Classical dancers continue to steal the limelight at Khajuraho festival in MP

Khajuraho, Feb 24 (ANI): Classical dancers from across India mesmerised audience at the famed Khajuraho Dance Festival with their elegant moves and subtlety. The week-long world renowned classical dance festival is held in the spectacular backdrop of magnificently lit temples in Madhya Pradesh. It aspires to promote cultural and traditional dances in the culturally-rich country. Dancers portray regional folklores through various classical dance forms such as Bharatanatyam, Odissi, and Kathak. They portray an array of legendary tales including an image of Hindu God Shiva's cosmic dance 'Tandava' and Lord Krishna's Rass Leela with Gopis (female partners). While celebrated performers enthralled the audience with their prowess, budding artistes felt blessed to have performed on the prestigious stage. Feb 24, 2015

MG Vaidya backs Bhagwat's remarks on Mother Teresa

Nagpur, Feb 24 (ANI): Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue MG Vaidya on Tuesday backed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks on Mother Teresa. Talking to mediapersons in Nagpur, he said that that missionaries which serve people, undertake the services to convert them to Christianity. Feb 24, 2015

Health authorities spread swine flu awareness in JandK

Poonch, Feb 24 (ANI): With a surge in the number of swine flu cases, health department in Jammu and Kashmir has set up isolation wards in government hospitals and is creating awareness on ways to combat the H1N1 virus as the pandemic spreads across country. India has seen a sharp rise in the number of swine flu deaths and reported cases this year, prompting officials to investigate the cause and step up efforts to combat the virus. Students in Poonch district are being educated at schools about the deadly disease and ways to identify it in the early stage itself. Also, hospitals are being extra careful about the spread of the disease among its staff members. Feb 24, 2015

Kashmir tourism board organizes adventure camp to woo back tourists

Srinagar, Feb 24 (ANI): The tourism board of Jammu and Kashmir, in collaboration with a private institute, has organised a mountaineering camp in the state to woo back tourists and promote adventure tourism in the Valley. Tourism in the state was badly hit in September last year after the state witnessed its worst ever floods in decades. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands of villages were devastated in the floods. Aru valley in Pahalgam, also known as mini-Switzerland, has been a popular destination among foreign tourists for adventure sports. The authorities are putting special focus to develop this region. Aru valley, replete with exotic flora and fauna, is the starting point for various trekking routes including the one to Kolahoi glacier and Sonmarg. Thrill seekers from across India are participating in this camp and learning a range of activities under the supervision of professional trainers. A participant from New Delhi, Sonia was positive about the camp's success. Feb 24, 2015

Bhagwat says Mother Teresa's aim was conversion, receives flak

New Delhi, Feb 24 (ANI): Political leaders on Tuesday slammed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for his comment on Mother Teresa. Bhagwat had on Sunday stoked a controversy by saying that the main objective behind Mother Teresa's service to the poor was conversion to Christianity. Congress, JD (U), NCP strongly objected to Bhagwat's objectionable comments on Mother Teresa and seeked an apology from Bhagwat. Feb 24, 2015

Rahul Gandhi seeks time to reflect on 'recent events', politicos react

New Delhi, Feb 24 (ANI): Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has taken a few weeks off to "reflect upon recent events and the future course of the party. Reactions flowed in on Tuesday over this. Rahul has been "granted leave of absence for a few weeks after which he will return and resume his active participation in the affairs of the Congress party Feb 24, 2015

Bare-footed jockeys continue with 135-year-old horse race tradition in Assam

Jorhat, Feb 24 (ANI): It is a horse race minus all the trappings of a modern day derby. With no protective gear and no footwear, the participants on untrained horses take part in the race held in the country-side fields in Jorhat district of Assam. The race was originally initiated in 1876 by the British tea planters. Since then it has become an annual event drawing enthusiastic villagers who like derby bet on their favourite horses. Interestingly, jockeys are also allowed to bet on themselves. The race was organized by Jorhat unit of Assam Tea Planters Association (ATPA). Organisers said the idea behind the race was to encourage tea planters' equestrian skills. People from neighbouring districts also come to watch the race. The winners and runners-up are awarded with trophies. Feb 24, 2015

Arvind Kejriwal appeals Mohan Bhagwat to 'spare Mother Teresa as she was a noble soul'

New Delhi, Feb 24 (ANI): Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday slammed RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat for his remark on Mother Teresa and asked the organisation to 'spare her' as she was a noble soul. "I worked wid Mother Teresa for a few months at Nirmal Hriday ashram in Kolkata. She was a noble soul. Pl spare her," tweeted Kejriwal. Bhagwat has implied that the sole objective of Mother Teresa's service to the poor was to convert people to Christianity. Bhagwat's comment was made at an NGO function in Rajasthan on Monday. He had said, "Here, the service isn't like Mother Teresa's. Her service would have been good, but it used to have one objective, to see that the person who was being helped, felt obliged to become a Christian." Feb 24, 2015

TMC MPs stage protest outside Parliament against Land Acquisition Bill

New Delhi, Feb 24 (ANI): TMC MPs on Tuesday staged protest outside Parliament against the BJP government's Land Acquisition Bill. The party leaders shouted slogans against the Land Acquisition Bill calling it 'anti-farmer'. Dressed in green attires, the TMC MPs demanded taking back the bill. Under pressure from all quarters the Narendra Modi government is all set to introduce the controversial Land Acquisition Amendment Bill 2015 to replace the contentious ordinance in Lok Sabha today. However, opposition parties are firm to protest against the same inside the Parliament too. This along with five other ordinances would expire on March 20, if not passed during this Budget Session. Feb 24, 2015