Dalit leader and Independent MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani was stopped at the Sanganer international airport here on Sunday and prevented from travelling to Nagaur district. Mr. Mevani was scheduled to address a Dalit rally as part of the B.R. Ambedkar birth anniversary celebrations.While the Nagaur district administration restricted Mr. Mevani’s visit, the Jaipur police stopped him at the airport to inform him of the order, and asked him not to address any public meeting in the State capital as well till April 30, in view of the prohibitory orders in force here.Mr. Mevani termed his detention “absolutely unconstitutional” and violative of his fundamental rights. Questions Raje rule“If they can do this with an elected representative, what would be the condition of ordinary citizens and Dalits in the Vasundhara Raje rule?” he asked in a statement.The activist-turned-politician, who had flown in from Ahmedabad, went to the house of a local activist and member of his “Team Rajasthan” in the city, where the police force was deployed to keep a watch on his movements. However, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Jaipur East) Kunwar Rashtradeep said Mr. Mevani had “neither been detained nor arrested”.The Dalit leader warned Chief Minister Ms. Raje of an electoral setback and tweeted: “Vasundhara Ji, hamara bhi vada raha. Chunav me maza ayega [I promise you, Ms. Raje, you will face the music in elections].”
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday that he had received a letter from a Maoist group threatening to kill him. “I have received this letter and I have forwarded it to the police. An investigation is under way,” said Mr. Fadnavis. He, however, refused to divulge the details of the letter. According to sources, two letters on May 13 and 18 targeting Mr. Fadnavis, his family and police officers who were part of an anti-naxal operation in Gadchiroli were sent to Mantralaya. One of the letters is from the central committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the other from Dandkaranya special zonal committee, sources said. The letters were handed over to senior police officials. “The case has been handed over to the State intelligence department for investigation and the CM’s security has been beefed up,” said a senior Mumbai Police officer. Mr. Fadnavis told media persons that the police during investigations had found internal communication pertaining to an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Narendra Modi along the lines of the Rajiv Gandhi killing. “We have got a lot of evidence from their internal documents. Naxalism is no longer limited to the jungles. It is also present in urban areas,” said Mr. Fadnavis. The Chief Minister said that there were naxal operatives in cities who were misleading the people.
After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Ram Kadam’s remarks, allegedly offering to “kidnap girls for spurned suitors”, a young woman from Pune issued “an open challenge” to the MLA, daring him to so much as touch her. Minakshi Ganesh Dimble-Patil, in her early 20s, who works with a finance consultancy in the city, posted a video on her Facebook account condemning Mr. Kadam’s remarks. “Mr. Ram Kadam, I challenge you. You call me to Mumbai, or I will come there… Just try and so much as touch me and then see what happens next. Your statement [about kidnapping girls for spurned suitors] is scandalous, crass and shameful… We live in Maharashtra which is the home of Shivraya [warrior King Shivaji]. In this State, a woman is respected as a goddess. So there is no place for your statements, which are in extremely poor taste,” said Ms. Dimble-Patil in her video, which is in Marathi. She further dared the BJP legislator for a face-to- face meeting with her.
India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has offered monetary help of Rs 1 lakh to national level football and volleyball player Arunima Sinha who lost her leg after being thrown out of a running train by robbers near Bareilly.Harbhajan, who played a crucial role in India’s triumph in the World Cup which India won after 28 years, had some encouraging words for Arunima.”I got to know this news through a friend and I really feel for the young girl. Her life is ahead of her and as a sportsman, it’s our responsibility to help her.”I would like to tell Arunima that she should not lose heart and champions like her will overcome all the obstacles.I offer this small token of help and wish her all the very best in life,” Harbhajan said.Earlier, Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh too came in support of Arunima, offering her Rs 1 lakh.”It is really unfortunate and tragic with what has happened to Arunima. She must be brave sportsperson who came forward to fight against robbery. I know the loss is irreparable, but I would like to offer her this little contribution on of one lakh rupees,” he had in a statement issued by ‘Yuvraj Singh Foundation’.Arunima alias Sonu lost her leg after she was pushed out of the Padmavat Express near Bareilly on Monday night by three men trying to snatch her gold chain when she was travelling to Delhi to appear for a CISF examination.As she lay on the tracks, another train ran over her left leg. She had fractures on her right leg and also suffered head injuries.advertisementRailways has offered her a job while sports minister Ajay Maken announced Rs 2 lakh medical compensation and an immediate ex-gratia of Rs 25,000.- With PTI inputs
Rainer Fassbinder’s classic 1979 movie The Marriage of Maria Braun is an allegorical tale about the moral complications and emotional cover-ups that surround Germany’s re-emergence as a strong state after World War II. Set between the war and 1954, the film’s heroine, Maria, thinks she has lost her husband at,Rainer Fassbinder’s classic 1979 movie The Marriage of Maria Braun is an allegorical tale about the moral complications and emotional cover-ups that surround Germany’s re-emergence as a strong state after World War II. Set between the war and 1954, the film’s heroine, Maria, thinks she has lost her husband at war, becomes the darling of a victorious American GI, kills him when the husband returns alive from the front, becomes the mistress of a wealthy industrialist as the German economy recovers, inherits his fortune in the 1950s and is set to be reunited with her first husband and about to live a life of luxury when she is suddenly killed in a gas explosion at her home. The explosion is the final scene of the film, and as the credits run one can hear football commentary for the 1954 World Cup final where West Germany won their first championship. ‘Deutshland ist Weltmeister’ screams the delirious commentator-while in the shot we see Maria Braun’s home go up in flames, her short life with all its sad secrets over, a new country reborn which can forget about the sins and complications of the past, rising again on the wings of the Wirtschaftswunder, ‘the German economic miracle’. In Germany, the World Cup is always about much more than just football.Germany first fancied themselves with a shot at the World Cup in 1938. After Adolf Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria excellent Austrian players were incorporated into a ‘Greater Germany’ team (though perhaps the greatest Austrian player of all, Matthias Sindelar, refused to take part in the Hitler-Mannschaft [football team] and went on to commit suicide in 1939). As with other areas of Nazi sports, the German football team had a strong ideological dimension, meant to prove Aryan superiority over inferior races. However, the German team had only managed fourth place in the 1934 World Cup, and were knocked out by minnows Norway in the 1936 Olympics. 1938 was meant to right all this-only for the Germans to draw 1-1 in their opening game against the Swiss in their first game, and then humiliatingly knocked out 4-2 in the replay. But the tournament had some solace for fascism: Benito Mussolini’s Italy beat Hungary 4-2 in the final to win their second World Cup on the trot (football was much more important to Mussolini than Hitler, who saw more value in boxing and individual sports).advertisementWest Germany were barred from taking part in the 1950 World Cup, and the 1954 edition was the first time the national anthem was played at an international sporting event since the War (though the stanza about ‘Deutschland Uber Alles’ was cut). In the final, the German team were expected to be defeated by the all-conquering Hungarian team lead by the greatest player of his generation, Ferenc PuskÃ¡s; the Hungarians had already thrashed them in a qualifying round. But after the Hungarians streamed ahead 2-0, the Germans pulled the game back to 2-2. They had no stars like Puskás but the weather was on their side: it was raining heavily and the Germans had the advantage, thanks to a new type of boot with innovative screw-in studs designed by a little-known company called Adidas. The Germans scored again after the break, and Puskás had a late equaliser ruled out for off-side. In Germany the match became known as the ‘Miracle of Bern’, the triumphant sporting symbol of Germany’s ‘Economic Miracle’.West Germany’s next World Cup Final win came in 1974 when they again managed to get the better of the greatest player of his generation, Holland’s Johan Cruyff, with a tenacious team display. But the most important political game in the 1974 World Cup had actually come in the first round, when West Germany played East Germany in a showdown between Communism and Capitalism. The tournament was overshadowed by the Cold War: the USSR had dropped out after refusing to take part in a match against a Chile where the US-allied General Augusto Pinochet had just ousted the Soviet-sympathetic Salvador Allende in a coup d’etat; there was intense security as Germany was terrorised by the ultra left group Rote Armee Fraktion. The West Germans were clear favourites in their game: they were European Champions, with a core from the European Champions Cup-winning team of Bayern Munich, captained by Franz Beckenbauer. But the East Germans managed to frustrate their Western ‘brothers’ and won the match 1-0. Both teams had qualified for the next round by that point-but it was still a great moment for East German pride.Throughout the Cold War decades the West German team was one of the few ways Germans could confidently express their patriotism without feeling WW II awkwardness, and with Germany essentially barred from the geopolitical scene it became not so much a continuation of politics as its substitution. The West German team that evolved towards the end of the Cold War was everything Germany could never dare to be in diplomacy: Teutonic, powerful, self-confident. They peaked in 1990, in time with the West’s victory in the Cold War, with the man-machine Lothar Matthaus leading a Valkyrian team to beat Argentina: the losers again featuring the world’s greatest player, Diego Maradona, who like Cruyff and Puskás before him, could not conjure a victory against the less spectacular but more united Germans.advertisement1990 was the high water mark of West German postwar success. After the two Germanies were reunited, both the economy and the national team were expected to become superpowers: an idea that made many surrounding countries uncomfortable. Were we about to see a re-emergence of bad, bullying Germany? Instead the German economy slowly slumped, dragged down by costs of paying for the East and a burdensome welfare state. The team dwindled too: they reached the 2002 World Cup Final by luck and were easily blown away by Brazil. It was as if a reunified Germany was almost scared of being too successful and overbearing. Slowly, since 2004, a new German team has been re-emerging. Except it’s a different type of Germany, not Aryan at all but made good with immigrants like Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Jerôme Boateng, Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose. By winning the 2014 World Cup with such a globalised team, the demons of 1938 have been put to bed (though some things never change: again a unified German team beat the world’s best player, Lionel Messi). This globalised Germany is one which the nation can back with no remnants of Nazi hang-ups, it becomes acceptable to be patriotic as the patria (homeland) becomes less German. And at the same time Germany has re-emerged as the superpower of Europe. Except it’s no longer a case of other countries wanting to hold them back: “I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity,â€ Radek Sikorski said in 2011, as he hoped for Germany to be more assertive in the Eurozone crisis, and as he no doubt hopes now that Berlin will stand up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Germany is reclaiming its geopolitical status, but that will mean letting go of some of the benefits of being diplomatically neutral-such as being able to do business with everyone and never thinking of the geopolitical responsibilities (the German business lobby is the most involved in Putin’s Russia, is among his greatest supporters and has been vocal in stopping Berlin from sanctioning the Kremlin). Let’s just hope German Chancellor Angela Merkel is as good at her job as its football team’s coach Joachim Löw is at his.advertisement