‘Satyagraha’ Timely Wakeup Call for a Wounded Nation

Film: “Satyagraha”
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpayee, Amrita Rao
Director: Prakash Jha
Rating: ****


Prakash Jha’s “Satyagraha” bears no thematic relation to any of his earlier political dramas. It is certainly not a sequel to his “Raajneeti”, as has been reported in some sections of the media. And yes, it is most certainly based on the movement that Anna Hazare started against corruption. To say that Mr. Bachchan’s character Dwarka Anand in “Satyagraha”, lovingly called Dadujee by one and all, and Dadujee’s turbulent relationship with the go-getting NRI-turned-Gandhian-nationalist Maanav Raghvendra(Devgn) does not bear a resemblance to the Anna Hazare-Arvind Kejriwal equation, would be plain blindness.


What Jha and his very able astute and politically informed co-writer and long-time collaborator Anjum Rajabali have done, is to collect together the thematic threads of Anna Hazare’s mass anti-corruption movement and weave it into a gripping, thoughtful, hard-hitting and inspirational drama which contains all the resonances of a newspaper headline, and wrap it up in the semantics of cinema with as little creative violence as possible even while addressing an inherently violent issue.

From the time Jha made his intensely political drama “Damul”, there has been a constant strife between the director’s personal political ideology and its rendition into cinematically interpreted language. Drama and emotions have always been Jha’s bete noire. In his predominantly brutal domain of interpersonal politics, the human drama is played out austerely, often at the cost of squandering away the chance to draw the characters’ innerscape in an elaborately-charted scheme .

In Jha’s “Aarakshan”, we had seen that trademark emotional austerity in the way he portrayed Mr. Bachchan’s relationship with his screen-daughter Deepika Padukone. In “Satyagraha”, one feels the relationship between Mr. Bachchan’s character and his widowed daughter-in-law (Amrita Rao) could have gone a little further. But then Mr. Bachchan is the kind of extraordinary actor who can say so much about his character’s emotional environment in the most meagre playing-time. Here, he has that one moment with Amrita Rao when hearing her sob in the dead of the night, he goes into her room to console her… And we know the kind of deep bonding this powerful patriarch shares with his cruelly widowed Bahu.

Shri Krishna Janmashtami / Krishna Jayanthi – 28/08/2013




Shri Krishnastami is celebrated on Wednesday August 28th 2013. Sri Krishnastami or Krishna Jayanthi marks the celebration of the birth of Lord Sri Krishna;the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the ‘Rohini’ nakshatra on Ashtami; that’s why it is called Krishnastami. In karnataka it is also known as Gokulashtami and Janmashtami. The festival occurs between August and September in our English calendar.

According to our Hindu mythology, Krishna was born to destroy Mathura’s demon King Kamsa, brother of his virtuous mother, Devaki. A celestial voice told Kamsa that he would be killed by the eighth child of Devaki. Alarmed by the message, Kamsa imprisoned Devaki and her husband Vasudeva. Taking no chances, Kamsa went on killing Devaki’s children soon after birth. Lord Krishna was born as the eighth child of Vasudeva at midnight. But at Krishna’s birth, under divine instructions, Vasudeva left the prison unnoticed with the baby. He crossed the mighty river Yamuna which was in spate due to heavy rains. Without any difficulty, he walked across the river protected from rain by the mighty serpent Shesha, and reached Gokul. In Gokul, on the same midnight, a girl named Yogamaya had been born to Yasoda, wife of Nanda a herdsman. The babies were exchanged, and Vasudeva came back to prison with the girl. When Kamsa was told that his sister had given birth to a child, Kamsa attempted kill the child. But the baby who was Goddess Maya, flew off to the heaven, warning Kamsa that Krishna, who would kill him, had already been born and was alive. Eventually, Krishna killed Kamsa, and released his parents from the prison, and brought peace and happiness to the common people.

In our Madhwa tradition, we are supposed to fast on this day, and late during the night; usually midnight we are supposed to give Arghya to Lord krishna. Here is the stotra to be said while giving Arghya to Lord Krishna. While giving the Arghya, hold a coin, a lemon and dried date in your right hand, and using a silver spoon offer 3 times milk and 3 times water to Lord krishna in a silver bowl, and keep repeating the below Stotra as well. Everyone in the household has to give Arghya to the Lord.


Krishna Arghya

Jathaha Kamsavadarthaya Bhoobharotharanayacha|
Kouravanam Vinashaya Dhaityanam Nidhanaya Cha ||
Pandavanam Hitharthaya Dharamasamsthapanaya Cha|
GruhanaArghyam Maya Dhatham Devakya Sahitho Hare ||


Chandra Arghya

Kshirodharnava Sambhootha AthiGotraSamudhbhava |
GruhanaArghyam Maya Dhatham Rhohinya Sahitho Shashin ||


The food items performed are mostly sweet dishes, fried items and items with Avalakki. All these dishes are performed with extreme madi. If you are not able to do so, here are some useful tips:

1. The most important thing in any festival is the breaking of the coconut and offering it to god, so bring a coconut.

2. Keep also 5 fruits for offering to god, like Banana, Mango, Apple, Orange, Grapes, Plum, Pear and so on..

3. You can make the following dishes which have been mentioned here in the blog which need no cooking at all, add the seasonings after you do the Naivedaya to god.

4. If you don’t mind cooking on the gas stove, here are other recipes you can make as well

5. Bring lots of flowers which are again easily available; roses

6. Offer butter also to the Lord which again is available in all grocery stores.

7. Below are several links which has all the songs in praise of Lord Krishna posted in this blog.

8. Here are some links from dvaita.org as pdf files

9. We also place a silver cradle and keep the Ambegalu Krishna idol in the cradle and rock the cradle while singing the following song:

10. Recite Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya as many times as possible.

11. Little feet of Lord Krishna are drawn as well along with other rangolis.

11. Last but not the least, do as many namaskaras as you can and break the fast.

Once you finish the pooja, surrender yourself to the Almighty Lord by saying the following Stotra.


May Lord Krishna Bless ALL

Can Falling Rupee be Rescued by Gold in Indian Temples?

The Prime Minister, The Finance Minister, The Finance Ministry of India as well as the RBI are trying to come up with dynamic measures to solve the current problem of falling rupee and improving the Indian economy as a whole. Most of the initiatives taken by RBI met with criticism, and the need of the hour is to come up with some novel idea to curb the current crisis, reports Debiprasad Nayak of The Wall Street Journal.

One of the control measures announced by Government is to increase the import duties on gold. But experts believe that the gold loving Indians will not be affected by the price rise. According to World Gold Council, India currently has around 20,000 tons of gold worth $950 billion. About 2.79 percent of this gold is held by Reserve Bank of India and the rest is under individual possession. Few experts suggest that Government should try to make use of some of this gold. “If we will be able to bring out only 10% of the gold holdings, we don’t need to import any gold for the next two years,” said Haresh Soni, chairman of the Mumbai-based All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation.

The gold loan scheme is already practiced in India in which banks accept gold jewelry and bars from individuals and provide loan based on the quantity and current price of gold. The minimum deposit should be of 500 gm of gold. If the amount of deposit is reduced to 100 or 200 grams, it would be feasible for many Indians to use this scheme.  Hence, Government should try and make use of this unproductive asset to increase dollar inflow and reduce gold import.

Facebook, Google Cannot Flout Indian Law, Says Court

The Delhi High Court Friday said that social networking site Facebook Inc and search engine Google Inc are bound by the rules of this country and cannot flout the law just because they are foreign companies.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru also directed the two companies to display on their websites the name and contact details of their grievance officers.

“We direct Google Inc and Facebook Inc to display the name of grievance officer on their respective sites. We also direct other intermediaries that the compliance (of the rules) be done in two weeks,” the court said.

It said the Information Technology (Intermediaries) Rules mandate that all social networking sites have to publish the name of grievance officer and their contact details.

“Just because you are a foreign company, you cannot flout the law. Like us, you are bound by the rule of law of this country,” said the court, also asking the central government to take steps to ensure that the social networking sites comply with the rules.

The bench also asked the central government to file its response on the allegations of petitioner that Delhi Police, Indian Railways and others have created accounts on social networking sites despite government departments being barred from doing so under the law.

The petitioner submitted that government departments like Delhi Police and the Indian Railways are not entitled to create accounts on social networking sites.

The court was hearing the PIL filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader K.N. Govindacharya through his advocate Virag Gupta alleging that the websites have no mechanism for protection of children from online abuse.

The PIL has said that children below 18 years are entering an agreement with the social networking sites to open accounts which is against the Indian Majority Act, the Indian Contract Act and also the Information and Technology Act.

The plea has also sought recovery of taxes from the websites on their income from operations in India.

Source: IANS

Top 10 Biggest Football Stadiums #EPL #CFC #INDIA #FIFA #BPL #MUFC

10. Borg El Arab Stadium


Capacity: 86,000 Location: Alexandria (Near Cairo), Egypt This stadium set in the heart of Cairo hosts all the big Egyptian games. Beautiful.

9. Bukit Jalil National Stadium


Capacity: 87,411 Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Not renowned for its football, Malaysia is a country that lives and breathes the beautiful game and therefore has a massive stadium to go with,

8. Gelora Bung Karno Stadium


Capacity: 88,306 Location: Jakarta, Indonesia Another Asian stadium, this time in Indonesia. The stadium is a regular sell out for WCQ matches.

7. Wembley Stadium


Capacity: 90,000 Location: London, England The home of football- Wembley. Hosts major finals and the national team.

6. Rose Bowl


Capacity: 93,420 Location: Pasadena, California, United States This soccer stadium is a multi purpose stadium in greater California.

5. Soccer City


Capacity: 94,700 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa World Cup final stadium in South Africa this was specially built for the competition.

 4. Azadi Stadium


Capacity: 95,225 Location: Tehran, Iran

3. Camp Nou


Capacity: 99,354 Location: Barcelona, Spain Lionel Messi and friends put on a show here everytime they play. Amazing!

2. Estadio Azteca


Capacity: 105,064 Location: Mexico City, Mexico Amazing stadium, amazing atmosphere. This place gets your spine tingling in the heart of Mexico.

1. Salt Lake Stadium


Capacity: 120,000 Location: Kolkata, IndiaThe biggest stadium in the World is based in India! Stunning.

US readies possible missile strike against Syria

Despite President Obama cautioning against intervention in Syria, the Pentagon is making “initial preparations” for a cruise missile attack on Syrian government forces, according to a new report.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey is expected to present options for such a strike at a White House meeting on Saturday, CBS News reported on Friday. 

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel suggested Friday naval forces are moving in position closer to Syria in case Obama chooses action.


The Defense Department has a responsibility to provide the president with options for contingencies, and that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options — whatever options the president might choose,” Hagel said, adding a decision must be made quickly given “there may be another (chemical) attack.

Meanwhile, a defense official, cited by Reuters, said on Friday the US Navy was expanding its Mediterranean presence with a fourth cruise-missile ship, the USS Mahan. Though the source stressed to Reuters the Navy did not have orders to prepare for military operations against Syria.

The ship was due to head back to the United States, but the commander of the US Sixth Fleet decided to maintain the ship in the region. 

All four ships are capable of launching long-range, subsonic cruise missiles to reach land targets.

President Barack Obama is under renewed pressure to take action following the emergence of footage of what appears to be the aftermath of a toxic agent attack in a Damascus suburb on Wednesday. The forces of President Bashar Assad were assaulting a rebel stronghold in the district at the time, but deny responsibility. Moscow, which has maintained close ties with the regime, called the incident a rebel “provocation” possibly designed to derail upcoming Geneva peace talks.  

Though the Pentagon will present plans for potential action on Saturday, as CBS reported, President Obama has final say on any further developments.

Questioned on the continuing upheaval in Syria and Egypt during a CNN interview Friday, Obama said the United States should be wary of “being drawn into very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that actually breed more resentment in the region.”

Obama went on to express reservations for becoming involved in the 30-month Syrian conflict due to a lack of international consensus. 

If the US goes in and attacks another country without a UN mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it, [and] do we have the coalition to make it work?” said Obama

Despite his cautious tone, Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice said via Twitter, “What is Bashar al Assad hiding? The world is demanding an independent investigation of Wednesday’s apparent CW attack. Immediately.

Adding to the rhetoric in Washington, Sen. John McCain said that if the administration was to “let this go on,” it was “writing a blank check to other brutal dictators around the world if they want to use chemical weapons.” 

The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee also spoke out in support of a strike in Syria, writing to Obama of the need to respond to the latest alleged outrage.

If we, in concert with our allies, do not respond to Assad’s murderous uses of weapons of mass destruction, malevolent countries and bad actors around the world will see a green light where one was never intended,” Rep. Eliot Engel wrote on Friday.

Engel has been a proponent of a more aggressive approach to Assad’s government.

And, we can do this with no boots on the ground, from stand-off distances,” he added in the letter. “I know that your Administration is wrestling with these very complex issues, but I believe that we, as Americans, have a moral obligation to step in without delay and stop the slaughter.”

Obama insisted to CNN that while the United States remains “the one indispensable nation” in international diplomacy, he suggested that perhaps this was one conflict where the world should not look to Washington for a definitive answer.

The notion that the US can somehow solve what is a sectarian complex problem inside of Syria sometimes is overstated,” said the president.

The White House later released a statement confirming Obama’s words, and emphasizing that the US has no plans to put “boots on the ground.”

RBI rule curbs Indian M&A

The Reserve Bank of India’s efforts to stem the rupee’s freefall are threatening the flow of outbound M&A from the country and related loans.RTX124GX_we_220Source: Reuters/Vivek Prakash

A man speaks on his mobile phone in front of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seal at the RBI headquarters in Mumbai.

Already reeling from RBI’s move to increase interest rates in recent weeks, Indian corporate borrowers were dealt a further blow on August 14. A change in rules relating to overseas direct investments jeopardises outbound M&A and the refinancing of loans that supported India Inc’s overseas acquisition binge in the past five years.

Earlier ODI rules, put in place in September 2007, permitted an Indian firm to invest directly in, extend loans or provide guarantees to, offshore joint ventures or subsidiaries for up to 400% of its net worth without requiring prior approval from RBI.

Then, on August 14, RBI reduced that limit to 100%, with immediate effect.

“The reduction in the net-worth limit is expected to significantly affect the ability of Indian corporates to make future outbound investments or support existing offshore investments,” said Philip Badge, partner at law firm Linklaters.

The change applies to all new ODI after August 14.

Apollo Tyres’ US$2.5bn acquisition of US-based Cooper Tire & Rubber would not be impacted by the rule change. Although the deal was awaiting regulatory approval in the US, it was unveiled in mid-June. Others such as ONGC Videsh, Oil India and other public sector units investing in offshore entities in the oil sector can continue to do so under the automatic route as per existing rules.

So far, however, all the details of the new rules have not been revealed. As such, market participants are still unsure how much impact it will have on the way they do business.

What is almost certain, though, is that new rules put Indian companies at a disadvantage when they bid for assets against acquirers from other countries.

Refinancing questions

Obtaining RBI approval on the net-worth limit adds another step to the M&A process, where speed of execution is often paramount. In the past, the 400% net-worth limit was enough for Indian companies to be able to acquire overseas assets successfully.

It fuelled an M&A boom that also led to a significant increase in Indian loans. To pay for purchases, Indian acquirers used debt that offshore acquisition vehicles raised with guarantees from the onshore parent.

“Most of the top-tier Indian conglomerates are way above the 100% limit, with some very close to the 400% mark,” said one loans banker in Mumbai, alluding to recent debt-funded offshore acquisitions.

“These loans pose a conundrum for the borrowers. How will they get refinanced? Will the RBI allow for exemptions to the net-worth rule for ODIs?”

Loan guarantees are also under pressure, as a result.

“There is a concern on refinancings of offshore acquisition loans and on the continuing ability of Indian companies to support existing guaranteed loans by funding their debt service through debt or equity injections,” said Linklaters’ Badge.

“The ability of the offshore entity, as well as the parent, to service the debt the former has raised will be constrained because of the RBI rule change and it raises the risk of a default.”

India’s biggest M&A loan is a US$6.6bn multi-tranche deal for Bharti Airtel in June 2010 that backed its acquisition of Zain Africa. While some of the tranches have already matured, others come due every June in the next three years.

“I will be really surprised if RBI refuses any Indian issuer’s request to refinance their acquisitions financings under previous ODI limits,” said Vivek Kathpalia, senior partner at Nishith Desai Associates.

Meanwhile, M&A financings will not be the only thing the new rule affects. According to a Linklaters note, standby letters of credit that Indian banks issue also count towards the net-worth limits for companies in the country. That means SBLC-backed loans will also face restrictions.

A slew of SBLC-backed loans have been completed for Indian companies in the past year, including second-tier and distressed credits, such as Suzlon Energy and Videocon Industries.

Prakash Chakravarti, Manju Dalal