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Mijwan goes international

“At a time when Azamgarh is being maligned as ‘Aatankgarh’, it’s a huge thing that tiny Mijwan is bringing the area so much glory,” said Shabana on her way to Tampa to attend the IIFA Awards.


Manish Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha

Azmi was referring to the fact that following on the heels of her Men For Mijwan Fashion Show in Mumbai on April 1, which saw superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Akshay Kumar walk the ramp, showcasing the famous embroidery of the women of the village on clothes designed by Manish Malhotra, The Mijwan Collection by Manish Malhotra is now being showcased at IIFA ROCKS in Tampa USA on April 24 2014. Leading film stars from Bollywood such as Anil Kapoor, Sidharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha will be walking the ramp for Mijwan Welfare Society, showcasing the exquisite chikankari of Mijwan women. Azmi says, “This wonderful collaboration is not underlined just with financial investment but also the time spent on refining and reviving the art form. A craft that has been around for years is being brought into the limelight by giving it a characteristic “nowness”, reflecting Manish’s signature contemporary design aesthetic.”


Anil Kapoor, Sidharth Malhotra and Shabana Azmi

And the cherry on the cake will be that three outfits worn on the ramp will be auctioned at the show. All proceeds will go to Mijwan Welfare Society.

Nice!

Rats! It’s social media
And though social media networks are effective in separating the wheat from the chaff, sometimes they can create untold damage. Last week a video clip that found much circulation on YouTube created a stir when it showed a rat merrily munching away at a display of pastries at a snack bar. Erroneously, it was cited to be an eatery at Mumbai’s newly built and much acclaimed Terminal 2 and soon the mistake was set right by T2’s efficient communications team at GVK but not before it had created a storm in a pastry cup.


Sanjay Reddy PIC/AFP

Understandably, GVK’s MD, Sanjay Reddy responded with alacrity and alarm, “I had always believed in the power of social media as it connects people so beautifully and helps them exchange views and thoughts,” he said, “But all good things have a darker side and we learnt it the hard way. A mischievous video went viral, which showed a rat eating away to glory at a food joint wrongly alleged to be at CSIA T2, whereas it was at another airport. Interestingly the video was shot a year ago, whereas the senders claimed it to have been shot a few hours ago.”

“Though we tried to inform those who we could connect with, but it gives nightmare to reach out to everyone, who may get this video.”

And for the record, the offending video was shot in an outlet which does not even feature at the Mumbai terminal. “It appears to be from a Terminal in Trivandrum,” said the company spokesperson.

Strange bedfellows
It’s been said before but nothing proves the phrase ‘politics makes strange bedfellows’ than this picture featuring a bunch of very different personalities strung together by their support for Narendra Modi.


Eminent personalities at Rang Sharda, Bandra supporting Narendra Modi

‘At a press interaction organised by Shri Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Ms Shaina NC at Rang Sharda today, 15 eminent personalities signed an appeal endorsing Shri Narendra Modi for Prime Ministership,’ says the marketing spiel, which carries a spirited endorsement from the likes of film actor Vivek Oberoi, economist and academician Dr Abhay Pethe, lawyer Satish Maneshinde, musician and singer Kaushal S Inamdar, Dalit poet Arjun Dangle, educationist Manju Nichani, actor Manoj Joshi, artist Durga Jasraj, holistic expert Mickey Mehta and film maker Ashok Pandit, amongst others.

“The nation is passing through an extremely difficult and challenging situation. The grave crisis of leadership is for everybody to see,” they write. And though we’d never really cared to consider their political leanings, seeing them all together it occurred to us that birds of feather flock together.

Brooks no criticism
Even as the Modi caravan is going full steam ahead and will stop only at 7 Race Course road if his supporters are to be believed, it would be prudent to recall the words of fellow journalist and highly regarded political commentator Aakar Patel, whose writings on the subject have stood apart for their incisiveness and honesty. “Narendra Modi critics, expect no quarter and no mercy,” he writes in a recent piece much circulated on social networking sites in which he writes about the BJP leader’s response to critics. “Let it be said of Narendra Modi that he is petty, that he does not forget easily, and that he never forgives,” says Patel and goes on to cite the Gujarat CM’s vindictiveness towards IPS officer Rahul Sharma who courageously tracked the movements of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) thugs who participated in the rioting. He did so by going to mobile phone operators and securing data from their signal towers to track cell phones. “This is how we came to establish that Modi’s minister for women and child development, Maya Kodnani, was involved in the murder of 97 Gujaratis, among them 33 children and 32 women, in Naroda Patiya, Ahmedabad,” writes Patel, adding, “Sharma should have been decorated for his initiative, but instead he is persecuted; Modi charged him under the Official Secrets Act.”


Narendra Modi

Patel cites other instances of this vindictiveness: Modi’s campaign against Teesta Setalvad and even his actions against the TOI of yore.

“Like all tyrants, Narendra Modi has a fundamentally primitive view of criticism,” says Patel.

How long before the long reach of authoritarianism puts paid to all such independent views? Here’s looking at you NaMo, may you prove the worst fears of your critics wrong.

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