1) Imran Khan must focus on harmony
Being a neighbouring citizen, I would like to congratulate Imran Khan. I hope, he will manage Pakistan the way he managed the Cricket team as the Captain. I think the country is more important than Cricket. Let’s hope India and Imran’s government can sort out bigger issues and bring peace to the region. Both countries are going through a rough time. He should focus on bringing in more harmony between the two countries. I hope he will keep his all promises in upcoming time as well as ‘If India takes one step towards us, we will take two.’
– Azim Zafar
2) Blood Moon — 21st century’s longest lunar eclipse
A blood-red moon dazzled star gazers across much of the world on July 27-28 when it moved into Earth’s shadow for the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century. From the Cape of Good Hope to the Middle East, and from the Kremlin to Sydney Harbour, thousands of people turned their eyes to the stars to watch the moon, which turned dark before shining orange, brown and crimson in the shadow.
When the moon moves into the conical shadow of the earth, it goes from being illuminated by the sun to being dark. Some light, though, will still reach it because it is bent by the earth’s atmosphere. It is called a blood moon because the light from the sun goes through the earth’s atmosphere on its way to the moon, and the earth’s atmosphere turns it red in the same way that when the sun goes down it goes red.
The total eclipse lasted 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, though a partial eclipse preceded and follows, meaning the moon will spend a total of nearly 4 hours in the Earth’s umbral shadow. The fullest eclipse was visible from Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia and Australia though clouds blocked out the moon in some places.
Mars is traveling closer to earth than it has done since 2003, so some observers may see what looks like an orange-red star and is, in fact, the red planet. It is a very unusual coincidence to have a total lunar eclipse and Mars at opposition on the same night.
The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of its orbit means it normally passes above or below the Earth’s shadow and so most months we have a full moon without an eclipse. When the three celestial bodies are perfectly lined up, however, the Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light from the sun while refracting or bending red light onto the moon, usually giving it a rosy blush. This is what gives the phenomenon blood moon and it depends partly on how cloudy or transparent those parts of the Earth’s atmosphere are which enable sunlight to reach the moon.
I was looking forward to witness the spectacular phenomenon, but I dozed off, when I woke up, it was 04.00 am. I felt a sense of loss, an irrevocable one. We miss a lot in our everyday lives, we miss reacting against open rebuke towards humanity, and we forget to say thanks to favours received and many more happenings of importance. I often felt we suffer due to our disregard for our fellow beings. We litter our surroundings, we pollute our environment, we suck the ambitions, the livelihood of companions, we do inexcusable harm to all flora and fauna, be it voluntary or involuntary, the missed event of full moon left me in a state of remorse.
– Nickhil Krishnan
3) Smoother ride
The nature’s fury should be countered by proper disaster management readiness. Mumbai need proper cleaning of drainage system before the onset of monsoon and the use of plastic should be prevented totally so that it will not gets struck up in drainage system and cause flooding in city roads. Thus, the roads are flooded with rain water and we do not where the impending danger exists. Road work is incomplete and as in the past face many pot holes and craters on the main road and it is a serious threat for road users. While walking across the roads, we encounter potholes and craters. Then the position of drivers riding on these roads will be a pathetic one. More money is spent and futile exercises are taking place but the ultimate result is misery for road users. People expect a smoother ride in the days to come.
– Jayanthy S. Maniam
4) Non-functional portals
Union Ministry of Corporate affairs deserves all compliments for developing a user-friendly website for Investor-Education-and-Protection-Fund IEPF for shareholders of various companies whose unclaimed shares, dividends etc. might have been transferred to (IEPF) because of lying unclaimed for three years or more. The website has a system to fill Form-Number IEPF-5 for making such claims on website itself, and to submit on-line. But presently button for submission is disabled. There are also errors in web links to submit complaints or to get registered as a user. Even web link providing information on unclaimed shares and dividends is also not working. Complaints and documents e-mailed at email@example.com provided by helpline-phone 0124-4832500 are not entertained with a reply that these are to be submitted on-line. Union Ministry of corporate affairs and IEPF should take instant steps to rectify all defects in IEPF website.
– Madhu Agrawal
5) Best Parliamentarian Award
It refers to the President of India on August 1, 2018, giving Best Parliamentarian Awards clubbed for five years together for the years 2013 to 2017 with two of five awards going to BJP Parliamentarians and one each to Parliamentarians from Congress, BJD and TMC. Evidently, such usual practice of clubbing these awards for several years is done towards a please-all-policy where Parliamentarians this time are selected two from ruling party, one from main opposition Congress, one from third-front and one from a non-aligned party. A similar practice of please-all-policy was adopted was adopted for the awards clubbed for the years 2007 to 2009 and 2010 to 2012. Recipients of this award are usually veteran Parliamentarians who have been either a former or present minister or a leader of an opposition-group as if only floor-leaders and front-bench members are eligible to be honoured with Best-Parliamentarian-Award. The big question is why these awards are not awarded each year rather than being clubbed for several years just for political unanimity.
If the Parliamentary Committee set up for the purpose really wants to motivate members to be good Parliamentarians, it should select the awardees through a properly drafted computerised system by a point-system for various qualities required in an ideal Parliamentarian. Rather new and young Parliamentarians should be encouraged for better performance by giving them preference for being selected as Best-Parliamentarian on regular basis rather accumulating awards for more than one year.
Wit and humour in Parliamentary proceedings as once desired by Prime Minister are need of time. There was a time when two Houses of Indian Parliament used to function rather smoothly without wasting much by interruptions because of sense of humour by Parliamentarians like Pilu Modi or Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Once, the then opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee challenged the then prime minister Indira Gandhi for a public-debate at Ramlila Grounds, New Delhi. Mrs Gandhi tried to avoid by saying that Hindi of Vajpayee was beautiful. Lok Sabha was in full laughter with instant response from Vajpayee and that was Indira Gandhi in herself was beautiful.
– Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)