Punjab Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa on Sunday said politicisation of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev should be avoided and any controversy at this stage could put a spanner in the preparations. The senior Congress leader asserted that the State government was committed to celebrate the occasion in full tandem with the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) under the aegis of the Akal Takht (highest temporal seat of Sikhs). “The politicisation of the occasion as sacred and pious as the 550th ‘Parkash Purab’ of Guru Nanak Dev should be avoided at all costs as the occasion is fast approaching and any controversy at this stage could put a spanner in the preparations,” Mr. Randhawa said in a statement here. But the recent development in which SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal went with the delegation of the Shiromani Akali Dal , led by its chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi “smacked of politicising” the sacred occasion, he alleged. The Congress leader said it would have been better had the invitations been extended jointly on behalf of the Punjab government and the SGPC as the State government is duly-elected by the people . ‘Need for coordination’He also said the coordination between the SGPC and the State government was the need of the hour as it would send all the positive signals concerning the celebrations. On July 1, the SAD delegation had invited Mr. Modi to attend a function to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev on November 12 at Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab.
The mother of all shooting duels at the Karni Singh Shooting Range here didn’t really materialise on expected lines as Gagan Narang stormed his way to a gold medal in the men’s 10m air rifle singles event, leaving Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra in his wake on Wednesday.Anisa Sayyed and Rahi Sarnobat repeated the gold-silver feat of their much more illustrious counterparts in the women’s 25m sports pistol event, while Omkar Singh brought India its third gold medal of the day in the men’s 50m free pistol event.In between, favourites Ronjan Sodhi and Asher Noria slipped up and had to settle for silver behind England in the first shotgun event – the men’s double trap pairs. Narang shot 600/600 in the qualification round, which would have equalled his own world record, and then went on to score 103.6 points in the final to surpass his world record score of 703.5 established at the World Cup Finals in Bangkok in 2008.However, the new score is not expected to count as an official world record since, according to International Shooting Sports Federation rules, they can only be shot in Olympic Games, ISSF World Cups and World Championships, continental championships and continental games. The ISSF technical delegate at the competition said he would clarify the position with the top brass of the world body. But for Narang, it did not make an iota of difference, since the joy of beating his celebrated teammate and rival was overwhelming. As soon as he fired a 10.2 on his last shot, Bindra – who shot 103 in the final – came over to shake his hand, after which Narang lifted his rifle into the air and then kissed it. Narang played down the rivalry, saying their relationship was symbiotic. “When I was trying to get into shooting, I kept hearing a lot about Abhinav, who was already there.advertisementThere is a lot we can learn from each other. As for today, it feels special to shoot a 600 because it is a score you can’t shoot every day,” said the 27-year-old Hyderabadi. Bindra, meanwhile, feels Narang can replace him as an Olympic champion. “He is outstanding, one of the best in the world. I am sure he’ll win more international tournaments, the World Championship and an Olympic gold medal,” the 28-year-old said. On the other hand, Anisa broke the Final Games Record of 781.5 by shooting 786.8 to comfortably outclass the rest of the field.The 29-year-old led the field in the qualification round with 583 points, before coming up with a remarkable 203.8 in the final for the gold. Rahi, who specialises in the duelling round that makes up the final, was four points adrift of Malaysia’s Pei Chin Bibiana Ng heading into the decider, but shot a mind-boggling 205 to clinch silver. In the final event of the day, Omkar, who was trailing Singapore’s Bin Gai by just one point going into the final, shot six 10-plus scores en route to a score of 653.6 to emerge four points clear. Hon Swee Lim, also of Singapore, took bronze.With such a rich haul, it would be difficult to find disappointment in the Indian ranks, but that’s what affected the double trap shooters. Eighteen-yearold Noria shot a steady 93 in his first senior competition with the national team, but world record-holder Sodhi, who shot down his first 71 birds across two rounds, suffered a meltdown thereafter to end up with a total of 95. English pair Stevan Walton (96) and Steven Scott (93) capitalized on it, setting a new CWG record of 189. Malaysia’s Bejamin Cheng Jie Khor and Seng Chye Khor got the bronze medal. The event was also marked by an interruption where the flash from a photographer’s camera distracted a Singapore shooter. Sodhi, who was next up, was stopped from shooting by the referee in order to rebuke the photographer, and that seemed to distract him. He, however, refused to blame the incident. “If you see my score, I haven’t shot that bad. But I should have done much better with the start I had. I lost my concentration, but I won’t make the excuse of that incident,” Sodhi said-
It seems Team India’s fortunes have hit rock bottom. For this was the least that Dhoni & Co would have expected during the first ODI at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street, England, on Saturday. Score | PhotosAfter posting a competitive 274 runs of board, thanks to an impressive 95-run innings by opener Parthiv Patel, India had scalped two England wickets early and were poised for a fine finish when rains dashed their hopes.England were 27/2 with Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell at the crease when heavy rains forced the covers on. Once on, the covers remained put as the showers continued to lash the Riverside Ground till the final cut off time. Meanwhile, India’s injury list increased with Rohit Sharma fracturing his finger in the match.England won the toss and elected to bowl andmuch to the delight of the India fans India openers Parthiv Patel and Ajinkaya Rahane got off to a cautious start but gradually upped the tempo scoring boundaries and quick singles.Parthiv and Rahane were opening as regular openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were unavailable. While Sehwag, who has yet to recover from his long-standing shoulder injury, opted out citing labyrinthithis of the left ear (sic) and Tendulkar was out with a persistent toe-injury.However, the two didn’t let the loss have an effect on the run rate and continued to bat at ease even as the scoreboard kept ticking.Soon India score crossed 80. But England were not undone and Stuart Broad came around to get rid of Rahane on 40. A short ball from Broad that was pulled by Rahane failed to clear the boundary and Samit Patel took a good catch in the fine-leg region. India lost their first wicket on 82 in the 16th over. advertisementBut Broad wasn’t finished yet. He came around to get rid of ‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid cheaply. The ball took a thin edge off his bat to land in wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter’s gloves. He fell for two and India lost their second wicket on 87. However, the decision was a controversial one as the Hot Spot did not pick the edge and the third umpire decided on the basis of sound.Post that wicket, Parthiv Patel batted steadily at the Riverside Ground and he had Virat Kohli by his side to assist him in his efforts. He crossed his fifty without much effort and then went on for his ton. Unfortunately, he fell five runs short of his century.A James Anderson ball that was pitched wide from around the stumps invited a faint nick from Parthiv and keeper Kieswetter did the rest. India lost their third wicket on 190. His 95 runs were punctuated by 12 fours. He and Kohli put on 103 runs for the third wicket.Post Parthiv’s fall, Kohli too could not stay for long and an inside edge off Samit Patel crashed into his stumps dislodging his bails. He fell for 55 and India lost their fourth wicket on 206.Post that Rohit Sharma came down to bat but returned after the very first ball that he faced. He got hit by a Stuart Broad delivery in the 38th over. He received some attention from the physio and grimaced when the swollen index finger on his right hand was touched. He felt the field immediately and went to the hospital, where scans revealed a fracture.Later, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni batted on to increase the figures on the scoreboard, but at death Raina lost his wicket to Jade Dernbach on 38 when the team total was 266.Skipper Dhoni and tail-ender R Ashwin fell in the last over of the innings as India posted a competitive 274/7 on board.In reply England lost their opener Alastair Cook early with a Praveen Kumar ball taking the inside edge of his bat and crashing into his stumps when the total was just six.Praveen struck again to get rid of Craig Kieswetter, trapping him leg-before when the England score was 21.Soon enough the players were seen walking off and the pitch being covered to ward off the showers. Finally, the match was called off when the England total was 27/2 with Trott and Bell in the middle.
India’s archery campaign at the London Olympics ended on a disappointing note with Deepika Kumari going out in the first elimination round to home favourite Amy Oliver.Deepika had defeated the British girl quite easily whenever they had faced off previously, but at Lord’s on Wednesday, things turned out differently.This was a totally unexpected result. Deepika did not hit any 10s when required, which is very unusual. Normally, she compensates for her low scores by shooting a large number of 10s, but could not manage to do so here.She told us after her match that she did not feel any pressure during her match. However she struggled to assess the tricky conditions.As far as the other archers are concerned, Jayanta Talukdar did not put in a good performance though he was up against a top American.Rahul and Tarundeep made it to the second elimination round, before bowing out. But they showed fight which is a good sign.Chekrovolu Swuro seemed to just give it away after being in control. She first allowed her to draw level at 5-5 and then went down in the shoot-off.In the overall picture of the archers’ performance at the Olympics, the less than perfect start also had a role. They finished quite low down in the ranking round, which could have had an adverse impact on their morale.The fact that the conditions were quite tricky can be gauged from the fact that the topranked men’s archer, Brady Ellison of the United States, lost in the second round and later tweeted that he was thoroughly confused by the wind.advertisementAfter returning to India, one needs to find out what ingredient we are missing as we fail to crack the Olympic code despite going with high hopes. We need a long term programme for the Olympics.Age is no factor in archery and if the current batch can remain fit and focused, they can have another crack at the Olympics.(The writer is a two-time Olympian and Arjuna awardee)
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license United Arab Emirates-incorporated fund Goldilocks Investment has acquired an 18.3% stake in Dubai-based shipping company Gulf Navigation Holding.The fund, which was launched in 2015 by Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), said that the share includes 4.6% held through a share finance facility, according to media reports.“Goldilocks will be actively collaborating with the management and the board of Gulf Navigation in order to drive an enhanced business performance,” Reuters cited the company, which added that it would also support nomination of new members to the board.The acquisition is the latest purchase by Goldilocks, that has been buying shares in undervalued or financially-struggling companies.Reuters further cited the company as saying that it “continues to be highly active in identifying and securing compelling investment opportunities in the public markets as well as seeking out undervalued companies.”
Words and languages are not barriers when music runs in your soul. British Council’s collaborative programme Folk Nations is a proof of it. With an amalgamation of tunes from Wales, Scotland, England and India, Folk Nations left the audience wanting for more. The event was organised by The British council and Indian Council of Cultural relation (ICCR) at the Kamani auditorium on Wednesday evening.In early 2013 British Council and the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) ran a residency workshop in Kolkata inviting a group of UK and Indian folk musicians to share their folk music tradition and collaborate in a week of immense music making. What emerged was a group of six gifted musicians – Patsy Reid (Scotland), Hannah James (England), Georgia Ruth (Wales), Saurav Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Moni (India), Suhail Yusuf Khan (India) and James Mackintosh (Scotland). Their group represents a delicate weaving of UK and Indian folk that speaks immediately to the cultural heritage of these regions as well as its place in the contemporary music industry. Be it Suhail Yusuf Khan’s beautiful folk song Rangi saari gulabi chunariya re with Patsy Reed’s Scottish tunes in perfect sync to it, or Hannah James melancholy number The Three Ravens, with Suhail’s Indian alaaps, the folk music of different countries interwoven together left the audience amazed. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAttar Singh, an advocate, who had come to Kamani auditorium to witness the show said, ‘It is a very good initiative. It’s exciting to listen to music from different lands and how they have been interwoven with Indian folk. The approach is non-traditional but the music is traditional from each of these nations.’The audience, which consisted of many British expatriates, were tapping their feet and clapping along when Saurav Moni performed his song written on a heady draught of Bengal, Allah megh de, Paani de, Chhaya de Tui. The engaging evening ended with Saurav Moni’s song of rowing of the boats Haiyyo re haiyyo with Hannah James performing a tap dance to the tune. Songs of love and death, of romance and life sung in different languages and with foreign tunes left the audience moved. The performance will be repeated on the 17 October in Kolkata and in Shillong on the 19 October.
Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar led the cricketing world in applauding Sri Lankan veterans Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, who bowed out of ODIs on Wednesday after their team’s World Cup quarterfinal loss to South Africa. “Well done on glorious ODI careers @KumarSanga2 & @MahelaJay Being an integral part of the ODI side for so many years,it is difficult to imagine the side without the 2 of you.Wishing you the very best and will miss the 2 of you constructing the innings in coloured clothes,” Tendulkar tweeted. Sangakkara played a whopping 404 ODIs, scoring 14,234 runs at an average of 41.98. Jayawardene, on the other hand, amassed 12,650 runs from 448 ODIs at an average of 33.37. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaTributes also poured in from other international stars with former South Africa captain Graeme Smith being among those who congratulated the two for their stellar international careers. “Congrats to @MahelaJay and @KumarSanga2 on incredible careers and what brilliant memories they gave us all,” tweeted Smith. “To @KumarSanga2 & @MahelaJay bad luck tonight but well done on your superb careers. Good luck and hope to see you both in the future!” added former Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore. Australia all-rounder Shane Watson also tweeted his appreciation for the veterans. “Sad to see @MahelaJay @KumarSanga2 leave the one day game… #Quality #Class #Humility,” Watson tweeted.