Citizens' Issues
Goa IGP accused of taking Rs5.5 lakh bribe for registering FIR
The Goa government ordered a probe after a businessman on Thursday accused IGP Sunil Garg of demanding and accepting Rs 5.5 lakh in bribe for registering a First Information Report in a cheating case.
 
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar ordered the speedy probe, even as the Inspector General of Police Garg, while speaking to IANS, denied the allegation.
 
Munnalal Halwai, who runs a business establishment in the port town of Vasco, 35 km from the state capital, said he paid the bribe to Garg in two instalments in 2015, including once in the senior police official's cabin at the police headquarters in Panaji.
 
"Garg first demanded 10 per cent of Rs 1.15 crore, the amount I was cheated of, for registration of the FIR. After bargaining he agreed to have the FIR registered at the Ponda police station for around Rs 5 lakh," Halwai told reporters at a press conference in Panaji, where he also played out an audio clip, which purportedly contained the recording of a conversation between Garg and himself, at the police headquarters in September 2015.
 
Garg denied any wrong-doing. "I flatly deny the allegation," Garg said. The official did not deny meeting Halwai.
 
In a statement issued here, Congress spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar demanded the immediate suspension of Garg.
 
"We are shocked to learn about Goa's IGP demanding and accepting bribe of Rs 5 lakh to register an FIR. No wonder how the prostitution, drugs, matka and illegal activities are flourishing in the state. We strongly demand the immediate suspension of IGP Sunil Garg and would write to the chief minister about the same."
 
"Allegations are serious. I'll have to go into it. Whenever I come across such situations, it is the police which guides me. When the allegations are against police, I will have to consult some other officer," Parsekar told IANS.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Lions are introverts, and knowing that could save your life (The Funny Side)
I dreamed that TV wildlife guru David Attenborough was narrating a film about my life: "And for the 49th time, the runt of the group attempts to climb out of the pit but does a dramatic face plant into decomposing warthog poop. Let's see if he gets up this time."
 
Yet I remain fascinated by animal news stories. A reader just sent me one about a team of Australians who flew to Botswana recently to paint eyes on cows' bottoms. I showed it to an illustrator colleague and she said: "Artists have to take whatever jobs are available, cow bottoms, whatever."
 
The article said that they were painting pairs of eyes on bovine buttocks to stop lions eating them. The big cats apparently turn away from what they see as ugly "faces", thinking: "She looks like a cow's behind, she's got enough problems without us mauling her."
 
A similar trick has long been used in India. Woodcutters wear ugly masks with big eyes on the backs of their heads to deter lions. "That poor man's so deformed he's got two faces," the retreating beasts say. "Probably give us indigestion."
 
The scientific thinking behind this is that lions are known to hate being stared at. Lions are introverts. If you are cornered by a lion in the jungle, quickly offer to take it to a cocktail party where it won't know many people. The lion will back off speedily, mumbling excuses about having to shampoo its mane.
 
When I mentioned this to a naturalist friend, she told me about the Foureye Butterflyfish, which has two huge fake eyes at one end, and a real face at the other end. Approaching deep-sea predators stop and think: "OMG, that fish is eating with its anus" and are so fascinated/disgusting they forget to attack.
 
Incidentally, National Geographic writers found a giant sea cucumber which eats with its anus. Where I live, some human fans of colonic irrigation treatments have wheatgrass nutrient drinks inserted from below, wasting the time of the people who toiled to make them taste good.
 
But returning to fake eyes, many butterflies have evolved quite realistic eyes on their wings, which seem to work, judging by the complete lack of lion-versus-butterfly fighting videos on YouTube.
 
These tales of smart animals coincided with the arrival on my desk of a travel report containing proof of the astonishing scale of human stupidity. In the US alone, humans left US$765,000 in small change in trays at airport security gates last year, it said.
 
A colleague has just pointed out that this could be 765,000 travellers each leaving a few coins, or Donald Trump alone forgetting to pick up his pocket change. Whatever. It's still stupidity.
 
But of course not everyone appreciates the good qualities of animals. I remember going to a zoo in China some years back where the little name plate outside each cage had words like "Evil" and "Edible" on them. This seemed a bit insensitive, especially since humans are very evil and technically edible, too. Especially if unmasked and approached by lions.
 
Column done, time for a break. And if the office canteen is serving wheatgrass drinks, I think I'll just drink it the old way; so move along, nothing to see here.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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'Temples of India' an ode to geometry, architecture
 It's rare to come across an individual who's adept with both pen and camera -- more so when photography grew out of a casual remark. Tarun Chopra is one such and what he has managed with "Temples of India - Abode of the Divine", his 12th book, is to also trace the evolution of temple building with major architectural trendsetting examples.
 
To this extent, "Temples of India" (Prakash Books/pp 360/Rs 1,295), with its plethora of photographs, illustrations, ground plans and sections, is a valuable resource for both experts and lay persons to understand the fascinating science of geometry and architecture as temple-building evolved over some 2,000 years.
 
Ten years in the making and based on painstaking research of the ancient texts of Shilpa Shastra and Vaastu Shastra, as also interactions with temple priests, the effort is quite an eye-opener.
 
"I visited the temples of varied faiths. It somehow compels you to think if there is a God, He has to be one for all. He cannot be different for each religion. The realisation then dawns that there is one Supreme cosmic power which itself has no religion," Chopra told IANS in an interview.
 
A 48-page introduction makes for a handy primer on subjects like the oral tradition, Vaastu Shastra, Vaastupurushamandala (the metaphysical plan of a building), the legend of Vaastupurusha, temple builders, traditional building rites and rituals, the main architectural features of a Hindu temple, iconography of the temple, proportional measurements of an image, and temples as the markers of energy zones.
 
This sets the tone for Tripping On the Divine: a visual documentation of the evolution of most prominent temple styles spanning more than 2,000 years.
 
"Very few places in the world offer this vast a canvas of art and architecture. This book is not based on the temples of religious importance; rather the temples illustrated in it are purely on their architectural merit. Many of them have unique qualifications to be first of their kind in the Indian subcontinent and in the world. Some temples are the stepping stones of architectural styles and initiated temple styles that evolved for the next 1,000 years," Chopra writes.
 
Most of the 28 temples featured are A-listers -- Sanchi, Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta, Kanchipuram, Shravanabelagola, Khajuraho, Trichy, Madurai and Hampi, to name just a few. There are also some not too well known, at least for readers in North India. Among them are Teli Ka Mandir in Gwalior Fort, Gangaikondacholapuram (a smaller replica of the Brihadeshwara Temple in Tanjore), Darasuram (Tamil Nadu) and Aihole (Karnataka).
 
The bulk of the temples are located in South India and Chopra explained it thus: "Due to waves and waves of invasions that North India experienced at the hands of idol breakers, the temples in this region bore most of its brunt. Since the temples down south were relatively protected due to geographical distance, there is a wide variety of architectural styles that still exists today."
 
"Temples..." is a logical extension of Chopra's 11 previous books, most of which have India as their theme.
 
"My bestselling book 'Holy Cow and the Other Indian Stories' contains small chapters answering simple questions about India, why cows are on the road, why we get stamped so many times at the airport, the chaos that exists on the roads.. 'India Exotic Destination' illustrates the places frequented by visitors, while 'Soul of India' is a photo book that illustrates the beauty of the land through portraits, landscapes, street life and the like," Chopra said.
 
"I am a photographer and writer devoted to making books on India. My endeavour is to take out books that are easy to read and assimilate. As a photographer, I have been commissioned to do various projects both in India and abroad," he added.
 
All this grew out of a casual remark: "Why don't you start taking pictures since you travel so much?"
 
What is rather unusual about "Temples..." is its standard format rather than the large coffee-table format generally adopted for such books -- and the publisher said this was with a purpose.
 
"We decided to go with a smaller size to make the book handy for the buyer. Typical coffee tables are larger in size, but the sales of these books are down for the last few years, mainly because of the internet. A lot of images and data is now available on the net, but also because it's hard to carry large books because of weight limitations or the general bulkier nature of the book.
 
"We wanted the readers to be able to enjoy 'Temples of India' while they travel through India and visit these temples," Megha Parmar of Prakash Books told IANS.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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