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A Rose Is A Rose Is A Modi!

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Modi Rose

Modi Rose

Thane, (Maharashtra): A new, specially developed variety of rose – dedicated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi – was unveiled at the Dombivli Rose Society (DRS) here Wednesday evening.

The rose named “Saffron-Vermillion Red with Yellow River” has German parentage and has been carefully developed after nearly five years of research and development at the world famous KSG Roses, Bangalore.

Vinod Tawde, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, and legislator Ravindra Chavan formally inaugurated the ‘Modi Rose’ at the DRS’ new rose garden here Wednesday evening.

As soon as the curtain was lifted off the ‘Modi Rose’ displayed on a special platform, a huge crowd of rose lovers and guests cheered and clapped to welcome the latest entry into the country’s rose family.

It will take at least another two years for the ‘Modi Rose’ to be commercially available in the markets, the organisers said.

This is one of the rare instances in the country when a rose – the universal symbol of love – has been named after a top politician.

In the past, special rose varieties have been named after prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, President S. Radhakrishnan and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Some decades ago, late prime minister Indira Gandhi had a special rose dedicated to her – Pink with White River – and called ‘Indira Priyadarshini’.

KSG Roses managing director Sriram K. Rangan said that usually they do not part with their global exclusive creations, but since the DRS wanted to immortalise it by naming it after the prime minister, they agreed.

“This year, we developed over two dozen new varieties, of which the ‘Modi Rose’ turned out to be the best and healthiest,” Rangan told IANS from his nursery in Bangalore.

After tending to it dedicatedly, with considerable research and efforts over the past five years, the new rose became ready earlier this year when Modi was still campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections.

The company’s 84-year-old chairman, Kasturi Rangan, said there are presently around 4,000 varieties of roses, authentically documented and catalogued.

“Besides, worldwide, there are around 25,000 varieties and another 25,000 varieties which are yet to be properly documented,” Rangan told IANS.

Referring to the roses named after VIPs, he said there are a variety of protocols to be followed before a rose can be dedicated to any dignitary – the most important being his or her consent.

Confirming that Modi has given his consent, a pleased Ravindra Chavan, DRS patron and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator, said that when they saw this particular rose at the KSG Roses nursery they fell in love with it.

“It is of a medium size, but appears unique and stands out among others, emits a soothing and sweet fragrance. We requested Kasturi Rangan to allow us to dedicate it after the prime minister,” Chavan told IANS.

According to Chavan, they toured around the entire country to acquire the best and unique rose saplings for the DRS before they finally went to KSG Roses and settled for the varieties there.

It was a sea of beautiful roses of different shapes, sizes, colours; single, dual or multi-coloured, each with a unique fragrance and texture.

Rangan said developing and selling roses was a huge business in the country with Maharashtra’s Pune city alone accounting for over 10 million saplings annually, followed by West Bengal with 7.5 million and Karnataka with 1.5 million through some 60-odd nurseries around the country.

“The sad part is that most customers still insist on imported varieties of roses, though the Indian varieties are among the best available in the world,” rued Rangan, who heads the 100-year-old company.

KSG Roses supplies the flower to some of the top government bodies, residences of governors and chief ministers, ex-royalty, top corporate houses and private individuals and rose lovers around the country for their unique gardens or nurseries.

The country’s single largest collection of 2,500 rose varieties can be found at the famed Ooty Rose Garden.

Legendary horticulturist and rose master M.S. Viraraghavan lives in Kodaikanal and his creations are globally patented and adorn the homes of the rich and powerful worldwide, Rangan said.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Nawaz sharif

Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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