Communal divide to the fore in Asansol

first_imgFor a city with a centuries-old history of mining coal and producing steel, a gate at the entrance to Asansol, describing it as the “City of Brotherhood”, was scarcely noticed by residents and passers-by until a few years ago. However, after March 2018, the message put up by the city’s civic body is not only hard to miss but also presents the paradox the city is grappling with.In March 2018, Asansol burnt in hatred. Over 26 years after the city witnessed a divide along communal lines post-Babri Masjid demolition, the city appeared to be divided again. People were killed and prohibitory orders remained imposed for weeks as riots broke out over processions during Ram Navami. As the constituency gears up for polls on April 29, 2019, the fault lines of the communal divide seem more pronounced.Days before the polls, Trinamool Congress nominee Sreemati Dev Varma (Moon Moon Sen) had several events lined up earlier this week on Monday. At a crossing on the Domohani Road in Ward No. 31 of the Asansol Municipal Corporation, the 65-year-old actor made a brief speech to a crowd of a few hundred, largely comprising women and children.“The sound of azan from your mosque is the same as that of shlokas from the Gita,” she began. “Will you vote for those who want to divide us,” she asked in an apparent reference to the BJP.Ms. Sen, who represented Bankura Lok Sabha seat in 2014, had no hesitation in telling the audience that she is not familiar with Asansol and was contesting as per the wishes of her party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Her speech was replete with references to her mother, Bengali screen legend Suchitra Sen. Asked about her chances here, Ms. Sen’s reply reflected the wit of a politician: “Ask me what are the chances of Mamata Banerjee becoming Prime Minister and I will tell you its cent per cent.”Challenges galore The arithmetic of the last Assembly polls, held three years ago, may be with the TMC — it had won five of the seven seats in the Asansol LS constituency. But there are other challenges for the party. A TMC MP from Kolkata admitted that prime among them was of keeping the party’s flock together. This was one of the reasons why an outsider was given the ticket.Defending the seat is Union Minister of State Babul Supriyo. The singer-turned-politician’s greatest weapon this election is a song that has already courted a lot of controversy. Beyond the open coal mines of Raniganj where people can be seen carrying coal — mostly smuggled from the mines — on bicycles and their heads under the scorching sun, Mr. Supriyo is in the midst of a very busy campaign. As his convoy passes through Pandabeshwar, his supporters distribute booklets on the work he has done in the past five years, with his song playing in the background. Refuting the Election Commission’s reservations about the song, Mr. Supriyo expressed happiness at the over one lakh views it had notched on the Internet. “Why will you vote for Moon Moon Sen who is asking for votes in the name of her dead mother? What about the living and their problems?” he told a small gathering. While reminding people to play his song, the MP also raised slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ during his campaign.Corruption from coal and freedom to allow religious processions found echoes in the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he addressed the public meeting at Polo Grounds in Asansol the very next day (Tuesday). Just on the other side of the railway tracks, where the Prime Minister addressed the public meeting, Noorani Masjid and its adjoining areas still bear the scars of last year’s violence. “There was an unfortunate incident last year. What happened then should not recur any time in the future,” said Maulana Imdadullah Rashidi, referring to the riots. The cleric’s 16-year-old son was killed in the riots but he defused the situation with love, threatening to leave the city if members of the community targeted others.Another flare-upEarlier this month, a communal flare-up was also reported at Barakat in Asansol over a Ram Navami procession when authorities had to intervene, make arrests and suspend Internet services in the area. Imam Rashidi tried to downplay the incident. “There were some rumours in Barakat. Everything is quiet now. Elections will come and go. Asansol needs to, and will return to, where it was before 2018,” he said, his voice reflecting the same sanity and reason he had put forth a year ago.For Imam Rashidi, Asansol is really the city of brotherhood. “We are brothers living together here for centuries. Those who are used to hate will never realise what brotherhood means,” he said.last_img read more

Rookie France Ronquillo gives FEU lift in Final Four

first_imgHontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated “I took my courage from the people who believe in me because as a rookie I can’t disappoint the ones who have faith in us,” said Ronquillo. “I saw how much my Ates want to go to the finals and that this isn’t the end of our season.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Ronquillo came off the bench in the second set for FEU and was the architect of the Lady Tamaraws’ late 6-0 run that ultimately buried the Lady Eagles.“When I first entered I still felt nervous and I really had cold hands because last year I was just watching my Ates play and now I’m here helping them,” said Ronquillo in Filipino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“I didn’t waste my time on the court and I made sure that I can help my teammates in any way possible.”Ronquillo finished with seven points in the match and was the one serving during the Lady Tamaraws’ scoring spurt in the fifth set that gave them a 13-7 lead. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img FEU Lady Tamaraws. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—France Ronquillo doesn’t have the same notoriety as fellow Far Eastern University rookie Lycha Ebon in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament but she proved she also has a bright future ahead of her.The fourth-seeded Lady Tamaraws’ season was on the line against No. 1 Ateneo but coming through in the team’s most important game this season was Ronquillo, who held her own in a five-set stunner, 10-25, 25-23, 25-22, 12-25, 15-8, over the Lady Eagles Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew LATEST STORIES She also notched a service ace for FEU’s 12-7 buffer.Ebon, who’s nursing a left knee injury, said she gave Ronquillo a simple pep talk before the game that their seniors would rely on them to deliver.“We talked to each other that we shouldn’t be afraid and just be brave because our Ates need us,” said Ebon in Filipino. “We need to help them and I’m super proud of Elize.”Ronquillo added that she couldn’t let her seniors down especially in a game that further extended their season.The Lady Tamaraws forced Ateneo to use its twice-to-beat advantage with the rubber match set for Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Mohamed Salah carried off on a stretcher after knock to headlast_img read more

22 days agoArsenal fullback Bellerin: Injury made me a better player

first_imgArsenal fullback Bellerin: Injury made me a better playerby Freddie Taylor22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveHector Bellerin says he’s a better player after going through a long-term injury. The Spaniard made his second appearance of the seasonin the 4-0 win over Standard Liege on Thursday.Bellerin has returned from a knee injury he sustained in January and believes the experience improved him as a footballer.He told BT Sport: “It’s one of the best feelings to be back.”It has made me more mature, it has made me a better player I am so thankful for everyone around me, they have made it easier for me and I am now happy to be back playing football.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img

16 days agoWenger has Arsenal warning for Emery

first_imgWenger has Arsenal warning for Emeryby Paul Vegas16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsene Wenger has told his successor Unai Emery that he has a responsibility to play attractive football as Arsenal manager.Speaking to Goal on Monday night, Wenger has some words to say about the current Arsenal side and Emery.“I’m not here to judge coaches, I am a supporter of Arsenal Football Club so I just support [Unai Emery],” the unemployed 69-year-old said.“I hope that he can win the games and plays a type of game that I like.“I think a club like Arsenal is a huge responsibility and one of the responsibilities is to play attractive football.“After that, I think the most important thing is to support the team, the club and win games.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Karina Smirnoff To Take Part In Dance For Africa Event

first_imgRIDE Foundation (Robyn & Italo Dance Events), formed by Pro-Am ballroom dance partners, Robyn Shreiber and Italo Elgueta, has announced that its inaugural gala, DANCE FOR AFRICA, will benefit the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).RIDE was established in 2016 to create one-of-a-kind dance events for difference-making charities, encompassing humane and ecological causes and featuring the talents of compassionate stars of the dance world. The inaugural gala will be held at 6PM, July 23 at L.A.’s Boulevard3 with a program featuring top dance, vocal and artistic performances.Headliners will include Dancing with the Stars’ Karina Smirnoff, indie music duo Alexander Jean Feat. Mark Ballas and BC Jean, Step Up’s Briana Evigan, artist Brian Olsen and vocalist Trenyce Cobbins. Shreiber and Elgueta, renowned in the world of ballroom dance and competition, formed the RIDE Foundation (Robyn & Italo Dance Events) to “create events in which dancers can use their passionate art to impact and support the wonderful charities addressing the world’s needs.”“We are excited to launch our non-profit organization with a gala benefitting African Wildlife Foundation, a non-profit so close to our hearts,” say Robyn and Italo in a joint statement. “Our goal in forming RIDE was to combine our love for ballroom dance with our passion for making the world a better place. We are both extremely impressed with and strongly support the work of AWF, and are honored to make the organization the beneficiary of our inaugural gala,” they add.“We are thrilled that RIDE chose AWF for their inaugural event,” says Craig Sholley, AWF’s Senior Vice President. “AWF’s mission is to ensure that wildlife and wild lands thrive in a modern Africa. As a result of a recent AWF safari experience, Robyn Shreiber’s passion for Africa and AWF’s work has blossomed. We are delighted that Dance for Africa will bring a combination of wonderful exposure to our cause and critical financial support for our important conservation efforts.”The inaugural event will feature a spectacular African-inspired live ballroom dance show produced by Italo, with Dancing with the Stars’ superstar Karina Smirnoff, a Season 13 Mirror Ball Champion, debuting a new solo performance she choreographed in honor of “Dance for Africa.” The Ukrainian beauty will also perform a passionate trio number with Professional World Finalist Justinas Duknauskas and Top Amateur Austin Joson. Karina, a five-time U.S. National Champion, is a strong advocate for environmental and wildlife causes.Indie Duo Alexander Jean feat. Mark Ballas and BC Jean, and Trenyce Cobbins are the event’s special musical performers. Alexander Jean’s debut EP titled “Head High,” released in 2016, debuted at #1 on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter chart, and their power-pop ballad and debut single “Roses and Violets,” also hit #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and #6 on the iTunes overall chart. The duo’s next album is scheduled for release this summer.Vocalist, Actress and Dancer Trenyce Cobbins, will perform three songs written by an African artist. Cobbins, an “American Idol” Top 5 finalist, has become a darling of the theater world, headlining top Broadway musicals and plays, including “Dreamgirls,” and “The Vagina Monologues.”Brian Olsen, whose Art in Action has been making waves around the world for his “rock n’ roll” style of painting on canvas, an explosive and colorful show choreographed to music with audience participation, will open the evening by painting three art pieces in honor of the inaugural gala.Briana Evigan, an AWF Ambassador, will serve as the gala’s emcee. Briana made her major feature debut as the star of the box office hit Step Up 2: The Streets in 2008 and reprised her role in the 2014 installment of the franchise, Step Up: All In.The Africa-themed gala event will feature cuisine, cocktails and décor native to the exotic continent. The evening will also include two raffle winners to an African Safari in Tanzania, as well as a silent auction with one-of-a-kind items.For more info and tickets, click here.last_img read more

Residential school history still mystery to some First Nation youth

first_img(Truth and Reconciliation Commission Chair Murray Sinclair speaks during the opening day of the TRC’s seventh national event in Edmonton. In foreground is the Brentwood Box.)By Jorge Barrera APTN National News EDMONTON–After viewing a black and white photograph of a group of boys from an Indian residential school, Katie Saulteaux split her canvas diagonally, from corner to corner, and painted one side all in red.Saulteaux, 14, said she used red to signify the worry she felt for the boys in the historical photo.“All those little boys are going through harm, being traumatized and abused,” she said.Saulteaux is from Paul First Nation, which sits about 80 kilometres west of Edmonton where the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is holding its seventh and final national event.She was among several dozen students sitting around tables in the basement of the Shaw Conference Centre Thursday trying to translate what they learned into art. The theme of the opening day of the four-day event was, “Fostering Reconciliation Through Education.”About 2,200 hundred students from across Alberta attended the day’s events which featured panels, throat singing, fiddling, a hip hop performance and other musical acts.Alberta had the highest number of operating residential schools with 25 and is currently home to about 12,000 residential school survivors.Students paints their reactions to historical Indian residential school photos Eyeing her half-painted canvas, Salteaux said she planned to add blue paint to her artwork.“It represents sadness about how the boys had been treated,” she said.Saulteaux said she knew little about residential schools before today. She said she didn’t know why she was never taught about what happened.“I am kind of disappointed I didn’t know about it before,” she said.Megan Russell, 16, also said she didn’t know a lot about residential schools. The Grade 10 student from Lloydminster, Alta., said she know felt a responsibility to tell others about what she learned.“I didn’t know too much about it and it’s really changed my state of mind,” said Russell, who is Gitxsan from British Columbia.Isadore Alexis-Paul, 13, from Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation, said the TRC event gave him knowledge he lacked.“It’s cool actually hearing about this history,” he said. “I find it interesting learning this because I didn’t know….I think it probably will change the way I see things.”Residential school survivor Satoe, 65, said it didn’t surprise him that children from First Nation communities knew little about such a dark chapter in history.“Some people don’t want to talk about it because they’re too ashamed,” said Satoe, who is from the Blood Tribe and went to the St. Mary’s residential school for five years beginning in 1955.Satoe described his time at residential school as “really awful” and most of what he remembered involved forced labour.“You can’t forgive ever, though people ask for forgiveness,” he said. “I don’t think there will ever be reconciliation.”TRC Chair Murray Sinclair said that while reconciliation is one of the aims of the commission’s work, it will be up to the youth to finish that task.“We will not achieve reconciliation within the term of this commission. We will not achieve reconciliation in our lifetime,” said Sinclair.With one year left in the commission’s mandate, Sinclair said the work will transfer to other hands.“The obligation of all this work goes back to the people of this country, to you,” said Sinclair. “This is not an Aboriginal problem, it’s a Canadian problem.”Throughout the over century-long existence of residential schools, 150,000 Indigenous children were processed through about 130 schools. Thousands never made it home and many died from disease or violence.The TRC was created as a result of a multi-billion dollar, class-action settlement agreement between residential school survivors, Ottawa and the churches which ran the schools.The TRC has already held national events in Winnipeg, Inuvik, NWT, Halifax, Saskatoon, Montreal and Vancouver.The TRC will also be holding a closing ceremony in Ottawa.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more