Vol. 39 No. 327
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  January 17, 2017
 This Evening
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  18 Jan, Wednesday
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150 dons crowd the ring for Mysore University VC’s Office

Mysuru, Jan. 17- Guess the number of aspirants who want to occupy the chair of Vice-Chancellor of University of Mysore (UoM)? The list of names has touched a whopping 150! Yes. The Search Committee constituted to finalise four probable names for the VC’s post has a daunting task of sifting through 150 applications and arrive at a consensus.

According to sources in the University of Mysore, 15 senior professors from the University have thrown their hats in the ring and over 100 professors, educationists and retired professors have applied for the post that fell vacant after Prof. K.S. Rangappa’s tenure as Vice-Chancellor ended on Jan. 10 after a four-year term.

Prominent among the applicants are litterateur Prof. C.P. Siddhashrama, former Mysore University Registrar Prof. C. Basavaraju, Chairman of the Department of Science and Technology Dr. V. Ravishankar Rai, prominent Dalit poet and Kannada writer Pro...more

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   Kerala Samajam to host musical concert SYMPHONY on Sunday
   Republic Day: DC holds preliminary meeting
   Private hospitals to treat BPL patients as Govt. promises to clear dues
   Bahuroopi International Multilingual Theatre Festival: Concept of love redef ined through Ishq Malangi
   Octogenarian renders delectable theatre songs


Caption: A scene from the play ‘Mejnun - Madman in Love’

If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”

— Johann von Goethe

Since I could not wait for more than one-and-half-hours for the inaugural day show of the play ‘Chitralekhe’ (Kannada) at the Bhoomigeeta mini-theatre at Rangayana’s Bahuroopi International Theatre Festival, I abandoned the challenge and bought the tickets the same evening for an english play with an aspirational title ‘Mejnun - Madman in Love’ for yesterday. The usual spelling we are familiar with about this story of star-crossed lovers in Persian (or was it in Arabic?) is ‘Laila and Majnu.’

The original play is in Uzbek, it being from Uzbekistan, a country bordering Russia, earlier part of Soviet Union. It is 96% Sunni Islam but good people with liberal approach and practice of their religion, full of tolerance to non-Muslims and minority Shia Muslims. No wonder its Constitution provides for freedom of religion.

By the way, interestingly, the word ‘Majnu’ means mad man, probably for that reason an eponymous title is given to the play. The real name of the boy is Qays ibn al-Mulawwah.

This is a one-man show with the message of Universal Love and Tolerance among mankind regardless of race, gender or religion. A noble effort with a sublime message no doubt; but like all one-man shows or even pantomimes, it becomes boring and ennui descends on you. Mercifully, it lasted just about an hour.

As I left the theatre, a thought was troubling me, the thought that despite this kind of effort to propagate peace, understanding, tolerance, brotherhood and love among mankind cutting across race and religion, why the evil of hatred persists and the good of love does not prevail?

It is said that man is always anxious, fretful when evil befalls him and grudging when good befalls him. He...more

     Feature Article  

By T.J.S. George

China has been gaining significantly in India's neighbourhood and at India's cost. Pre-occupied as we are with unprecedented internal schisms, setbacks in our external relations have not caught public attention. That only adds to the gravity of the diplomatic failures. To see how grievous they are, a glance is enough at the way we walked into a mess in Mongolia, alienated the Nepalese people and lost opportunities in Iran, all in the course of about a year.

Considering China's not-so-friendly moves against India of late, it looked like a smart move when Prime Minister Modi began sending some signals to Beijing. One was his visit to Mongolia in 2015. A bolder step followed last November when the Dalai Lama was encouraged to visit Mongolia.

China went livid with anger. Unlike in the past, China was now a big player asserting its power across the globe and having its way in almost all its strategic moves. It responded to the Mongolia-Dalai Lama-India tactic by virtually blockading Mongolia's transportation lifelines. Mountainous Mongolia is a landlocked country, sandwiched between Russia and China and dependent almost wholly on truck traffic through Chinese (Inner Mongolia) territory. To block this traffic is like strangling Mongolia.

The hapless country's first move was to appeal to India for help. No doubt it remembered the promise of $1 billion Prime Minister Modi had made during his visit. The pledge had not moved beyond the announcement stage and access to it at this juncture would mean considerable relief to Mongolia. Our Foreign Ministry responded to the friendly country's SOS by saying that it was working "to implement the credit line." Apparently nothing happened. Unable to wait, Mongolia apologised to China and said it would never welcome the Dalai Lama on its soil again. China promptly resumed talks for a $4.2 billion loan to Mongolia.

Now look at what happened when Nepal, another landlocked country, was blockad...more

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