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National Library, Kolkata to host exhibition on four eminent personalities of Bengal

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A world-class permanent exhibition on four eminent personalities of Bengal -- Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Syama Prasad Mukherjee -- will open at the National Library in the near future, Secretary, Culture Raghvendra Singh said on Thursday.
 
Reviewing restoration, renovation and modernization work being carried out by the Central Public Work Department (CPWD) at the Belvedere House of the National Library, Mr Singh expressed satisfaction and said that this house will be illuminated and sound and light shows will be organised to entertain the visitors.
 
Literary festivals would also be held to restore old glories of the building and to make new generations aware of their rich heritage. Permanent art galleries pertaining to paintings and pictures of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, different sculptures and antiquities would be displayed there, he added. He sai that all these renovation and revamping works would be completed before Durga Puja at a cost of around Rs 8 crore.
 
Mr Singh said Kolkata will soon have an artists’ hub. The Kolkata chapter of the National Gallery of Modern Art will soon be opened at the Old Currency Building in the city, he said. After reviewing the ongoing revamping works in the building, he said all open spaces of the building will be utilized.
 
These spaces would be sealed with thick glass to make them sound-proof. Permanent and rotating air-conditioned art galleries with paintings of eminent painter Ramkinker Baij and others will be organized. Concerts will be held on the ground floor of the building to entertain the visitors. Restoration and renovation work at the Old Currency Building would be completed before Durga Puja at a cost of Rs. 3 crore, he added.
 
The Currency Building is a beautiful three storeyed structure built in the early 19th century (1833 CE), designed in Italian style with Venetian windows reflecting the colonial architectural style. Initially, this building housed the Agra Bank Ltd., later on, it was used by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for housing the issue and exchange of government paper currency.
 
The entire structure is made of bricks and lime masonry, the floor areas measuring approximately 35,920 sq. feet. The central hall covered with a large dome is now collapsed before protection of the monument by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
 
Earlier in the day, Mr Singh visited Metcalfe Hall. He reviewed restoration and revamping works there too. The double storeyed building of Metcalfe Hall at the junction of the Hare Street and Strand Road was constructed in 1844 and dedicated to the memory of Charles Metcalfe who officiated as Governor General of India from 1835 to 1838.
 
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Mohanlal's stand on Dileep fails to cut ice with women's body

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
The Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) on Wednesday said it did not agree with Malayalam movies superstar Mohanlal's explanation for revoking the suspension of actor Dileep, an accused in the actress kidnap case, from AMMA.
 
At a meeting of Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) last month, after Mohanlal took over as its new President in place of Innocent, Dileep's suspension was revoked. 
 
The WCC expressed resentment over the development and four of its supporters resigned from AMMA while another three demanded a meeting to discuss the issue.
 
On Saturday, the superstar told the media that there was no vested interest in revoking Dileep's suspension from the actors' body and the decision was taken as not even a single member was opposed to the move in the annual general body meeting.
 
The WCC, in its official Facebook page, on Wednesday said that it's "most unfortunate that Mohanlal is hanging on to technicalities and not seeing the sufferings of one of their own members, who suffered badly".
 
The WCC said it was still hopeful about the next meeting of AMMA that Mohanlal had agreed to call either by the end of this month or early next month on the matter.
 
Dileep is an accused in the kidnapping case and has remained in jail for 85 days. He is now out on bail. He was suspended from AMMA last year. 
 
IANS
 
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Theatre should be on everyone's agenda: Rajeshwari

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National Award-winning actress Rajeshwari Sachdeva has perfected the art of balancing plays with TV shows and films. She enjoys every medium of acting but feels that theatre should be on everyone's agenda as it keeps the actor in the person alive.

The actress, who has been in the profession since the 1990s, is currently busy with two plays -- "Gohar" and "Shabd Leela".

"I think theatre should be on everyone's agenda. It is a great learning experience that keeps you alive. It keeps the actor in you alive. Sometimes, one has to push himself or herself and sometimes one has to feel the fear.

"When we feel the fear on stage, that brings out the best in us. Or if it is creating trouble for you, then you are going to learn something from your mistake. Apart from that, it is an exercise," Rajeshwari told IANS in an email interview.

Though she believes in spontaneity, she feels people need to rehearse before going on the stage.

"Rehearsal makes one perfect. It is amazing indeed when you bring out something new from the hat each time on the sets because when we do same things regularly and on a routine basis, it becomes quite challenging to bring something unique every time.

"Each time you have to keep pushing yourself on the stage to deliver the best performance. Also, interacting with a live audience is an amazingly different experience.

"Theatre doesn't have a phenomenal reach as compared to movies. We have an audience that's limited to 100-200 people. But that is also a different feeling and something important to experience."

Talking about reaching a wide audience, she has joined the cast of the show "Dil Hi Toh Hai" as a replacement of actress Poonam Dhillon.

"I am not aware of any changes in the character. I am simply following the brief given to me by the creative team," she said.

"Dil Hi Toh Hai", which also stars Karan Kundra and Yogita Bihani, is a "great team" to work with.

"At present, I have just begun working with the team and everything seems absolutely fine. It gets a bit hectic while shooting but we have to manage it all the way and we are successfully doing so," she said.

There are certain actors who continue their association with a show for five years or more, but Rajeshwari is not one of them. She featured in shows like "Peshwa Bajirao" and "Balika Vadhu" for a brief period of time.

The "Hulle hullare" singer has multiple reasons for not taking up television shows on a regular basis.

"Due to the format of the evolving entertainment industry, we are heading towards web series and we have episodic line-ups. We have 12 episodes and they are more than welcome.

"But when you commit yourself for one year to a television show, you know you have to do it day in and day out and shoot for at least 15 days a month. The commitment level is high because no matter what the situation is, you have to be there doing your part. Problems come and go, we have to manage things the best way we can. But television has a great reach so that's a plus point," she said.

Among films, she has a Marathi movie titled "Ek Sangaychay - Unsaid Harmony" coming up.

"I thoroughly enjoyed working on 'Ek Sangaychay - Unsaid Harmony'. Director Lokesh Gupte is the visionary who formed the script as well. He is very good at his job and is convinced about what he is making. This reflects perfectly in his scripts," she said.

Working with him has always been very comfortable for her.

"As an actor, it is imperative that you communicate with the director because one needs to present their vision on the screen," she said, adding that Gupte knows how to get the best out of his actors. "I think it helps that he himself is a very good actor and an editor."

"Also, the director of photography is a calm person to work with. Things moved very smoothly and the production was well executed. Everything happened on time and we finished everything before schedule."

She also heaped praise on her co-star Kay Kay Menon. "He is a wonderful guy, apart from being such a great actor."

IANS

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Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko dead

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Artist Steve Ditko, who co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with Stan Lee, has died. He was 90.

The New York Police Department has confirmed his death, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

No cause of death was announced. Ditko was found dead in his apartment on June 29 and it is believed he died about two days earlier.

In 1961, Ditko and Lee created Spider-Man. Lee, the editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics, gave Ditko the assignment after he wasn't satisfied with Jack Kirby's take on the idea of a teen superhero with spider powers.

The look of Spider-Man -- the costume, the web-shooters, the red and blue design -- all came from Ditko. Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy No. 15. The comic was an unexpected hit, and the character was spun off into The Amazing Spider-Man.

Ditko helped create such classic Spider-Man characters as Doctor Octopus, Sandman, the Lizard and Green Goblin.

In 1963, Ditko created the surreal and psychedelic hero Doctor Strange. The character debuted in Strange Tales No. 110, and Ditko continued on the comic through issue No. 146, cover dated July 1966.

After that, Ditko left Marvel Comics over a fight with Lee, the causes of which have always remained murky.

The pair had not been on speaking terms for several years. Ditko never explained his side and Lee claimed not to really know what motivated Ditko's exit.

Ditko went on to work for Charlton, DC Comics and other small independent publishers. He returned to Marvel in 1979, where he worked on Machine Man and the Micronauts and he continued working for them as a freelancer in the 1990s. Among his last creations was Squirrel Girl in 1992, who has become a cult favourite in recent years, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

Ditko maintained a Manhattan studio until his death, where he continued to write and draw, though how much, and what unpublished material remains, is unknown. Ditko has no known survivors. He is believed never to have married.

IANS

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Words like democracy, patriotism have lost their meaning: Saeed Mirza

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Words like democracy and patriotism have lost their significance in today's age, and there's a need to "retrieve" them, says National Award winning filmmaker Saeed Akhtar Mirza.

Known for pushing the bar for parallel cinema with movies like "Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!", "Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai", "Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro" and "Naseem", Mirza discussed democracy with academic and activist Ritu Dewan and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt at the launch of his new book "Memory In the Age Of Amnesia" at the Crossword Book Store here on Friday.

"Words like democracy, patriotism, national interest have lost their meaning today. We need to retrieve those words again. This book is to remind people of the past and give them hope. I don't write a book they are installations of my experiences and memories in my mind," he said.

"Memory In The Age of Amnesia" seeks to establish multiple realities through a series of tales and stories that are rooted in one's understanding of dreams, nightmares, violence and repentance.

This book is a collection of excerpts from Mirza's personal life that showcase the past and links it to the present. It portrays a vision of building up of a nation from the colloquial tales and experiences of common people.

Mirza also discussed his childhood and the conflict-driven situations he had faced while growing up, with the panellists, who also spoke about the nostalgic past of India while sharing insights on their hope of what the future should be.

Bhatt said: "What is unique about the book is that if you have torn the enemy to shreds, you still have the ability to reflect. Our nation's soul is much bigger than the government; the nation is not the government. And this book looks unflinchingly at that reality. This book has the audacity of hope."

Also gracing the event were Ashutosh Gowariker, Sudhir Mishra, Aziz Mirza and Makarand Deshpande.

The book is available at bookstores as well as on commerce platforms.

IANS

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I stumbled into acting: Iain Armitage of 'Young Sheldon'

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Iain Armitage was seen as a troubled Ziggy Chapman in the hit show "Big Little Lies", and then entered "The Big Bang Theory" universe as the lead character in its prequel "Young Sheldon". The child actor says he didn’t dream of getting into showbiz, and considers it to be a happy turn of events.

"My very first gig was ‘Big Little Lies' and then I did a few other things. I think ‘Big Little Lies' was a pretty good one to start with," Armitage told IANS in an email interview.

"I kind of stumbled on acting. I didn't think, ‘I want to be an actor when I grow up'. I do theatre reviews and I always thought I was just a great audience member. I loved coming to the shows. I don't watch too much TV, which is ironic. An agency asked if we'd like them to represent me, and we said, ‘Yes.' My wonderful agents are pretty incredible," added the 9-year-old.

Armitage's started as a theatre critic but found his big ticket to fame with "Big Little Lies" as Ziggy, son of actress Shailene Woodley's character Jane.

The son of actor-singer Euan Morton and Lee Armitage has also featured in Indian filmmaker Ritesh Batra's directorial "Our Souls at Night". And is seen as young Sheldon Cooper in a "The Big Bang Theory" spin-off which focuses on Sheldon's life while growing up.

"The Big Bang Theory" universe originated with the story of how four nerds -- Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) -- react when a girl Penny (Kaley Cuoco) enters their life as a friendly neighbour.

With all the idiosyncrasies, quirky behaviour, cultural one-liners -- including a lot of Indian references courtesy British-Indian actor Kunal -- as well as dating fundas, the story that highlights the personal life of scientists and geeks was loved by one and all, making it a phenomenon. To cash in on the popularity of the show worldwide, the makers extended the franchise with the prequel, which is aired in India on Comedy Central.

He might be essaying the role of Sheldon Cooper, but he hasn't seen "The Big Bang Theory" till now.

"Well ‘Big Bang...' isn't really appropriate for me, plus it's not really aimed at my audience level. So, I only watched a few clips. I haven't really watched ‘Big Bang...', though I would love to see it. Mr Jim (Parsons) was coaching me so I got the character pretty quickly. Mr Jim is a very fun guy and very nice."

Is it challenging to get into a role -- which one hasn't been following meticulously?

"It's not too hard. Once you get in Sheldon's mindset it's easier to do it. Getting into that mindset is kind of hard but you get to do it every day.

"And putting on the clothes of Sheldon and reciting my lines, going to hair and make-up and doing Sheldon's voice, all that helps me to get into character. Once I am on stage, it comes more naturally," he said, describing Sheldon as "funny, a misfit but in a funny way".

Getting into confession mode, he said: "I do love science but I'm definitely not as smart as him."

At the moment, Armitage, who will soon be seen in "Big Little Lies" season two, is "just glad to be a part of something that makes people happy".

"When I do get recognised, I feel happy that those people are happy," he concluded.

IANS

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IGNCA introduces 5 PG Diploma and 6 Certificate Courses in Art, Culture and related subjects

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Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) has decided to introduce five diploma and six certificate courses in art and culture and related subjects, an official release said today.
 
The basic aim of these courses is to design and develop content exploration system to intensify culture learning and visualisation. It employees modern digital tools, techniques, and methodologies to achieve the intended purposes.
 
This initiative attempts to make India’s ancient knowledge and achievements accessible on a multimedia platform, the release added.
 
The PG diploma evening courses introduced in the academic year 2018-19 are in Cultural Informatics, Preventive Conservation, Buddhist Studies, Digital Library & Data Management, Manuscriptology and Palaeography.
 
The deadline for submission of applications is July 10. Course details, fee structure are available on IGNCA’s website.
 
The six certificate courses to be introduced shortly are Academic Integrity and Research Ethics; Open Access for Library and Information Science Professionals; Open Access for Researchers; Digital Library and Information Management; Research Methodology; Cinema Studies and Cultural Documentation.
 
The courses will provide an opportunity to scholars, researchers and the students to develop modern management techniques and professional approach, so far lacking in the art management field to project the rich art and cultural heritage of the country on a global platform.
 
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Cabinet okays accession to WIPO Copyright, Performance & Phonograms treaties

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal submitted by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) regarding accession to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty which extend coverage of copyright to the internet and digital environment.
 
The approval is a step towards the objective laid in the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy adopted by the Government on May 12, 2016, which aims to get value for IPRs through commercialization by providing guidance and support to EPR owners about commercial opportunities of e-commerce through the Internet and mobile platforms, an  official press release said.
 
Meeting the demand of the copyright industries, these treaties will help India to enable creative right-holders to enjoy the fruit of their labour, through international copyright system that can be used to secure a return on the investment made in producing and distributing creative works, it said.
 
The treaties facilitate international protection of domestic rights holder by providing them with a level-playing field in other countries as India already extends protection to foreign works through the International Copyright order and these treaties will enable Indian right holders to get reciprocal protection abroad.
 
It will instil confidence and distribute creative works in a digital environment with return on investment and to spur business growth and contribute to the development of a vibrant creative economy and cultural landscape.
 
After the administration of Copyright Act, 1957 was transferred to DIPP in March 2016, a study was initiated to examine the compatibility of Copyright Act 1957 with WCT and WPPT. Also, a joint study was undertaken with WIPO.
 
The Copyright Act, 1957 was amended in 2012 to bring it in conformity, with WCT and WPPT, includes amendment in definition of "Communication to the public" to make it applicable to digital environment (Section 2(ff)) as also introduced provisions related to Technological Protection Measures (Section 65A) & Rights Management Information (Section 65B); Moral rights of performers (Section 38B); Exclusive rights of the performers (Section 38A); safe harbour provisions over electronic medium (Section 52 (1) (b) and (c)).
 
WIPO Copyright Treaty came in force on March 6, 2002, and has been adopted by 96 contracting parties till date and is a Special agreement under Berne Convention (for protection of literary and artistic works). It has provisions to extend the protection of copyrights contained therein to the digital environment. Further, it recognises the rights specific to the digital environment, of making work available, to address "on-demand" and other interactive modes of access.
 
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty came in force on May 20, 2002, and has 96 contracting parties as its members. WPPT deals with rights of two kinds of beneficiaries, particularly in digital environment - (i) Performers (actors, singers, musicians etc.) (ii) Producers of Phonograms (Sound recordings). The treaty empowers right owners in their negotiations with new digital platforms and distributors. It recognizes moral rights of the performers for the first time & provides exclusive economic rights to them.
 
Both the treaties provide a framework for creators and rights owners to use technical tools to protect their works and safeguard information about their use i.e. Protection of Technological Protection Measures (TPM) and Rights Management Information (RMI).
 
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Broadway-style musical 'Aladdin' premieres in Delhi

A Broadway-style musical based on the classic tale of "Aladdin" enthralled the audience in Delhi at its premiere show, attended by popular names from the capital city's social circuit.
 
The magic carpet for the Disney India show -- produced by BookMyShow -- rolled out at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
 
The evening was marked by the presence of Amjad Ali Khan, models Hasleen Kaur, Sapna Kumar and Laxmi Rana, designer Siddharth Tytler, Nikhil Mehra, Tanisha Mohan and Sanjoy Roy among others.
 
This musical on "Aladdin", whose characters Jafar, Jasmine and Aladdin are well-known to Disney fans, was staged in Mumbai in April.
 
It has been reimagined for the Indian stage, with around 50 performers entertaining the audience with foot-tapping music, choreography and acting. It is complete with songs such as "Friend Like Me" and "A Whole New World", celebrating the love between Aladdin and Jasmine and of his friendship with Genie.
 
The actors who have brought the tale alive on stage include Siddharth Menon, Taaruk Raina, Kira Narayanan, Mantra and Vikrant Chaturvedi.
 
"Aladdin" is being staged here till July 15.
 
IANS
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Sonali Bendre says diagnosed with high grade cancer

Sonali Bendre Photo: Twitter @iamsonalibendre
Sonali Bendre Photo: Twitter @iamsonalibendre
Well-known Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre Behl has said that she has been diagnosed with a high-grade cancer and that she is undergoing medical treatment in New York.
 
"Sometimes, when you least expect it, life throws you a curveball. I have recently  been diagnosed with a high-grade cancer that has metastised, which we frankly did not see coming," the actress said in a post on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"A niggling pain led to some tests, which led to this unexpected diagnosis. My family and close friends have rallied around me, providng the best support system that anyone can ask for. I am very blessed and thankful for each of them," she said.
 
Sonali, 43, said there was no better way to tackle the situation than to take swift and immedite action.
 
"And so, as advised by my doctors, I am currently undergoing a course of treatment in New York. We remain optimistic and I am determined to fight every step of the way. What has helped has been the immense outpouring of love and support I've received over the past few days, for which I am very grateful.
 
"I'm taking this battle head on, knowing I have the strength of my family and friends behind me," she added.
 
Sonali started out as a model and made her film debut in 1994 in Aag opposite Govinda. Among her other movies are Diljale, Bhai, Sarfarosh, Zakhm, Duplicate, Hum Saath Saath Hain and Anahat. 
 
In recent years, she has appeared as a judge on television shows, including Indian Idol on Sony. 
 
She got married to filmmaker Goldie Behl in 2002 and the couple has a son. Sonali took a break from films for some years before acting in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara! as her comeback movie.
 
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SC pulls up Rajinikath's wife for not repaying loan

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up Latha Rajinikanth, the wife of Tamil superstar-turned-politician Rajinikanth, for not complying with its order and her undertaking to repay the outstanding amount of Rs 6.2 crore to an advertising agency.
 
Latha Rajinikanth is one of the Directors of the Mediaone Global Entertainment Ltd. that had taken Rs 14.90 crore loan from Bengaluru-based Ad-Bureau Advertising to finish post-production work of 2014 Rajinikanth-Deepika Padukone starrer film "Kochadaiiyaan", directed by Rajinikanth's younger daughter Soundarya. The amount outstanding is Rs 6.2 crore.
 
Counsel for Latha told the court that she had not authorised the lawyer to give such an undertaking before the court earlier.
 
At this, the bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R. Banumathi said: "We do not like people playing around with court's order. 
 
"The long and short of it is that you (Latha) have not paid and the law will take its own course. We will pass order."
 
It also observed that it did not "think that this is a case for quashing". 
 
Posting the matter for July 10 for further hearing, it said: "We had kept the matter pending (on February 20) because you had said that you will pay the amount."
 
On February 20, the bench while keeping the petition by the advertising agency pending for three months, had said that Mediaone would pay the amount in three months failing which Latha Rajinikanth would bear the burden of payment.
 
The bench in its February order had stated: "Special leave petition is kept pending for three months. Within the aforesaid period of three months if the company - Mediaone Global Entertainment Ltd - does not pay the balance dues, the respondent-accused (Latha Rajanikanth) has undertaken before the court to pay the amount due."
 
The bench was hearing a plea filed by the Ad-Bureau Advertising against the March 10, 2016 order of the Karnataka High Court quashing the proceedings against Latha, which were initiated after a trial court order.
 
She had approached the high court after the trial court had referred the private complaint filed by the advertising agency to police for investigation.
 
IANS
 
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Dileep row: 14 actresses say no to joining 'unfair' AMMA

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
As many as 14 actresses on Sunday said they will not join the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) as it lacks any fairness, a week after the members of the association revoked the suspension of actor Dileep, accused of kidnapping an actress.
 
The 14 active members of the recently-formed Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) took the decision even as superstar Mohanlal, who heads AMMA, said on Saturday that there was no vested interest in taking back Dileep.
 
Also, two Kannada film bodies -- the Kannada Film Industry and the Film Industry for Rights & Equality -- on Sunday wrote to AMMA expressing their displeasure in the manner in which Dileep's suspension was revoked.
 
In a Facebook post, the actresses, including Amala Akkineni, Archana Padmini, Divyaprabha, Sajitha Madathil and Jolly Chirayath, wrote: "It has been a year since the WCC was formed by women from various facets of the Malayalam film industry and we decided to become members as we knew the issues of women will be addressed by WCC.
 
"We decided not to take membership in AMMA because when there is no pay parity between males and females in the industry, all have to pay an entry membership fee of Rs 1 lakh which is not justified.
 
"It has become difficult to believe the organisation, given their stand towards the victim in the actress kidnap case... besides it's tough to go forward with any sort of meaningful discussion on women issues." 
 
The actresses said that after realising that there is nothing positive in the horizon, "as no meaningful discussion can take place because it's caught between certain groups, fans associations and it fails to have a humane approach towards issues concerning women, we are unable to take membership in AMMA".
 
The WCC has been vocal about the issue since last Sunday when the annual general body meeting of AMMA decided to revoke the suspension of Dileep ordered last year, saying it did not follow the guidelines of AMMA.
 
Earlier, Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, all of whom are leading lights in the Malayalam film industry, resigned from AMMA.
 
This was followed by actresses Revathy, Padmapriya, and A. Parvathy writing to AMMA General Secretary Edavela Babu, demanding an emergency executive meeting of AMMA on July 13 or 14.
 
IANS
 
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India gets its 37th UNESCO World Heritage Site

India's nomination of the "Victorian and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai" has been inscribed on  UNESCO's World Heritage list.
 
The decision was taken at the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO at Manama in Bahrain today. 
 
As recommended by the World Heritage Committee, India accepted the renaming of the ensemble as “Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai”, an official press release said.
 
The release said India has been successful in securing the inscription of the "Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai” on UNESCO's World Heritage List under Criteria (ii) and (iv) as defined in the UNESCO's Operational Guidelines.    
 
This makes Mumbai city the second city in India after Ahmedabad to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. In the past five years alone, India has managed to get inscribed seven of its properties/sites on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. India now has overall 37 World Heritage Inscriptions with 29 Cultural, 7 Natural and 1 Mixed sites. While India stands second largest in number after China in terms of number of World Heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, it is overall sixth in the world.
 
Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma has congratulated the residents of Mumbai and the entire country for this landmark achievement. In his statement, the Minister said that the international recognition to the heritage precinct of the city of Mumbai is a matter of great pride to the nation and it will boost the local economy in a number of ways. He added that this achievement is expected to give a tremendous fillip to domestic and international tourism leading to increased employment generation, creation of world-class infrastructure and augmentation of sale of local handicrafts, handlooms and heritage memorabilia.
 
The Ensemble comprises two architectural styles, the 19th century collection of Victorian structures and the 20th century Art Deco buildings along the sea, conjoined by means of the historical open space of the Oval Maidan. Together, this architectural ensemble represents the most remarkable collection of Victorian and Art Deco buildings in the world which forms the unique character of this urban setting, unparalleled in the world, the release said.
 
The Ensemble consists of 94 buildings primarily of 19th century Victorian Gothic revival and early 20th century Art Deco style of architecture with the Oval Maidan in the centre. The 19th century Victorian buildings form part of the larger Fort precinct situated to the east of the Oval Maidan. These public buildings include the Old Secretariat (1857-74), University Library and Convention Hall (1874-78), the Bombay High Court (1878), the Public Works Department Office (1872), Watson’s Hotel (1869), David Sasoon Library (1870), the Elphinstone College(1888), etc. The Art Deco styled buildings to the west of the Oval Maidan were raised in early 20th century on the newly reclaimed lands at Marine Drive and symbolised the shift in expression to represent contemporary aspirations.
 
The inscription has been done under Criteria (ii) and (iv) as defined in the UNESCO's Operational Guidelines. Criterion (ii) refers to the important interchange of human values, over a span of time on development of architecture, monumental arts, town planning and landscape while Criterion (iv) refers to being an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage (s) in human history. This achievement is especially remarkable in the view of the successive inscription of another Indian city after Ahmedabad last year.
 
In addition, 42 sites from the country figures in the Tentative List of World Heritage and the Ministry of Culture would be recommending one property every year for nomination to UNESCO, the release added.
 
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Will not return till cleared, Dileep tells AMMA after actresses complain

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
With the row over revocation of his suspension from Malayali actors' body AMMA heating up after three top actresses demanded its urgent meeting to discuss the matter, actor Dileep on Thursday said he will not return to the association till he gets cleared in the case of abducting and sexually assaulting an actress.
 
In a letter to Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) General Secretary Edavela Babu, Dileep, who is currently out on bail after being in jail for 85 days, said that he has learned from the media that the AMMA general body meeting held on Sunday held that the Executive Committee decision to suspend him was not done as per the by-laws and would not stand.
 
"I am happy that such a decision has been taken, but now that I am facing a case in which I have done nothing wrong, I do not wish to be active in any body till I come clean. I am deeply pained in hearing various criticism against AMMA in my name. I wish the newly elected committee of AMMA all the best," said Dileep in the letter, a copy of which has been posted in the public domain.
 
Dileep's action came after top actresses Revathy Asha Kelunni, Padmapriya Janakiraman and A. Parvathy wrote to Edavela Babu and demanded an emergency executive meeting to be called on July 13 or 14 to discuss his reinstatement.
 
The open letter was also posted on the Facebook page of the newly-formed Women in Cinema Collective (WCC).
 
As women members of AMMA, the three actresses expressed concern over its Sunday decision to bring back an expelled member who was involved in an alleged assault of another women member from the same organisation.
 
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"At this meeting, a very crucial decision was taken... Considering the gravity of the circumstances and the matter being sub judice, it is shocking that such an important matter was decided without listing it on the agenda or being discussed among all members prior to the meeting.
 
"AMMA had publicly pledged full support to the member who survived the assault but the decision taken for reinstating the expelled member who is now a chargesheeted suspect goes against the promise made to the survivor," they said.
 
As a result, on Wednesday, "the survivor resigned and in solidarity with her three other women members have also resigned", the actresses said.
 
"This does not reflect well on AMMA," it said.
 
Earlier, the Kerala State Women's Commission slammed superstar Mohanlal, who heads AMMA, over the reinstatement of Dileep who is an accused in the February 2017 actress kidnapping case.
 
This was the first decision taken by the new committee under Mohanlal.
 
Kerala Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty on Thursday expressed surprise in the manner in which AMMA revoked Dileep's suspension.
 
"It should not be forgotten that actors are icons and they should be perfect role models, but this decision that they took is baffling," she said.
 
All eyes are on superstar Mammootty, who had announced the decision to remove Dileep from AMMA. However, he is not an office bearer any more.
 
IANS
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Revathy, Padmapriya, Parvathy slam AMMA, demand meet

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
Three actresses on Thursday demanded an urgent meeting of the top artistes' body AMMA to discuss the controversial reinstatement of actor Dileep, who has been accused of abducting and sexually assaulting an actress.
 
Revathy Asha Kelunni, Padmapriya Janakiraman and A. Parvathy wrote to the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes General Secretary Edavela Babu and demanded an emergency executive meeting to be called on July 13 or 14.
 
The open letter was also posted on the Facebook page of the newly formed Women in Cinema Collective (WCC).
 
As women members of AMMA, the three actresses expressed concern over its Sunday decision to bring back an expelled member who was involved in an alleged assault of another women member from the same organisation.
 
"At this meeting, a very crucial decision was taken... Considering the gravity of the circumstances and the matter being sub-judice, it is shocking that such an important matter was decided without listing it on the agenda or being discussed among all members prior to the meeting.
 
"AMMA had publicly pledged full support to the member who survived the assault but the decision taken for reinstating the expelled member who is now a chargesheeted suspect goes against the promise made to the survivor," the letter said.
 
As a result, on Wednesday, "the survivor resigned and in solidarity with her three other women members have also resigned", the actresses said. 
 
"This does not reflect well on AMMA," it said.
 
Earlier, the Kerala State Women's Commission slammed superstar Mohanlal, who heads AMMA, over the reinstatement of the actor who is an accused in the February 2017 actress kidnapping case which took place in Kochi. This landed Dileep in jail for 85 days.
 
This was the first decision taken by the new committee under Mohanlal.
 
Kerala Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty on Thursday expressed surprise in the manner in which AMMA revoked Dileep's suspension.
 
"It should not be forgotten that actors are icons and they should be perfect role models, but this decision that they took is baffling."
 
Everyone is now awaiting superstar Mammootty's decision. It was Mammootty who had announced the decision to remove Dileep from AMMA. However, Mammootty is not an office bearer any more.
 
IANS
 
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4 Malayalam actresses resign from AMMA over Dileep row

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
The row over the reinstatement of accused actor Dileep into an artistes body took a turn on Wednesday with four leading actresses, including the kidnap victim, resigning from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA).
 
Dileep is an accused in the February 2017 actress kidnapping case which took place in Kochi, that landed him in a Kerala jail for 85 days.
 
Those who have decided to resign include the victim, besides Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambisan and Geetu Mohandas, all of whom are leading lights in the Malayalam film industry.
 
The decision to resign was posted in the official Facebook site of the newly formed Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), led by Dileep's former wife Manju Warrier.
 
The WCC had earlier also expressed its displeasure, soon after Dileep was reinstated at the annual general body meeting held in Kochi on Sunday.
 
The victim in the kidnapping case noted in the post: "In the past when this star had thwarted to keep me away from films by denying opportunities to me, I did approach the organisation, but no action came up. 
 
"And now when I have gone through very tough times, the organisation appears to be protective of this person and hence I feel there is no point in being a member of this organisation."
 
Remya Nambisan wrote that she has no other way but to resign from AMMA as it has taken the most irresponsible decision with regards to the trials and tribulations faced by her co-actress.
 
"AMMA has taken a very inhuman stand against my actress colleague and hence I am resigning...," said Nambisan.
 
"I feel I should have resigned long back because AMMA does not want any member to question their decisions. I cannot stand such acts again...," said Geetu Mohandas, a former executive member of AMMA.
 
Rima Kallingal in her post said: "I decided to resign for the upcoming generation who will be able to pursue their profession without making any compromises." 
 
Late thespian actor Thilakan's daughter, Sonia Thilakan also slammed AMMA for having different standards for Dileep and her father, who was suspended in 2010 for criticising AMMA.
 
IANS
 
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Row over revoking of Malayalam actor Dileep's suspension continues

Malayalam film actor Dileep
Malayalam film actor Dileep
After an actresses' organisation expressed its displeasure over the reinstatement of accused Malayalam actor Dileep's membership of the Association of Malayalam Movie Actors (AMMA), political leaders have also slammed AMMA for the move.
 
Senior Congress MLA P.T. Thomas, who was one of the first to know about the actress kidnapping case in February 2017, and had reached the victim's side before informing the police, told the media on Tuesday that AMMA should reconsider its decision on Dileep.
 
"It is now very clear that only a handful of the artistes were genuinely with the victim. Those leading lights who took part in the protest meetings held the next day of the kidnap attempt in Kochi, were only shedding crocodile tears. 
 
"Not a single one of them was supporting the victim. It's now time for the Kerala Assembly and the state government to react," said Thomas.
 
The Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), irked by AMMA's decision to revoke the suspension of Dileep who is an accused in the actress kidnapping case, had put out a Facebook post on Monday.
 
"If you have decided to revoke the suspension... what has changed after he was suspended?" the WCC asked AMMA-led by Malayalam superstar Mohanlal.
 
"Do you know that you have decided to take back someone who is alleged to have been involved in a rape and the trial is yet to finish... don't you feel anything at all?"
 
Hugely popular actress Rima Kallingal and her husband director Ashiq Abu were the first to voice their displeasure.
 
Many were surprised by the manner in which around 385 artistes of AMMA who met in Kochi last Sunday, did not utter a word when actress Urmilla Unni asked if Dileep will be reinstated. None spoke up or against it as Dileep was taken back into the fold.
 
In fact AMMA members want showcause notices to be given to Dileep's former wife Manju Warrier, Parvathy, Remya Nambisan and Rima Kallingal of the WCC, who are also part of AMMA.
 
However, AMMA's general secretary Edavela Babu has maintained a silence.
 
IANS
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Irrfan Khan, Sridevi win top honours at IIFA 2018

 
IIFA Awards 2018: Ranbir Kapoor wows audience with his performance
 
 
Actor Irrfan Khan and late veteran actress Sridevi were named the Best Actors at the 19th edition of the IIFA Awards for their remarkable work in films "Hindi Medium" and "Mom", respectively.
 
At a grand event on Sunday here at the Siam Niramit theatre, a story of an ambitious and enterprising housewife, "Tumhari Sulu" bagged the Best Picture honour, while Saket Chaudhary took back the Best Director Award.
 
Late Sridevi's husband-producer Boney Kapoor took the award for her performance in "Mom". He was emotional as he received the award from actress Kriti Sanon.
 
"I dedicate this award to the entire team of 'Moma'," said an emotional Boney.
 
The award function also honoured late actors Vinod Khanna, Shashi Kapoor and Sridevi.
 
Vinod's award was accepted by veteran filmmaker Ramesh Sippy. Rishi Kapoor took Shashi Kapoor's award. While actor Anil Kapoor and Boney broke down in tears while talking about Sridevi at the gala.
 
"I have mixed emotions today. I miss her every minute and second of my life. I still feel she is around here....I want you all to support Janhvi like you supported her mother..." said a teary eyed Boney.
 
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Veteran actor actor Anupam Kher was honoured with the Outstanding Achievement award by Anil.
 
"It is a great feeling when your own peers celebrate your achievements and as I have been saying, this is just the interval point of what I am doing and my seconds half of journey starts now. It started with my 500th film....I told myself this is the interval point with The Big Sick and after that I have done 15 films in the last one year both international and national," Anupam told IANS.
 
The 2000-seater Siam Niramit theatre saw thousands of Bollywood fanatics coming to the event to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars.
 
A string of A-listers like Ranbir Kapoor, Varun, Arjun, Kriti Sanon, Bobby Deol and Shraddha set the stage on fire with their power-packed and electrifying performances.
 
Varun danced on numbers like "Sau Tarah Ke", "Tama Tama," and "High Rated Gabru".
 
Bobby danced with Romanian TV presenter and singer Iulia Vantur on numbers like "Gupt Gupt, "Soldier soldier", "Tera Rang Balle Balle" and tracks from his latest release "Race 3".
 
Kriti, Arjun and Shraddha also danced to tracks from their films respectively.
 
IANS
 
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Mohanlal elected new president of Malayalam actors body

Mohanlal (Photo: IANS)
Mohanlal (Photo: IANS)
Malayalam superstar Mohanlal was on Sunday unanimously elected the new President of the Association of Malayalam Movie Actors (AMMA), replacing Innocent, the hugely popular comedian and CPI-M backed Lok Sabha member from Chalakuddy, who was at the helm for the past 18 years.
 
Unlike the past meetings of the AMMA, the media was kept away and the usual press meeting after the annual general body meeting was not held while members were strictly instructed to keep a distance from the media.
 
Mohanlal's election was a foregone conclusion as there was no other candidate when the last date of filing nominations closed early this month.
 
Edavela Babu is the new General Secretary while comedian and character artiste Jagdish was brought in as Treasurer.
 
Why the AMMA is upset with the media is could be media's handling of the now infamous actress kidnap case which took place in Kochi last year in which superstar Dileep is an accused and was in jail for 85 days, before he secured bail.
 
However in Sunday's meeting, the first annual general body meeting after Dileep's arrest, took a decision to revoke the suspension of Dileep, on the grounds that it was done by a hurriedly- called executive meeting which was against the bye-laws of AMMA.
 
But Dileep was absent, so was upcoming superstar Prithviraj, who is part of a group in AMMA that opposed the supremacy of superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal.
 
This is the first time in several years that Mammootty is also not an office bearer and on Sunday, he politely turned down a request from outgoing President Innocent that he should come forward to become an office-bearer.
 
IANS
 
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Blame myself for my disappearance: Bobby Deol

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Actor Bobby Deol, who made a comeback in Bollywood after a four-year gap with "Race 3", blames himself for his disappearance from the big screen.

Bobby had tasted success with the likes of "Gupt: The Hidden Truth", "Soldier" and "Ajnabee" in the 1990s and also faced duds like "Shakalaka Boom Boom" among many others. He was last seen in "Yamla Pagla Deewana 2" in 2013, alongside his father and veteran actor Dharmendra and sibling Sunny Deol.

"I only blame myself for disappearing in between. I had kind of given up. I felt demotivated, disheartened but looking around at my family I realised I cannot let them down.

"I have to work, get on my feet and do it myself because there is nobody who can help you," Bobby told IANS.

The 49-year-old actor says his disappearance from the silver screen did affect him a lot.

"My mark disappeared from the industry. There was no space for me in it when I always believed there would be...," he added.

Despite successes like "Bicchoo", "Apne", "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom", why couldn't he capitalise on his stardom?

"I was ignorant and didn't realise that I had achieved that kind of a stardom in my career.

"Now I wish, I wasn't that ignorant and hadn't let it go. But never say never, work hard and you can always achieve things in life," he said.

He says he went through tough times and could not fathom what was happening.

"I didn't realise that competition had increased. I know there is competition now and I am preparing myself," said Bobby, who will be seen performing at the 19th edition of the International Indian Films Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards main gala, which will be held on Sunday.

The actor has been a part of the Hindi film industry for over two decades. He made his debut with "Barsaat" in 1995.

Talking about his journey, Bobby said: "It has been amazing. I have seen the highs and the lows. So, I have experienced everything...

"I'm just excited that it's a fresh beginning for me because for every actor every Friday is a make or break and it's always going to be like that no matter how successful you are or not."

Bobby hopes to have a fraction of his father's stardom one day.

"I am blessed to be a child from a star family. My dad is a legend and I am proud to be his son...We have achieved things differently and what he has achieved is out of bounds for me but it's an inspiration, with hard work I can at least achieve a fraction of it," he said.

Currently, Bobby is excited about the success of his latest release "Race 3", which has crossed the Rs 100 crore mark at the box-office.

"I knew this film will be appreciated and what makes me happier is that people have appreciated my work which is really encouraging…," he added.

IANS

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It's not a major injury: Dhanush

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After reports about Dhanush getting injured on the sets of "Maari 2" surfaced, the actor-filmmaker-singer took to Twitter on Saturday to update his fans and followers about his health. He says it was not a major injury.
 
He assured his followers that he is fine. 
 
"My beloved dear fans ... It's not a major injury and I'm well," Dhanush tweeted. 
 
"Thank you so much for your concern prayers and love. I am forever grateful. Love you all. My pillars of strength," he added. 
 
According to reports, Dhanush was shooting for a fight sequence with the film's antagonist Tovino Thomas, and got injured while performing a stunt sequence. 
 
Directed by Balaji Mohan, "Maari 2" is the sequel to the hit film, which released in 2015. 
 
IANS
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Sahitya Akademi names winners of Yuva Puraskar, Bal Sahitya Puruskar for 2018

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The Sahitya Akademi, the national academy of letters, on Friday named the 23 winners of its Bal Sahitya Puraskar and 21 winners of the Yuva Puraskar for the year 2018.
 
Those who have won the Yuva Puraskar awards for their collections of poetry include Samragnee Bandhyopadhyay (Bengali), Esha Dadawala (Gujarati), Aasteek Vajpeyi (Hindi), Wilma Bantwal (Konkani), Umesh Paswan (Maithili), Tongbram Amarjit Singh (Manipuri), Jayadratha Suna (Odiya), Dushyant Joshi (Rajasthani), Muni Rajsundar Vijay (Sanskrit) and Bala Sudhakar Mouli (Telugu).
 
The winners of the award for their collections of short stories include Bipasha Bora (Assamese), Padmanabha Bhat (Kannada), Dheeba Nazir (Kashmiri), Chhuden Kabimu (Nepali), Rani Murmu (Santali), Suneel Krishnan (Tamil ) and Shahnaz Rahman (Urdu).
 
Those who have won the Yuva Puraskar for their novels iinclude Amal (Malayalam), Navnath Gore (Marathi), Gurpreet Sehji (Punjabi) and for plays, Champa Chetnani (Sindhi).
 
No book was "found suitable" in the English language category. The award for Bodo will be declared at a later date, while no award has been announced for Dogri.
 
The Yuva Puraskar relates to books published by an author of the age of 35 and below. The award consists of a casket containing an engraved copper plaque and a cheque of Rs. 50,000. The awards will be presented to the writers at a function to be held later this year, a press release from the Akademi said.
 
The Bal Sahitya Puraskar are given for children's literature. The awards announced on Friday relate to books first published during the five years between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016.  They will be conferred at a function on November 14, which is celebrated as Children's Day, being the birth anniversary of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. 
 
The winners include Jugallochan Das (Assamese), Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay (Bengali), Sitaram Basumatary (Bodo), Easterine Kire (English), Chandrakant Sheth (Gujarati), Divik Ramesh (Hindi), Kanchyani Sharanappa Shivasangappa (Kannada), Zareef Ahmad Zareef (Kashmiri), Kumud Bhiku Naik (Konkani), Vaidya Nath Jha (Maithili), P.K. Gopi (Malayalam) and Khangembam Shamungou (Manipuri). 
 
Others named for the awards are Ratnakar Matkari (Marathi), Bhim Pradhan (Nepali), Birendra Mohanty (Odia), Tarsem(Punjabi), C.L. Sankhla (Rajasthani), Sampadanand Mishra (Sanskrit), Laxminarayan Hansda (Santali), Kalpana Ashok Chellani (Sindhi), Kriungai Sethupathy (Tamil), Naramshetti Umamaheswar Rao (Telugu) and Rais Siddiqui (Urdu).
 
The award in the Dogri language category will be announced at a later date, the release said.
 
The awards were recommended by the respective juries representing 22 Indian languages and approved by the Executive Board of the Akademi which met here on Friday under the chairmanship of its president, Dr. Chandrashekhar Kambar.
 
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Being raised by single mother has been inspiring: Miss India World 2018

Femina Miss India 1st RunnerUp 2018 Meenakshi Chaudhary, Miss India World Anukreethy Vas and Femina Miss India 2nd RunnerUp Shreya Rao Kamavarapu 2018 at the Grand finale of Miss India 2018 in Mumbai on June 19, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Femina Miss India 1st RunnerUp 2018 Meenakshi Chaudhary, Miss India World Anukreethy Vas and Femina Miss India 2nd RunnerUp Shreya Rao Kamavarapu 2018 at the Grand finale of Miss India 2018 in Mumbai on June 19, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
The newly crowned Miss India World Anukreethy Vas -- who works for the education of transgenders -- feels a smile keeps everyone going, something she has learnt from her mother, who raised her single-handedly. The 19-year-old feels that being raised by a single mother was challenging, but being strong in every situation kept them going.
 
"The challenges were there forever starting from school because I am not from a city-based place. I studied in Trichy (Tiruchirappalli) which is not really a city... But I was very strong because my mother didn't let me down at any point. She used to say, 'You are a strong person. How can you cry?' and that's how she brought me up," Anukreethy told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
 
"I have never seen her low. She has a lot of problems herself but she never showed that to me and that is how I was brought up. Even if I had something inside me, I never expressed it to the other person because I feel that a smile is one thing that keeps the other person going. This is what I learnt from her.
 
"She inspired me in every way and she has been a great role model," added the beauty queen, whose mother is an IT professional named Seleena.
 
Anukreethy is currently pursuing Bachelor of Arts in French at Chennai's Loyola College to become an interpreter. She is also a state-level athlete, whose aspiration is to become a supermodel. Her faith in destiny keeps her confident at all times and this reflected well while she was announced the winner on Tuesday night.
 
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Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar crowned Anukreethy at the gala, where Meenakshi Chaudhary from Haryana was adjudged first runner-up and second runner-up was Shreya Rao from Andhra Pradesh.
 
Anukreethy calls herself a tomboy and loves to ride a bike. But more than that, she is actively involved in giving education to transgenders.
 
"I work for the transgender education. One of my school friends was transgender and whose family abandoned her. That struck me about this topic. I was helping an orphanage and NGO with the education of their children.
 
"In 2015, I associated with an NGO, and the main area of work was education of transgender children. We are now being able to adopt 30 transgenders and educate them," she told IANS. 
 
As of now, she is "really happy" about her victory at the Miss India contest.
 
"I will put my best to get the crown again," she said, referring to the Miss World crown which Manushi brought back to India long after Priyanka Chopra won it in 2000.
 
So after the sudden fame, is she going to miss all the normal things that she enjoys doing?
 
"Not really. I still have a normal life. My friends back home are supportive. Yes, just the responsibilities have been added, but rest is normal," said Anukreethy, who is currently not focussed on Bollywood.
 
IANS
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Tamil Nadu girl Anukreethy Vas wins Miss India World 2018 title

Femina Miss India 1st RunnerUp 2018 Meenakshi Chaudhary, Miss India World Anukreethy Vas and Femina Miss India 2nd RunnerUp Shreya Rao Kamavarapu 2018 at the Grand finale of Miss India 2018 in Mumbai on June 19, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Femina Miss India 1st RunnerUp 2018 Meenakshi Chaudhary, Miss India World Anukreethy Vas and Femina Miss India 2nd RunnerUp Shreya Rao Kamavarapu 2018 at the Grand finale of Miss India 2018 in Mumbai on June 19, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
All of 19, Anukreethy Vas from Tamil Nadu's Trichy, triumphed over contestants from all over India to clinch the Femina Miss India World 2018 title, succeeding Manushi Chhillar who brought home the coveted Miss World crown back to the country for the first time since 2000.
 
Anukreethy, raised by a single mother, was crowned at a star-studded grand finale of the beauty contest on Tuesday night at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium here. 
 
Meenakshi Chaudhary from Haryana was the runner-up and Shreya Rao from Andhra Pradesh was the second runner-up.
 
A student of Chennai's Loyola College, Anukreethy is pursuing BA in French to become an interpreter, but she works closely with an NGO for the education of transgenders -- a cause close to her heart.
 
She wishes to become a supermodel as she loves facing the camera, but Bollywood is not her focus right now. Her eyes are set on winning the Miss World crown for India again, Anukreethy told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
 
The Femina Miss India show saw participants proving their aptitude by facing some tricky questions from the judges' panel, which included Bobby Deol, Kunal Kapoor, Malaika Arora, fashion designer Gaurav Gupta and cricketer Irfan Pathan, along with Manushi.
 
The event was hosted by Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar and actor Ayushmann Khurrana. Bollywood was prominently present at the grand finale as Jacqueline Fernandez set the stage on fire by shaking a leg on "Desi Girl".
 
Dancing diva and actress Madhuri Dixit Nene performed a beautiful dance number during the India round, with her co-dancers presenting various forms of Indian classical dance. She also hummed a few lines from her latest Marathi release "Bucket List" during an interaction with the hosts.
 
Kareena Kapoor Khan looked ravising in her stage performance on "Tareefa" from her latest released film "Veere Di Wedding".
 
All the selected participants were groomed by Neha Dhupia, Rakul Preet Singh, Pooja Chopra and Pooja Hegde.
 
The organising team of the beauty pageant toured all 30 states (including Delhi) of the country and crowned one representative from each state, all aspiring for the coveted Miss India crown.
 
IANS
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Rapper XXXTentacion shot dead in Florida

 
Rapper XXXTentacion shot dead in Florida
 
 
Rapper XXXTentacion was shot and killed during an apparent robbery in Broward County in Florida in the United States on Monday, police said.
 
The 20-year-old, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was leaving a motorsports store shortly before 4 p.m. on Monday when two men in a dark coloured SUV shot and killed him in an apparent robbery, CNN quoted Keyla Concepcion of Broward County sheriff department as saying.
 
Broward County deputies are actively looking for the two men and asking anyone who witnessed the shooting to come forward, the officer said.
 
XXXTentacion, a native of Plantation in Florida, rocketed to fame after his song "Look at Me" went viral on social media and audio distribution platform SoundCloud in 2016.
 
He went on to be featured in XXL magazine's 2017 Freshman Class alongside other up-and-coming artistes.
 
His latest album "?" premiered at No. 1 when it was released in March, according to Billboard's website. The album's single "Sad!" peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 15 weeks on the charts, according to Billboard.
 
At the time of his death, he was awaiting trial for a domestic violence incident involving his pregnant girlfriend, according to court documents. 
 
He had been under house arrest for a time while he awaited trial on battery and harassment charges. The house arrest was lifted in March, according to Miami-Dade court documents.
 
XXXTentacion also stirred controversy. 
 
His September 2017 music video for the viral hit "Look at Me" sparked backlash for staging a scene depicting XXXTentacion lynching a young white boy. 
 
The video also referenced flashpoints in the national debate on race such as the 1991 Rodney King beating, the lynching in Mississippi of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri riots, the police shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota in 2016 and the 2017 Virginia violence.
 
At the end of the video, XXXTentacion spoke about violence and American youth.
 
IANS
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