Rajasthan on Friday became the second State, after Madhya Pradesh, to pass a Bill providing for death penalty to those convicted of raping girls of 12 years and below. The State Assembly passed the Bill seeking to amend the Indian Penal Code with the insertion of new provision by voice vote.A deterrentHome Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, who introduced the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018, in the House, said it was a “progressive legislation” aimed at protecting the girl child by laying down a deterrent punishment, including death sentence, to the offenders.“The Bill will become a law after it gets the Presidential assent. The Rajasthan Assembly has conveyed its feelings to the President. We hope that a similar initiative will be taken by other States and even by the Centre,” Mr. Kataria said after the House rejected a motion moved by some Congress members to circulate the Bill for eliciting public opinion.According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s 2016 report, the cases of crimes against children have seen a steady increase in Rajasthan. The State recorded 4,034 such cases in 2016, which was 3.8% of the crimes against children registered across the country. In 2015, the State had registered 3,689 cases of crimes against children.Mr. Kataria said the Bill had inserted two new sections, 376-AA and 376-DD, in the IPC.Section 376-AA provides for capital punishment or rigorous imprisonment ranging between 14 years and lifelong incarceration. Section 376-DD makes a similar provision for gang-rape of a girl child, while laying down death penalty or imprisonment from 20 years to lifelong incarceration for those convicted of the offence. Each of the persons constituting the gang will be deemed to be guilty of the offence.
Aficionados of Marathi cinema and fans of iconic Marathi litterateur P.L. Deshpande — affectionately known as ‘Pu La’ — have news to cheer about as the city-based National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has acquired rare footage from a ‘lost’ Marathi film classic of the 1940s which starred Deshpande.The film, Vande Mataram (1948) directed by Ram Gabale, is a much sought-after memorabilia item high on the lists of Marathi film collectors and devotees of Pu La’s work.It marked the first time that the multi-faceted Deshpande, who starred alongside his wife Sunita, played the lead role following minor appearances in earlier films, Kuber (1947) and Bhagyaresha (1948).“The 35-minute footage that we have received has rekindled hopes that the complete film may yet be discovered. The footage, in form of a VHS tape, was given to us by Dinesh Thakur (Sunita Deshpande’s nephew) and film historian Satish Jakatdar along with U-matic tapes which contain previously unseen footage of Pu La playing the harmonium,” said Prakash Magdum, Director, NFAI.He informed that while the sound quality was all right, there was dire need to enhance the picture quality of the footage.Vande Mataram, made immediately after Independence but set during the freedom struggle, was a heady confluence of the most formidable talents to grace Marathi cinema during its heyday in the late 1940s. The film, shot in Kolhapur, was written by yet another legendary Marathi literary figure, the famed poet-writer Gajanan Digambar Madgulkar who also provided the lyrics, while the music was composed by renowned singer Sudhir Phadke.It was edited by Raja Thakur (who later became a director in his own right), helmed by the talented Mr. Gabale, a Prabhat Studios regular, and was produced by the maverick P.R. Bhide.The film, with its memorable music and songs, focuses on the patriotism of ordinary folks and is laced with gentle humour.“VandeMataram is indeed remarkable for the dazzling array of talent associated with it as Madgulkar, Pu La and Phadke constituted the veritable trinity of Marathi cinema during its golden age in the late 1940s and 50s. Its ‘lost film’ status has lent it a certain aura. The film was very dear to its composer, Sudhir Phadke, who had in fact visited Mr. Thakur’s residence in Mumbai following Pu La’s death in 2000 to search if the latter had preserved it in his collection,” said Mr. Magdum, speaking to The Hindu.He said that the footage featured a couple of songs and has Pu La singing a powada (ballad).“In particular, one song from this film, Ved Mantrahun Vandya, became a huge hit and endures in its popularity even till this day,” said Mr. Magdum.He further said that the acquisition was doubly delightful as by a happy coincidence this year happens to be the birth centenary of P.L. Deshpande, G.D. Madgulkar and Sudhir Phadke. Incidentally 2018 was the birth centenary of the film’s producer, P.R. Bhide.“Bhide was an interesting character who dabbled in a number of things including the cinema. Besides Vande Mataram, the other notable film he produced was Lalat (1947) where his auteurist tendencies were in full display in his highly innovative experiment of using 16 mm film to record sound instead of film,” Mr. Magdum said, remarking that Bhide later exited cinema to become a spiritual godman, establishing the Manashakti Center in Lonavla and assuming the name of ‘Swami Vijnananand’.Of the other memorabilia acquired by the NFAI, one of the two hour-long U-matic cassettes showcase the considerable Harmonium skills of the versatile Mr. Deshpande and were recorded sometime in Mumbai in the 1980s.The other cassette has his inimitable recitation of some of his beloved characters from his literary ouvre.In December 2015, the NFAI had received another rare ‘Pu La’ memorabilia in the form of Deshpande’s original handwritten script of the enduring 1953 Marathi classic Gulacha Ganpati which was later digitized by them.
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View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP LATEST STORIES Lowry said Stevens has not reached out to him to apologize. Stevens, however, released a statement through the Warriors later Thursday saying he attempted to reach out and offer a direct apology to Lowry, the Raptors and the Warriors.“I don’t know him. I don’t care to know him,” Lowry said. “He showed his true colors at the time. And you show what you’re really about in that time and at that moment. … No, you showed what you really are.”Stevens said he accepted the punishment from the NBA.“I made a mistake and I’m truly sorry,” Stevens said. “I need to be better and look forward to making it right.”Lowry scored 23 points in Toronto’s 123-109 victory. The Raptors lead the series 2-1 going into Friday’s Game 4 at Oracle Arena.Thursday’s series of events began with an apology from the Warriors and an announcement that Stevens would not be allowed at any more games in this series. Players like Los Angeles Lakers standout LeBron James said that wasn’t enough, and James reached out to Lowry personally to offer his support. Hours later, the NBA came out with the decision to fine and ban Stevens.The NBA’s ban covers all league games and also forbids Stevens from being part of any team events.“If Kyle was to then hit back, a lot more than a fine would have then happened to Kyle,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said.This was not the first high-profile incident between players and fans this season.Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook was involved in at least two such scenes during the regular season, one of them leading to a fan’s permanent ban from all events at the arena the Utah Jazz call home. Westbrook reacted angrily after he said a fan at a Utah game made racist comments to him, and the league fined Westbrook $25,000 for responding in a vulgar manner. Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue MOST READ “It sucks that this has to take the front page of the finals,” Lowry said. “It’s been a fun finals. It’s been a competitive finals. It really sucks that this has to take part and had to be a part of it.”Warriors players and coaches lauded the way Lowry was able to keep his emotions in check, and many followed their team’s statement and offered apologies to both the Raptors and their point guard.“Obviously, when you see the video, it’s pretty clear who was in the wrong,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said, who added that he doesn’t personally know Stevens.It’s unclear how large a stake Stevens has in the Warriors, and if the team will allow him to remain part of the organization. The team’s media guide lists Stevens – a Silicon Valley billionaire – as a member of the six-person executive board.“A team representative must be held to the highest possible standard and the conduct of Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens last night was beyond unacceptable and has no place in our league,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too In this photo taken Wednesday, June 5, 2019, referee Marc Davis, left, gestures toward Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens, partially obscured in blue shirt, during the second half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Toronto Raptors in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)OAKLAND, California—Toronto guard Kyle Lowry wanted the Golden State Warriors’ executive who shoved him during an NBA Finals game ousted from the league.The NBA decided a one-year ban and $500,000 fine is enough for now.ADVERTISEMENT Mark Stevens, a Warriors’ investor and a member of the team’s executive board, was banned from the NBA for one year and fined Thursday – one day after he shoved Lowry during the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the Toronto-Golden State finals matchup. The NBA announced its decision not long after Lowry said Stevens “shouldn’t be a part of our league.”“Mr. Stevens’ behavior last night did not reflect the high standard that we hope to exemplify as an organization,” the Warriors said in a release. “We’re extremely disappointed in his actions and, along with Mr. Stevens, offer our sincere apology to Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors organization for this unfortunate misconduct.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsLowry dove into a row of courtside seats in an effort to save a loose ball. Stevens, wearing an NBA-issued credential, was seated about two spots away from where Lowry landed. Stevens shoved Lowry in the upper body, and Lowry said he repeated a vulgar phrase to him about four times during the brief incident.The incident, and the fallout, was the dominant story on the off day between Games 3 and 4 of the series, which resumes Friday. Defense first for Gin Kings Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Westbrook also was touched by a young fan who was seated courtside at another game, and reacted calmly.While not a player-fan exchange, New York Knicks owner James Dolan made headlines when a fan at Madison Square Garden told him to “sell the team” in an incident that was captured on video. Dolan told the fan he was rude, asked if he wanted to come to any more games and then told him to “enjoy watching them on TV.” And earlier in these playoffs, Raptors fan Drake actually massaged Toronto coach Nick Nurse’s shoulders during play – to the dismay of the league.NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league has “redoubled” efforts to make sure that fans understand what conduct is appropriate and what isn’t.“We have had lots of conversations directly with the players’ association, the players, because absolutely we want them to feel that they’re in a safe environment,” Silver said last week in Toronto when the NBA Finals were beginning. “And we don’t want them to be distracted during the game or think that they have to take matters into their own hand.”But Raptors star Kawhi Leonard said more needs to be done.“We have to do a better job, the NBA, just of making sure these fans don’t come in and think they can just touch guys and hit them,” Leonard said. “That’s a little extreme.”Lowry said fans who sit inches from the sideline or baseline should understand that they may get in on the action. Dwyane Wade famously fell on entertainment icons John Legend and Chrissy Teigen as they sat courtside for his final home game with the Miami Heat two months ago; luckily in that case, all three parties could laugh about it afterward.This was no laughing matter, and the Raptors were stunned to learn that Stevens was part of the Warriors’ organization.“I was shocked,” Toronto guard Danny Green said. “And a little appalled.”