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Holi no longer 'holy'
Report dated 08/03/2012 @ 9:16 PM
The festival of Holi is traditionally a time for gay abandon, for crossing artificial barriers, class differences and elitist tendencies.
According to an owner of the 250 year old Bhagat Halwai in Belanganj, times have changed. Now Holi celebrations have lost their flavour and become generally an indoor club activity with no more mixing with the masses. With changing lifestyles and values, Holi revelry has become modern, less expressive and boisterous.
The country has become urbane and civil, but rural areas continue to enjoy the fun of song and dance. Liquor has replaced the traditional Bhang and Thandai. Little effort is made to break the social barriers, making Holi a detestable demonstration of caste loyalties.
Changes in perception and levels of tolerance seem to be transforming Holi from a mass festival to a class and caste festival.
India adds 10 million mobile users in January
Report dated 08/03/2012 @ 9:15 PM
India added a net 9.88 million mobile subscribers in January, totaling 903.73 million mobile connections in the country.
Of the leading Indian mobile operators, Bharti Airtel leads, followed by Reliance Communications, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.
Where do Goans go when on holiday ?
Report dated 07/03/2012 @ 5:46 PM
The answer of course is - Goa !
With its perfect beaches, deliciously exotic foods, smiling friendly people, kind weather and even beautiful blondes, one is not surprised to learn that the dyed in the wool Goan loves staying home.
Goa still retains its Portuguese roots with delightfully designed cottages and well-maintained gardens. Bicycles are the preferred mode of transport, easy, fun and no petrol to pay for. Markets with stores that sell almost anything, manned by friendly shop owners who love tourists.
Some Goans admitted they went to see the Taj Mahal in Agra, others say they head for Anjuna or Calangute in north Goa.
As one visitor to Goa said, Goa is a state of mind. And as one charming Goan lady said - Being Goans they are hosts, and if the hosts leave their homes, where will the world go to party ?!
Congress Party fares poorly in state elections
Report dated 07/03/2012 @ 5:45 PM
The Congress Party fared poorly in a round of regional elections, with a win in just one out of five states. This of course dealt a blow to Congress Party's Rahul Gandhi, the latest member of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty.
In India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh, the Congress Party had hoped to make substantial gains after months of intensive campaigning by Rahul Gandhi, but the Party trailed behind regional parties to emerge a distant fourth place. Congress has not been in power in Uttar Pradesh for over 20 tears. The clear winner in the state, the socialist Samajwadi Party has dethroned Mayawat's ruling Bahujan Samaj Party.
Congress retained power in northeastern Manipur state, but is set to loose Goa to the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. Congress also failed to score a victory in Punjab and won only one extra seat over the opposition BJP in Uttarakhand.
The elections were a litmus test for the Congress Party halfway through its second term as head of the federal coalition. One political analyst says it relied too heavily on the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to rescue its political fortunes. Notwithstanding, the election results provide an opportunity for the party to re-strategise and revive its flagging fortunes ahead of national elections scheduled for 2014.
Rahul Gandhi admitted the results were not good, but says his work to strengthen the party will continue.
Kiran Bedi's analysis of Congress Party's poor showing
Report dated 07/03/2012 @ 5:44 PM
Team Anna member Kiran Bedi states Congress performed badly in the state elections because it was blatantly against an effective Lokpal bill to curb corruption.
She recommends that Congress needs to understand not only what has gone wrong, but what is right.