It Happens: Indians soak in devotion at birth place of Lord Krishna

Mathura, August 22 (ANI): Thousands of devotees soaked in devotion thronged birthplace of Lord Krishna in Uttar Pradesh on Monday to celebrate his birth anniversary. Chanting hymns and carrying religious offerings, people flocked temples dedicated to the Hindu god in Mathura to mark the festival of Janamashtmi with pageantry. The priests performed rituals in the temples to mark 5240th birthday of Lord Krishna. A devotee, Nishi Khurana, said she was elated to visit Mathura to be a part of the celebration. Lord Krishna is regarded as the eighth incarnation of the Hindu deity 'Vishnu', the Preserver of the Universe. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that Lord Krishna was born at the midnight hour on this day. Another devotee, Goldy Khurana, said Mathura reverberated with a different kind of enthusiasm when it came to celebrate Janamashtmi. According to the Hindu calendar, Janmashtami is observed on the Ashtami Tithi, which is the eighth day of the month of Bhadrapada (sixth month of the Hindu calendar year) in the Hindu almanac. Aug 22, 2014

It Happens: Devotees go in trance during religious festival in Assam

Guwahati, August 22 (ANI): Devotees from various parts of the country thronged temple of Hindu goddess Kamakhya in Assam to witness three-day Hindu festival, Deodhani dance. The Deodhani dance festival is held to worship Hindu snake goddess Mansa, during which goats and pigeons are sacrificed. Deodhani dance is a semi-classical dance form, which is common across the southwest Kamrup and Mangaidoi parts of Assam. The devotees participating in the festival go through a month-long preparatory phase, during which they are not permitted to meet their families and have to stay in the temple premises with a photograph of the deity they want to represent. They also seek knowledge from their religious mentors during this period. It is believed that Hindu goddess possesses a devotee’s body during the festival to dance. As per Hindu mythology, one’s wishes come true if they wish for something special during the festival. It is believed that taking part in this festival bestows the dancers with powers from goddess Kamakhya. The temple situated atop Nilachal hills, is dedicated to goddess Kamakhya, consort of Lord Shiva. Aug 22, 2014

It Happens: Cultural Festivals help to preserve Tribal art and culture in Nagaland

Nagaland, August 22 (ANI): Dressed up in their traditional costumes, these are members of the Ao tribe of Nagaland. Every year, they gather in Dimapur city to celebrate Tsungmerong, a pre-harvest festival, to express gratitude and seek blessings of the Almighty. They sang traditional songs and showcased their daily chores through an act. The festival gives the message of unity and brotherhood in the state. Various cultural groups from different tribes such as Semma, Angami and Chakesang also took part in the festival. A major attraction of the event was a chicken dance performance by the artists. In another event hosted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in collaboration with Abiogenesis Society, many cultural troops performed the traditional folk music of Nagaland. The event held at Soul Speak hall in Dimapur had performances of Shrimong Folk Harmony and ‘UDX’ music band. The audiences were spellbound by the music. Festivals help promote unity and create harmony among the people. Aug 22, 2014

Constitution has rules for LoP, which no party fulfills: Rajnath Singh

Gorakhpur, Aug 22 (ANI): Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday spoke on the issue of LoP, maoist and Assam-Nagaland violence issue. Singh said that the Constitution has some rules set for the Leader of Opposition post, which, unfortunately, no party in Opposition fulfills. He also said that the maoist issue is a serious issue in the country and it needs to be given urgent attention. Further, Singh said that issue of violence on Assam-Nagaland borders will be solved and both states_ Chief Ministers have met to find a way out of it. Aug 22, 2014

CPI (M) slams TMC MLA for

Kolkata, Aug 22 (ANI): CPI (M) leader Mohd Salim on Friday slammed the Trinamool Congress party over its MLA Dr Nirmal Majhi_s controversial comment. Majhi issued a controversial comment where he questioned whether people should burn _living effigies_ of doctors affiliated to CPI (M)_s medical wing. Aug 22, 2014

Rajnath Singh takes aerial survey of flood affected areas in UP

Uttar Pradesh, Aug 22 (ANI): Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday took an aerial survey of the flood affected areas in Uttar Pradesh. Singh said that some areas have been deeply affected by the floods and rescue operations are going on, though in a non-satisfactory manner. He also said that an investigation team will be sent by him to the areas to inspect the condition. Singh assured that relief will be provided to the people and added that compensation amount has been provided to the victims. He also appreciated the NDRF members for the rescue operations undertaken by them successfully. Aug 22, 2014

Kejriwal targets Centre over removal of Sanjiv Chaturvedi as AIIMS CVO

New Delhi, Aug 22 (ANI): Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Friday slammed the central government over removal of Sanjeev Chaturvedi from the post of chief vigilance officer (CVO) of AIIMS. Talking to mediapersons in New Delhi, Kejriwal demanded that the CBI must investigate the issue and government reinstatement Chaturvedi. He also reiterated that Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan must either resign or face dismissal. Aug 22, 2014

New shopping complex in Srinagar to rehabilitate displaced Kashmiri shopkeepers

Srinagar, Aug 22 (ANI): Shopkeepers who were displaced due to the construction of a flyover in the area look forward to better days as the Kashmir government rehabilitates them with a new shopping complex in Srinagar city, which promises to be one of the biggest shopping complexes of the valley. The complex was inaugurated by chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah. Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) and Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Company (JKPCC) constructed the shopping complex to rehabilitate the shopkeepers who were displaced due to the construction of Jehangir Chowk- Rambagh expressway corridor. Decorated with the traditional Dajji Diwari (wooden work) look on the outer façade, the two- storey shopping complex at Jehangir Chowk which is estimated to cost Rs 50 crores(500 million), has a floor area of 1,42,000 square feet. Aug 22, 2014

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik condemns murder of US journalist in Iraq

Bhubaneswar, Aug 22 (ANI): Condemning the killing of American journalist James Foley by ISIS militants in Iraq, noted Indian sand artist, Sudarsan Pattnaik, created a sculpture on the beach of Puri city in Odisha. The sculpture depicting face of the journalist with a message “Don’t kill innocents” drew sizeable crowd on the beach. Four tonnes of sand was used in making the sculpture. Pattnaik said the assassination in Iraq was one of the most heinous crimes in the world. Foley was beheaded by the Islamist militant group Islamic State, an act shown in a video released on August 22 in which the group called for the United States to end its air strikes in Iraq. US President Barack Obama responded that Washington would be relentless in fighting the organization despite the killing. Aug 22, 2014

President Pranab Mukherjee meets IIT heads

New Delhi, Aug 22 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee met authorities from all 16 IITs on Friday in New Delhi. Mukherjee, accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Education Minister Smriti Irani, addressed a Conference of Chairmen of Boards of Governors, and Directors of all 16 IITs at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the president’s official residence. The meet was focused on how IITs can implement the vision of ‘Make in India’, a vision that Modi had spoke about in his speech on Independence Day. They stressed on the need for all IITs to work together to help India become a global leader and a provider of skilled manpower. The discussion also revolved around creating a ‘Skilled India’ where there would be an integration of skill initiatives and skill development. Aug 22, 2014

SC gives Centre a month to explain why there is no LoP, politicos react

New Delhi, Aug 22 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday asked the NDA Government at the Centre to explain why there is no Leader of Opposition in Parliament, and gave the former a month's time to come up with an answer on how it proposes to select Lokpal members, if such a post remains vacant or does not exist. The committee to select the nine members of the Lokpal is meant to include the Leader of the Opposition along with the Prime Minister and others. The apex court pointed out that the make-up of the committee is part of the law passed by Parliament that brings the Lokpal into existence. The Congress had claimed that as the single largest opposition party, its floor leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, should be recognized as Leader of the Opposition. But Speaker Sumitra Mahajan ruled that out, citing rules that a party must have at least 55 members in the House to claim the post. The Congress has 44 seats. While politicos from rival parties gave mixed reaction on the matter, the BJP said that it would give an appropriate reply as was asked by the court. Aug 22, 2014