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first_imgThe Sun say Pep Guardiola wants a face-to-face meeting with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich before deciding whether to take over as manager at Stamford Bridge.Chelsea officials are said to have offered the ex-Barcelona boss £11m-a-year and an assurance that there will be no pressure on him to win major trophies in his first two years in charge.But it is claimed that Guardiola has demanded talks with Abramovich himself, so he can hear the offer from the horse’s mouth.A Chelsea source is quoted as saying: “If it takes a big meeting with Abramovich to get the deal done, that’s what must happen.”The Daily Express say Chelsea have made a £30m offer for Hulk, while The Daily Telegraph suggest the Blues are on the verge of signing the Porto striker for £40m.QPR want Newcastle defender Danny Simpson and are willing to pay West Ham keeper Robert Green £50,000-a-week, The Sun report.Magpies full-back Simpson has so far not agreed a new deal at St James’ Park, while Green’s contract expires this summer.It’s suggested that Rangers’ willingness to match Green’s wage demands are scuppering West Ham’s attempts to keep the England international.Arsenal are rivalling QPR for the signing of Manchester City midfielder Nigel De Jong, according to the Daily Mirror.Rangers boss Mark Hughes has been linked with the Dutchman, who played under him at Eastlands.And it is claimed that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is also keen to capture De Jong after failing to land Rennes’ Yann M’Vila.Click here for Wednesday’s QPR quizClick here for Wednesday’s Chelsea quizClick here for Tuesday’s Paper TalkFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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first_img(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 It would be helpful if, when discussing natural selection, evolutionists knew what they are talking about.Many times articles promise insight into evolution but fail to deliver. That’s the case in a piece by Amro Zayed in Nature titled, “Evolution: Insect invasions and natural selection.” Zayed tantalizes his readers with visions of new species originating with wonderful new traits and functions that didn’t exist before. Isn’t that what Darwinism was about: the Origin of Species by means of natural selection, by which bacteria became humans? If natural selection is truly capable of such transformations, it should be evident in smaller cases like insect invasions. Here, though, is all that Zayed provides: a tale of bee genes.In 2008, the authors identified only four different alleles at the csd gene, and they estimated that one out of four fertilized eggs would give rise to an inviable diploid male. However, a year later, the authors documented three additional csd alleles. Gloag et al. propose that these three alleles were so rare that they had escaped detection in 2008. The authors showed that the rare alleles were not the result of new mutations because the alleles’ DNA sequence was substantially different from those of the alleles found in 2008. It is also unlikely that these new A. cerana csd alleles were introduced by a secondary invasion, because the authors did not observe new alleles at the other DNA regions they examined. Rather, the presence of these three rare alleles in 2009 is best explained by balancing selection, in which bees that carried the rare csd alleles in 2008 contributed more offspring to the next generation.What is balancing selection? Zayed relies on Gloag et al.‘s study in Nature Ecology & Evolution to explain what was observed when one species of bee invaded another species’ habitat:The authors speculated that a special form of natural selection, called balancing selection, would have a role in reducing imbalances in the frequency of csd alleles. This would, in turn, reduce the production of inviable diploid males in the invasive population. With balancing selection, individuals that have rare csd alleles would be expected to have high fitness because they would be unlikely to mate with an individual that had the same allele — a mating that would result in the production of diploid male offspring (Fig. 1). Carriers of rare alleles should contribute more offspring to future generations and increase the frequency of their initially rare csd alleles over time. A prediction about balancing selection on csd is that an equilibrium would be reached when all csd alleles have the same frequency.Let’s take stock of the situation. Is this a demonstration of neo-Darwinian evolution in action?Did any new traits arise? No; both populations already had genes with “substantially different” alleles for this gene. All that changed were the relative numbers of the two types in the population. Notably, the authors state that the “rare” allele did not happen by new mutations.Did “fitness” increase? Well, how did they measure “fitness”? They fell into the tautology trap by equating it with reproduction (see “Fitness for Dummies,” 10/03/15). In other words, the successful bees did not have any new organs or improvements that made them stronger; they just left more eggs. More precisely, they left enough eggs not to go extinct in the new habitat.Did “natural selection” get demonstrated? No; “balancing selection” only refers to a blind process that “enhances the success of social-insect invasions by correcting imbalances in the frequency of csd alleles that occur during founding events.” It’s a bit like measuring how many children Muslims are having in France, to see whether the refugee invasion will succeed. Both Muslims and French already existed before and after the invasion.But it gets worse. Zayed is not even sure balancing selection has anything to do with the story:Although balancing selection clearly increased the fitness [i.e., the number of offspring left] of invasive Asian honeybees in Australia, it is not clear whether this evolutionary force was essential for the successful establishment of the invasion. The invasive population of A. cerana still increased in size despite the skewed allele frequencies at the csd gene during the early stages of the invasion. Social-insect invaders might have other attributes that predispose them to be successful biological invaders. The intrinsic growth rates of some social insects might be so high that even a 25% increase in female mortality — the amount estimated by Gloag and colleagues to occur in the initial stages of A. cerana‘s invasion — did not prevent population expansion.This admission completely undermines the only appeal to “natural selection” in the article — flimsy as it was to begin with, being only “balancing selection,” not the emergence of anything new. If other causes can suffice to explain the phenomenon, you don’t win the argument that natural selection was the cause; for all he knows, the “other attributes that predispose them to be successful invaders” might have been intelligently designed. And as we saw in the first quote above, the genetic differences were not likely due to mutation. In neo-Darwinism, mutations are supposed to be the raw material for innovation that natural selection selects. Here is the only reference to natural selection in the original paper: “Natural selection prevented the loss of rare csd alleles due to genetic drift and corrected the skew in allele frequencies caused by founder effects to restore high average heterozygosity.” If you don’t understand the jargon, here’s the drift: nothing new happened. There was only a shift in frequency of certain varieties of pre-existing genes.Where, then, is the evidence for neo-Darwinism? It vanished in a fogma of rhetoric, during which Zayed snuck in Darwin’s favorite words fitness, evolution and natural selection and left them hanging on nothing. He gloats, “Gloag and colleagues’ study provides a clear example of how rapid evolutionary changes can affect the fitness of invasive populations.”Vacuous RhetoricHere’s another example of rhetoric masquerading as evidence for evolution. Science Daily titillates with its title, “Drivers of evolution hidden in plain sight.” If this sounds like a mystery story, you’re right. It’s a mystery anybody could be fooled by the promises of European Darwinist Pedro Beltrao, who speaks with all the scientific credibility of a snake oil salesman. “This study is about understanding how evolution works,” he says. We’re promised the ability to “see in detail how life evolves.” We’re going to see how evolutionists “reconstructed evolutionary history” right at the ground level of the genes! But surprisingly, the only mention of “selection” in the article is hypothetical:“If a species needs to adapt to a new setting, it needs to generate a lot of diversity over many generations so that evolution has a pool of options to select from. One way for that to happen is through changes in gene expression, but changes in phosphorylation are equally effective,” explains Beltrao.The reader will look in vain for any increase in fitness, any origin of species, any innovation or progressive improvement in traits. Most importantly, there are no references to mutations in the genetic code. The only “mutations” Beltrao conjures up are post-translational modifications (PTMs) that affect the protein products of genes by means of markers, like phosphorylation tags, that regulate their expression. (These PTMs are what Beltrao calls the drivers of evolution that were “hidden in plain sight.”)A little reflection, though, shows that PTMs can only affect what genes already exist. Where did they come from? Who wrote the code? Unless Beltrao is offering an entirely new theory of evolution contrary to neo-Darwinism, he leaves the big question unanswered: how does evolution make an eye or a wing where none existed before? You can’t design new machinery simply by regulating the number of screws made. The only example he gives of new function is – get this – cancer.It’s doubtful any evolutionist wants to argue that cancer increases fitness. But nothing was lost to Beltrao in propaganda value; he was able to use the word “evolution” 11 times, planting its subtle message in the reader’s mind through repetition.Exposing charlatans; that’s what we do here at CEH, where we call them Charlietans after their founder, the Bearded Buddha.last_img read more

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first_imgIt is “necessary to defend our rights”Klingenberg’s latest volley, “Summary of letter from PHIUS attorneys regarding Dr. Feist’s allegations,” was fired off on September 1, 2011. In her latest public letter, Klingenberg asserts:“We thought it necessary to defend our rights publicly.”“Dr. Feist alleges that PHIUS has no license to sell the PHPP spreadsheet and manual. … PHI granted E-co Lab a reseller contract that gave it the right to sell the PHPP spreadsheet and manual to end users in exchange for paying PHI a license fee per copy.”“Dr. Feist further alleges that PHIUS made an illegal adaptation of the PHPP spreadsheet. However, the facts demonstrate that PHI expressly authorized the adaptation. … PHI eventually approved the spreadsheet.”“Dr. Feist claims that PHIUS is offering competing passive house certifications. PHIUS has not offered competing certifications.”“Dr. Feist has stated that the passive house concept is a ‘public good’ and that he desires to keep the passive house concept ‘internationally accessible and open to all.’ Yet he simultaneously resists our efforts to promote the concept in the United States.”“We … feel that PHI is creating an inaccurate portrayal of PHIUS within the passive house community. We feel he is making false and damaging allegations about us.” The Passivhaus Institut in Germany Disowns Its U.S. Satellite The American Passive House Institute Responds to Dr. FeistRound 3: Wolfgang Feist Discusses the PHI-PHIUS Split RELATED ARTICLES UPDATED 9/15/2011 with new blog linksWhile most of the Passivhaus world is tired of the bitter disagreements between the Passivhaus Institut (PHI) in Darmstadt, Germany, and the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) in Urbana, Illinois, the two principal combatants, Wolfgang Feist and Katrin Klingenberg, are unflagging.There are no signs yet that either organization has a board of directors capable of preventing their leader from issuing another press release.center_img A plague on both their Haus-es?A few bloggers are beginning to tire of the PHI-PHIUS spat. Once such blogger, Roger at the EdgewaterHaus blog, recently wrote, “I believe PHI and PHIUS actions have devalued the passive house currency to nearly worthless in the U.S. … So to both PHI and PHIUS, shame on you and your board of complicitors for having cut the legs out from under the fledging passive house movement here in the U.S. that you profess to love and nurture.”Mike Eliason at Brute Force Collaborative reacted with this Tweet: “Does PHIUS really think I care that they’ve been at their attorney’s office over the PHI split? Losing faith rapidly…” Latest blog postsMore bloggers are chiming in: Michael Hindle at the Chesapeake Passive House blog Mel Starrs at the Elemental blogDonal at DagBloglast_img read more

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first_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. For the past five years, researchers at the Building Science Corporation (BSC) in Massachusetts have been testing the thermal performance of a variety of wall assemblies as part of an ambitious project to develop a new metric to replace R-value. (I last reported on the project in my August 2011 article, A Bold Attempt to Slay R-Value.)BSC researchers recently released information on the multi-year project:The BSC project is financed by a group of five insulation manufacturers and one trade organization — Dow, U.S. Greenfiber, Honeywell, Huntsman Polyurethanes, Icynene, and the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association — known collectively as the “Thermal Metric consortium.” While BSC hasn’t yet published a peer-reviewed paper reporting on their research project, the consortium has released enough details to draw a few conclusions.The BSC researchers set out to measure the rate of heat flow through a variety of wall assemblies under different conditions — for example, at different rates of air flow. The intent was to compare the performance of a wall when air was leaking through the wall with the performance of the wall without any air leakage. The researchers also hoped to test wall assemblies at different outdoor temperatures and to quantify the effect of thermal bridging.Eventually, the BSC researchers hope to propose a new metric for wall assemblies — something akin to the NFRC label now found on windows. “The window industry was in disarray a decade and a half ago, and it was very difficult for practitioners to select windows,” said Joseph Lstiburek, a principle of BSC. “Then the window industry came up with the NFRC ratings for windows, so that today it is fairly straightforward to get information on the three most important characteristics of windows. That labeling came from the industry, and it provides a tremendous example of… This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

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first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now The little voice inside your head might say, “I am tired of being rejected when I ask for a meeting.” The little voice feels like the “no” is a personal rejection that invalidates their worth as a human being, making something out of what is really nothing.The larger voice recognizes that a failed attempt to acquire a meeting is nothing more than feedback. The feedback provided by the answer “no” only means that the person receiving the call did not believe the value you offered in exchange for their time was favorable to them. The larger voice says, “I’ll change up my offer and try again later and, eventually, I will get a meeting.”The little voice says, “You didn’t lose that deal. If it weren’t for your irrational competitor’s low price, you’d have surely won.” That tiny voice absolves you of all responsibility for the loss, protecting your ego from being bruised. It reminds you that you are a good and competent person and there was nothing you could do.The larger voice tells you, “You didn’t create enough of a preference to block your irrational competitor, and you didn’t address the difference in strategic outcomes when clients underinvest. Next time, we’ll move that up in the conversation and do a better job blocking their strategy—or at least making it hard for them.” The big voice isn’t dissuaded from taking responsibility, instead it looks to what you might do differently in the future.The little voice says, “You can prospect tomorrow. You have plenty of time, and nothing bad is going to happen when you put opportunity creation off for another day. No one is even going to notice.” The small chirping voice always sells tomorrow because it prefers comfort over almost everything. It’s willing to trade comfort for your reaching your full potential.Your larger voice says, “You are paying the price today for what you want tomorrow,” quite the opposite of what the small voice sells. The larger voice is proactive and takes the initiative, doing what needs to be done today efficiently and without fail. The larger voice would have you pay in full and have what you want, knowing that procrastination only pulls the future you want further away from you.It’s important you pay attention to what you say to yourself. Your results and your future are going to first manifest in your mind, and then they will manifest in the world. Choose carefully which voice you will allow to design your future.last_img read more

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first_imgThe location of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s office was finally revealed on March 24 by Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. The office of the chief minister will be on the 46th floor of a mega riverfront tower, designed by UK-based architecture firm Foster + Partners, with a bird’s eye view of the capital city, Amaravati.The office would lead to a helipad atop the tower. The idea behind the design is that VIPs and foreign dignitaries can enter the chief minister’s office directly through the helipad. This tower will be the tallest among the five towers making up the administrative core of the capital. The other four towers will be of 40 floors each. The models of these towers, designed by architect Sir Norman Foster’s firm, were shown in the state Assembly after the announcement for the lawmakers to see.The administrative enclave, along with the Assembly and High Court buildings, will be the central focus of the 217-sq.km capital city. The Assembly building will take up 8.5 lakh sq.ft area while the High Court will be set up in 2 lakh sq.ft area. The capital will have nine cities, of which the High Court will make “Justice City.”Announcing the decision, Narayana said: “We have chosen a spike design structure for the legislature complex with a rich elegance, reflecting the high aspirations of the people. The high court building design is inspired by the Buddhist Stupa architecture, while the secretariat towers will have a smart design with a focus on accessibility.”The 27 townships, built on 1,000 acre each, will be home to a gross population of 27 lakh. Two ring roads will be developed – a 186 km long Outer Ring Road and 97.5 km long Inner Ring Road, Narayana said. Over 30 per cent of the overall area in Amaravati would be kept for parks, he added.A road network of 1,600 km,  five bridges and five reservoirs are also being planned. The development of the reservoirs aims at preventing floods in the Kondaveetivagu and Palavagu areas.Foster + Partners have submitted the final designs of the structures and the tender process for construction of buildings will be started by the end of April, Narayana said.Andhra Pradesh has submitted a detailed project report for requiring Rs 11,600 crore as part of capital development. The Central government has released Rs 1,500 crore, the Hindu reported. However, these plans are being looked at with skepticism by the Opposition. “The government could not finalize designs for the capital buildings in the last four years. When will the capital be actually built?,” the Indian Express reported quoted a BJP lawmaker as saying. Related ItemsAmaravatiAndhra PradeshArchitecturelast_img read more

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first_img220 images from Linnaeus Tripe’s 1854 collection of photos of India and Burma were auctioned by Sotheby’s in London in November.Tripe, an official photographer for the East India Company, took what are considered among the earliest images of India, many of which have remained unseen since the 19th century.The photographs belong to the estate of Lord Dalhousie, the seventh governor-general of India. Related Itemslast_img

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first_imgThe contemporary story of the rise of India is intertwined with the Indian Diaspora, which has played a vital role in the economic resurgence of the country. Though Indians had been venturing out to neighboring Asian countries since as early as the 1st century, the story of the Indian Diaspora primarily has its roots in the penal colony system of the late 18th century and the indentured labor system of the early 19th century. While the former involved the use of convicts as laborers in British South East Asia, the latter was started by would-be British premier Gladstone to supplant the needs of planters after black slavery was abolished in the early 19th century.The first ship that set sail from the Calcutta harbor in 1830s for the Bahamas, with a human cargo of 400 indentured laborers, is that blur, the opening fade in shot in history, when this great odyssey of the Indian Diaspora began. Between the 1830s and 1917, when the indentured system ended, nearly 1.5 million Indians were sold into debt-bondage. Some 240,000 were sent to British Guiana (now Guyana), 36,000 to Jamaica and nearly 144,000 to Trinidad.This “Desperate Diaspora” (to borrow a term from historian Brij Lal’s vocabulary) of close to a million Indians, driven by poverty and desperation and hoodwinked by colonial traders, sailed through Kala Paani (Black waters) to unknown regions to work, sleep, eat and work, without any hope of ever returning to the motherland. They are known as the Gladstone coolies. This Diaspora was long forgotten, until writers like V S Naipaul began chronicling their stories in the 1960s in novels such A House for Mr. Biswas and The Mystic Masseur, both set in the Caribbean. They not only sought to write about the past, but also to renew their bonds with the motherland that had forsaken them. The initial results were searing narratives, such as Naipaul’s An Area of Darkness. In later years, Naipaul’s tradition was carried forward by writers such as Rohinton Mistry and M G Vassanji, among others.Meanwhile after independence, many of Indian doctors, engineers and scientists left for higher education and better job opportunities to North America, Europe, and Australia. Subsequently Indian laborers headed to the Gulf countries and South East Asia. A new exodus of technically educated Indians to the great capitals of capitalism in the 1990s saw the emergence of what Lal calls the “Dollar Diaspora.” As the profile of Indian technology professionals, especially in the Silicon Valley grew, with many becoming leading high tech entrepreneurs, they transformed the image of Indians all over the world. After the dotcom bust, many technology professionals returned to India, almost 25,000 between 2001-2004, according the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), sparking India’s own economic boom.Indians became one of the forces to flatten the world, in Thomas Friedman’s famous turn of the phrase in the book The World is Flat. With the globalization of national economies, the chutnifaction of cultures and Bollywood’s increasing cultural appeal and reach, the new and old Diaspora began to both converge and diverge.Today, there is hardly a major country in the world that does not have an Indian community. From politics to business to cuisine to cinema and fashion, Indians and the Indian Diaspora have become a global force. In the United States alone, Indians are the most highly educated and affluent ethnic group. Chicken tikka masala has displaced fish and chips as the national dish in Britain.The Encyclopedia of the Indian Diaspora seeks to capture this world. Here you will discover Edward Peters from Goa, who sparked off the gold rush in New Zealand in 1853 though he never got credit for it.  And that female Indian migrants are among the best-educated minority groups in most societies in the world. Professor Brij Lal of Australian National University, general editor of the volume, says the book recounts the “lived experiences” of Indian communities around the world.  The encyclopaedia, produced at an estimated cost of $1.6 million, offers a panoramic insight into the movement and development of 44 Indian communities all over the world, through 30 thematic chapters, comprising over 350,000 words, 800 illustrations and 140 maps, tables and figures.Balaji Sadasivan, Singapore’s senior minister of state for foreign affairs, says, “The Indian Diaspora is increasingly perceived as an intrinsic part of the bigger story of humanity’s drift toward globalization, transnational economic and cultural flows, and hybrid forms of socio-cultural identity.”The Indian Diaspora• The total population of the Indian Diaspora is over 20 million•  It is the most widely dispersed Diaspora•  The largest Indian Diaspora communities are found in Malaysia (1.8 million in 2000), USA (just over 1.7 million in 2000), Saudi Arabia (1.5 million in 2001), UK (just over 1 million in 2001) and UAE (950,000 in 2001).• India receives a higher level of remittances ($23 billion in 2004) from abroad than any other country, primarily from the Middle East, North America and Europe.• Indian born residents in the US are the most affluent ethnic group in the country.• Many members of the Diaspora are leaders in global commerce and trade, international public service and diplomacy, the professions and academia. Examples include Sabeer Bhatia, Lakshmi Mittal, Professor Meghnad Desai, Professor Amartya Sen, T A Krishnan (Malaysia), Sir Anerood Jagnauth (Mauritius), Ujjal Dosanjh (Canada), S Sami Velu (Malaysia), Vijay Singh (Fiji), V S Naupail, Rohinton Mistry, Salman Rushdie, M Night Shyamalan, etc.  Overseas Indians maintain a strong social, emotional and economic bond with the mother country. For example, the encyclopedia quotes a Guyanese girl Boodhia who has never been to India and probably never will, but nevertheless longs for the land of the Hindi movies she watches in a language she cannot understand. Or take the example of the proud Indian Mauritian who wept at the news of Indira Gandhi’s assassination as if he had lost someone in his own family.But the Indian diaspora is not just about emotion. Every year it remits billions of dollars to India – an estimated $23 billion in 2004.The idea of this hreference volume germinated at an academic workshop in 2001 and found considerable enthusiasm amongst many prominent Indians, including Singapore’s President Nathan.Lal is general editor of the encyclopaedia, which has entries from 60 scholars in 15 countries. Lal, himself the grandson of an indentured laborer, said that the book offers “deep and enriching insights into the actual lived experience of the Indian Diaspora.” Brij Lal on the overseas Indian identityBrij V. Lal, editor of the Encyclopedia of the Indian Diaspora is professor of Pacific and Asian History at Australian National University.The Indian Diaspora has been growing in influence for some time now, so why wasn’t this phenomenon celebrated before?The important thing to bear in mind is the consciousness of an Indian Diaspora. It’s fairly recent and it developed in the 80s and 90s. It began with the massive migration of people from India to Silicon Valley, to UK, and other places.You already had Indians living in the Caribbean and so on and so forth. They had individual histories but there was not this kind of an attempt to connect all of it together.I think the growth of the Indian Diaspora, the Dollar Diaspora, so to speak, and the availability of funds and money – I mean, you know, Citibank was able to sort of subsidise it (the encyclopedia). We are talking about close to a million dollars involved.  And, the financial support, the institutional support, and the timing were right.So you think it is because of the growing interest in the Indian Diaspora?Definitely. It is because of the growing interest in the contribution that the Diaspora is making, particularly after opening up of India, and a high level committee of (the year) 2000 under L. M. Singhvi who went out and said how can India tap into the NRI resources, just as China’s development was fuelled by the investment of overseas Chinese. So, India said let me also milk the NRI cow. Hai na? (Isn’t it?). So there was interest from India as well – The Parvasi Bhartiya Diwas, the opening of the ministry (for Overseas Indians) itself. Every year January 9 is the Parvasi Bhartiya Diwas. So, the consciousness in India itself on how we can use the Diaspora was there. So it was a confluence of factors.In many societies, there is this divergence between the old and the new Diaspora. Is this going to grow or is this going to go away in future?No, I don’t think so. I think you put your finger on a very important thing, and the important thing is that one should not think of the Indian Diaspora in the singular. One should think of the various strains of the Indian Diaspora. You have got people who have descended from the Indenture system, from the Kangani system here (in Singapore) to those who have gone straight to England to 4th and 5th generation children born in the UK. So it’s a complex series of circles, which intersect at some points and move away at others. The phrase I use is convergence and divergence. Sometimes I feel that you as a person from India and I have something in common – language, food, faith, culture – but there are also other points where you and I don’t see eye to eye. I have much more in common with my Pacific Island friends, my Fijian friends. But I think there are some points that Indian Indians don’t seem to understand, for example, the historical and cultural circumstances, which have produced people of the old Diaspora. And there is an element of friction that I notice and read about. Sometimes it comes out in a patronizing sense about the old Diaspora, you know like you have lost your culture, lost your language and so on. And perversely, on the other side, they (the old Diaspora) also look at Indians with their sort of preoccupation with hierarchy and horoscopes and things like that. So there is sometimes mutual misunderstanding which one hopes will end.Do you think that cultural industries like Bollywood are trying to fill some gaps between the divergence and convergence of the new and the old Diaspora?I think the Bollywood movies are now beginning to address themes. There are films like Baghban, Dev and Page 3. These movies are now beginning to treat themes, which resonate in the experience of the Diaspora. I mean all those days of dancing and prancing around trees, that doesn’t play out any more. And the literature – it is very important. We are producing literature of first class order and people are able to respond. Who would have thought that a novel about a poor, illiterate man, struggling to become a writer would have won the Nobel Prize?That is Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas (1961)?Yes, exactly. There is another guy who is just as brilliant – M G Vassanji from East Africa (born in Kenya, lives in Canada). His The In-Between World of Vikram Lal (2003) is beautiful. There is another one called The Book of Secrets (1994). It is a fantastic book.You know there was a time when literature was being produced in the great metropolitan center-London and New York. Now the empire is writing back. That is important.  Related Itemslast_img read more

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first_imgIn a double cross that would have made for an entertaining crime drama, a hired goon switched sides over a payment dispute with a woman who wanted him to “break a few bones” of her ex- husband in Australia.Yogesh Gupta, 53, went to the Melbourne East Police Station after he got a call from the criminal hired by his former wife. Based on the taped conversation that ran 4.18 minutes, he got restraining orders from the city court.“The call came on August 21 and the caller told me that he had been keeping an eye on me,” Gupta was quoted as saying by India Today. “He told me that he knew my everyday schedule and where I would be at any point of time of the day. This was scary.”He added: “The man then told me that he had instructions to break my legs and show the evidence of my hospitalisation to my former wife by the day she flies off to India, to collect his payment.”When Gupta asked why the caller was giving him all the information, the latter admitted that his ex-wife Deepa had rescinded on the advance payment and had asked him to rob her husband for compensation.He elaborated: “He said he was doing me this favour so that he can recover from me $322 (Rs 20,600), the money spent on my surveillance over the last two days.”Gupta asked him to call back in a few hours to discuss payment, and rushed to the Melbourne Police. “When the hired goon called up again to discuss the payment, it was in the presence of the police officials,” he said.In the third call, the goon told him that he would send his man to pick up the money spent on surveillance. In exchange, he would provide documentary evidence against his former wife. Based on the conversations, the police issued an arrest warrant against Deepa Gupta. She was produced before Melbourne Magistrate Court on August 25. She has been asked to stay 200 metres away from any place where the protected person — in this case, Yogesh Gupta — lives or works.The court said in its restraining order: “The respondent must not commit family violence against the protected person, intentionally damage the property, attempt to locate or keep them under surveillance, publish on the internet any material about the victim.”Yogesh and Deepa, both chartered accountants by profession, got divorced in Australia after 19 years of marriage, the report added. It also cited their relatives as saying that while Deepa wanted to continue her political career in India, Yogesh settled in Australia. The disagreement led to their separation and Deepa had also filed a dowry harassment case against Yogesh. The case is still pending in the court. Related ItemsAustralia Police NRIDomestic dispute NRI AustraliaLittle IndiaMelbourne Police NRINRI divorce case MelbourneYogesh Deepa Gupta divorce Australialast_img read more

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first_imgThe day of celebrations and the sadya feast is upon Malayalis at home and abroad as the conclusion of Onam, the 10-day harvest festival, falls on September 4.  As Onam increasingly becomes a nuclear family affair in India, Malayalis in other countries cash in on the nostalgia and make it a grander affair.Onam in UAEDubai-based Emirates airline has launched an air cargo called Rosy for Onam so that the plane can bring in flowers, vegetables for the festive feast. A total of 2,200 tonne vegetables were exported from India to foreign countries, according to Mathrubhumi.In UAE, where there are an estimated one million Malayalis, retailers are stocking up on the fruits and vegetables that would be needed to prepare the Onam sadhya, the traditional feast served on banana leaves. The feast includes pappadam pazham, upperi (banana chips), sarkara upperi (crisp banana chips coated with jaggery), kootukari, avial, pachadi, banana halwa, and pazham nurukku.Onam is now more of a Gulf festival than a Kerala festival, Salim MA, director of LuLu Group, which caters to a large section of the community, told Gulf News. Typically, Onam celebrations go on for a couple of months in the region as various groups of expatriates get together during the weekends.The LuLu Group, which sells over 350 tonnes of fruits and vegetables during the festival each year, also imported banana fruits and leaves via the sea route this year. They tied up with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority of India for temperature-controlled shipment of bananas in special refrigerated containers,  Gulf News reported.A number of restaurants in UAE, such as Nalukettu at Dubai Grand Hotel,  Kolam restaurant in Sharjah, and Calicut Notebook in Abu Dhabi, are also offering Onam sadhya on September 4.Stores are also stocking up on the traditional Kerala sari for women and kasavu mundu for men as they are in high demand. “Our stores have been stacked up with ethnic Kerala sarees imported directly from weavers of Kuthampully in Palakkad. Readymade kasavu skirts and blouses for girls are also in good demand,” V Nandakumar, chief communication officer at LuLu Group, said to the publication.Air India Express also launched 40 additional flights between Sharjah and India on August 22 to facilitate expatriates flying to Kerala for the festival. These flights, which are being operated from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode in Kerala, as well as New Delhi, will be operational until September 4.Photo Credit: TwitterOman Celebrates Onam Expat group Malayalam Wing of the Indian Social Club in Muscat is planning to serve Onam sadya to more than 500 labourers for free. Also, families who are not able to buy imported flowers use sawdust and colour powders for the floor decoration pookalam, which are being sold at stores now.Celebrations in Other CountriesIn the United Kingdom, Onam celebrations gained the ambience of the backwaters. About 5,000 spectators came to watch the snake boat race, which featured 22 team of rowers, in the reservoir called Draycote Water in Rugby of Warwickshire.The race was perhaps the first outside Kerala to feature chundan vallams (snake boats). “We transformed a few dragon boats that are generally used for competitions into snake boats,” property developer Noby Jose, who led the winning team, told The Times of India. “They were named after the villages of Kuttanad and some of the participants were even singing vanchipattu songs as they inched forward. We were thrilled to see the huge turnout.”Noby and team are set to fly to the United States for international vadamvali malsaram (a traditional Onam game of tug of war), which will be held in Chicago on September 4. Malayalis from countries like Kuwait, Qatar and Canada are expected to participate in the event.A pookalam made in the UK has its own distinct flowers — lilies, roses, blue bells and hotlips — instead of the flowers usually found in Indian backyards.In Tanzania, Onam is going to be celebrated with a lot of games from northern part of Kerala on September 3. The games will also have the folk art pulikali (play of the tigers), in which the performers usually paint themselves and dance to represent tiger hunting. “Our African friends are also joining us for it,” Rajesh Kanjirakadan, who works as a technical manager in a private company, told the TOI.Meanwhile, New York is going to see the Maveli Act, based on the king in whose honour Onam is celebrated. Legend has it that the benevolent king, who was revered by his subjects in Kerala, is allowed to return to the earth one day a year – the day of Onam. Sibu Nair, who works in University of Buffalo in New York, recounted to TOI how they have had Americans dressed up as Maveli quite a few times. “Not just the audience, the one who played the Maveli also enjoyed it quite a bit. The only difference was that he didn’t have a paunch like his Kerala counterparts,” he said.In Finland, the Maveli hands out presents to children in the neighbourhood, like Santa Claus. For Onam Sadhya, the 150-strong Malayali community get together and cook the delicacies. Vimi, an IT professional who lives in Finland, said to TOI: “We don’t get all the Kerala vegetables here and so we compensate with the local ones. For instance, the Finnish vegetable lantu is used instead of yam in avial.” Related Itemschundam vallamKerala UKKerala USLittle IndiaMalayalis FinlandMaveli ActNRI KeralitesNRI MalayalisOnamOnam abroadOnam in GulfOnam sadhyaOnasadhya in UAESnake boats UKUniversity of Buffalolast_img read more

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