“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” – Coco Chanel was once quoted as saying. A unique new international fashion event is now aiming to put the …Read More »
Oscar-winner Meryl Streep has thrown her not-insignificant support the controversial film ‘India’s Daughter’, saying it deserves an Academy Award.
The film, which depicts the horrific gang-rape and murder of a medical student on a Delhi bus in December 2012, was banned in India earlier this year but has just opened across the United States to great acclaim.
Streep introduced the documentary at its U.S. theatrical release in New York City on Wednesday night and said it was worthy of the movie industry's highest honour.
"I'm on the campaign now to get her nominated for best documentary," said Streep, speaking of the film's director, Leslee Udwin.
The hour-long film chronicles the gang rape of Jyoti Singh Pandey, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student.
Ms Pandey and a friend had been out to see a movie when the pair were lured on to a bus where a group of men proceeded to carry out a horrific assault which caused outrage around the world.
Ms Pandey died after her assailants pushed a metal rod inside her and pulled out her intestines.
"When I first saw [the film] I couldn’t speak afterwards," Streep said.
The film draws on extensive footage of an interview in jail with one of the attackers, Mukesh Singh, who blamed the victim for being out in the evening with a male friend.
"A decent girl won't roam around at nine o'clock at night," he says. "A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy."
Sentenced to death, he has appealed his verdict along with three other convicted assailants also on death row.
The documentary, scheduled for broadcasting in 2012 in India, was banned while Udwin was in the country promoting it, the director said during a talk following its screening.
In a statement, the government warned that certain excerpts "appear to encourage and incite violence against women."
The movie will open in U.S. theaters on October 23 nationwide, promoter Christine Merser said.
Screenings are also scheduled in a handful of countries from Iceland to China.
Udwin said she had found hope in the outpouring of support following Singh's rape but was dismayed at the timid outcry after a 4-year-old girl was raped and beaten with stones in New Delhi earlier this month.
"Why are people not out on the streets now?" she said.
There were 33,764 victims of rape in India in 2013 according to the country's National Crime Records Bureau.Read More »
An ascendant Hindu nationalist group wants minority Muslims and Christians to accept that India is a nation of Hindus, and is pushing some of them to convert. An election in the volatile state of West Bengal has become a prime target in its game plan. The group’s strategy: To spread …Read More »
Indo-British author Salman Rushdie has slammed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s failure to condemn a spate of attacks on free speech, saying it is giving rise to “thuggish violence” in the country. Rushdie said in a television interview the Hindu nationalist prime minister’s silence over a rise in attacks on …Read More »
The ‘Naked Chef’ Jamie Oliver has landed in India. The restaurateur, food campaigner and media tycoon, known for his earthy personality, rustic cooking and wars on below-par school meals and obesity-inducing food habits is getting in on India’s booming eating-out scene with two openings in Delhi. Jamie’s Italian, which serves …Read More »
The murder of a Muslim man over rumours he consumed beef has fuelled a fierce debate over India’s rising intolerance towards religious minorities, with President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday calling for a tradition of tolerance to be defended. Since Mohammed Akhlaq was beaten to death in his home in Uttar …Read More »
The leaders of India and Germany pledged on Monday to revive efforts to reach an Indo-European free trade pact after talks fell apart this year, and struck deals to promote clean energy and make it easier to do business.
Although Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi made no mention in conversations with journalists of resuming talks on a free trade agreement between India and the European Union, it was perhaps the most significant "deliverable" of her trip to New Delhi.
The leaders "committed themselves to bringing about the earliest possible resumption of talks", said a joint statement issued after their three-hour talks.
Asia's third-largest economy has been relatively insulated from a slump in global trade, but Modi still needs to boost exports for his pitch to investors to "Make in India" to create skilled jobs for millions of young Indians.
Germany, Europe's largest economy, is looking to expand its presence in India to compensate for a slowdown in China.
Merkel's delegation was joined by bosses from household names like Siemens, Airbus, E.ON and Thyssenkrupp.
The trade talks have been on ice since earlier this year when India walked out in a row over exports of generic drugs to the European Union.
Germany, a world leader in renewable energy, will also provide more than 2 billion euros (£1.6 billion) in aid for solar projects and green energy corridors - or high-efficiency power grids - as part of a broader push for sustainable development.
The assistance, part of a raft of agreements signed in New Delhi, dovetails with efforts to bind India into a global debate that will culminate in the COP21 climate change summit in December.
"We look forward to a concrete outcome at COP21 in Paris that strengthens the commitment and the ability of the world, especially of poor and vulnerable countries, to transition to a more sustainable growth path," Modi told reporters.
India, the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, was the last major country to submit its energy strategy ahead of the U.N. climate conference.
India's energy plan seeks to boost energy efficiency but makes no commitment to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases - reflecting its view that richer nations bear most responsibility for global warming.
Responding, Merkel said: "We have understood, Prime Minister, that climate protection needs to be embraced by the people - who also have to reap a benefit."
India and Germany also signed an agreement to fast-track business approvals, providing German firms with a single point of contact to help them navigate a web of red tape that often thwarts initiative.Read More »
India has outstripped the United States and China as the world’s biggest foreign direct investment destination, attracting more than $31 billion in investments in the first half of this year, compared with China’s $28 billion and $27 billion for the US. Finance minister Arun Jaitley, unsurprisingly, was quick to …Read More »
India launched its first space research observatory and several U.S. satellites on Monday, part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive to expand his country’s influence in the competitive, £200 billion global space industry. The observatory, named ASTROSAT, will help Indian scientists intensify space exploration efforts by studying distant celestial objects …Read More »
“These people will kill you,” Nikhil Wagle, a prominent journalist in India, says as he discusses reports of him being named as a target by a member of a hard-line Hindu group who is being questioned by police over the murder of a writer. The Mumbai-based journalist is no stranger …Read More »