corporators, led by district Congress President Zahir Ahmad, were staging a dharna at pradesh Congress committee office in protest against what they called the Governors refusal to meet them and giving controversial statement with regard to the alleged assault on the BJP corporators.
Raj Bhavan sources said the Governor expressed surprise over the reported news that he refused to meet the delegation of the Congress. He described the news as "totally wrong and mischievous".
Ms Uma Bharati, admitted
today that she had taken the decision to quit the
ministry only after discussing the matter with the Union
Time for another Miss Universe
NEW DELHI, Jan 17 (PTI) The three new divas of Indian glamour world catwalked into the Capitals hearts today with stars in their eyes. A passion for philanthropy and a steely determination to win laurels for the country.
Lara Dutta, the new Miss India Universe, Miss India World Priyanka Chopra and Miss India Asia-Pacific Diya Mirza, who arrived here two days after they won the coveted titles at Pune, said they were looking forward to new challenges and were confident of victory on the international stage where they would be representing India.
"Its been six years since we have had a Miss Universe. I think its about time we have had one. I am going to put in all my energies and I am looking forward to it," said a confident Lara, who was wearing a powder pink saree and a winsome smile.
Already a popular model, she said she was open to a career in the world of glamour, including movies.
Asked how she would make her title relevant to the common man, she said, "I hope to be able to motivate young women that they can dare to dream and can do it."
Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen who motivated 18-year-old Miss India World Priyanka Chopra, a class XII student who loves theatre and hopes to be a criminal psychologist or a software engineer.
"Meeting Sushmita was the greatest thing to have happened to me," said Priyanka, who was wearing an embroidered saree with a matching sleeveless blouse.
Her "ideal man", Priyanka said, should have a strong character, belief in himself and the sanctity of promise, give space, lot of love and mutual respect."
It was her mother for Colgate Gel model 18-year-old Miss India Asia-Pacific Diya Mirza, who is an "indoor person" and loves poetry and painting.
"Ideal man has no
real definition. He should be humble, honest, loving,
caring, sensitive. He could be a labourer, a painter, a
sportsman or even a journalist," she said.
Verdict in Purulia case deferred
CALCUTTA, Jan 17 (PTI) The city Sessions Judge hearing the Purulia armsdrop case today deferred the pronouncement of the verdict till January 31.
The judge, Mr P.K. Biswas, did not give any reason for the deferment of the judgement, scheduled to be pronounced today.
The judge said he would hear the petitions filed by various persons in connection with the case on January 19.
British national Peter Bleach, along with Latvians Igor Timerman, Igor Moskitivine, Oleg Gaidash,
Alex Klaishin, E Antimenko and Vinay Kumar Singh, all accused in the case, were present in the court. Bleach is pleading his own case.
The Special Public Prosecutor, Mr Sisir Ghosh, appearing for the CBI, was present along with the counsel for the Latvians, Mr Shyamal Ghosh.
The two main accused, including British national Kim Peter Davy, are still at large.
Bleach told reporters that he was not upset by the deferment of the verdict. "The judicial process must take its time," he said.
Stating that the case
was "very complicated," he said. "I am
glad that the trial has gone on quickly. The judge has
listened to everything we had to say."
tales spiced with sex
NEW DELHI, Jan 17 First it was the US entry "Boys Dont Cry," a film about a girls desire to pose and live as a boy that led to her brutal rape and murder. Then came "Post Mortem," the film from Canada in which a sex-starved official in a mortuary sleeps with the naked body of a beautiful woman. The latest in the row of such pathology is the British film "War Zone" that handles the explosive theme of incest! If films could be called the reflection of what goes on behind the glow and glamour of a developed society we had a taste of it at the Cinema of the Worlds screenings of IFFI 2000.
As violence becomes more psychic and crime acquires an acceptable face of social engineering, filmmakers in the West tend to focus on the freak fringes of society with more tantalizing outcome. And if what they present is reality, as it should be, the surmise is that it is too brutal and too pathological.
A filmmaker may find this brutallity in the closet as something too hot to overlook and open the closet of the private selves without trepidation. The catch in the situation, however, is that with technical virtuosity reigning supreme in film making, the common viewer, starved of new ideas and issues, or too bored with the familiar ones, finds such stuff reality not as an object of revulsion but as sensational fodder to devour. The question is: what moral vision does the cinema in the Western world carry today? The same question arose after the Canadian entry "Seducing Maaria" was screened. The woman protagonist in the film marries a young man, sleeps with his father, and has a brother from India who is physically obsessed with her. If these films are to be taken at their face-value the society in the West is psychically torn asunder and there are no better issues/themes than to pull open the closets.
As "Boys Dont Cry" has already been written about in these columns the other two films need some elaboration. Linda in "Post Mortem" lives with her mother and a daughter and has a desire to shift to a country house of her own; all looks normal on the surface: a hard working woman, a caring mother and a lovely 5-year-old daughter. But Linda makes money through brutal means; she entices young and unsuspecting men for lonely rendezvous, then crookedly smashes their head, robs them. As she has done it quite too often one night the tables are turned on her, instead she gets killed as her victim recovers too soon and pounces back on her. A bizarre twist in the narrative keeps up the viewers interest in the movie.
"War Zone" by Tim Roth is an adaptation of Alexander Stuarts eponymous novel. Jessie is sexually abused by her father who, on the surface, leads a normal life with his wife. Tom, the teenaged son in the family, is uttely traumatized as he gets to know what has been going on between his sister and father. Jessie herself constantly spends tense moments. The atmosphere in the family turns into a muted war zone with Tom finding himself psychically abused. The climax unfolds another aspect of violence.
All the three films are
technically slick with the directors aiming to hold the
audiences interest with gripping narratives. There
are other devices, such as nudity and sex. Though
apparently interwoven in the text, sex, violence (now
psychic violence) and crime enable a film to hold on its
own; it is a trusted additive to keep up the interest of
the viewer. For the viewer in Delhi that is what matters
in a festival film. For a change, the Delhi cinema halls
saw crowds flocking for these films. For the crowds, the
rest, indeed, is "arty nonsense". And,
apparently, nothing matters more for the celluloid
commerce than the crowds.
Probing characters psyche
IFFI 31 continues to screen some really good films. Actually the bad ones are few and far between though the know-all claim that there is a marked deterioration in the quality of films. Also, the subjects dealt with cover a vast canvas but it seems homosexuality and single parentage problems seem to dominate.
Pedra Almondavors "All About My Mother" is a real stunner and deals with her son who does not know who his father is. But when he dies it provokes his mother Manuela to search for her husband and what a weird world she has to traverse and what surprises we have in store.
It is a world of whores and gays, transvestites and lesbians, of pregnant nuns and uncaring parents. In his inimitable style Almodavor probes deep into the psyche of the characters. That she herself was a whore is not surprising but the best part of the film is that it desists from taking any moral stand. "To understand all is to forgive all," seems to be its message. Yet it does not fail to be realistic and expose the dangers of permissiveness with AIDS not surprisingly figuring as one of the fallouts.
Rupert Wainwrights "Stigmata" is about a woman who bleeds in the areas where Christ was nailed to the cross. The Church seems to avoid taking a stand on this phenomenon, with Padre Pio being one of the most famous stigmatist.
Here Patricia Atquette, the woman, who much against her consciousness, experiences these wounds and bleeding, and Gabriel Byrne is the priest probing this phenomenon. "I travel round the world investigating miracles and then I disprove them," he says early in the film. He is a priest and a scientist and hence a clash of beliefs but in this instance it is a big happening and his involvement in it is the cause of much consternation for the hierarchy. He is suspected of being in love with the woman. The film does a tight-rope walk before coming of with a convincing and provoking solution. A very good film which, however, could have exercised some restraint.
"Pokhi" too is an excellent film about a young
girl who is able to overcome her hatred for her
"arch enemy" and replace it with love.
Simplistic, a wee bit slow, but fulfilling indeed.
HC: doctors to get pay according to Bakshi report
NEW DELHI, Jan 17 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today said that senior doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) would continue to draw salary as per the Bakshi Committee recommendations and issued notices to the Union Cabinet Secretary and the Health Secretary on a contempt application by the doctors association.
While a Division Bench of the Chief Justice S. N. Variava and Mr Justice S. K. Mahajan said the interim order of March 3 last year directing the government to pay salary to the AIIMS faculty members as per the Bakshi panel recommendations, from March 1, 1999, would continue, a single Bench of Mr Justice Vijender Jain issued notices to the two top offcials on the doctors plea.
The Faculty Association of the AIIMS (FAIMS) in its contempt application alleged that government was "trying to finalise the matter without associating" the doctors body in the process, as had been directed by the court in the interim order.
The Division Bench was hearing a pending public interest writ by a lawyer which had challenged the doctors strike in February last year on the issue of Bakshi panel pay scales to them. Doctors had ended their stir only after the court directed the government to pay salary to them as per the panels recommendations.
The Union Cabinet on
January 12 rejected the Bakshi panel report saying the
government was not able to accept its recommendations on
salary to faculty members of the AIIMS and the PGI,
Chandigarh due to their "cascading" financial
Jaswants Israel visit postponed
NEW DELHI, Jan 17 External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singhs scheduled two-day visit to Israel has been postponed in view of the fast developing situation in the Middle East.
A spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs said here today that Mr Jaswant Singhs visit is being postponed in view of the fast-paced developments in the Middle East related to peace talks between Syria and Israel.
Fresh dates for the visit would be worked out through diplomatic channels, the spokesman said.
Mr Jaswant Singh was
scheduled to arrive in Tel Aviv on January 20. This was
the first visit of an Indian Foreign Minister to Israel
since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties and
was being considered significant as it was likely to
result in further consolidation of bilateral ties.
Cong mens protest
MUMBAI, Jan 17 (PTI) Congress workers in Maharashtra, today staged demonstrations in several parts of the state in protest against a write-up in The Times of India (TOI) that listed Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi among the sexiest woman of the country, according to Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC).
MPCC president Prataprao
Bhosle said that demonstrations were held at Mumbai,
Aurangabad, Pune, Nagpur, Kohlapur, Satara and Amravati.
student on indefinite fast
5 killed in
7 die as vehicle
falls into river
Bodies of 3 Cong
Family of six
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