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THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S AND THEIR ILK

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HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S AND THEIR ILK

In October 2017, Harvey Weinstein, top Hollywood Movie Mogul, the owner of the Weinstein Company, one of the most prominent Hollywood producers, and a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences had a great fall.

Two of America’s top magazines, the New Yorker and the New York Times reported that dozens of women from the film fraternity had accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, sexual assault and even rape. Subsequently, more than 80 women in the film industry accused Harvey Weinstein of such sexual acts. At least six complaints from women are undergoing police investigations in Los Angeles, London and New York City.

The exposure of this scandal has led to many similar allegations against powerful men all over the world. This was the tipping point. It was as if the women of the world were empowered due to this incident and felt brave enough to come out in the open, share their experiences and expose these sexual predators. This also led to an on lime movement on Twitter under hashtag #METOO. The scandals impact is now known as the WEINSTEIN EFFECT.

That Harry Weinstein was a serial womanizer and used his position to forcibly seek sexual favours was an open secret in Hollywood. The acclaimed Director, Quinten Tarintino had even confronted Weinstein about it. A lot many skeletons fell out of Harvey Weinsteins cupboard. It was also learnt that he had even made some out of court settlements with a few actresses who had threatened to sue him for sexual misconduct. Each of this out of court settlement was also complemented by a non disclosure agreement signed by the victim that they would never speak about the incident.

Soon, Harvey Weinstein was dropped from the Board of his own Company and was also debarred from his membership of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. As a cascading or Weinstein effect, other powerful movie personalities like Kevin Spacey, James Tobak etc. were also accused  of sexual harassment.

While everyone in Hollywood knew about this, it is only recently that this was brought to light. And this is supposed to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Back home in India, this behavior is common place. The casting couch is very much prevalent and ‘compromises’ are made on a regular basis. Only a few gutsy actresses have come out in the open. One such actress is Radhika Apte, who openly spoke about being sexually harassed by her male lead co-star when she was working in a Telugu (an Indian regional language) movie. She spoke the truth but no one stood by her. In fact, other actresses working in the Telugu film industry went to the extent of stating that Radhika Apte was lying. Made of tougher stuff, Radhika did not care and is busy working in Indian mainstream cinema, regional cinema and also in International Projects. She is one of the busiest and most talented actresses in India today and needs no favours.

We need more Radhikas to expose these sexual predators. More power to her.

THE ELECTIONS IN GUJARAT

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ELECTIONS IN GUJARAT

Politics seems to have attained a new low. Personal attacks on leaders are now common place. The Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has been called a “chai wala” by the Youth Congress of Gujarat on Twitter. It is common knowledge that the Prime Minister comes from a humble background and used to sell tea as a child. Neither has he made any bones about it. In fact, he has capitalized on it to great effect.

On the one hand, Mr. Rahul Gandhi has maintained that while he and his party shall criticize the Prime Minister on his performance, they would never be disrespectful to him. On the other hand, the Youth Congress wing comes up with the disrespectful barb. The entire Congress leadership has vehemently condemned the ‘chai wala’ tweet and the said tweet was deleted soon after.

Gujrat Elections

In a swift repartee, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament, Mr. Paresh Rawal has called the Congress leadership as a “Bar wala” (someone who works / frequents Bars). This is surprising as Mr. Paresh Rawal is seen as a mature and senior leader of the BJP. It is alleged that his post was widely seen as aimed at Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who worked as a waitress during her college years and so, is derided by her worst critics as a “bar-girl”.

Better sense seems to have prevailed and this tweet too was deleted by Mr. Paresh Rawal.

However, the fact of the matter is that the Gujarat Elections seem to be the focal point. The Congress seems to be making inroads into Gujarat, a predominantly BJP stronghold. Rahul Gandhi’s Gujarat Election campaign seems to have touched a chord amongst the electorate in Gujarat and this has led to a great deal of optimism in the ranks of the Congress cadre. In all honesty, the BJP seems to have been taken aback by the support which the Congress has received in Gujarat. The BJP is pulling no stops in campaigning in Gujarat and all its top guns are involved. The Prime Minister himself is taking an active interest in this. Yes, the BJP seems to be shaken.

Another factor which seems to have gone against the BJP is the Patidar vote bank. The Patels of the Patidar community have been traditional BJP voters. However, the Youth Leader of the Patidar community, Mr. Hardik Patel has demanded reservation for his community, to which the BJP has not responded favorably. Therefore Mr. Hardik Patel has offered his and his communities support to the Congress, who has been positive to the reservation demands. The Congress has also offered tickets /seats to some Members of the Patidar community to contest elections. With the entire Patidar vote bank tilting towards the Congress, the BJP seems to be alarmed.

The politics in Gujarat has drooped to the levels of obscenity. Several CD’s of Mr. Hardik Patel participating in sexual acts have emerged. In fact, in one of his speeches, Mr. Hardik Patel had mentioned that very soon his sex CD’s would be floated in Gujarat and he has blamed the BJP for this. He has said that the CD’s have been doctored and that it’s his look alike. The BJP has said that they have no part to play in the emergence / circulation of these CD’s.

With so much muck and dirt thrown all the political parties are bound to be tarnished. May the best party win.

ABNORMAL RADIATION LEVELS DETECTED IN RUSSIA

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ABNORMAL RADIATION in russia

The French Authorities earlier this month had reported that they had recorded a very high level of radio activity in the areas between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains in Russia. This high level of radiation could be from a secret radio active material production unit or even an unreported accident. In either case, the risk of terrorists trying to transport or manufacture radio active material cant be ruled out. More importantly, the Russian authorities have confirmed reports of a spike in radioactivity in the air over the Ural Mountains. The proximity of the Ural Mountains to the Kazakhstan border is an area of concern.

The Russian Meteorological Service said it recorded the release of radio active material Ruthenium-106 in the southern Urals in late September and classified it as “extremely high contamination”.

It is said that the radio active isotope Ruthenium-106 posed no health or environmental risks to European countries. It is also stated that there have been no radiation leaks from the Russian Nuclear facilities, further strengthening the thought that this could be a more worrisome issue.

Exposure to radiation can cause cancer, lung diseases and occasionally immediate death. It also results in genetic defects and retardation of fetuses.

At the time, Russia’s state-controlled Rosatom corporation said there had been no radiation leak from its facilities.

A major Russian Nuclear facility known as Mayak, disposes off its spent nuclar fuel at a village in its neighbourhood. This village reports a very high level of radiation. The Russia Nuclear facility however has denied being the source of contamination. The facility said it has not conducted any work on extracting Ruthenium-106 from spent nuclear fuel “for several years”.

Two of Russias biggest radio active accidents have been caused because of Mayak. In the year 2004 it was confirmed that radio active waste was being dumped in the local river. A regulating agency has been on the anvil of auditing this activity and the agency says that this does not happen anymore. However, Russia is a very secretive state and one canot confirm this.

The environmental pressure group Greenpeace said it would petition the Russian Prosecutor General’s office to investigate “a possible concealment of a radiation accident” and check whether public health was sufficiently protected. However, getting a candid response would be wishful thinking.

In the meanwhile, the entire European region, which is already under terror threats and has suffered terrorist attacks, if further worried about this observation. It is said that France is taking the lead in monitoring this entire issue closely. Itself a victim of terror attacks, France does not want to take any chances and has initiated security drills in all sensitive areas. Belgium and Netherlands, immediate neighbours to France, are also on a high alert due to this development. The entire European Union is concerned due to this.

A THREE WORD ADDRESS FOR EVERY PLACE IN THE WORLD

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What 3 words

Chris Sheldrick worked in the music business for 10 years, booking bands and managing production for events around the globe. Chris was constantly frustrated with suppliers not finding site entrances, and bands not finding their way from the hotel to their gigs. He tried distributing addresses and GPS co-ordinates for years but both failed him on numerous occasions – he was certain there was a better way.

So he took it upon himself to provide a precise and simple way to talk about a location or address.

According to the UN, more than a billion people in this world live without an address. And as it is said, without an address, you live outside the law. Chris decided to make it his endeavor to provide an address to each of these locations. According to Chris, these unaddressed spaces or locations held huge economic potential.

It is difficult to find places even when we have the correct addresses. Additionally, all would agree, despite having the right latitudes and longitude, the GPS still messes up and we are unable to find the correct location of the address.

Chris Sheldrick Chris Sheldrick and his team have divided the entire planet into grids of three meters each or three-meter squares and assigned each of them a unique, three-word identifier. According to Chris, the world divides into 57 trillion three meter squares. Chris also said that there are enough combinations of three dictionary words that every three meter square in the world could be named uniquely with just three words.

Chris and his team used 40000 words which is 400003 or 64 trillion combinations of three words which are more than sufficient to give a unique name to all the 57 trillion three meter squares of the world. More importantly, they have done this in 14 languages because they believe, each person should be able to understand and use this system in a language with which he is familiar.

In Durban, South Africa, an NGO called Gateway Health have distributed 11000 such three word address signs to their community. So pregnant mothers, when they go into labour can call the emergency services and inform them of their exact location because otherwise the Ambulances have often taken hours to pick such women up. Mongolian Postal Services has adopted this system and mail is being delivered to many homes for the first time.

The UN is using this system so that it can deliver aid in the disaster zones without any delay and at the exact locations. Even Dominas Pizza in the Caribbean are using this system to deliver Pizzas to customers while the Pizzas are still hot!

The Postal Services of three countries in Africa viz. Nigeria, Djibouti and Ivory Coast have already adopted three word addresses.

Poor addressing is a huge business inefficiency which severely hampers business and infrastructure growth and it can cost lives.

Chris says that he and his team are on a mission to change this; three words at a time.

ED SHEERAN IN MUMBAI

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ED SHEERAN in mumbai

The “SHEERIOS”, as all Ed Sheeran fans are know, had a great time at his concert in Mumbai. The English singer and song writer made all the right moves and ensured that his Mumbai fans had a great time. Except for the usual complaint; “the concert was too short”!

Bollywood’s leading choreographer, Farah Khan Kunder, hosted a party for Ed Sheeran and most of the young turks of Bollywood were present for the party. Shah Rukh Khan, Malaika Arora, Shahid & Mira Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Katrina Kaif, Sushant Singh Rajput, Kriti Sanon and a host of others were seen at the party. Even the newest entrants to Bollywood, Jhanvi Kapoor and Ishant Khattar were in attendance.

Ed Sheeran danced to Bhangra beats with the Bollywood crowd and also dug into the Chicken Tikka, Biryani and believe it or not, Chole Bhature. He was gifted Sherwanis and cakes by the Bollywood crowd.

ED SHEERANThe concert was at Jio Gardens in Bandra Kurla Complex of BKC as it is known. He performed at the Concert wearing a Blue Kurta which Farah had gifted him. The tickets for the concert had sold out in a day. For a change, the concert started on time at 8 pm and Ed Sheeran was a blast.

The crowd was all pumped up with their hands up in the air and dancing along. He sang all his popular numbers “Eraser” “Happier” “Castle on the Hill”, “Bloodstream” “Perfect”  and of course “Shape of You”! He also wore the Indian cricket team jersey at the end of the concert. He flipped guitars, rapped, was untiring and extremely was tireless and charming.

Ed Sheeran was also seen in a Cameo in the first episode of Game of Thrones, season seven. He has come a long way since performing at very small gigs in Pubs in the UK and even today, puts in the same amount of energy and hardwork in his performances.

A crowd of over 10000 was at the concert and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

In a post concert interview, Sheeran shared that India has such a beautiful culture and it is one of his favorite places to visit in the world. He said that he enjoyed the food, music, dancing and ofcourse the people. He said that at Farah Khans party, he ate a lot of Indian food and danced to a lot of Indian and Bollywood music; while he doesn’t remember the names, he enjoyed every minute of it.

Ed said that his fan base in India has grown. He was here in the year 2015 but never expected this kind of adulation by his Indian ‘Sheerios’.

Needless to say, there was an immediate comparison between Ed’s concert and the Justin Bieber’s concert which was held a few months ago. And all were saying that Ed’s was the perfect gig. Beliebers, the Sheerios enjoyed more!

PADMAVATI – THE POLITICS BEHIND THE MOVIE

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie, Padmavati, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. A film based on the life of Rani Padmini, a Rajput queen who committed “Jauhar”, self-immolation, rather than falling prey to the conquering Allauddin Khilji. The story of Rani Padmini is a fable. It’s not true. It never happened.

However, a political front of the Rajputs in Rajasthan, the Karni Sena, feel that Sanjay Leela Bhansali has depicted romantic scenes between Rani Padmini and Allauddin Khilji. They attacked the film set where the movie was being shot and even hit Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Mr. Bhansali and the team of Padmavati have cried themselves hoarse stating that there are no romantic scenes between Rani Padmini and Allauddin Khilji.

The lead actress of the movie, Deepika Padukone, has been threatened that her nose will be cut off. An office bearer of the Bharatiya Janata Party from Haryana, Mr. Suraj Pal Amu, has offered a bounty of Rs.10 crores (US $ 1.50 million approx.) to the person who beheads Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

No police action has been taken on Mr. Amu for the threats made by him. The Bharatiya Janata Party has, after a lot of pressure from the opposition and the media, issued a show cause notice to Mr. Amu, asking him to explain his statement.

Today, we find that several Chief Ministers seem to be in a hurry to ban the movie because, they say “it plays with cultural sentiments and distorts history”. Yogi Adityanath the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Captain Amrinder Singh – the Chief Minister of Punjab, Shivraj Singh Chouhan – the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh are a few examples.

Because of the excruciating political pressure, the Producers of the movie have backed out of releasing the movie. A flimsy excuse of resending the movie to the Censor Board for certification due to some paper work lacunae has been given.

It is evident that the Rajput Karni Sena is a huge vote bank and with the elections just round the corner, no political party wants to take a chance. Taking the right stance may mean losing the elections which no one wants.

padmavati protest

Senior actress and former Member of Parliament, Ms. Shabana Azmi took a stand against the protests and even suggested that the Film Industry boycott the current International Film Festival of India in Goa. However, no one seems to have taken a heed of this. The film industry has whole heartedly participated in the said Film Festival, leaving the makers of Padmavati, their colleagues from the same industry, in a lurch.

The Film Industry in India is a soft target. With so much of money at stake and with no real Government protection, it has always been a soft target for the Gangsters or Politicians. There is no public recollection of an event when the Film Industry has stood a common ground against a particular issue. The makers and actors of Padmavati are going through trying times and it is indeed a mystery as to when the movie will release.

Some say it will be released after the elections. However, the fact remains that Rani Padmini has had to commit Jauhar again in this modern age, at the altar of Indian Politics.

Tumhari Sulu 1st Day Box Office Collection: Vidya Balan starrer gets good opening

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Tumhari Sulu

Vidya Balan who is considered as one of the finest actresses of the Bollywood is back with her latest female oriented light comedy-drama film ‘Tumhari Sulu’ in which she played a role of a simple fun loving wife who has a potential to rock the world with her unique style.

Tumhari Sulu has hit the theaters today as the film was scheduled to release on today i.e. November 17, Friday opposite several other new entries at the box office. There are high expectations associated with the film as B-Town’s big-name Vidya Balan is associated with the film who is known for her skilled acting who can alive her character on the big screen.

Vidya Balan

The fans are going crazy to watch the film, when the film’s trailer came out it received a positive response from the audience and now when the film has hit the silver screen and ready to spread its magic, it receiving positive reviews from the film critics along with impressive rating and also getting a good response from the audience.

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