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Today is the International Women’s day and this day holds historic significance for India, particularly, as it comprises of the 50% women population. Being the second largest democracy of the globe women play an extremely pivotal role in our country’s polity and various other spheres of life. After achieving independence from the colonialists seventy years ago, while India has progressed by leaps and bounds, rising up from the scratch, its today one of the leading world leaders in the international scenerio.

We have women in union and state cabinets, parliament, state legislatures, panchayats, municipal corporations, in government and private sectors, sports, foreign affairs, judiciary, theatre, Bollywood, Army, Navy Air Force, journalism, literature, police, paramilitary,civil services, medical profession and every where bringing laurels in each and every field but still lot needs to be done to empower them socially, politically, economically and industrially. The women empowerment starts from the top and 33% reservation in parliament is the core issue that can make them empowered fully as its primarily the executive and top decision making bodies at the Executive level which can instill in them a larger sense of responsibilities and feeling of autonomous leadership to move forward thus thinking of empowering their sisters at a broader national level through enactment of women friendly progressive laws.

Unfortunately, granting of 33% reservation in parliament and state legislatures has gone into cold storage despite so much of hullaballoo in the past. All political parties irrespective of their ideological differences should come forward to pass this long pending bill to finally make it a law. The issue of women safety and increasing rapes and sexual molestation is another most important issue that needs to be addressed on a war footing.

There are more than 37 thousands cases of rapes, molestation and sexual assaults of women existing with a shameful rape being committed every 15 minutes. This needs to be tackled and countered speedily and most emphatically by the stake holders, the police, NGOs, women bodies and various law enforcing agencies. International women’s day is celebrated every year on 8th March with full pomp and show with promises and pledges to empower and safeguard the women community but not much seems to have been done or executed on the women safety front with cases of rapes and women insecurity increasing manifold despite so much of stringent laws.

In rural India, today 80% of the women are still devoid of education, health facilities, jobs, education and leading insecure lives. However, it’s a welcome decision that on this day today the Delhi Police have launched a women petrol service in Delhi that will ensure the women’s security in the country’s capital. Initially it will have 16 women bikers and several women police petrol to ensure adequate women safety. Such model should be followed by other state police as well. Let’s hope that our political parties and their leaders from all hues will arrive at unanimity and expeditiously pass the 33% women’s reservation bill in both the houses of parliament before 2019.

The primary responsibility lies on Prime minister Narendra Modi to take the cudgels in his hand and make this long term dream a true reality. What do you say friends?


Uttarakhand Aandolan, Smritiyon ka Himalaya is a fantastic book brought out by a senior journalist and author Harish Lakera having served in Jansatta, Amar Ujala and several other reputed dailies. Currently he’s joined Daily Tribune. In active journalism for three decades or more, Harish Lakhera has done a laudable job by bringing forth this excellent book comprising of 470 pages almost covering every incident and aspect of Uttarakhand movement that started during the nineties and finally led to the achievement of the protracted dream of each and every Uttarakhandi, the separate state.

The book meticulously portrays very minutely and with due precision, every major event, struggle, demonstration, Dharna happenings and the tortuous victimisation of the men and women andolankaries right from Pauri to Delhi with special emphasis of the not to be forgotten, the most brutal killings and assaults of women in Mujjafarnagar Ram Pur Tiraha ( trijuncton) where today stands the martyrs historic memorial. The book also carries the in depth articles of his and several eminent journalists of Uttarakhand in Delhi who’d penned down their feelings and various socio political, geographical, economic, environmental, demographic and other significant aspects of the movement at peak in Delhi and various parts of Uttarakhand during the nineties. Uttarakhand Andolan/ Smritiyon ka Himalaya, an important read, authored by Harish Lakhera deserves to be complimented for taking so much of pain and devoting several months in the research work and finally authoring this fantastic book. He is genuinely the accolades’ deserving author by all means. I have, though, not gone through the book deeply but while casually going through some chapters at a glance have found that it’s undoubtedly and unambiguously the first ever book on Uttarakhand movement, with which, the writer has done full justice as far as the depiction of incidents of that phase of nineties are concerned.

He has taken special care to mention as much as names of the movement activists dedicatedly involved in the relentless struggle in Delhi and Uttarakhand and has tried his best to incorporate maximum, though selected articles of eminent journalists of Uttarakhand who’d done great service to the Uttarakhand movement to further the separate state demand, thus giving full fledged momentum to the noble cause. I would strongly recommend one and all to buy the book and awaken themselves with those days of relentless struggle of the nineties when every individual, be they be men, women, students, youths, exservicemen, government employees, writers, journalists or thinkers, poor or rich, everybody was fully devoted and selflessly dedicated to the cause of separate statehood finally achieving the targetted goal on 9th November, 2000 after the sacrifice of precious 42 lives. Wishing you all the very best Harish bhai. Jai Hind, Jai Uttarakhand.
Sunil Negi, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum


While the demand for Gairsain to be declared as the new permanent capital is on the high peak with the myriad number of protest demonstrations in various parts of Uttarakhand still continuing the chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat has by raising and outrightly supporting the controvertial issue of Saharanpur to be annexed with the 18 year old state has further added a new dimension to this already disputed matter, being opposed by one and all.

After the delimitation of the MLA constituencies on the basis of the population there is already a lot of hue and cry n annoyance in the general public, particularly those hailing from the interior areas of Uttarakhand as the MLA constitiencies of the hill areas have already decreased considerably thus giving less representation to the hill areas in the state assembly. If by chance the issue of annexation of Saharanpur fructifies not only will the representation of the plains increase manifold in the state assembly but will also result in the diversion of the maximum hill developmental budget to the areas of the plains.

In the absense of the adequate decentralized socio, economic, industrial, agricultural, educational and health related development and job avenues in the interiors of the hill state there have been tremendous uncontrollable migration to the cities, towns and the metropolises and if Saharanpir also comes under the official jurisdiction of Uttarakhand one can imagine what will happen to the already squeezed development of the interior villages thus outrightly defeating the actual purpose and concept for which Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh after so much of sacrifices.

While the government of the day is still silent of the real and heart touching issues like Gairsain capital which would truly symbolise the decentralised over all development of the state, the new issue of possible annexation of Saharanpur to UK would undoubtedly further add to the already existing woes and miseries of the hill people. Some political analysts say that the issue of Shaharanpur is a calculated ploy of the current BJP government to sideline the hot issue of Gairsain capital thus diverting the peoples’ attention to the not so relevant issue of Saharanpur.

When the BJP government assumed power in the state with a resounding and historic majority it was felt that it will go by the overwhelmning mandate of the hill people who’d reposed complete faith on them but instead majority of the peoples’ demand like Gairsain and Pancheshwar Dam are being put in cold storage pre strategically and in order to divert their attention from the core issues such as above and jobs including improving of the health sector the party in power seems to be more interested in controvertial irrelevant issues like Saharanpur’s annexation to UK and raising funding for their party etc.

Today, the people of Uttarakhand are curiously looking forward towards employment generation in the state and improvement in the ovetall socio economic conditions of its youths, students, women, agricultural, health and educational sectors but the state reeling under the financial deficit of more than forty thousand crotes seems to be little interested in these core pro people issue than raising the controvertial anti people Saharanpur issue.

Sounds shocking and outrageous. There is lot of talks and assurances of improving of Yatra Marg to Kedarnath n other religious shrines and likely construction of all weather roads at the cost of the whopping central budget of 12500 crores but will this development not make our already fragile mountains more hollow and prone to ecological and natural disasters with 40 thousand full grown trees to be felled. Nobody is against development but people require eco friendly development not eco damaging development.

The tunnel being built till Kedarnath to ease the movement of pilgrims at the whopping cost of Rs. 1342 crores will not only make the hill hollow from inside but also make them prone to earthquakes and other disasters in the offing, says a senior journalist and analyst Umakant Lakhera in one of his FB post apart from incurring such a huge cost from the tax payers money. It would be in the interest of the whole state if the chief minister reaches to the people of the state to develop consensus and unanimity on the pivotal issue of bringing Saharanpur into Uttarakhand’s fold than to make unilateral statements inviting widespred criticisms.

If the people of the state go with his decision, its fine otherwise we should in all earnestness give up this irrelevant issue as Uttarakhand is already running under huge debt crisis and its people in jeopardy. The CM Trivendra Singh Rawat is a venerable personality and as such he should first take the inhabitants of UK into confidence before arriving at some definite conclusion on this significant issue. What’s your transparent take on this article. I leave it on your wisdom.


I was just going through the highly thought provoking detailed article of Sanjay Bhartiya in facebook and was greatly impressed and influenced by his writing on the lifestyle and the simplistic way of living of the chief minister of Tripura Manik Sarkar and his wife who just retired as secretary of the social welfare board. Manik Sarkar who is the chief minister of Tripura since 1998 draws a meagre salary of merely Rs 9200 every month which is deposited in the CPM party fund and the party allocates him Rs. 500 for the entire month.

He washes his own clothes and so his former Secretary wife. Manik Sarkar has now crossed 65 and after tremendous reluctance as the age does not permit him to wash his own clothes his wife has bought a washing machine out of her own pension. The total expenses of the chief ministers house that includes washing of clothes to curtains etc are borne by his wife from her pension. Manik Rao and his wife travel by rickshaw and lead the life of a commoner with the bank balance of just 10 to 15 thousand Rupees at the most.

The total assest declared by this left CM of Tripura since 1998 is merely 2.5 lakh that includes a dilapidated tin shed accomodation of his late mother. Both the husband and wife have no house, no personal or government vehicle, no air conditioner, no cooler and nothing luxurious which may give an impression of a comfort living. While the chief minister is engaged for most of the hours with piles of files on his table, his wife works and stays with Asha workers for the upliftment of the poor and the economically deprived women and children.

Just imagine on the one hand you have chief ministers like Manik Sarkar believing and practising the notion of KHALI HAATH AAYE THE, KHAALI HAATH JAYENGE and working tirelessly for the overall welfare, well being and development of a backward state like Tripura and its inhabitants including tribals for the last 19 years winning every election with majority hands down and gaining peoples’ faith and confidence incessantly, on the other hand you have politicians and Yogis amassing myriad wealth and properties worth thousand and thousand of crores wearing saffron robes and appearing on television channels given hollow sermons to countrymen.

Just imagine on the one hand you have a CM with just 10 thousand Rupees as bank balance despite at the helm of the state for the last 20 years while on the other hand you have politicians and Yogi’s in saffron robes minting the assest worth more than a lakh crore in just 4 years of a little time. What a tragedy of an open democracy?
Manik Rao’s example is indeed the rarest of the rare one not only in India but globally as well.

On 26th January I visited the ,”Sarthak Prayas,” headquarter in Ghaziabad on the ocassion of our 69th Republic Day anniversary and felt overwhelmed to see slum children celebrating the republic day by reciting poems of national reconstruction and DESH BHAKTI.

It was indeed very pleasureful and privileged moments to be in the midst of the children belonging to the have not sections of the society being financially, educationally and socially assisted and equiped by this selfless organisaton under the selfless and dedicated leadership of Umesh Pant who and his family has made it their sole mission of life.

Leaving a job in MNC in the days of skyrocketting prices and devoting oneself to the cause of uplifting the slum children and children affected by disasters like several happening in Uttarakhand is something beyond imagination and Umesh Pant has made it possible. WOW what a compassionate and ambivalent gesture of generosity for the children of the lowest ebb of the society.

At present about more than 150 children of NCR slums and Kedar Ghati disaster victims are being taken care of by them. Sarthak has arranged a big library and the children collect there every day to equip themself with knwledge by going through the books.

Yesterday all the students of slums were delivered sweets, and warm clothes like jersies. Our sr. journalist friend Vyomesh Jugran and social activist Chandan Singh Gusain too donated few thousand rupees for the welfare of these economically deprived children.

I presented my english translated book on Kedarnath disaster,” Havoc in Heaven,” for the library. Kudos to Sr journalist and a renowned social activist Charu Tiwari, Umesh Pant, Hansa Amola and their entire team for doing this noble service for uplifting the lives and career of the poor and hapless students through education and taking care of their entire well being like providing them books, fees, food, clothes and above all making them the outstanding citizen of tomorrow. Keep it up Umesh Bhai.

Time is not far when everybody will follow you and there won’t be any dearth of funds and resources. The Almighty is with you and your noble endeavour. I fondly remember in one of the cultural shows held in Delhi’s Rajendra Bhawan auditorium by SARTHAK PRAYAS, how children of slums not belonging to Uttarakhand have so confidently performed on several Uttarakhandi songs dressed decently in the traditional attires amid applause and standing ovation from the audience. Hats off.

SUNIL NEGI, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum


Apple iPhone 8 price and details leaked online.

Apple’s 1st generation iPhone was a game changer when it was launched back in 2007. It was the 1st touch screen smartphone that came with an advanced operating system for that time. Since its launch, Apple iPhone has been a class apart from its competitors whether it’s the design, operating system, camera or wide variety of apps to choose from, in its native App Store. For years, the iPhone hasn’t seen much design changes and has stuck with fat bezels and ugly antenna lines. With the launch of Samsung’s S8 with its beautiful edge to edge display, Samsung was able to set a new design benchmark for the mobile market and a lot of tech giants have already started launching new phones with an edge to edge display and new aspect ratio of 18.5:9. The iPhone 8 will feature the latest A11 chipset, augmented reality compatibility, 3D facial recognition and wireless charging.

iPhone with a new design

iPhone has also been known for its leaks. iPhone leaks for this year have been quite promising as it features Apple’s take on the new benchmarked market design. The leaked renders show a beautiful edge to edge display with a dual camera setup on the regular iPhone which will be a first for iPhone as last year’s 7plus got the extra camera and not the regular iPhone 7. The display in the leaked renders has an edge to edge design with a weird cutout for the front facing camera and other phone sensors at the top. In other leaks, the new display is said to introduce a new software feature which is expected to utilise each and every inch of the new iPhone.

iPhone 8 will come with iOS out of the box

Chinese social media site, Weibo recently leaked the prices for the upcoming iPhones and the leak hints at a plus model which means that Apple is all set to launch 4 iPhones this September.
The iPhone 8 just like any other iPhone has been leaked on many forums ahead of its launch. iPhone 8 is expected to come with the bezel less design from its competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S8, the LG G6, or the newly launched essential phone. The iPhone like its predecessor will not feature a headphone jack, will come with iOS 11 and will be compatible with Apple home pod. As per the leaks, the iPhone 8 will also come with a new colour-bronze.

iPhone 8 leaked prices

The iPhone 8 is expected to be the costliest iPhone ever and the recent leaks support the fact in every possible way. The iPhone 8 will come with iPhone 7s and 7s plus. The leaked prices for the base iPhone 8 with 32GB storage is ¥6288 (~$945), and going up to ¥7888 (~$1185) for the 128GB model.
The iPhone 8 plus on the other hand will be priced at ¥7288 (~$1095) for the base 32GB model, and going up to ¥8888 (~$1340) for the 256GB variant.