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Modi’s burden has become heavier after Karnataka setback

In the end, the Supreme Court’s directive apparently proved crucial, for the BJP chose not to wait have its legislative strength tested on the floor of the House.

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BS Yeddyurappa

The hopes of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) adding Karnataka to the list of 19 states where it is in power has been dashed although it came close to fulfilling it. However, the eight seats which the BJP needed to cross the finishing line in the legislature eluded the party.

In hindsight, it might have been better for the BJP if it had conceded defeat when it saw that it had fallen short of the target of 112 in the 224-member House. Instead, by opting for a floor test, it provoked all the avoidable controversies about horse-trading which have haunted the Indian political scene ever since the Aya Ram-Gaya Ram days of defections in the late 1960s.

The Governor, too, did his office no service by swearing-in B.S. Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister when the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress combine was pressing its claim, and allowing him a fortnight’s time to prove his majority. It was inevitable that the inordinately long period would be seen as some kind of a helping hand to the Chief Minister by not only the BJP’s opponents but also a fair number of observers.

The belief that 15 days was too long a period was confirmed by the Supreme Court’s drastic reduction of the time needed by Yeddyurappa to two days. At a time when the legislators have to be carted around from one town to another and holed up in luxury resorts to stop any of them from being lured away by the powers-that-be, it is necessary to give an aspiring Chief Minister as little leeway as possible.

In the end, the Supreme Court’s directive apparently proved crucial, for the BJP chose not to wait have its legislative strength tested on the floor of the House.

What is worrying for the BJP is that the setback in Karnataka has shown that, for once, the extra effort put in by Narendra Modi by raising the number of his rallies in the state from 15 to 21 did not pay dividends. It can even be argued that if the Prime Minister had stuck to his original plan to address 15 public meetings, the BJP might have fared worse.

Since Modi remains not only the party’s star campaigner but also the only one who can make the difference between victory and defeat, any hint that he can no longer easily enable the party to cross the winning line cannot but be of concern when the BJP faces three more crucial assembly elections in a few months’ time in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Clearly, the burden which he already carries as the spearhead of the BJP’s campaign will become heavier after the outcome in Karnataka.

As it is, the BJP’s tally of 104 fell short of the 110 it won in 2008 with a vote share of 33.8 per cent. Moreover, its percentage this time of 36.2 is well below the 43.4 per cent it received in 2014 when Modi was at the height of his popularity. There is little doubt that the Modi magic is not as effective as it once was.

As for the state itself, the early ringing down of the curtains on what was expected to be riveting drama on Saturday afternoon can hardly be seen as a welcome development (except for the hardened opponents of the BJP) because the prospect of a hodge-podge alliance between the Janata Dal-Secular and the Congress is not a pleasant one.

For a start, no one knows how long it will last since it will take time for the two parties to forgive and forget their recent verbal duels including the Congress’s jibe about the Janata Dal-Secular being the BJP’s “B” team.

Now, as virtually the Janata Dal-Secular’s “B” team in the government of H.D. Kumaraswamy, the Congress will have to shed some of its pretences as the Grand Old Party of Indian politics. Having already been reduced to such a secondary position in UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, the Congress would not like Karnataka to be added to the list, especially when it polled 640,000 more votes than the BJP with a vote share of 38 per cent, up from 36.6 in 2013.

Even as the Janata Dal-Secular-Congress tie-up has been hailed by Mamata Banerjee as being in line with her idea of a federal front, there will be many a slip between the cup and the lip before such a grouping materialises.

It goes without saying that the new ruling group in Karnataka will provide the first test of the possibility of an anti-BJP glue holding two not-so-friendly parties together. The test will be all the more crucial since the Janata Dal-Secular was supposed to have had a tacit understanding with the BJP in constituencies such as Chamundeshwari, where the saffron party was said to have put up a weak candidate because the Janata Dal-Secular was expected to have the upper hand in a direct fight with the Congress. This was what led to Siddaramaiah’s defeat there. It remains to be seen if episodes such as these will be overlooked by the new allies.

By : Amulya Ganguli

(Amulya Ganguli is a political analyst. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at [email protected])

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World Alzheimer’s Day 2020: Everything you must know about the brain disease

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Day 2020 is “Let’s Talk About Alzheimer.”

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Alzheimer disease

World  Alzheimer’s Day is observed every year on September 21. The day aims at raising awareness and challenge the common stigma that surrounds Alzheimer related dementia.

According to Alzinfo, every 65 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. At current rates, experts believe the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s will quadruple to as many as 16 million by the year 2050.

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Day 2020 is “Let’s Talk About Alzheimer.” The day was first observed in 2012.

What is Alzheimer?

Alzheimer, in simple terms, is a brain disease that negatively affects memory, thinking, and behavior. These changes interfere with daily living. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Most people with the disease get a diagnosis after age 65. If it’s diagnosed before then, it’s generally referred to as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Symptoms of Alzheimer:

According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may experience one or more of the following signs:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or leisure.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Misplaces things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
  • Changes in mood, personality, or behaviour.
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and community.

Stages of Alzheimer:

  • Stage 1. There are no symptoms at this stage but there might be an early diagnosis based on family history.
  • Stage 2. The earliest symptoms appear, such as forgetfulness.
  • Stage 3. Mild physical and mental impairments appear, such as reduced memory and concentration. These may only be noticeable by someone very close to the person.
  • Stage 4. Alzheimer’s is often diagnosed at this stage, but it’s still considered mild. Memory loss and the inability to perform everyday tasks is evident.
  • Stage 5. Moderate to severe symptoms require help from loved ones or caregivers.
  • Stage 6. At this stage, a person with Alzheimer’s may need help with basic tasks, such as eating and putting on clothes.
  • Stage 7. This is the most severe and final stage of Alzheimer’s. There may be a loss of speech and facial expressions.

Treatment Of Alzheimer:

Alzheimer’s is most commonly identified through patient and family history, and by talking to the immediate family about the presence of symptoms. Also, brain imagining may be suggested to check for beta-amyloid protein deposits. As of today, there is no curative treatment for Alzheimer’s. Drugs are usually administered to manage symptoms and healthy lifestyle changes.

Despite this, Alzheimer’s is one of the most expensive diseases to get treatment for. The global cost of dementia is estimated to be around $1 trillion currently.

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At 7, child prodigy honours literary legacy with first book

They added that the title of the book, cover page and all the illustration are also a part of her creativity.

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Abhijita a student of Class II

New Delhi, September 20: Padma Bhushan recipient Rashtrakavi Maithalisharan Gupts and Santkavi Siyaramsharan Gupt’s great grand daughter Abhijita Gupta, who is all of seven years and a child prodigy, has penned her first collection of stories and poems.

The book titled ‘Happiness All Around’, and was launched by Oxford Bookstores’ children’s wing, Oxford Junior in collaboration with Invincible Publishers. Seven-year-old Abhijita, taking after her family’s literary legacy, had started writing at a very tender age of five years.

The collection is an attempt to give children something to read, written by someone of their own age. (Abhijita Gupta – “The little poet”/Facebook)
“Abhijita is a student of Class II and is a third generation writer, to poet duo Rashtrakavi Shri Maithalisharan Gupt and Santkavi Shri Siyaramsharan Gupt. She is an avid reader and very expressive with her pen. She wrote her first story when she was a little over five years. By the grace of goddess Saraswati, she is carrying forward the traits of her forefathers and we hope she extends the legacy of Sahitya Sadan Gharana,” her parents Ashish Gupt and Anupriya Gupta said.

They added that the title of the book, cover page and all the illustration are also a part of her creativity.

“For her, every little thing around her matters: what she sees, she hears, she touches, she smells, she tastes and she feels — constantly soaking in the environment around her. And, her debut book proffers just that – the pure senses and humane values like an elixir.”

The collection is an attempt to give children something to read, written by someone of their own age. The book could prove equally useful for parents of young children, as it gives an insight into the mind of a six-seven year old and what thoughts and things interest her. The writings have been left untouched so that the innocence, mistakes included, of the child are not diluted.

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Covid-19 joblessness pushing youths to extremist groups in Northeast

Adding to this are the reports of a large consignment of China-made weapons reaching the hands of the secessionist Myanmar-based radical groups, who share close links with militant groups in India’s Northeast.

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Unemployment Rate in India

India’s Covid-19 pandemic lockdown is now giving headaches to the national security agencies. Youth, left jobless during the pandemic, are reported to be joining the banned rebel groups such as the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and other such, in droves.

Adding to this are the reports of a large consignment of China-made weapons reaching the hands of the secessionist Myanmar-based radical groups, who share close links with militant groups in India’s Northeast.

The emerging scenario is threatening to upset the delicate balance achieved through years of hard work by the Indian security and intelligence officers, according to senior executives in the national security establishment, who requested to stay unnamed, citing government service rules.

The Arakan Army (AA) — which seeks an independent homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine state — has received the fresh cache of Chinese weapons and is known to be one of the key suppliers of arms and ammunition to the rebel groups in Northeast India.

In addition, the AA opposes India’s Kaladan Multi Modal Project, which provides states like Mizoram — a landlocked province — an outlet to the sea through the Sittwe port in Myanmar, officials said. Interestingly the AA has not opposed the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

Security agencies have told the government that insurgent groups active along the Indo-Myanmar border find easy recruits among youth left unemployed by Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

“The successful induction of the Chinese-made weapons by the AA will have an impact on the security situation in India’s Northeastern states, as much of these weapons are finding their way to some of the dormant militant groups of the Northeast,” the official said.

“The new weapons provide firepower to the northeastern groups whose ranks are increasing as youth left jobless by the pandemic are signing for militant groups.”

Strengthened by new recruits and rearmed, the Khaplang faction National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) — a banned militant group of Northeast based out of Myanmar — is gathering along the Indo-Myanmar Border in areas such as Mon to plan and execute attacks against the Indian security forces.

In 2016, the NSCN (K) killed 18 soldiers of the Indian Army, forcing India to launch cross border strikes on the militant hideouts taking refuge in Myanmar.

Worryingly, for India, peace talks with the Naga rebel groups have failed despite efforts of the Narendra Modi government.

Agencies have warned that groups like the People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) had recruited 15 fresh cadres in Assam. “There was recruitment of 10-15 cadres by the Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger in the outfit,” the source said.

Further, United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) had recruited 15-20 youths in the outfit from Meghalaya.

In Tripura, intelligence input indicates that extremist Parimal Debbrama of National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) is trying to revive his group and some newly recruited members of the outfit had completed their basic training in a hideout of Khagrachari District of Bangladesh.

“These cadres are planning to infiltrate into India for operations,” the source further added.

Intelligence agencies also stated that the India-Myanmar border remained susceptible to threat due to the presence of insurgent groups.

“Many insurgents groups are camping in Myanmar and trying to infiltrate through Tirap, Longding and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh, Mon District of Nagaland and Charaideo district of Assam,” the source said.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])

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