Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hibi Eden ties the knot

Kochi: The youngest MLA in Kerala Assembly, Hibi Eden Monday tied the knot with Anna Linda, a former television anchor. The solemn ceremony that took place at St Francis Xavier Church, Kaloor was followed by a reception, well-attended by political and religious leaders.

Archbishop Francis Kallarakal conducted the wedding that lasted for about one-and-half hours. The groom was wearing a black suit, while his bride was clad in an ivory gown.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala, speaker G. Karthikeyan, Union Ministers Valayar Ravi, K.V. Thomas, Mullapilli Ramachandran and K.C.Venugopal attended the grand reception held at Gokulam Convention Centre here.

BJP dares Rahul to become PM

Lucknow:The Bharatiya Janata Party Sunday dared Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to become India's prime minister, saying it would reveal his 'capability' to run the country.

'Let Rahul take the prime minister's seat. The whole country will see what he is capable of doing and how much capability he has to run the country,' BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a press conference here.

'There is not much that he is required to do for riding on to the PM's office. All that Rahul needs to do is to ask Manmohan Singh to step down and then go and occupy the chair,' he said.

'After all, the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) still has two years to go, so let him show what mettle he has,' he added.

Prasad was reacting to his Congress counterpart Abhishek Manu Singhvi's remark that Rahul's leadership in the Uttar Pradesh elections has come like a storm to take the Congress party on the road to victory.

Out to run down the Gandhi scion, the BJP spokesman said: 'I would like to cite an example of what Rahul's much-hyped campaign did at the state assembly elections in Bihar.'

'The Congress lost its deposit in 17 of the 22 places that he led the party's campaign (in), while its overall tally came down from nine to 5.'

Reacting sharply to Prasad's remarks, Singhvi who was also in town said: 'The BJP leader's statement reflects how clearly his party has realised the ground reality that the Congress is all set to ride on to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2012 and will be back in power at the centre too in 2014.'

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New law in K'tka: Permanent resident should learn Kannada

Bangalore: The Karnataka government has begun proceedings on the rule that permanent residents from other states should learn Kannada. A direction on the same was issued by Karnataka development authority months before, which was formed for encouraging Kannada culture and language.The authority chairman earlier gave recommendation to those who are interested to become permanent resident should learn Kannada and be made mandatory.

Majority working in IT firms and other companies are from other states and especially Malayalees. Many are viewing it apprehensively. But some pointed out that implementation would be practically difficult as people won't get enough time to learn the language owing to busy work schedule. The authority stated that within one year the other state workers should pass Kannada equivalent to 7 th standard. They also sought to implement online learning facilities. Those who are interested to study can approach the authority. The authority also asked to make professional course like medical engineering course in Kannada which would affect lakhs of student from other states.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sukumar Azhikode passes away

Malayalam writer and orator Sukumar Azhikode passed away at a private hospital here Tuesday morning, family sources said. He was 85.

The end came at 6.33 a.m. After being detected with bone cancer, Azhikode was admitted to hospital Dec 7, last year and his condition had deteriorated in the past few days.

Family sources said his body would be taken to his home in Eravimangalam and would be kept for an hour and then moved to the Sahitya Akademi hall.

His body will then be taken to his home town in Azhikode in Kannur district and the funeral will take place Wednesday afternoon at the Payamabalam beach.

A quintessential critic in speech and writing, Azhikode's had been a powerful voice in the intellectual discourse in Kerala.

An outstanding academic and teacher, Azhikode had served as chairman of the National Book Trust (NBT) and as member of
the executive councils of Kerala and Kendra Sahitya academy.

A recipient of high literary honours including the Kendra Sahitya Academy award, Azhikode hit national headlines a few
years back by declining to accept Padma Shri holding such honours went against the spirit of Indian Constitution which
saw all citizens as equal.

Though a towering literary figure he never confined himself to scholastic themes alone but kept on boldly expressing his views and concerns on a wide range of topics of contemporary concerns including the day-to-day politics and politicians.

An ardent Gandhian till the end of his life, Azhikode was close to the Congress in his early life and in the 1960s even
unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls as its candidate.

But later, he distanced himself from the Congress and moved close to the Left camp without compromising on his Gandhian
convictions and the Nehruvian vision of a liberal and just social order.

A deep scholar and an acclaimed authority on Indian thought and literature, his magnum opus 'Tatvamasi', an intellectual exploration of the eternal wisdom of the Vedas and Upanishads, is a widely appreciated work.

Azhikode's major critical works like 'Asante SeethaKavyam', a detailed textual study of poet Kumaran Asan's 'Chinthavishtayaya Seetha' (Seetha immersed in thought) are considered as classics of modern Malayalam literature.

Azhikode headed the Malayalam Department of Calicut University and later retired as its Pro-vice chancellor.

A prolific writer of columns and a powerful orator, his penchant to give vent to ire on social, political and
cultural evils often sparked controversies.

He was involved a legal tiff with cine actor Mohanlal following heated exchanges in the backdrop of the ban on actor
Thilakan as a fallout of a feud in the Malayalam filmdom.

Azhikode then came to defend Thilakan incurring the wrath of superstars. Last month, after Azheekode fell ill, a truce
was worked out between the writer and the actor to withdraw the defamation case. He had also locked horns with CPI(M)
veteran V S Achuthanandan, when he was chief minister.

Born in Azhikode village in Kannur district in 1926, he graduated in commerce and later did Masters in Malayalam
literature. He taught literature in different colleges before joining as head in the Malayalam Department of Calicut

Well versed in Sanskrit and classical literature, Azhikode was also known for his deep understanding of Western philosophy and literature.

Taking time off academic responsibilities, Azhikode also edited a couple of dailies during his long career. Though he
gave up editorship, he maintained his deep interest and commitment to journalism by writing columns and articles in
newspapers and magazines.

His MajorContributions in Literature:
Aasante Seetakavyam, Ramananum Malayalakavitayum (Ramanan and Malayalam Poetry)
Mahatmavinte Margam (Way of the Mahatma), Purogamanasahityavum Mattum (Modern Literature and Others), Malayala Sahityavimarsanam (Criticism of Malayalam Literature), Vayanayute Swargattil (In the Paradise of Reading), Tatvamasi, Malayala Sahitya Patanangal (Studies on Malayalam Literature), Tatvavum Manushyanum (Philosophy and Humans), Khandanavum Mandanavum (Destructive Criticism and Constructive Criticism), Entinu Bharatadare, Azhikodinte Prabhashanangal (Speeches of Azhikode), Azhikodinte Falitangal (Jokes of Azhikode), Guruvinte Dukham (Sorrow of the Teacher), Aakasam Nashtapetunna India (India Losing Horizon), Pathakal Kazhchakal (Routes and Sights), Mahakavi Ulloor (The Great Poet Ulloor) .

Article credits Mathrubhumi

Friday, January 13, 2012

V.S.Achudanthan first accused in graft case .

The Vigilance Director, Kerala on Thursday approved the recommendation of the investigating officers to initiate legal proceedings against Opposition leader and octogenarian Marxist VS Achuthanandan, the State’s face of anti-corruption crusade so far, in a corruption case regarding allotment of 2.33 acres of land in Kasaragod district to a relative when he was chief minister.

Achuthanandan will be named first accused and KP Rajendran of the CPI, Revenue minister in the former LDF government, will be the second accused. There will be a total of eight accused in the case including four IAS officials, Achuthanandan’s personal assistant Suresh and relative and recipient of the land TK Soman, an ex-serviceman belonging to Alappuzha district.

Sources said that the Vigilance officials would prepare the first information report on Friday itself and submit it in the Special Vigilance Court in Kozhikode in a day or two. The case would be registered as per the Prevention of Corruption Act and relevant sections of the IPC. They said the plan was to fast-track the procedures and submit the chargesheet at the earliest.

Habeeb Rehman, Superintendent of Police (Vigilance), Kozhikode had the other day presented his report on the allegation against Achuthanandan regarding the land allotment, requesting permission to proceed. This is the first time in the State an Opposition leader who is also a former chief minister is being booked in a case of corruption and nepotism.

The others figuring in the list of accused will be Sheila Thomas, principal secretary to Achuthanandan when he was chief minister, former Land Revenue Commissioner KR Muraleedharan, former Kasaragod district collectors Krishnan Kutty and Anand Singh.

However, Achuthanandan termed the Vigilance case as cooked up and an act of vengeance by the corrupt and immoral elements in the Congress-led ruling UDF. “You should be surprised if the Government headed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, in which six ministers are accused in corruption cases, does not do something like this against me,” Achuthanandan said.

He alleged that the Chandy Government was making such moves by offering undue benefits to the Vigilance Director, who had already retired from service. “But the criminal designs of these people would not succeed in Kerala where the people are aware of the political work I have been doing for over the past seven decades,” he said in his hometown Alappuzha.

He said he would fight the case legally and politically, adding that people like Muslim League leader and Industries Minister PK Kunhalikutty, facing allegations in a sex abuse case, former minister R Balakrishna Pillai, jailed by the Supreme Court for graft, and IPS official Tomin J Thachankery, suspended the other day for a fourth time, were behind the move against him.

Rejecting the charges, Achuthanandan said that the Chandy Government was trying to trap him in a bogus case for allotting some land to a soldier – incidentally a distant relative – who had spent several years of his life to guard the country. He added that the decision to allot land had been frozen by his government itself immediately after some complaints came up.

The UDF and its leader Congress on Thursday asked Achuthanandan to step down as Opposition leader since a corruption case was being registered against him. “Achuthanandan’s anti-graft crusade is hypocritical,” said UDF convener PP Thankachan while Congress spokesperson MM Hassan said, “The idol of VS as a crusader against graft has now been shattered.”

Interestingly, State CPI(M) secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and Politbureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who as Deputy Opposition leader could occupy Achuthanandan’s position if he chose to step down, refused to comment. Central committee member Vaikom Viswan, belonging to the anti-VS faction in the CPI(M), said he had no information on the Vigilance case.

Sreedharan is on board Kochi Metro

Thiruvananthapuram: Former Delhi Metro chief E. Sreedharan Thursday confirmed that he will be part of the proposed Rs.5,000 crore Kochi Metro, and said he would be able to finish the project in three years.

Sreedharan said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy wants him to finish the project in three years.

"When I said I can do it in three-and-half years, he wanted it to be done in three years, and I have committed that I will be able to finish it in three years' time. The work would be done by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)," said Sreedharan.

The Kochi Metro Rail project has been in the pipeline for six years and has been planned on a 26-km stretch between Tripunithura and Aluva, which would ease the traffic in Kochi city. The track is to come up above the ground, supported by pillars.

For the past week, there was apprehension in the media that Sreedharan might back out of the project.

"There is no difference of opinion with Sreedharan on the project. He has fully agreed to partner us not only in this but on all infrastructure projects being planned by us," said Chief Minister Chandy after a full board meeting of the State Planning Board here, of which Sreedharan is a full-time member.

Chandy said the state government will have the choice to appoint the managing director of the proposed Kochi Metro Rail Limited, while the central government would nominate the chairman.

"We will now request the centre to nominate Sreedharan as chairman of this project," said Chandy.

The minister in charge of this mega project, Aryadan Mohammed, said: "The funds for this project are not at all going to be an issue and even the Japan International Cooperation Agency has agreed to do the needful if Sreedharan is part of the project."

Sreedharan, 79, came to be called the Metro Man after the Delhi Metro took shape under him. He retired in 2011 after 16 years in the extremely successful project.

Levelling false allegations a Congress trait: BJP

Kozhikode: BJP leader O. Rajagopal alleged here Friday that levelling false allegations against opposition leaders and trapping them in bogus cases is a trait of the Congress party.

The Congress had earlier tried this against L.K. Advani and he stayed away from Parliament when allegations were levelled. O. Rajagopal who was reacting to the news of registration of FIR against CPM leader V.S. Achuthanandan said he should stay away from the Assembly.

BJP state president V. Muralidharan said V.S.Achuthanandan should fight the case legally even though it is a bogus case.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DMRC given charge of Kochi metro, Sreedharan to head

Thiruvananthapruam: Putting an end to all controversies and rumours, the state government has decided to give charge of Kochi Metro to DMRC and E Sreedharan will head the project. Chief minister Oommen Chandy announced this after the meeting of planning commission, led by CM. The meeting was attended by Sreedharan too.

The CM said Sreedharan would lead the project and if Sreedharan is there DMRC too would be there.

E Sreedharan too said he will cooperate in the project and if given permission the project would be completed within three years.

The work would start within three months. The MD of the company would be a representative from Kerala government and the chairman would be a person from central government. Sreedharan said that CM had conveyed to him that efforts would be made to make E Sreedharan head of the joint company.

Karunanidhi demands to include Kerala’s Idukki district as part of Tamil Nadu

Chennai, Jan 12 (TruthDive): DMK leader and former chief minister M Karunanidhi who is known for bringing twists and making strange remarks on burning issues, today made his contribution to ongoing row over the Mullai Periyar dam-by stating that the structure and its catchment areas be made a part of the state.

The 116-year-old dam is located in Kerala’s Idukki district but is controlled by Tamil Nadu which uses its waters to irrigate its southern districts under a decades-old agreement. Maintaining that these areas were wrongly annexed to the State of Travancore, now a part of Kerala, by the British, Mr Karunanidhi said that the Peermedu and Devikulam areas in Idukki district should be given to Tamil Nadu.

The DMK leader also blamed the wrong approach during reorganisation of states along linguistic lines, for the peculiar situation it had created in the case of the dam.

Mr Karunanidhi also accused Kerala of not honouring a 2006 Supreme Court order which had directed the water level at the dam to be increased to 142 feet from the existing 136 feet. After the order, Kerala had enacted a law which no longer made it obligatory for the state to raise the water level.

Earlier, Mr.Karunanidhi criticised Jayalalithaa after she had announced to rebuild a memorial for Penny Cuick, the engineer who had built the Mullai Periyar Dam. “As there was nothing to announce yesterday (Monday), a decision on memorial for Penny Cuick was announced by the chief minister,” he said.

Jayalalitha praised the army engineer and said that he sold his property and completed the project amidst much hardship and difficulty. She further said that he used lime kurki and big stones to build the dam which has still kept the dam strong and given it the strength to hold up to tremors. The “dam is strong even today,” said Jayalalithaa.

Dam: Lime surki mixture not traced even after drilling 92 feet

Kumili: Though the Mullaperiyar dam was drilled 92 feet deep, a strong mixture of lime surki was not found. The digging was done as per the instruction of the SC-appointed Empowered panel to examine the dam. Lack of lime surki mixture proves that the portion made of it, is very weak now, approving the claims of Kerala.

The portion, which were marked earlier for examinations were drilled. The decision was to examine the strength of lime surki obtained after drilling. But even after drilling 92 feet no such mixture was found. The total height of the dam is 155 feet. The portion made of surki lime exists till 90 feet and the rest is made of rock portion.

Lime surki mixture is a mixture of surki stones and jaggery as there was no cement during that time in 1895. When there were suspicions over its strength in 1970, the dam was strengthened with concrete and now it is proved that dam is sustaining due to that. Experts got only sand and rock from the grilled areas. New borehole drilling started in 45-meter gallery of the dam on Wednesday. Drilling was done 2 feet deep here but lime surki was not found as it was strengthened with concrete.

TN PWD secretary Sai Kumar and Dam safety director Paneerselvom reached the dam when they came to know of not finding lime surki mixture. When Kerala was about to get evidence on the weakness of dam, the TN PWD official began efforts to stop the drilling.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

No confusion on control, ownership of new dam: Chandy

Kochi: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today made it if Kerala would construct a new dam at Mullaperiyar in place of the century old dam, there would not be any compromise about it's absolute ownership and control to the state.

Talking to reporters here, he, said that the stand of the state government was to constitute a committee jointly by Kerala and Tamil Nadu on sharing water and the reports appeared in the media in this regard was contradictory to the truth and misleading.

Stating that the state government had not taken any new decision on Mullaperiyar issue, Mr Chandy said that the government had adopted a wise decision in this regard The government's decision on the Mullaperiyar issue was always considering the feelings of Tamil Nadu, he said and claimed that this stand of the government had received wide appreciation from the Centre and it was because of the unanimous stand taken by the people, the state had received such appreciation.

Pointing out that there was no confusion on control and ownership of the new dam, if constructed, to the state, Mr Chandy, however, made it clear that the state had an open approach about providing water to Tamil Nadu. (UNI)

Kochi metro: Sreedharan sticks to his stand

New Delhi: E Sreedharan said that the charge of Kochi Metro should be officially handed over to DMRC. The allegation that if DMRC is given charge, the metro would not get aid from Japan is baseless. He said DMRC has also received such aid. Kochi only needs 10% of what DMRC received, Sreedharan said. He was speaking to P Rajeev MP who visited him. DMRC received -16,000 crore from Japan and Kochi needs only 10 % of that amount.

Japan had given assistance to Kolkata and Chennai Metro for 1.3% interest and Kochi Metro too would get assistance like that.Earlier, Chief minister Oommen Chandy stated that Sreedharan's expertise is needed to implement the project but the state has to agree to the conditions set by the Japan bank.

But Sreedharan is of the stand that without DMRC he won't be part of the project. P Rajeev MP said false rumors are spreading that the tender may not be called for if DMRC takes over the project. Rajeev alleged that there is conspiracy to avoid DMRC and Sreedharan from the project.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Padmanabhaswamy temple - Dr M Velayudan Nair will replace Ananda Bose

New Delhi:The SC shifted Dr C V Anantabose, co-ordinator of the expert panel which was appointed to value the Padmanabhaswamy temple treasure. Head of the National Museum Institute Dr M Velayudan Nair will replace him.

The SC took the decision following the state request not to seek his services as Anantabose had retired from service. The court also endorsed the security appointed by the Devaswom unanimously.

The SC also flayed the state and the temple management for not taking proper security measures as directed by the SC.

Anantabose retired on September 20 and the state decided not to seek his services. Hence the state approached the SC to appoint Velayudhan Nair.

The SC opined in September 2011 that if the centre did not extend Anantabose's services, the state can decide to give him an extention for one more year as co-ordinator. The state wanted Velayudhan Nair to be appointed as co-ordinator and the SC complied to their request.