Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Babu plays Obama in AP elections


2009

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 30: Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu is now projecting himself as the Barack Obama of Andhra Pradesh, the leader who is all set to bring the "much needed change" in politics and governance.

Though Chandrababu Naidu served as the chief minister of the State for nine years, he now insists that "it's time for change and saying good-bye to poverty". To drive home his message, the TD supremo has posed himself ala Barack Obama with a neat suit, a tie and trimmed beard.

The picture of "modern Babu" is posted on the Telugu Desam's official website exclusively meant for the Telugu-speaking people settled in the UK and other parts of Europe. The photograph also carries the historic Charminar in the backdrop stressing the message that Chandrababu Naidu is the link between ancient values
and modernity, and the change leader of Andhra Pradesh.

Chandrababu Naidu is never known to sport suit in public. Even during the visit of then US President Bill Clinton to the city, Chandrababu Naidu was in his regular attire. Interestingly, Telugu Desam's website for the general public has the pictures of Chandrababu Naidu in his usual dress, while the one posted in the website for Telugu NRIs mimics Barack Obama.

"It is a matter of great pride that the people of Andhra Pradesh are the driving force and at the forefront of the IT services industry the world over including the United Kingdom and Europe. Undoubtedly this has been achieved due to our relentless efforts between 1995 and 2004. And you have seen what has happened to the State after the TD government stepped down," says Chandrababu Naidu urging voters to "welcome prosperity and eradicate corruption".

Chandrababu Naidu also projects himself as the "next chief minister" of Andhra Pradesh saying that people in the State are waiting for change and the general election has come handy for them to seek development "by voting for the Telugu Desam".

Monday, 30 March 2009

Change daily routine to stop cancer

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 29: People, who change their daily routine frequently, are
less susceptible to the killer cancer.

In an interesting study on mouse model, a US team, which included a
Hyderabadi scientist Shobhan Gaddameedhi, has found that disruption of the
biological clock is in fact helpful at least in prevention of cancers, though the
risk of obesity and sleep disorders still persist.

The study has also revealed that the time of the day that chemotherapy drugs
are administered to cancer patients will actually determine their efficacy and
effectiveness as also the extent of side effects.

Every living creature including human beings have a hidden mechanism
called the body's circadian or biological clock that takes care of various vital
functions, both physiological and biological. So far scientists believed that
any disruption of this mechanism will have bad impact on one's health. But
the present study negates the existing belief and establishes that a change in
the circadian clock will help at least in preventing the growth of cancer cells.

"The results have important implications for cancer treatment. Our body's
daily rhythms are synchronised with the sun and coordinated by the body's
circadian clock. While a region of the brain operates as the master biological
clock, the system is complex and operates in virtually every cell of the body.
It regulates our sleep, body temperature, eating habits and activity level,"
says Dr Shobhan.

The team found that the extracts obtained from mouse brains in the morning
repaired damaged DNA samples six to seven times faster than those taken at
night. To find out the exact mechanism behind it, the scientists analysed the
levels of six core excision repair proteins over a 24-hour period.

Levels of one DNA damage repair protein called xeroderma pigmentosa A
(XPA) proved to be much higher in the mouse brains during the day than at
night. To confirm that reduced excision repair at night was affected by low
levels of XPA, the scientists added known amounts of XPA to the extracts.

"Adding extra XPA to the samples taken at night increased their ability to
repair damaged DNA samples. In contrast, for samples collected in the
morning, the extra XPA had little effect on the ability to repair damaged
DNA. These results support the idea that DNA repair depends at least in part
on fluctuating levels of XPA," Dr Shobhan said adding that by hitting cancer
cells with chemotherapy at a time when their ability to repair themselves is
minimal, one can maximise effectiveness and minimise side effects of
treatment.

The new study found that genetically altering one of four essential biological
clock genes actually suppressed cancer growth in a mouse model. Further
research will help doctors to reset the internal clock of each cancer cell to
render it more vulnerable to attack with chemotherapeutic drugs.

"Adjusting the clock in this way could certainly be a new target for cancer
treatment. Our study indicates that interfering with the function of these
clock genes in cancer tissue may be an effective way to kill cancer cells and
could be a way to improve upon traditional chemotherapy," said team head
Dr Aziz Sancar.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Stars speak for Mayawati

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 26: Favourable star positions will make Mayawati, J Jayalalitaa and Nitish Kumar emerge "stronger" this general election. Stars, however do not seem to favour politicians like Lalu Prasad Yadav, M Karunanidhi and Mamata Benerjee. Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh will "continue to play an important role" in Uttar Pradesh politics.

Astrological predictions point out that Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati (Shravana 4 (moon) Capricorn, January 15, 1956) will get the "kind of results" she has been expecting for long. According to her horoscope, the position of moon in Makar Rasi with the combination of mercury and sun, indicates budha-aditya yoga. "This translates to power hunger, individual name, authoritative attitude and she will get the results she wants. These elections will give her the kind of results she is expecting in Uttar Pradesh. She will emerge successful," says astro-psychologist SV Nagnath.

Drawing up astrological charts and analysing them with individual personalities, Nagnath, who pioneers in astro-psychology, forecasts that Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi (Mrigashira-1(mars) Taurus June 3, 1924) will not bounce back on rivals. Karunanidhi's horoscope indicates less instability and loyalty. The social and political planet Saturn which is exalted in Tula rasi, the initiator and motivation-oriented planet Mars in Makar rasi will not help him bounce back on rivals to win the political battle. This is also due to Mercury position in Mesha rasi. The position of sun in vrishabha rasi makes him weak individually.

When his horoscope is compared with that of AIADMK leader Jayalalitaa, though he is equally strong, Karunanidhi will not be able to overtake Jayalalitaa this time. Jayalalithaa (Magha-1(ketu) Leo February 24, 1948) will win over rivals. The position of moon and mars in simha rasi indicates victory over rivals. This time it will be a surprising victory for her. She will become stronger in Tamil Nadu but when it comes to national politics she may not be able to influence much.

Amar Singh (Amar Singh Pushyami-1(Saturn) Cancer January 27, 1956), like Jayalalitaa will emerge as a powerful leader. But he will not attain any powerful authority. His horoscope says Amar Singh is very good at using the appropriate resources at the right place. He has a flexibility to associate and dissociate from any issue. The SP leader draws this quality from moon’s position in Karkataka rasi. "When it comes to luck and fortune his horoscope doesn’t indicate any strong vibes of him holding any authority individually. He, however, can turn out to be a good support for others," he said.

For former prime minister HD Deve Gowda (Purvabhadra-1(Jupiter) Aquarius May 18, 1933), the position of moon with rahu in kumba rasi indicates internal rivalry. The combination of planets in Deve Gowda’s horoscope makes the rival turn stronger. In the case of Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa (Anuradha-1(Saturn) Scorpio 27 February 1943), the horoscope points towards more luck than ability. His horoscope doesn't indicate any domination.

The position of sun and venus does not indicate any "good prospects" for Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad Yadav (Shatabhisha-3 (rahu) Aquarius June 11, 1947). He will not be in winning aspects this time.
His rival, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Jyestha-1 (mercury/scorpio March 1, 1951) will get the much needed support from ketu. "Ketu from simha rasi brings him the spiritual power and sudden break and success," he forecasts.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Earth Hour: Hyderabad lags behinds in nature campaign

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 26: Hyderabad is lagging behind other metros in the
country in observing Earth Hour on March 28.

Earth Hour is a global initiative by the World Wildlife Fund to express
support for action on climate change. Those participating in the Earth Hour
will switch off lights for 60 minutes on March 28 between 8.30 pm and 9.30
pm.

"We are not doing any major event in Hyderabad, though some organisations
like Sunsoft, Wipro and Microsoft have pledged support. ICICI too is
participating, but its ATMs will function," WWF India spokesperson Aarti
Khosla told this correspondent.

Though PVR Cinema is part of the campaign, its Hyderabad unit will not
switch off the lights. It will continue with its usual screenings. Prasad's Imax
too is not participating in the WWF event. Imax spokesperson Chris Kishan
said "last year we participated in the event. But this time we are not too
keen".

ITC Kakatiya will celebrate the Earth Hour by organising a candle light
dinner from 7:30 pm to 11 pm. It also plans a candle light campaign by its
employees.

Even NGOs associated with environment campaigns are staying away. The
WWF has, however drawn up mega awareness plans in Bengaluru, Mumbai
and Delhi where its activists will spring out telling people about the need to
extend support to the fight against climate change.

"We are laying emphasis on the awareness part rather than on the quantum of
energy saved because of the switching off of lights for one hour. However,
emergency lighting, televisions and computers can stay on for the hour. The
main point of Earth Hour is to unite people, companies and governments
around the world through the symbolic flip of a switch," said Aarti.

The WWF's emphasis only on awareness is said to be one of the reasons for
NGOs and environmental groups for keeping away from the campaign. "Just
switching off power supply for one hour will not make any difference. There
should be equity distribution of energy. The rich consume more power while
the poor do not. Same is the case with rich and poor countries. Equity
distribution of energy means reduction in energy consumption. Unless we
achieve it, the mission will not turn out to be successful," said senior
environmental engineer and author Sagar Dhara.

The Earth Hour was launched on March 31, 2007 at a climate change
initiative held in Sydney, Australia. According to WWF, this March 28 one
billion people spread over 1000 cities will participate in the Earth Hour.
According to WWF, it aims at securing a new global climate treaty that will
sharply reduce emissions and ensure global average temperatures are kept
from rising beyond the dangerous threshold of 2 degrees Celsius.

Monday, 23 March 2009

YSR now blogs to beat Chandrababu Naidu in his own game

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 22: Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy has overtaken his bete noire Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu in the "hitech race" this general election to woo voters.
Rajasekhar Reddy on Sunday took to weblogging with his maiden "penpricks" recalling the famous visit of Mahatma Gandhi to South Africa, taking pot-shots at the Opposition and exuding confidence that the Congress will win the "gold medal" (bangaru pathakam) in the elections, both State Assembly and Lok Sabha.
"Mr Naidu... bends to every wind," Rajasekhar Reddy says in his first-ever political comment in his blog. He says the TD chief believes that pursuit of power is the only purpose of politics, that any somersault is fair in an election, that all policies are usable and throwable. "Even my worst critics will acknowledge that I
have done no somersaults during my time in politics".
This is one electoral score Rajasekhar Reddy made over Chandrababu Naidu, since the latter is known for his hitech publicity stunts. Though the TD supremo introduced online radio and TV webcasting important news and political events for the benefit of Telugu NRIs, Rajasekhar Reddy took him by surprising to launching his own blog.
"YES We Will" proclaims the YSR's blog, apparently as an answer to the "change" theme being talked by film actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi. No political party president in the State has his own blog, though party activists and admirers have set up websites in support of their leaders. MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi is using facebook to spread his views. Rajasekhar Reddy is the first seniormost politician to ever launch a blog. Incidentally, Rajasekhar Reddy's son and Congress candidate for Kadapa LS seat YS Jaganmohan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu's son Lokesh Naidu too maintain their own blogs.
"Mine is a simple vision: make power, water, food and education affordable, and you put money in the pockets of the poor. When the poor have money in their pockets, they will do wonders for our society. They will send their children to school, they will treat their daughters better and they will look after their health.
They will take up small enterprise and invest the surplus in the things they need most. A million small enterprises will provide work to a million jobless people. It is not only rich men who can create jobs, small entrepreneurs can create infinitely many more," writes Rajasekhar Reddy.
The Telugu Desam manages as many as a dozen websites, but none of them is devoted exclusively for general elections. Naidu has a personal website and it can be accessed through a hyperlink from the TD's website.

Numerology favours Congress in Andhra Pradesh

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 22: Numbers speak in favour of the ruling Congress in
Andhra Pradesh this general elections.
According to numerologists, Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy (YSR),
who is also the star campaigner for the Congress, has the magical number 5,
which keeps him in power for long.
"The numbers of Rajasekhar Reddy are synchronous with those of the State.
Moreover, the numbers of India, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and
those of Rajasekhar Reddy form a functional alliance. This results into a
collaboration of sorts, which will give benefits to the participants. The
numerological indications are that the Congress will form the government in
the State. The numbers also favour the party at the Centre," points out senior
astro-numerologist Chilukuri Srinivasa Murthy.
Numerologist Sharad Krushna Tripathi, patron of All-India Federation of
Astrologers' Societies, numbers are against the alliance between the Telugu
Desam and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. Chandrababu Naidu's ruling
number (6) favours him to be in the Opposition. "The formation of grand
alliance has numerologically weakened the electoral prospects of the Telugu
Desam. The ruling number of the grand alliance (mahakutami) is 1, which in
numerological parlance is ego. There will be ego clashes in the alliance," he
forecasts.
Referring to the numerological governance of TRS chief K Chandrasekhar
Rao, V Radhakrishna Murthy of Sri Laxmi Ganapathi Astro Research
Foundation, points out that KCR is ruled by No. 17 which always
predisposes the owner towards "revolt and conspiring for selfish ends".
"It will be limping for recognition," he forecasts, drawing up a numerological
chart.
"The Telugu Desam will play a major role only if it goes alone. Stratagems
are shredding its inherent power to pieces," says CL Panchal, vice-president
of Astrologers' Federation.
Numerologist LVSS Ramesh is of the view that the Praja Rajyam has a
confused ideology because of the number 27 haunting its formation. Besides,
the date and the month numbers of the party formation together (26=8+8)
created "balarishta" (bad omen).

YSR overtakes Naidu on hitech weblogging

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 22: Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy has overtaken his bete noire Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu in the "hitech race" this general election to woo voters.
Rajasekhar Reddy on Sunday took to weblogging with his maiden "penpricks" recalling the famous visit of Mahatma Gandhi to South Africa, taking pot-shots at the Opposition and exuding confidence that the Congress will win the "gold medal" (bangaru pathakam) in the elections, both State Assembly and Lok Sabha.
"Mr Naidu... bends to every wind," Rajasekhar Reddy says in his first-ever political comment in his blog. He says the TD chief believes that pursuit of power is the only purpose of politics, that any somersault is fair in an election, that all policies are usable and throwable. "Even my worst critics will acknowledge that I have done no somersaults during my time in politics".
This is one electoral score Rajasekhar Reddy made over Chandrababu Naidu, since the latter is known for his hitech publicity stunts. Though the TD supremo introduced online radio and TV webcasting important news and political events for the benefit of Telugu NRIs, Rajasekhar Reddy took him by surprising to launching his own blog.
"YES We Will" proclaims the YSR's blog, apparently as an answer to the "change" theme being talked by film actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi. No political party president in the State has his own blog, though party activists and admirers have set up websites in support of their leaders. MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi is using facebook to spread his views. Rajasekhar Reddy is the first seniormost politician to ever launch a blog. Incidentally, Rajasekhar Reddy's son and Congress candidate for Kadapa LS seat YS Jaganmohan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu's son Lokesh Naidu too maintain their own blogs.
"Mine is a simple vision: make power, water, food and education affordable, and you put money in the pockets of the poor. When the poor have money in their pockets, they will do wonders for our society. They will send their children to school, they will treat their daughters better and they will look after their health. They will take up small enterprise and invest the surplus in the things they need most. A million small enterprises will provide work to a million jobless people. It is not only rich men who can create jobs, small entrepreneurs can create infinitely many more," writes Rajasekhar Reddy.
The Telugu Desam manages as many as a dozen websites, but none of them is devoted exclusively for general elections. Naidu has a personal website and it can  be accessed through a hyperlink from the TD's website.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

World Water Day: Sea water intrusion stares at Coastal Andhra villages

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 21: Pollution in rivers, landward movement of marine water and depleting resources of ground
water coupled with climatic change haunt the people in Andhra Pradesh this World Water Day.
Andhra Pradesh, though endowed with natural water resources, is one of the geographical areas in the world
identified by water experts as "problematic". The next four decades will be crucial for the State as experts fear that
there will be severe shortage of drinking water by 2050.
The State has been witnessing a major environmental problem in the form of landward movement of sea water. The
sea is intruding into the State landwards through underground aquifiers and ground water department estimates that
the sea water has already intruded up to 30 km in the coastal belt. This in simple words means people, living in areas
where sea water-fresh water interface is witnessed, will not get potable water in wells. They get only salty water unfit
for consumption. Already several villages in Krishna, Godavari, Guntur and Prakasam districts are witnessing the
phenomenon.
"Indiscriminate construction of dams across rivers and streams is telling on the estuaries. In Krishna river sea water
is felt even up to Nagayalanka, 20 km away from the sea coast. Same is the case with the Penna river in Nellore
district. With reduced inflows into the sea, marine water is intruding into the river estuaries upsetting the
hydrological balance in nearby villages," points out senior environmental biologist Dr Duggaraju Srinivas.
Thanks to indiscriminae drilling for water, ground water levels have come down considerably in many places. While
Anantapur district is fast turning into a desert, several grey areas have emerged even in the coastal belt where
normally ground water levels are quite high. The number of wells in the State have gone up by 400 per cent in the
last four decades. Excessive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and conversion of agricultural fields into
aquaponds have further aggravated the situation. Today the State has nearly 2.5 million wells. The dependable
availability of water in the State is 2746 tmc while the utilisation is 2092 tmc.
Even as the situation is turning from bad to worse, a group of farmers has turned out to be torch bearers in remote
Telangana villages. Under a special FAO programme, thousands of farmers in nearly 1000 villages have mastered
the art of drought agriculture.
According to PS Rao, coordinator of National Land and Water Programme, use of innovative agricultural methods
by these farmers has brought a major social transformation including making women economically stronger.

No Naxal talk this general election

2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 21: For the first time in four decades there's no talk of
naxalism in general elections in Andhra Pradesh. Naxalism had dominated
every election in the State since the Naxalbari movement in late 1960s. With
the near wipe out of the Maoist movement in the State, political parties have
decided not to raise the issue in their political speeches.
Naxalism was at its peak in the last general elections in 2004 and every
political party talked of the need to address it. They even went to the extent
of levelling allegations against one another that the other side had a "tacit
understanding" with the outlawed group. The Telugu Desam had then
accused the Congress, which was in Opposition, of enjoying the support of
Naxalites. The TRS was also accused of enjoying "inside" support from
them.
Naxalites too on their part used to give "poll boycott" call forcing politicians
to enter into secret pacts with them. There has been no such boycott call from
the Maoists in the State. Only the Maoists wing in Chattisgarh, where the
Naxalites are strong, has urged the electorate not to participate in voting.
Praja Rajyam and the TRS have resurrected the Maoist talk albeit in their
manifesto. Except for the mention in the manifesto, the party leadership has
not talked of other political parties having any understanding with the
Naxalites.
"The Praja Rajyam recognises Naxalism as a socio-economic problem. We
will enter into talks with them if the PRP is elected to power in the State,"
party vice-president C Anjaneya Reddy said.
According to Intelligence reports, Maoist cadre from the State have shifted
their base to neighbouring Orissa and Chattisgarh following a strong anti-
Naxal drive in Andhra Pradesh. This has given a breather to candidates
contesting polls in interior areas, thus pushing Naxalism to the back burner
this general elections.
The Maoists suffered heavy losses in thick Nallamala forests. The AP Naxal
leaders have taken positions in Orissa and Maharashtra. But revolutionary
writer Varavara Rao is of the view that the movement will bounce back as it
did in the past, in 1972, 1975-77 and 1980. "People are with Maoists and
they will remain with them," he said.
But politicians are now a relieved lot. At least they need not indulge in
mudslinging on the Naxal issue, while they can campaign without fear in
interior areas, once dominated by the Maoists.

2009 Assembly elections: Numbers speak in favour of the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 22: Numbers speak in favour of the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh this general elections.
According to numerologists, Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy (YSR), who is also the star campaigner for the Congress, has the magical number 5, which keeps him in power for long.
"The numbers of Rajasekhar Reddy are synchronous with those of the State. Moreover, the numbers of India, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and those of Rajasekhar Reddy form a functional alliance. This results into a collaboration of sorts, which will give benefits to the participants. The numerological indications are that the Congress will form the government in the State. The numbers also favour the party at the Centre," points out senior astro-numerologist Chilukuri Srinivasa Murthy.
Numerologist Sharad Krushna Tripathi, patron of All-India Federation of Astrologers' Societies, numbers are against the alliance between the Telugu Desam and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. Chandrababu Naidu's ruling number (6) favours him to be in the Opposition. "The formation of grand alliance has numerologically weakened the electoral prospects of the Telugu Desam. The ruling number of the grand alliance (mahakutami) is 1, which in numerological parlance is ego. There will be ego clashes in the alliance," he forecasts.
Referring to the numerological governance of TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, V Radhakrishna Murthy of Sri Laxmi Ganapathi Astro Research Foundation, points out that KCR is ruled by No. 17 which always predisposes the owner towards "revolt and conspiring for selfish ends".
"It will be limping for recognition," he forecasts, drawing up a numerological chart.
"The Telugu Desam will play a major role only if it goes alone. Stratagems are shredding its inherent power to pieces," says CL Panchal, vice-president of Astrologers' Federation.
Numerologist LVSS Ramesh is of the view that the Praja Rajyam has a confused ideology because of the number 27 haunting its formation. Besides, the date and the month numbers of the party formation together (26=8+8) created "balarishta" (bad omen).

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Golden Gecko species found in Papikonda Hills

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: A team from the World Wide Fund for Nature, Hyderabad, has found Golden Gecko, a rare and endangered species, from the magnificent but severely threatened Papikonda hills abutting the river Godavari in the northern Eastern Ghats in the State.
The animal, known to scientists as Calodactylodes aureus, was previously recorded in Andhra Pradesh only from the Seshachalam hills of the southern Eastern Ghats.
According to WWF Hyderabad head Farida Tampal, this severely endangered lizard, recognised in and protected by the Schedule I Part II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, belongs to Gekkonidae, a family consisting of some of the most primitive living lizards.
The genus Calodactylodes consists of large, distinctive geckos inhabiting rocky habitat in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The Golden Gecko holds special interest to herpetologists as it represents one of only two known species in the genus Calodactylodes, considered relics of the Gondwana period in the earth’s geological history.
According to her, a short but intensive survey was conducted to investigate the population size and extent in the locality. Sub adult golden geckos were also encountered and were often brownish grey coloured, becoming increasingly golden coloured, with adult males prominently golden in colour, giving rise to its distinguishing name. Adults often display territorial behaviour and are very vocal and aggressive, fighting off invaders with great ferocity.
According to existing literature, the Golden Gecko was first discovered in Arcot and Vellore in 1870, with a second population being reported from Seshachalam and Velikonda hill ranges in Andhra Pradesh in 1985 and very recently from Niyamgiri hills in Orissa. The locality where the gecko was sighted is part of the Perantalapalle Reserve Forest of Khammam district, and is situated next to the Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuary. The discovery of the Golden Gecko from this region confirms its contiguous existence in the southern and northern Eastern Ghats.
"However, this rare and endangered species is facing an imminent threat from the construction of the Indira Sagar Project (Polavaram project) which threatens to inundate this entire stretch of the Eastern Ghats with the flood waters. A forest area of 88.1 hectares of the Perantalapalle RF will be submerged when the project is completed, threatening the fragile environment of the Eastern Ghats and placing the existence of the Golden Gecko in grave jeopardy," she pointed out.
The governments’ policy of pursuing such development project without due consideration for the environment could render several such endemic and range restricted species inhabiting the Eastern Ghats permanently extinct before being recognised by science.

Assembly elections 2009: No talk of Naxalism this time

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 21: For the first time in four decades there's no talk of naxalism in general elections in Andhra Pradesh. Naxalism had dominated every election in the State since the Naxalbari movement in late 1960s. With the near wipe out of the Maoist movement in the State, political parties have decided not to raise the issue in their political speeches.
Naxalism was at its peak in the last general elections in 2004 and every political party talked of the need to address it. They even went to the extent of levelling allegations against one another that the other side had a "tacit understanding" with the outlawed group. The Telugu Desam had then accused the Congress, which was in Opposition, of enjoying the support of Naxalites. The TRS was also accused of enjoying "inside" support from them.
Naxalites too on their part used to give "poll boycott" call forcing politicians to enter into secret pacts with them. There has been no such boycott call from the Maoists in the State. Only the Maoists wing in Chattisgarh, where the Naxalites are strong, has urged the electorate not to participate in voting.
Praja Rajyam and the TRS have resurrected the Maoist talk albeit in their  manifesto. Except for the mention in the manifesto, the party leadership has not talked of other political parties having any understanding with the Naxalites.
"The Praja Rajyam recognises Naxalism as a socio-economic problem. We will enter into talks with them if the PRP is elected to power in the State," party vice-president C Anjaneya Reddy said.
According to Intelligence reports, Maoist cadre from the State have shifted their base to neighbouring Orissa and Chattisgarh following a strong anti-Naxal drive in Andhra Pradesh. This has given a breather to candidates contesting polls in interior areas, thus pushing Naxalism to the back burner this general elections.
The Maoists suffered heavy losses in thick Nallamala forests. The AP Naxal leaders have taken positions in Orissa and Maharashtra. But revolutionary writer Varavara Rao is of the view that the movement will bounce back as it did in the past, in 1972, 1975-77 and 1980. "People are with Maoists and they will remain with them," he said.
But politicians are now a relieved lot. At least they need not indulge in mudslinging on the Naxal issue, while they can campaign without fear in interior areas, once dominated by the Maoists.

Friday, 20 March 2009

What stars have to say this general elections in India

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 16: The general elections 2009 will throw up a hung
Parliament, if astrological charts are to be believed.

Astrologers predict that no political party will secure absolute majority at the
hustings. The coalition government that's formed after the polls will not stand
long and will collapse due to infighting among the allies.

According to astrologers Dr SV Nagnath, Dr SM Chilakuri, Dr S Chaturvedi,
B Madan Lal and V Radha Krishna Murthy, the Congress will have a slight
edge over the BJP by emerging as the single largest party. BJP prime
ministerial candidate LK Advani will face a stiff Opposition in realing his
dream to lead the Central Cabinet.

Dr Nagnath, who specialises in psychoastrology, predicts that there will be a
hung Parliament. "Stars indicate that no political party will get absolute
majority and will have to depend on the support of others to form the
government. The star positions of the Congress are strong and the party will
surpass the BJP in terms of the number of LS seats it bags," he says.

The BJP, will however, improve its electoral performance in Uttar Pradesh,
though not to a considerable extent, says Dr Chilakuri pointing to the
astrological chart he has prepared. But he cautions the BJP against the
Mayawati factor.

"Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati will be more active than before. Her
stars tell us that she will rise to greater heights at the national level and may
emerge as a prime ministerial candidate", forecasts Madan Lal, who runs an
astrological research foundation.

Referring to the poll prospects of political parties down the Vindhyas,
Chaturvedi says the Congress will lead the LS tally in Andhra Pradesh. "The
BJP will retain its base in Karnataka while the DMK will have an edge in
Tamil Nadu".

Dr Nagnath's star charts predict that political parties that give importance to
religious issues will not do well in the Lok Sabha elections. He also predicts
that the Congress will do well in Orissa while it will improve its tally in
Gujarat.

According to Dr Radhakrishna Murthy, AICC chief Sonia Gandhi will
improve her political clout, though her son Rahul Gandhi will have to wait
for "some more time" to take the lead role. "The Congress will not have much
impact on the voters in Uttar Pradesh, while the Samajwadi Party will give a
tough fight to BSP. The astrological chart is in favour of the BSP," he said.

Dr Chilukuri predicts "better prospects" for the RJD in Bihar. "The charts of
Lalu Prasad Yadav speak in his favour," he adds.

Telugu Desam begs funds from NRIs

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 18: Faced with severe funds crunch this general election,
former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu is
literally begging money from Telugu NRIs settled in about 90 countries to
meet the campaign requirements.

The Telugu Desam, once dubbed as the richest regional political party in the
country, is now hard pressed for funds. Out of power for the last five years,
the party could not get enough financial support from the regular donors. It
has turned its attention on Telugu NRIs to fill up its empty coffers.

"Donate a dollar per Assembly constituency. The State has 294 Assembly
segments. Please donate 294 US dollars," says an appeal put up by the
Telugu Desam on its website meant for NRIs.

To give a charismatic touch to the fund-raising campaign, the Telugu Desam
leadership is circulating the photographs showing party founder NT Rama
Rao with an open bag seeking money from the common masses.

The TD leadership has ensured that the quantum of donation from an
individual NRI does not exceed Rs 20,000 as it would invite the provisions of
FERA. Central government Rules stipulate that any donation above Rs
20,000 has to be accompanied with details of the donor's passport.

Even as the Telugu Desam leadership is seeking fresh round of donations
from the NRIs, those who contributed heavily during the earlier round are
now reportedly bringing pressure on Chandrababu Naidu to give party ticket
to their kin.

The Telugu Desam, however, does not attach much importance to the
criticism generated by the fund-raising programme. "There's nothing wrong
in a political party seeking funds from people and admirers. After all we need
money to run the show," senior TD leader Nagam Janardhan Reddy said.

The TD leadership has drawn up the email addresses of Telugu-speaking
people settled abroad to directly contact them seeking funds. The TD is also
urging the NRI supporters to prevail upon their family members and relatives
in Andhra Pradesh to vote for the Telugu Desam and its political allies.

Election manifestos go global

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 18: Election manifestos have now gone global. All major
political parties in the State have borrowed the best of governance systems
from around the world in a bid to win over the local voters this general
elections.

If one political party has copied the Brazil model of helping the poor, the
other wants to replicate the irrigation system adopted in China to turn
perennial drought-hit lands greener. Those engaged in drafting manifestos are
busy going through the administrative set-up in developing countries,
collecting the best of them to be incorporated locally. The entry of film actor
Chiranjeevi into politics and his assertion to bring about "change" ala Barack
Obama has forced the old political players to launch a search internationally
for the best of promises and schemes.

The Telugu Desam, which wants to wrest power from the ruling Congress,
has taken the lead by studying the politico-social models in Latin American
countries including Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, where people living below
the poverty line are paid monthly allowances.

Former Union minister Ummareddy Venkateswarlu, who looks after the
Telugu Desam's manifesto, does not hesitate to admit that the "cash transfer
scheme" of his party was influenced by the social security programmes being
adopted in some Latin American countries.

"We have contacted Telugu-speaking people living in South America for
their inputs. We went for the cash scheme as it is not only attractive but also
beneficial to a large section of people. In fact it is a novel programme, first of
its kind in the Indian sub-continent," he points out.

The Congress, on the other hand, is looking towards the Chinese model of
irrigation (Three Gorges Dam) to turn backward Telangana fertile and
prosperous. Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy has been quite often
referring to this model to give a boost to his Jalayagnam campaign.

The BJP too talks of the Chinese irrigation model and plans to make it a
reality in Telangana, where it has commendable following. Not to lag behind
the Left parties too reiterate their Russian and Chinese forms of socialism,
albeit with an Indian touch.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Regional political parties to play a key role at national level, say astrologers

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Regional political parties will play a key role at the
national level in the formation of the next Central government.

An analysis of astrological charts of various political parties and present
planetary positions reveal that at least four regional political parties will
call the shots at the national level. Present planetary positions show four
planets in the seventh house and this indicates that four or more political
parties will come together to form the next Union government. The
Bahujan Samaj Party led by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati will
be one of these parties, but its support will be for a short period and will
come with strings attached.

"The impact of red planet mars will 'activate' power politics in some
States. Guru Chandala Yoga indicates that minorities and downtrodden
sections will be the deciding factor in this general election and a majority
of them will side with local political parties, rather than national parties
like the Congress or the BJP," predicts senior astrologer PS Sharma.

Mayawati's stars have been on top since October 22, 2007 and she is
strong astrologically. "Her party will get a good number of seats in the
Lok Sabha elections and her stars will continue to be favourable for her till
August 28, 2010," points out Acharya Kishore of All-India Federation of
Astrologers' Societies. On the other hand Sharad Pawar (Vrichikam,
Mesham, Barani 4th Padam) will not become the Prime Minister, though
he will hold a top position in the Central Cabinet. His Nationalist Congress
Party will romp home with fairly good number of seats in Maharashtra.

According to astro-psychologist Sirikonda V Nagnath, on September 10,
2009 the position of saturn will jump into Kanya raasi, causing
uncertainty and internal rivalry in political parties. Regional political
parties will vie for power and superiority.

"Till November, 2010 regional parties will call the shots but they will not
be stable and consistent in winning the hearts of people. Mayawati may
become the prime minister for a short period in the next five years. From
November 2010 onwards national parties will take over. Jupiter will not
give stability from makara raasi or from kumba raasi, unless Jupiter will
have a comfortable position in his own house Meena raasi. Saturn needs
his exultation positions from thula raasi. Things will settle down only after
two years," Nagnath points out.

The BSP may create hurdles for national parties to form the government,
though it may ultimately support them. The Samajwadi Party will support
the Central government and its support will remain consistent even after
November 28, 2010. The Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad Yadav will
remain successful in provocating and influencing social weakness due to
the position of Saturn in Meena raasi.

Shiva Sena of Bal Thackeray does not have any strong stand in this
general election and it cannot influence the State or the Central level
politics.

Nagnath predicts that the DMK in Tamil Nadu will remain strong and
stable but this general election will not favour the party in terms of good
results. The AIADMK will benefit from the elections but it will not have a
sound role at the Central level.

Early human migration: India, cradle of humanity

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: India has long been known as the sojourn of early human migration from Africa and latest research studies by city scientists based on male sex chromosome shows that the country also served as the cradle of languages.
The forefathers of Austro-Asiatic linguistic family originated in India and later dispersed themselves to different places, according to a joint study by the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and Molecular anthropology group of Biological Anthropology Unit of Indian Statistical Institute and the Shillong-based North Eastern Hill University's Department of Anthropology.
The Austro-Asiatic linguistic family is considered to be the oldest
in the country and people who speak these languages are scattered all over Southeast Asia. The scientists' team analysed the male Y-chromosome
to trace the origin and historic expansion of Austro-Asiatic groups of India.
The report was published online in the latest issue of science journal of international repute BMC Genetics. The city team studied genetic data of 1222 individuals from 25 Indian populations, covering all the three branches of Austro-Asiatic tribes, Mundari, Khasi-Khmuic and Mon-Khmer. The team, comprising among others Dr Lalji Singh, K Thangaraj and BM Reddy, compared the data with the already available scientific information on 214 relevant populations from Asia and Oceania.
The results suggested a strong paternal genetic link, not only among the
subgroups of Indian Austro-Asiatic populations but also with those of
Southeast Asia. However, maternal link based on mitochondrial DNA is not evident.
The haplogroup in the Austro-Asiatic populations had originated around 65,000 years ago and the ancestors of this linguistic family carried it further to Southeast Asia via the Northeast Indian corridor. "Subsequently, in the process of expansion, the Mon-Khmer populations from Southeast Asia seem to have migrated and colonised Andaman and Nicobar Islands at a much later point of time," the study pointed out.
The present findings are consistent with the linguistic evidence, which suggests that the linguistic ancestors of the Austro-Asiatic populations have
originated in India and then migrated to Southeast Asia. Four major linguistic groups, Austro-Asiatic, Dravidian, Indo-European and Tibeto-Burman, are present in the Indian sub-continent and the ancestors of speakers of these languages might have entered at different points of time.
The Austro-Asiatic languages include Mundari, spoken by a number of tribes living in Chota-Nagpur plateau in Central and Eastern India, Mon-Khmer (Nicobarese and Shompen tribes from Andaman and Nicobar islands) and Khasi-Khmuic (Khasi subtribes from Northeast India).
The team sampled almost all the Austro-Asiatic populations of India covering the entire geographic and micro-linguistic heterogeneity inherent among them, including the molecular genetic data on the Austro-Asiatic Khasi from
Northeast India, considered as an important corridor for human
migrations to Southeast Asia.
"Austro-Asiatic populations of India are not only linguistically linked to
Southeast Asian populations but also genetically associated. It is most likely that these populations have come from Central Asia through the Western Indian corridor and subsequently colonised Southeast Asia, although more data on Y-chromosome and mtDNA are needed from other relevant populations to draw firmer conclusions," the study pointed out.

Fertility is lost because of exposure to coal mining

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: People occupationally exposed to coal mining and construction work are at a higher risk of losing their fertility levels including giving birth to children with congenital malformations.
Two different research studies conducted by the Human Genetics Laboratory in the Department of Zoology, Osmania University, and the Department of Environmental Toxicology, Institute of Genetics and Hospital for Genetic Diseases, Hyderabad, revealed that workers of coal mines and those exposed to cement concrete are more prone to abortions and low sperm quality. The incidence of stillbirth and neonatal deaths are also higher in these two groups of workers.
V Vijendar Reddy and C Jyothsna of Human Genetics Laboratory carried out a study on about 1000 workers employed in the coal industry. The research was conducted in the coal belt area in Godavarikhani of Singareni Collieries.
Since coal contains hydrocarbons which may give rise to polycyclic hydrocarbons during technological processes associated with open fire or temperature, constant exposure to such substances had led to genotoxicity among coal mine workers.
The researchers recorded data on the fertility and other reproductive end points in 1000 couples where males were occupationally exposed to coal. Data from 400 unexposed people belonging to same age group and not having any history of exposure to coal was collected and compared for analysis. The results on the reproductive epidemiology in coal mine workers indicated that there was decreased fertility and live birth in coal-exposed population as compared with those of the control group.
In another research study conducted by P Vidyullatha, B Sivaprasad and others of the Department of Environmental Toxicology, on 53 cement workers, exposed to concrete for longer periods, showed symptoms of skin irrigation, contact dermatitis, respiratory and other health problems.
What is surprising is that their fertility levels had gone down. Like coal workers, construction labour too showed higher frequency of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and premature births. A significant decrease in the frequency of live births was also observed in construction workers.

Left busy wooing Muslims in MIM fiefdom

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 14: The Left is now busy consolidating its votebank
among Muslims, who form the large chunk of electorate in Hyderabad.

CPM MP P Madhu and CPI MP Mohammad Azeez Pasha have been
holding a series of meetings with local Muslim leaders right from the
municipal division level to wean away voters from the Majlis-e-
Ittehadul Muslimeen.

The Left leaders got a shot in the arm with the Telugu Desam too
extending political support to them against the MIM, which has been in
control of old city for almost five decades. The Left and Telugu Desam
leaders plan to win over the local voters by highlighting the "failures"
of the Majlis and the ruling Congress whom it backs.

On Saturday too the Left-TD leaders convened a meeting of senior
Muslim leaders including from some religious groups to chalk out a
political strategy to beat the MIM in its own game. Former MP and
senior Telugu Desam leader SM Laljan Basha, former Wakf Board
chairman Muhammad Saleem, besides Madhu and Pasha attended the
pre-election meeting.

"The Congress and the MIM failed in their task to develop old city
during the past five years. Time has now come for the voters to revolt
against them. The city will witness development only if the old players
are voted out," Madhu said.

The Communists want to checkmate the MIM as the latter is poised to
win as many as seven Assembly and one Lok Sabha constituencies
hands down, thanks to the recent delimitation exercise. "If we do not
check them now, people will be put to trouble further because there
will be no development in the old city," Saleem said.

Friday, 13 March 2009

People sell blood to fight recession

Feb 13, 2009
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Want to make Rs 50,000 in one go to beat the economic crisis thrown up by global recession? Simply `donate’ your egg. Or do you need just Rs 7,000 to augment your pocket? Then settle for sperm `donation’. Will Rs 1000 suffice? Blood sale is the best option.
The rate card at illegal sperm, egg and blood banks is loud and clear.
Walk in, donate and walk out with your purse loaded with money. Donation of vital body fluids and eggs is not a new phenomenon, but the present economic slowdown has only added new players to this silently thriving medical business. Hyderabad is one of the few cities in the world where a number of illegal sperm and blood banks thrive clandestinely, without the official licence.
The global economic recession may have resulted in a steep fall in business and industrial incomes the world over, but it has given a new
impetus to illegal organ and body fluids trade. The sale of sperm,blood, ova, plasma and hair has recorded at least 50 per cent increase in the last six months in the United States and other industrialised countries.
India, where the full tremors of economic slowdown are yet to be felt,
is slowly catching up with the US on this front. But unlike in the US,
for obvious reasons, there are no official statistics in India on the
sale of sperm, eggs, blood and plasma.
Medical insiders and sexologists admit in private that more and more Indian youth, men and women, are going in for donation of their vital body fluids, besides eggs and hair, to beat the economic recession. A one time sperm `donation’ (sale) fetches anything upward of Rs 2,000 depending on the complexion, height and social background of the donor, nay seller. Blood donation brings in between Rs 400 and Rs 1,000 depending on the urgency.
The latest fad is blood plasma donation. And those with long, curly and beautiful hair are also in demand. But it is the egg donation that is wrought with pain and suffering. The egg donor undergoes severe pain while the egg is removed from the body.
”It is a multi crore business, mostly done under wraps. We have pecialized sperm banks in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and other major cities. They keep the identity of donors secret. Recession or no recession the activity has been thriving illegally. The number of people selling body fluids and eggs has definitely gone up now, may be due to economic slowdown. yderabad is already notorious for organ sales,” points out senior sexologist Dr Swayam Prakash.
In the USA, the Northeast Assisted Fertility Group has found that the
number of applications from women looking to donate their eggs has ecently doubled. The number of men selling their sperm has also increased by at least 15 per cent. The rate card in the USA is far higher than that of in India. A young woman donating her eggs makes a cool 10,000 US dollars or Rs 5 lakh. The sperm donor will get $50 to $200.
“Wigs and hair extensions are always in demand, and the companies that make them constantly have to source high quality human hair. This is where you come in. How much you'll get for your hair will depend on its colour, length, type and quality. A particularly popular head of hair may sell for £1,000 or even more,” says the NAFG report.
Dr Swayam Prakash warns that donating eggs may often lead to hospitalisation and future infertility. “This is because the drugs used by fertility clinics to stimulate egg formation will have long term side effects,” he said.
The youngsters, who want money, are just cashing in on the infertility
situation. Though India is the second most populous nation in the world, it also has one of the top infertility rates. The number of childless couples has been growing steadily in India, partly due to genetic and partly due to environmental reasons including lifestyles.
According to the World Health Organisation, 8-10 per cent of couples
experience some form of infertility problems. In India nearly 1.5 crore couples are infertile.

Now computer virus hoax is the in-thing

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Bomb hoax is a passe. Now virus hoax seems to be the in-thing. Computer users are being flooded with e-mail messages warning that a potentially dangerous virus called "Invitation" will attack computers in the next few days "burning" hard discs.
Software companies, however, dub the "warning" e-mail as a spam and allays the fears of net users saying that no virus by name "Invitation", has ever been detected in any part of the world.
The "Invitation" virus, also called "Olympic Torch" is projected as something dangerous, the first-ever "virus" capable of damaging the hardware like "burning" the whole hard disc C of computer. The virus and worms detected so far only damages the software and data stored in computers.
"The Invitation virus is a hoax," says H Topiwala, a city-based ethical hacker, who had graduated from the Ethical Hackers' School, London. He describes the e-mail as nothing more than a mass spam to create a sense of fear pshychosis among people.
The content of the e-mail spreading the virus hoax reads like this: "You should be alert during the next days: Do not open any message with an attached filed called "Invitation" regardless of who sent it . It is a virus that opens an Olympic Torch which "burns" the whole hard disc C of your computer".
The e-mail further says that "this virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list, that is why you should send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it. If you receive a mail called "invitation", though sent by a friend, do not open it and shut down your computer immediately. This is the worst virus announced by CNN, it has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever".
To give credence to the virus hoax, the generator of the e-mail says, "this virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept".
The CNN website does not refer to the virus at all while McAfee's website describes the virus threat as a hoax.
Says security specialist Ganga Raju of Networks Data, "the e-mail is created to increase the bandwidth. The more the number of friends you forward the e-mail, the more the usage of bandwidth. This simply means more money to the internet service provider". He suggests that anti-spam software should be deployed to prevent such virus hoax messages.
Snopes.Com, a website on rumours, describes the "Invitation" virus as nothing but a rehashed hoax call about "virtual card for you" virus. "The classics never go away, it seems, so just in time for the 2006 Winter Olympics someone has dusted off an old virus warning hoax (most commonly seen in its incarnation as the "[Virtual] Card for You" hoax) and reintroduced it as an "Olympic Torch" virus warning," it points out.

Vedic diet helps fight heart problems like arrhythmia

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Intake of Vedic diet comprising fresh uncooked vegetables and raw sprouts will stabilise the heart beat and prevent arrhythmias, which often lead to death.
Arrhythmia is a health problem affecting the electrical system of the cardiac muscle and causes the heart to beat slowly or pump blood less effectively. A research study on various diets mentioned in the ancient Indian texts revealed that those who take a diet comprising vegetables, grains, sprouts, minimum quantity of oil and raw foods showed a rhythmic heart beat.
The study, conducted by Dr P Ravi Shankar and others at the Russian Medical Academy, showed that cells of the same tissue would exist with different resting potentials depending on the dietary intake as prescribed in the Indian system of medicine.
As many as 75 male Wistar rats were used in the study. They were divided into five groups each comprising 15 rats. Three groups of rats were fed with different types of diets referred to in the ancient Indian Scriptures. The other two groups were taken as control groups. The researchers used the action potentials in the heart muscle as a reference parameter. The action potentials showed an average resting potential of about - 84.5 milli volts. At the end of the study, the rats were killed and action potentials were measured from their intact hearts.
The values of action potentials in the rats fed with a diet made up of raw vegetables and grains were very close to the resting potential. The action potentials of those fed with spicy foods had varied between 86.5 milli volts and 93.5 milli volts. The third group which received cooked foods with lot of oil and sweets had action potentials between 105.28 milli volts and 112.28 milli volts.
"The findings prove that the more the resting potential, the lesser the external stimulus needed to excite and generate an action potential which gives a greater understanding of arrhythmias in cardiac muscles and various nervous and other disorders," the study pointed out.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Milad-un-Nabi and the Gandhian Charka

By Syed Akbar
As the Muslim world celebrates the Milad-un-Nabi, birthday of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad, old timers in Hyderabad recall how the Gandhian "Charka" had changed the living standards of people in the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina before Independence.
Scores of "Charka" experts from Hyderabad went to Medina, the city of the Prophet, to train the local Arabs in the art of making thread and weaving cloth. Some Hyderabadis also went to Mecca, the city of Allah, with the Gandhian mission of providing livelihood to the poor through Charka.
As the poor people of Mecca and Medina could not master the art of making thread on the Charka despite several training sessions by expert Hyderabadis, it was then decided that the local Arabs be trained in weaving cloth. Hyderabadis then carried with them what is known as "Kargha" (a type of loom) to weave Khadi cloth.
Incidentally, it was Hyderabad which provided the first-ever power generation facility in Masjid-al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid-un-Nabavi in Medina in 1936. Then Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan and some members of the noble Paigah family donated the two generators that illuminated the Islamic shrines in the otherwise dark desert nights.
According to eminent educationist KM Arifuddin, in 1932 Shaik Abdullah, then prime minister of Kashmir, the Nawab of Chattari and then prime minister of Hyderabad held a meeting and formed what came to be known as "Anjuman Parcha Bafi Harmain Sharieff". Arifuddin is presently the secretary of the Anjuman. The purpose of the Anjuman or society was to help the poor people of the two Islamic holy cities. The Anjuman acquired properties and the rents accrued from them were sent to Mecca and Medina as charity.
"Later the society felt that sending money will not serve the purpose well. So it decided to give training to the local Arabs in hand weaving industry. A unit was set up in Medina and it functioned till 1945. After Independence and oil discovery in Saudi Arabia Hyderabadis stopped sending funds or training the locals in hand weaving," says Arifuddin.
Former IAS officer Hasnuddin Ahmad says the Gandhian Charka and Kargha had changed the living standards of the Arabs in those days.
"The cloth produced from handlooms was not of superior or fine quality. The cloth was coarse in nature. The Arab people had marketing problems. The Hyderabadis came out with a solution. It was suggested that the cloth could be used as "kafan" (shroud) to cover the dead. The Arabs used to dip the cloth in the holy waters of Zamzam (a perennial well in the precincts of the Sacred Mosque in Mecca) and sold it to the pilgrims from around the world during Haj or Umra," Ahmad observes.
The Rubat (accommodation) in Mecca and Medina is another contribution of Hyderabadis, according to senior Urdu journalist Syed Fazil Hussain Parvez.
Keeping the long association with the Islamic holy cities, the synonyms of peace and love, Hyderabadis have been observing Milad-un-Nabi as "anti-terrorism day" to drive home the message that Islam means peace and the ill actions of a handful of Muslims cannot reflect on the community at large.

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Syed Akbar at the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity