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Cherry blossoms spread tranquility in Mizoram



Pic source- Kahorpam Horam

Mizoram has become the third state in India’s northeast to get a Cherry Blossom Avenue, with Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla planting a sapling of the flowering tree at the New Secretariat Complex in Aizawl.

“The cherry blossom is a symbol of peace, prosperity and tranquility and has brought peace in countries where it has been planted,” Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director of the Imphal-based Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), he said.

The IBSD, a national institute under the central government’s Department of Biotechnology, launched Cherry Blossom Avenues in Manipur and Meghalaya last May.


COURTESY- Kahor Pam Horam

The purpose behind Cherry Blossom Avenue

The beautiful cherry blossom tree unlike the cherry fruit, blooms in full glory,it is so majestic to look at and blooms only for short period.

“Just as people go all the way to Holland to watch tulips flowering, cherry blossoms can also be a huge tourist attraction,” said Sahoo, who is now in mission-mode to launch Cherry Blossom Avenues across the northeast.

The tradition of planting cherry blossoms (called sakura in Japanese) started in Japan. The Sakura Festival started during third century and continues to be a huge tourist attraction.

To convey the message of peace, the Japanese have been planting cherry blossoms across different countries of the world. Sahoo explained, is that the cherry blossom actually originated in the Himalayas but did not get popularised in the Himalayan nations like India, Nepal and Bhutan.

“When I was invited to IIM-Shillong in 2014 while I was a professor in Delhi University, I noticed a cherry blossom tree from my hotel room,” he said.

“It was the first cherry blossom I saw in India. I thought if cherry blossom can bring prosperity to Japan and many other countries, why can it not for India, especially in the northeast”, he added.

According to Sahoo, cherry blossom plantation can give a big boost to the economy, especially in the tourism sector, in the northeast by generating large-scale employment.He also pointed out that one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the UN adopted in September last year is “peace, justice and strong institutions”.

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Editors Guild suspends MJ Akbar, Tarun Tejpal



MJ Akbar Tarun Tejpal

New Delhi, Dec 12 : The Editors Guild on Wednesday suspended the membership of journalist-turned-politician M.J. Akbar, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a number of women journalists.

“A majority of the members suggested that the membership of Akbar should be suspended. The majority view is that Akbar should be suspended from the Guild till such time that the court case he has filed is concluded,” the Guild said in a statement.

The Guild also suspended the membership of former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal who has been charged with raping a junior colleague in Goa in 2013.

Accused of sexual misconduct by over a dozen former colleagues, Akbar stepped down as the Minister of State for External Affairs in October. The allegations were first levelled by journalist Priya Ramani, against whom he later filed a defamation case.

Akbar was also accused of committing “rape” by US-based journalist Pallavi Gogoi.

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State Assembly results rejection of communal polarisation: JIH

However, Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat President Naved Hamid viewed the results differently.



Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

New Delhi, Dec 12 : Prominent Muslim body Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Wednesday said that the results of latest state Assembly elections, in which the BJP has been dethroned in three states, show that people have rejected communal politics.

It said the ruling party should “pay heed to the people’s mandate” and desist from seeking electoral benefits “by demonising minorities and suppressing the marginalised sections” of society.

“The results are a setback to the communal politics. The ruling party tried its level best to polarise the electorate using communal issues but they were flatly rejected by the people of this country who are more concerned about their day-to-day issues of poverty, unemployment, education and health,” JIH Secretary General Muhammad Salim Engineer said.

He added that the people must continue to “reject those who peddle hate” and vote astutely in the parliamentary elections next year.

However, Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat President Naved Hamid viewed the results differently.

“I don’t think the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s communal politics has lost traction. Though issues like agrarian crisis, unemployment and demonetisation played the major role in the BJP’s defeat, the party is not likely to abandon its Hindutva agenda,” Hamid said.

“Neither do I believe that these results would have any bearing on 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” he added, also giving credit to the Congress party’s election strategy.

In the Assembly polls in five state whose results were announced early on Wednesday, the Congress defeated the BJP in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — the cow belt states.

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Shaktikanta Das ‘MA in History’ is first non-economist RBI Governor



Shaktikanta Das

New Delhi, Dec 12: Former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday assumed charge as the new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor.

The appointment took place nearly 24 hours after Urjit Patel stepped down from the post amid rift with the Finance Ministry, citing personal reasons for the decision.

According to media reports, Das is the first non-economist to serve as a Governor of the central bank.

Das completed graduation and post-graduation in History from Delhi University. Later, he pursued a financial management course from IIM Bangalore.

His predecessors Urjit Patel and Raghuram Rajan were noted, economists.


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