Citizens' Issues
In Bihar, landgrab does not spare a Bharat Ratna's birthplace
Its the house in Dumraon, some 110 km from here, where shenai mastero Ustad Bismillah Khan was born and lived in for the first six-seven years of his life. Over time, sundry Chief Ministers have promised to preserve the house and develop the town, one of Bihar's oldest municipalities -- but to no avail.
 
Now, a musician, a poet and two theatre activists have petitioned the Bihar government against efforts by anti-social elements to usurp the property and the considerably large grounds around it and said that an "anganwadi" day-care centre for children is being forcibly run from the house.
 
The action came after Subhan Khan, the caretaker of the house, complained to the police that attempts were being made to usurp the property.
 
Pramod Kumar, a district official in Dumraon, said a probe is underway and legal action would soon be taken against the guilty.
 
"Bismillah Khan's ancestral house is a heritage property for the country and its people. It should be protected by the government," Gajender Narain Singh, a musician and a Padma Shri recipient, told IANS.
 
Well-known Hindi poet Alok Dhanwa, the president of the Sangeet Natak Academy here, said the government must promptly initiate action against those involved in the attempted landgrab. "It is shameful and unfortunate that some people have reportedly tried to capture Bismillah Khan's his ancestral house. We will protest against this," Dhanwa told IANS.
 
Theatre activists Anish Ankur and Jai Prakash said the attempt to take over the property exposed the fact that it has remained neglected for years despite top leaders of Bihar repeatedly promising to develop it. "It is not acceptable that a house which should be treated as a heritage property is under attack," Ankur said.
 
Local residents in Dumraon, a part of the Buxur Lok Sabha constituency, admitted that Bismillah Khan - recipient of the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian honour -- was not given due respect in his hometown.
 
Two Bihar Chief Ministers and a host of other politicians have promised to develop the property but beyond tokenism, there has been nothing concrete on the ground.
 
Lalu Prasad had, in 1994, laid the foundation stone of a town hall-cum-library in Bismillah Khan's memory. In 2006, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced the construction of a museum and installation of a life-size statue after the shehnai masetro's death in August of that year.
 
"But nothing has happened so far, Even the marble foundation stone that Lalu Prasad laid has been gathering dust at the Dumraon police station for several years," Murli Manohar Srivastava, who has written a book on Bismillah Khan, said.
 
"It was ironic that promises made to develop the maestro's birthplace remained unfulfilled and were not an issue at the polls," he rued.
 
Bismillah Khan was born Qamruddin on March 21, 1913, at the house, located in Dumraon's Bhirung Raut Ki Gali. According to the locals, his ancestors were court musicians and used to play in the naqqar khana -- a drum house or orchestra pit -- in the erstwhile princely state of Dumraon. His father was a shehnai player in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh.
 
Bismillah Khan moved to his maternal grandfather's home in Benaras (now Varanasi) when he was barely six or seven. His uncle, Ali Baksh ‘Vilayatu', a shehnai player attached to the holy Kashi Vishwanath Temple, was his guru.
 
Bismillah Khan, who died on August 21, 2006, was a rare recipient of all four of the country's top civilian honours -- the Padma Shri (1961), the Padma Bhushan (1968), the Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the Bharat Ratna (2001).
 
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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New laws are very silly, should go through Beta testing (The Funny Side)
A colleague asked me to be her babys godparent but her smile faded as she watched me trying to operate a microwave.
 
Not my fault. There's obviously a hidden law which says All Microwave Ovens Must Be Impossible to Turn On in a Different Way.
 
Hidden laws are troublesome. For example: A school recently rejected a woman who applied for a job as a Spanish teacher because she could not speak Spanish. 
 
You might think that was a reasonable decision, but the woman, Tracy Rosner, took out a lawsuit against the Miami school under an "affirmative action" law guaranteeing jobs for ethnic minorities. 
 
"Most new laws look good on paper but cause problems in real life," said reader Alison Au, who sent me the report. 
 
So true. I told her about the problem in Hengshui, a city in the Hebei province of China, where officials recently passed a law forcing all taxi drivers to switch to electric vehicles. This made the officials appear very forward-looking -- but horrified taxi drivers since the city had no electric car charging stations. Hengshui's taxi fleet might not be able to move, but it will look great. Citizens will have to go back to their bicycles which will be better for their health and for the planet, so I guess the world needs more officials like these.
 
Meanwhile, back in the United States, a reader reports that a new law in Arizona has made it illegal for any adult to touch the private parts of anyone under 15. This sounded wise until residents realised that all the babies in the state now have to change their own nappies and give themselves baths, or their parents can be arrested.
 
The legal sector needs to copy the system used by tech people, having a "beta" period where new laws are tried out. The official objection to this is that social engineering is evil.
 
I dispute this, since a great many of us already do social experiments on human beings, a technique known as "parenting". For example, since the Olympics, I have encouragingly referred to my children as "Olympic hopefuls", a phrase much used on TV. They are useless at sport, but there's no law against being hopeful, right? 
 
The advantage of having a testing period is that we could try out much-needed laws which might be controversial. Case in point: There clearly needs to be a law saying that once a year, all singers need to sing in public without autotune. This would lead to the tragic ends of the careers of Britney Spears, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Kesha, T-Pain, One Direction and the like. It would also mean that my children would stop talking to me. Good news upon good news.
 
Before I had kids, my favorite game was "rock paper scissors". This is because, as a writer, I loved the fact that this game recognised that paper should actually be classified as a powerful weapon. But now I have kids and they beat me every time, as the game shamefully penalises people who are loyal to any particular commodity.
 
By the way, did I mention my kids are Olympic hopefuls?
 
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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SC cancels Subrata Roy's parole
The Supreme Court on Friday cancelled the parole of Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two other directors and directed to take them into custody.
 
A bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur cancelled the "interim arrangements" of granting him parole after market regulator SEBI's counsel Pratap Venugopal told the bench that all the properties given by Sahara to the market regulator were already under attachment by Income Tax authorities.
 
Apparantly annoyed over this, the Chief Justice immediately ordered the cancellation of parole and directed Roy and the two other directors to be taken into custody and they will remain so till october 3 when the matter will again be taken up for hearing.
 
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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