Ties frosty, but India’s cultural body sponsors Karachi Literature Festival

NEW DELHI: the organisations promoting Pakistan’s ongoing showpiece Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), there’s one which might be of particular interest to Indians. It’s the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
Some will see a conflicting signal in this, given all the talk here about isolating Pakistan, but the government’s flagship cultural body, which promotes India’s relations with the external world by executing the foreign ministry’s projects abroad, is one of the sponsors of the event.
While some may see India’s involvement with KLF as coming against the run of play, the government seems to be finally veering round to the view that holding aloof completely from a troublesome neighbour may prove to be of little help

Refugees cross to Canada to escape Donald Trump

Toronto:special report:Siraj Siddiqui:For five hours, Somalis Farhan Ahmed and Mohamed Mualim trekked through the barren and frigid snow-swept fields dividing North Dakota from the Canadian prairies. The snow was knee-deep and it was nearly -20 degrees Celsius.

Then, out of the darkness, a highway appeared. They had arrived in Canada. One of them pulled out their mobile phone to call 911.

“Wow, it was very, very cold,” Ahmed, 36, recalled. “You could not walk about the ice. It was too much. Sometimes, it reached our knees. We didn’t feel sometimes our hands, sometimes our feet.”

Hours earlier, Ahmed, Mualim, and three other African men paid a man $500 to drive them from Minneapolis, Minnesota to North Dakota, just three miles south of the Canadian border. They were underdressed for the winter temperatures, wearing only light gloves and spring jackets.

“Sometimes, you cannot walk because the snow is very big – sometimes above your knees,” Mualim, 28, explained.
Mualim and Ahmed say they were spooked by Trump and his immigration ban, which prohibited the entry of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries – among them Somalia – for 90 days. Their decision to flee the United States was largely influenced by the president.

“Why I have to flee, is because of Donald Trump,” Ahmed said.

“It’s not safe, so I run. When new president came in, everything changed. The hate speech. The people who have the documents, the status, and everything, they cannot come in.”

Upwards of 90 Somalis, many of whom have had their refugee cases denied, have already reportedly been deported since Trump’s immigration ban, which has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge.

“It was very hard but we didn’t have a choice,” said Mualim. “I couldn’t stay and feel safe any more in the United States. You have no choice or they will deport you back. You have only one choice: to cross the border.”

Dalhousie Road becomes Dara Shikoh Road

New Delhi:PBCN: The New Delhi Municipal Council on Monday passed a proposal to change the name of Dalhousie Road to Dara Shikoh Road, after the eldest son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

New Delhi MP and NDMC member Meenakshi Lekhi said the Council had first come up with the proposal in 2014, when it considered changing the name of Aurangzeb Road to Dara Shikh Road.

“However, former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam passed away then. So we decided to change Aurangzeb Road’s name to honour him,” said Ms. Lekhi.

She added that the Council decided to honour Dara Shikoh Road for “bringing Hindus and Muslims together”. She said the Council picked Dalhousie Road as Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General of India in the mid 19th Century, had annexed the Awadh. As per rules of the Centre, only names given to public facilities before the Independence can be changed. Therefore, the colonial-era Dalhousie Road could be renamed.

This is the third time that the NDMC has renamed a road in less than two years. In August 2015, Aurangzeb Road became Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Road. Then, in September 2016, Race Course Road, where the Prime Minister’s residence is located, was renamed Lok Kalyan Marg.

Jallikattu ban: Thousands protest at Chennai’s Marina Beach, CM Panneerselvam to meet PM Modi

Thousands of protesters thronged Marina Beach here on Wednesday against a court ban on Jallikattu, Tamil Nadu’s popular but controversial bull-taming sport played during Pongal festivities in mid-January.

They demanded lifting of restrictions on the sport, a ban on animal rights campaign group PETA, and an audience with chief minister O Panneerselvam.

The chief minister didn’t go to Marina, but promised in a statement that he would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pass an emergency ordinance to allow the sport. Also, he implored the protesters to end their demonstration.