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Tharoor, Sibal come to Vir Das’s defence, but Singhvi slams comedian



With comedian Vir Das coming under attack after the video of his ‘I Come from Two Indias’ act at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., went viral on social media (3 million views, and counting!), he has found support from Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor, whose responses are in sharp variance to that of their party colleague, Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Sibal on Wednesday tweeted, “None can doubt that there are two Indias. Just that we don’t want an Indian to tell the world about it. We are intolerant and hypocritical.”

Thiruvananthapuram MP and noted writer Shashi Tharoor also took to Twitter to say: “A stand-up comedian who knows the real meaning of the term ‘stand up’ is not physical but moral — @thevirdas spoke for millions in this 6-minute take on the Two Indias he hails from & stands up for.”

Tharoor quoted Das’s line, “This is a joke, but it’s just not funny”, and added “Brilliant”.

These reactions were very different from that of Singhvi, who tweeted: “Generalising the evils of a few individuals and vilifying the nation as a whole in front of the world is just not done! The people who painted India in front of the west as a nation of ‘saperas’ and ‘luteras’ during colonial rule have not ceased to exist.”

In the six-minute video, which has provoked police complaints being filed in Delhi and Mumbai, the comedian zeroed in on the duality of India. “I come from an India where we worship women during the day and gang-rape them during the night,” he had said. He also mentioned some of the recent issues that India is facing, from the Covid-19 pandemic to farmers’ protests.

The police complaints accuse him of making “derogatory statements” against India.

The comedian later stated on Twitter that ‘I Come from Two Indias’ was not intended to insult the country. “The video is a satire about the duality of two very separate Indias that do very different things,” he said in a statement. “Like any nation has light and dark, good and evil within it. None of this is a secret.”


India Weather Update For July 17: Heavy Rainfall To Continue In Several States, Red Alert Issued In Kerala




Heavy rainfall is expected to continue in several parts of India, however the July 17 spotlight is on Kerala. The district administrations of eight districts in Kerala including – Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Palakkad, Thrissur, Idukki, Alappuzha, and Kottayam- have ordered the closure of educational institutions in their respective districts on Wednesday, July 17. The weather department has warned fishermen against going fishing on the Kerala-Karnataka-Lakshadweep coasts. 

Meanwhile, IMD has issued an Orange alert in- Saurashtra, Kutch, Gujarat, East Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Maharashtra, Karnataka, Puducherry, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Maharashtra, Konkan Goa, Uttarakhand on July 17. IMD has issued yellow alert in Vidarbha region, Telangana, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura on July 17.

IMD said Moderate flash flood risk likely over few watersheds & neighbourhoods of southern parts of Saurashtra & Kutch, Konkan & Goa adjoining Madhya Maharashtra, Coastal Karnataka adjoining SI Karnataka and Kerala & Mahe adjoining extreme north western parts (Nilgiri & Coimbatore districts) of Tamil Nadu – Pudu & Karaikal Met Sub-divisions during next 24 hours.

Surface runoff or inundation may occur at some fully saturated soils & low-lying areas over AoC as shown in map due to expected rainfall occurrence in next 24 hours.

IMD forecast for rainfall in India in the month of July 2014

Monthly rainfall over the country as a whole during July 2024 is most likely to be above normal (>106 % of LPA). During July, normal to above normal rainfall is most likely over most parts of the country except many parts of northeast India and some parts of northwest, east and southeast peninsular India where below normal rainfall is likely.

Import points to keep in mind in areas where heavy rainfall is expected

1) Localized Flooding of roads, water logging in low lying areas and closure of underpasses mainly in urban areas of the above region.

2) Occasional reduction in visibility due to heavy rainfall.

3) Disruption of traffic in major cities due to water logging in roads leading to increased travel time.

4) Minor damage to kutcha roads.

5) Possibilities of damage to vulnerable structure.

6) Localized Landslides/Mudslides/landslips/mud slips/land sinks/mud sinks.

7) Damage to horticulture and standing crops in some areas due to inundation.

8) It may lead to riverine flooding in some river catchments (for riverine flooding please visit Web page of CWC)

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PM Modi Set To Lay Foundation Stone Of Projects Worth Over Rs 29,400 Crore In Mumbai Today




New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to embark on his visit to Mumbai, Maharashtra today.

This will be Narendra Modi’s first visit to Mumbai since taking the oath as Prime Minister for the third consecutive term on June 9, following the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s victory in the Lok Sabha polls.

About PM Modi’s Visit To Mumbai

Around 5:30 p.m., the Prime Minister will arrive at the NESCO Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, Mumbai, where he will launch, dedicate to the nation, and lay the foundation stone for multiple projects related to the road, railways, and ports sector worth more than Rs 29,400 crore.

At approximately 7 p.m., Prime Minister Modi will visit the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) Secretariat at G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai to inaugurate the INS Towers. The new INS building will fulfil the evolving needs of INS members for a modern and efficient office space in Mumbai, serving as the nerve centre for the newspaper industry in the city.

The Prime Minister is also set to lay the foundation stone for tunnel work at the Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR) Project, worth over Rs 6,300 crore.

About The Goregaon Mulund Link Road Project

The GMLR envisages road connectivity from the Western Express Highway at Goregaon to the Eastern Express Highway at Mulund. The total length of the GMLR is approximately 6.65 kilometres and will provide direct connectivity for the Western suburbs to the new proposed airport at Navi Mumbai and the Pune-Mumbai Expressway.

Prime Minister Modi will also lay the foundation stone for the Kalyan Yard Remodelling and Gati Shakti Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal at Turbhe in Navi Mumbai. The Kalyan Yard will help in the segregation of long-distance and suburban traffic.

The remodelling will increase the yard’s capacity to handle more trains, reducing congestion and improving the efficiency of train operations. The Gati Shakti Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal in Navi Mumbai will be built on an area of more than 32,600 sq m and will provide additional employment opportunities to the local people, serving as an additional terminal for handling cement and other commodities.

The Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the new platforms at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and the extension of Platforms No. 10 and 11 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Station. The new, longer platforms at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus can accommodate longer trains, allowing for more passengers per train and improving the station’s capacity to handle increased traffic. Platforms No. 10 and 11 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Station have been extended by 382 meters with a cover shed and washable apron, augmenting the trains to up to 24 coaches and thus increasing passenger capacity.

Prime Minister Modi will also launch the Mukhyamantri Yuva Karya Prashikshan Yojana with an outlay of around Rs 5,600 crore. This transformative internship program aims to address youth unemployment by providing opportunities for skill enhancement and industry exposure for youth aged 18 to 30 years.

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Assam Floods: Death Toll Rises To 106, Situation Remains Grim; Visuals Surface




Guwahati: The flood situation in Assam remained grim on Saturday even though the water levels have started receding in many parts of the state, officials said.

The India Meteorological Department’s Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) in Guwahati has said that moderate rainfall is very likely to occur at most places of Assam with isolated heavy to very heavy rain likely over Kokrajhar district.

“Low to moderate flash flood risk is likely over few watersheds and neighbourhoods of Arunachal Pradesh and southern parts of Assam and Meghalaya,” it added.

Details Revealed By A Report By The Assam State Disaster Management Authority

Meanwhile, a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Friday night said that seven more people lost their lives and over 12.33 lakh people are reeling under the deluge across 23 districts.

The total number of people losing their lives in this year’s flood, landslide, storm and lightning has increased to 106. Dhubri is the worst hit with over 3.18 lakh people affected, followed by Cachar with almost 1.5 lakh people and Golaghat with more than 95,000 people reeling under flood waters, it added.

“Flood water is receding in many parts of the state. As the rain has stopped in most areas, the condition is likely to improve further,” a senior official of ASDMA said.

The administration has been operating 316 relief camps and relief distribution centres in 18 districts, taking care of 2,95,651 displaced people at present.

The state government has distributed 3,621.01 quintals of rice, 666.3 quintals of dal, 6,266.61 quintals of salt and 11,446.82 litres of mustard oil among the flood victims of the state during the last 24 hours.

Impact Of Floods On The State

At present, 2,406 villages are under water and 32,924.32 hectares of crop areas have been damaged across Assam, the ASDMA said.

Embankments, roads, bridges and other infrastructure have been damaged by flood waters in many districts across the state.

At present, the mighty Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark at Nimatighat, Tezpur and Dhubri. Its tributaries Burhidihing at Chenimari and Disang at Nanglamuraghat are flowing above the danger level. The Barak river’s tributary Kushiyara is also flowing above the danger mark at Karimganj town, ASDMA said.

On account of widespread flooding, over 6,67,175 domestic animals and poultry are affected across the state.

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