Fresh landslides kill 5 in Bangladesh The death toll rose to five with the recovery of two more bodies in a rain-hit landslide in Ri-Bhoi district today, while a child was killed in a separate landslide in Meghalaya.While three persons were killed in the landslide at Umiam industrial area yesterday, bodies of two missing women were found this afternoon, SP Ramesh Singh said.All the five persons belonged to two families, he said.Nine injured persons were admitted to hospital.He said the incident took place at around 5 a.m. when the people were asleep inside the makeshift quarters of a sawmill at the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation area.In another landslide at Mawjrong in East Khasi Hills district one child was killed yesterday, a delayed report said. The parents of the victim escaped with minor injuries, police said.The incessant rain in the past 48 hours have triggered several landslides in the state causing extensive damage in several roads.Also Read
A controversy erupted during elections to the office of the President in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly on Monday when a Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA got into an altercation with the legislators of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha ( GJM) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).TMC MLA Paresh Pal took a swipe at the GJM MLAs saying that after setting the hills on fire they have come to Kolkata to vote. Rohit Sharma, the GJM MLA from Kurseong dared the Trinamool MLA to come to the hills and make the statement.After BJP MLA and State president Dilip Ghosh intervened, Mr Pal directed his ire towards him.“It is because of him, Dilip Ghosh that the hills are on fire…You are being spared because of the mercy of Mamata di, otherwise we would have taught you a lesson,” Mr Pal, who represent Beleghata Assembly segment in north Kolkata said.”We are aware of the fact that Darjeeling is on boil. But we are colleagues and we should have mutual respect for each other. Shouting and accusing shows the mentality,” GJM MLA from Darjeeling Amar Singh Rai said.Dilip Ghosh said that such language was unimaginable, coming from a lawmaker.
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Dressed in the team jersey, footballfans in Kolkata cheer for their favourite team, BrazilYou’ve got to love India for the way it loves football. There is no Indian team in the World Cup; and yet, for many Indians, life has ground to a delicious halt for the month-long duration of,Dressed in the team jersey, footballfans in Kolkata cheer for their favourite team, BrazilYou’ve got to love India for the way it loves football. There is no Indian team in the World Cup; and yet, for many Indians, life has ground to a delicious halt for the month-long duration of the tournament. Unlike in 2006-when Vikash Dhorasoo, a Mauritian descended from Andhra labourers indentured in the 19th century, made his improbable way on to the roster of France-there isn’t a single player of Indian origin in any of the 32 squads on view in Brazil.Amid the legions of naturalised players representing countries other than the ones in which they (or their parents) were born, there are Congolese players playing for Belgium, Albanians for Switzerland, Jamaicans for England, Turks for Germany, Surinamese for The Netherlands, Senegalese for France, Guinea-Bissauans for Portugal, Icelanders for the United States.But there is no ethnic Indian in sight- on any team, from anywhere-even though there can scarcely be a country where Indians have not settled in numbers. And yet, India is agog, watching the World Cup through late nights and early mornings with a passion that is truly impressive, even slightly mad. At an emotional and spiritual level, this should make Indians a special people. At least with regard to football, we are not narrow nationalists. I wanted to set up a business call with a colleague in Delhi and he pleaded, “Please, no, not then, I’ll be watching Colombia.” This was a country in which the man in question had never set foot, whose music (I can reliably state) he’d never heard, whose language he does not speak, and yet…missing even a small part of the game mattered. Colombia mattered because Colombia was playing football in the World Cup, and that was that. There is a purity of devotion in the heart of the Indian football aficionado that comes from being unsullied by merely patriotic impulses. This is what makes the Indian football fan so much more noble than the Indian cricket fan, who cares only for the Indian cricket team (a victorious Indian cricket team, preferably), and who would rather die a slow death than watch New Zealand play Sri Lanka, or England play South Africa.advertisementEvery four years, when the football World Cup starts to sizzle, Indian fans are faced with a question that fans in Brazil or England, Argentina or The Netherlands, do not ever face: Who to support? Not for Indians the electric pleasure of watching their team emerge from the tunnel, hair gelled, chins astubble, chests puffed with pride as the national anthem plays out to the world. Not for Indians the delight of having strangers from other lands come up to them, mouthing (and mangling) the names of Indian players in gestures of admiration and fandom. Not for Indians the panning of the cameras to Indian sections of a World Cup crowd, alighting on the faces of lovely Indian girls, painted Indian diehard fans, troops of men beating Indian drums. India, a billion-strong, is absent from the spectacle. We had a chance to be a part of all this, in 1950, when the Indian team was invited to the last World Cup held in Brazil. But the men who ran the Indian football federation, to their eternal damnation, chose not to send a team that would likely have acquitted itself well. They deemed the damage to their precious budgets to be too high.India-and Indian football-has been paying for that shortsightedness, that cosmic niggardliness, forever after. Those were years when India was the India of global under-confidence, of an inward-looking provincialism, when competition was frowned upon by the elites who governed the country. This aversion to competition afflicted our business, our industry, our trade… our football. And now that we are ready to compete with the world, we find that we cannot, except in those areas where we have a special advantage, such as cricket, with its small field of countries against which the game might be played.We are still appalling at most truly global competitions: Our universities aren’t world-class; our scientific R&D is mediocre, as is our defence technology; our industries are uncompetitive; our military fit for battle only against paltry Pakistan (and China knows this); our diplomats can barely speak English (let alone Russian or Arabic)… and our football team is ranked 154th in the world, one place above Singapore, one place behind Malaysia.But our football fans should be ranked close to, or at, No. 1, for they are the closest one gets to the platonic ideal of a football-lover. Not wedded to a team by blood or flag, they pick their favourites independently. An Indian family might have a father who supports Brazil, a son who shouts for a Spain, a daughter who swoons for Italy, a mother who admires Argentina. Brazil has long been an Indian passion, in part because its players play the game with such rollicking panache, but also because there is a sense that Brazil, somehow, is like India: A big, unruly, Third World country with colossal income disparity and cities seething with slums. It helps, perhaps, that some Brazilians even look a bit like us. But when we look at their football crowds, and their women, we know that there are few countries in the world that are as unlike India as Brazil. We gape at their sexual frankness, their startlingly different moral codes, and we know that all comparisons, all likenesses, have limits.advertisementIn the end, what the Indian fan looks for in a World Cup team is not an echo of himself or his country, but a history of excellence and a recognisable sporting idiom that appears to transcend national boundaries. Brazil plays football in a way that invites the whole world to watch. Recent Spanish teams have played that way, too, as have some of the more successful Argentine sides of the modern era. England, by contrast, and Germany (or, to be fair, the Germany of about 10 years ago) have both been teams that tailor their appeal to their own compatriots. Flair is an important part of global appeal, efficiency and grit less so. Which is not to say that Indian fans aren’t quietly envious of people from countries that aren’t in the top tier, and yet, by sheer dint of effort, send teams to World Cups: Costa Rica. Algeria. Greece. Bosnia and Herzegovina. South Korea. United States. Honduras. Iran.For the truth is that the Indian fan is acutely embarrassed every four years by the resounding absence of India from the World Cup, even as he is exhilarated by the matches between old favourites. Just as players from other lands are household names in his own country, the Indian fan yearns for the day when Indian players will command global attention, serving as better ambassadors for India than the legions of suits in embassies around the world. Watching football is a complex business when the World Cup comes around. We are uplifted by the play we see, by the rugged beauty on display. But we also feel very small as we watch, a nation cut down to size.Tunku Varadarajan is a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution