Al-Qaeda Chief Launches New Wing in South Asia
Vying with ISIS militants for jihadist followers, al-Qaeda launches a new chapter in the Indian subcontinent.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on Wednesday announced the creation of an Indian branch, boosting his group’s claims to be the world’s foremost jihadists.
In a 55-minute video posted online, al-Zawahiri urges Muslims to "wage jihad against its enemies, to liberate its land, to restore its sovereignty and to revive its caliphate," reports the BBC.
Counterterrorism experts say al-Qaeda’s announcement is another effort to compete with the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), which is successfully recruiting young followers from across the world to join its conflict in the Middle East.
The two groups were previously aligned but fell out over ISIS militants’ brutality and expansion into Syria last year.
Al-Zawahiri said al-Qaeda’s presence in the Indian subcontinent would free Muslims from oppression in Burma, Bangladesh and elsewhere across the region.
Last Updated ( Friday, 05 September 2014 04:54 )
Maoists call for poll boycott in Kandhamal
Holding peaceful elections in Kandhamal has become a challenging task for the local administration as the backward Orissa district is not only known as a communally sensitive area but has also already been infested heavily by naxalites.The naxals have pasted posters appealing to the people to boycott the ensuing elections. Elections to the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat and the seven Assembly segments under it will be held on April 16.Posters have been pasted in areas like Raikia, G Udaigiri, Tikabali and K Nuagaon. All these areas were severely affected by the anti-Christian riots last year. District officials, however, said adequate security arrangements had already been made for the peaceful conduct of the elections in the areas where the naxals had given poll boycott calls. Apart from deployment of security personnel, the EC has also assured the Kandhamal district administration of providing a helicopter to keep an eye on the activities of the naxals, particularly on the polling day. Meanwhile, the Kandhamal district administration has registered a police case against Nakul Nayak, Samajwadi Party nominee for the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat, for allegedly offering money to riot victims in a relief camp in the Tikabali area. The case has been registered in Tikabali police station.
Saregama launches Unheard series with MS Subbulakshmi
In a rare treat for lovers of India's classical music, Saregama India Ltd has launched a series that will contain unheard performances by musical stalwarts, kicking it off with the 1971 recording of a live concert by the great M S Subbulakshmi.Titled "Unheard MS," the first album in the series contains 14 of Subbulakshmi's special rendition of ragas, kritis and bhajans at a concert in Chennai's Mylapore Fine Arts Club that Saregama accessed from the personal archives of the musical genius' daughter Radha Vishwanathan. "We are creating this ‘Unheard' brand that will comprise all such unreleased recordings from the past, and the Subbulakshmi album is the first in the series," Saregama's Aishwarya Natarajan, who conceptualised the album, told Deccan Herald here. Queen of SongSubbulakshmi, who also acted in quite a few movies, was hailed as the "Queen of Song" and the "Goddess of the Musical Note" during her lifetime. Mahatma Gandhi had once said of her, "I would rather hear her speak the song than someone else sing it."Natarajan said: "The recording was on an old-style spool, and we have cleaned it up and digitally re-mastered it to make it sound crystal clear. We owe this album to Radha Vishwanathan. "We chose this collection because it had a complete kacheri and featured some of her very popular ragas and some kritis not performed very often." The album begins with the famous Daru Varnam "Maate Malayadhwaja" in Ragam Khamas by Muthiah Bhagavathar. In another piece, Subbulakshmi's rendition of the rare kriti "Shri Chandrasekahara" in Shankarabharanam raga shows the artiste's amazing vocal range. Other tracksOther tracks include "Challare Rama" in Ahiri and the sublime abhang "Sundara Te Dhyana" in Yamuna Kalyani. The recordings are from a time when Subbulakshmi was at her peak as a singer, Natarajan, an assistant manager with Saregama, said.Those accompanying the singer in the concert, too, have been greats in their own fields, such as Vikku Vinayakram in ghatam, K S Azhagiri Swamy in violin, TK Murthy in mridangam and V Nagarajan in kanjira.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 July 2009 02:08 )
Ghising gives poll-boycott call again
The changing political scenario in the Darjeeling Hills is poised for another twist on Sunday when the ousted hill supreme and Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) chief Subhas Ghising called for a poll boycott in the three subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.Addressing party workers at Jalpaimore in the plains of Siliguri, Ghising blamed the Centre for not according scheduled tribes status to hill tribals like Rais, Gurungs, Magars and Newars. "Until and unless this is done, there is no point in taking part in the parliamentary elections and there is no question of supporting any candidate in the Darjeeling seat," reports quoting the GNLF chief said here. Facing a virtual ban on a re-entry in his ‘own kingdom' from the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, Ghising was desperate to woo his supporters back into the fold and the poll boycott call was part of it.In the past LS polls when Ghising was at his helm of the power in the Hills and had given a call for boycotting the polls, it only paved the way for CPM nominees' victory.
Richest candidate has assets worth Rs 514 crore
With assets worth Rs 514 crore, Krantikari Jaihind Sena (KJS) founder Khimji Patadia, who is contesting from Gujarat's Surendranagar Lok Sabha seat, is probably one of the richest candidates in the poll fray.Patadia, 53, a college dropout who founded the KJS five years ago, has declared moveable assets worth Rs 255 crores and immovable assets worth Rs 259 crores in an affidavit submitted with his nomination papers on Saturday.He is probably one of the richest candidate having declared assets to the tune of Rs 514 crore, Surendranagar district collectorate sources said.In movable assets, Patadia owns diamonds and jewellery worth Rs 250 crore, the affidavit submitted to district officials said.