Civil society groups in the northeast have joined extremists in calling for a boycott of the Republic Day celebration in protest against the Citizenship Bill. The Bill, if passed in the Upper House of Parliament, would shorten the claim for Indian citizenship by non-Muslims who allegedly fled religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan till December 31, 2014.In a joint statement on Wednesday, the Coordination Committee, an umbrella organisation of six Manipur-based extremist groups, the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent and the National Liberation Front of Twipra appealed to the people to shun the R-Day celebration.The Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland had issued a similar statement earlier.Claiming that the Centre staged a “legislative drama” of passing the Bill in the Lok Sabha on January 8, the outfits said the move to grant citizenship on the basis of religion was in keeping with the BJP’s “Hindutva agenda”.Organisations such as the Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur and the Mizoram-based NGO Coordination Committee, comprising five civil society and students’ groups, said they would boycott functions.Regional political parties such as the People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) have given a similar call besides deciding to hoist black flags at its offices. “We will also write to the Rajya Sabha Chairperson for ensuring the Bill’s passage is prevented,” PRISM president Vanlalruata said.In Assam, 30 organisations led by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) organised a rally on Wednesday to “shout out” the Bill. Leaders of various ethnic groups and intellectuals attended the rally and warned the Narendra Modi government of the fallout of enacting the Bill.AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi asked Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to “show some spine” and take a stand against the Bill for the sake of the indigenous people.“This is a dangerous bill, and people across the northeastern States need to come together to defeat it,” Samuel Jyrwa, president of North East Students’ Organisation, said.
Hardik Pandya, who is currently playing his first Test at Galle against Sri Lanka, recalled that the first time he met Sachin Tendulkar, he was left completely starstruck.Pandya had a good debut outing in the Indian Premier League in 2015 with Mumbai Indians and in the first season itself he played a decisive innings of right-ball 21 against Chennai Super Kings to secure the victory for Mumbai, coming to bat when the team needed 30 runs from 2 overs.Overall, Pandya scored 112 runs from 9 matches that season, with 61 not out being his highest score.The all-rounder recalled his first day in the Mumbai Indians dressing room when he was eating and Sachin came up to him and greeted him.”I was eating and I suddenly heard a hi, he tapped me and greeted me. I turned around and look at him and the plate started slipping from my hands. I kept the plate aside and went into a corner and just kept looking at him while he greeted everyone. It took me 20-25 minutes to get out of that state,” Pandya said on ‘What the Duck’ with Vikram Sathaye.Pandya went on to say that even before he debuted for India in October 2016, Sachin had told him during his season IPL season that he will soon play for India.”As soon I went to him, he first said that you’re doing well. Then, he was like ‘I shouldn’t say this to you but I am doing so. The way you’re playing and the kind of potential and talent that you have, you’ll play for India in another one to one and a half years.advertisement”I called up Krunal and when my family came to know that Sachin sir had said that (will debut for India in a year or so) to me, the environment was such that it didn’t matter anymore if I would play for India or no,” Pandya said.The India all-rounder said that after Tendulkar had said that to him, he made his India debut just 5-6 months later.Pandya is an animated character on the field and just like his captain Virat Kohli, he wears his heart on the sleeve. When asked of his imfamous expression on the field, Pandya said that it just comes naturally to him.”That’s my personality, I can’t hide my expressions. Even when I am alone and something happens, it shows on my face. People think I am a drama queen, but it’s just natural to me,” Pandya told.The all-rounder got his first Test cap on July 26, 2017 for India’s first Test against Sri Lanka in the three-match series.He has impressed on his Test debut scoring a good half-century and picking up the wicket of Nuwan Pradeep in the first innings.
The Duke of Cambridge has delivered a speech on Chinese television on the urgent work needed to combat the illegal wildlife trade.Prince William With Yao Ming, Bear Grylls and Sir David AttenboroughCredit/Copyright: DukeAndDuchessOfCambridge.orgHis Royal Highness’s speech, filmed at the Maughan Library at King’s College London, will air on CCTV1 – the station with the largest audience in China – as part of a series of programmes called Let’s Talk.The Duke is grateful to have this opportunity to explain how people around the world must work together to save some of the planet’s most critically endangered species before they are lost forever. His Royal Highness considers this issue an important test for his generation’s ability to solve the much more complex global challenges it will face in the decades to come.The Duke raised this issue with the President of China when they met in Bejing earlier this year and has been encouraged by China’s willingness to play its part in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.Before filming his speech, in front of a studio-style audience of around 80 King’s College London students and guests, The Duke of Cambridge met other participants in the programme – Sir David Attenborough, Yao Ming and Bear Grylls.Also today, the Duke of Cambridge attended the signing of a memorandum to help rangers fight poaching in Africa.The Duke was present as the Leading Chinese firm Sanpower joined United for Wildlife to support rangers in the fight against poaching in Africa.The Royal Foundation, United For Wildlife, of whom The Duke is President, and Sanpower will work together in the fight against the poaching of iconic species including elephants, rhinoceros, big cats and pangolins in Africa and the trafficking of animal body parts across borders. The unprecedented rise in the illegal wildlife trade has caused the slaughter of tens of thousands of endangered animals – 20% of the African elephant population has been killed in the last three years alone.Source:DukeAndDuchessOfCambridge.org