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Controversies and Bollywood – Part 1

Controversies and Bollywood go hand in hand. Many a times controversies have helped a movie to garner more returns at the box office and sometimes controversies have killed movies. I am presenting herewith the much hyped controversies surrounding movies in the last few years.

My Name Is Khan
MNIK one of the finest films to come out of KJo – SRK stable was marred with controversies recently due to a remark made by SRK regarding inclusion of Pakistani players in IPL. Shiv Sena threatened to kill the movie untill and unless SRK apologized for his remarks which SRK refused to cow down to. Shiv Sena went on a rampage damaging few of the multiplexes which were scheduled to screen MNIK. It was a riot kind of situation created by Shiv Sena forcing most of the multiplex owners in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka to decide against screening the movie in their multiplexes. They were of the opinion that releasing MNIK meant affecting the box office business of the other movies running in those multiplexes apart from the huge damages that would be caused to their property by Shiv Sena activists. It gave way to a political ego tussle between Shiv Sena and Congress (the ruling party) resulting in 2000 Shiv Sainiks put behind bars and threats to Shiv Sena of dire consequences by the Center. Amidst all this, few multiplexes dared to release the movie in Mumbai and comman man decided to come out and support the movie to prove a point to Shiv Sena that they wouldnt be terrorized by their threats. Last heard MNIK is breaking all the previous records held by recent movies in terms of box office collections.

3 Idiots
Chetan Bhagat author of Five Point Someone, on which 3 Idiots is based was surprised not to get an opening credit in the film. And even in the closing credit roll, his name comes quite late. Chetan cried foul and accused Vinod Chopra, Raju Hirani and Aamir Khan for playing dirty with him. However, the gang behind 3 Idiots were quick to defend themselves by producing the copy of the contract signed by Chetan at the time of acquiring the rights of the book which clearly said that he would be getting credit in the end rolls. The producer of 3 Idiots, Vidhu Vinod Chopra has even accused Chetan of being publicity hungry as the film has now become a blockbuster hit.

Gulzar was accused of lifting the lyrics from one of the poems of the celebrated Hindi poet Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena, which goes, “Ibn Batuta Pehen Ke Joota, Nikal Pade Toofan Mein …” Saxena’s daughter Shubha Saxena accused the makers of ‘Ishqiya’ of plagiarising the poem and not crediting it to her dad. However, the filmmakers din’t agree with Shubha as according to them it was an original piece of work and Gulzar had just borrowed the first line of the poem which they claim they didn’t know about the existence of this particular poem. Gulzar was irked with the accussation and stated that there was no similarity in both the lyrics of the song and the poem apart from the name ‘Ibn Batuta’ who was a traveller and who travelled all over India and Turkey on foot. Gulzar also said that there was no copyright on using the name of Ibn Batuta and as the movie is based on two runaways the lyrics suited the situation. Shubha Saxena refused to step down and the case still hangs in mid air, meanwhile the movie has been released and declared a runaway hit.

What’s with controversy and Vishal Bharadwaj? The ‘Teli’ community were offended with the usage of the word ‘Teli’ in the song Dhan ta dhan and a nation wide agitation followed which forced the maker Vishal Bharadwaj to change the word ‘Teli’ to ‘Teeli’ in the song to please the community. The movie and the song were a runaway hit giving a drought prone movie industry a much needed hit after the 2 month long theatre stike.

Jodhaa Akbar
Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar was in the news right from the beginning. First it took an exceptionally long time for the film to be shot and then to be edited. Then there were rumours that Jodhaa Akbar was delayed because of Aishwarya Rai’s marriage and finally when the movie did release, it faced a boycott from a tin-pot organisation called Rajput Karni Sena. It was alleged that the movie had distorted historical facts about Jodha being Akbar’s wife where as per them Jodha was his daughter-in-law. Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a prominent Hindu organisation also demanded that that certain objectionable dialogues in the film be removed. Surely, Ashutosh Gowariker must’ve thanked his stars when the movie was released and declared the first blockbuster of the year.

If in 2008 it was the Rajputs who were protesting, then in 2009 it was the turn of the barber community. The film in question was Billu – earlier calledBillu Barber. Days before its release, the makers had to change the title and knock off ‘Barber’ from the title as the barber community took offense to the same. Things didn’t end there as a word from the song Mar jaani offended certain Muslim members of the audience. Stone pelting and some drama unfolded at the theatres playing the movie as well as at Shah Rukh Khan’s house. However controversy in this case didnt help the movie to garner rich dividends and was declared a dud on its release.

Aaja Nachle
Madhur Dixit’s Aaja Nachle also irked certain communities in Uttar Pradesh. A particular line from a song managed to get it into some serious trouble. So much so, Mayawati called for a nationwide ban on the movie. Trouble started when some bloke led a demonstration in front of a movie hall in New Delhi where the film was being screened. The controversy reached Parliament when Lok Sabha MP Ramdas Athawale of the Republican Party of India alleged the title song humiliated Dalits and demanded that the film be banned. Things turned uglier when even the chief minister of Punjab banned the movie expecting trouble. It took some amount of fire fighting to get things in place. Director Yash Chopra had to issue an televised, unconditional apology and remove a particular word from the song but again the movie was a big flop.

to be continued….


Cinema is the reflection of the society and we so have so many evidences of Cinema being inspired by real life characters and events. Not very long ago it was believed that films based on specific subjects attracted limited audience but recent films have changed that. Today’s audience is well acquainted with what goes on behind the scenes and enjoys the alternative reality. Today, there is as much curiosity for the real life stories-Black Friday or Mumbai Meri Jaan as for the fantasies.

A few years ago Jagmohan Mundhra may have had to struggle with Bawandar based on the gang-rape of Sanwari Devi by the thakurs or earlier his film Kamala based on The Indian Express story where a journalist actually purchased a tribal girl, Kamala. The incident evoked sharp social and moral debates, raising the ethical issue of human invasion. Mundhra’s hard-hitting film, Kamala played by Deepti Naval focused on the complications this led into the journalist’s personal life played by Marc Zuber and Shabana Azmi. Mundhra’s another movie Provoked was based on the real – life incident of Kiranjit Alhuwalia who burnt her husband to death in 1989 in response to ten years of profound physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.

Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke inspired by the infamous Nanavati case was about a naval officer who, on learning of his wife’s involvement with his best friend, murdered the friend in cold-blood and then surrendered himself to law. The erring wife was played by the beautiful Leela Naidu. The script added an angle of loneliness that drives the wife to another man to justify the affair but the orthodox audience was not placated and all sympathies were for the husband played by Sunil Dutt.

The lesser known films inspired by real people include Sai Paranjpye’s Deesha based on a villager in the interiors of Maharashtra who spent his entire life digging a well because he was convinced that he would find water or Shyam Benegal’s Samar inspired from an incident in Madhya Pradesh following the installation of a water pump in Dalit basti, and the ensuing upper-caste protest.

Pooja Bhatt’s Tamanna about a eunuch and the social pressures he faces in adopting a girl-child was drawn from the life of a tea-stall owner Tikku, living in the Mahim Causeway, Mumbai. Benegal’s Sardari Begum focused on the life of a thumri singer who suffered a fatal head injury during a communal riot while Gadar – Ek Prem Katha is inspired by the life of Butta Singh, a Hindu who married a Muslim girl. Set in post partition the Muslims are sent across border in the wake of new laws and Butta Singh is separated from his wife and child. Determined to win them back, he slips into Pakistan, and eventually becomes a martyr for his love. The film was originally made as Shaheed-e-Mohabbat by Gurudas Mann.

The bigger the name the greater the curiosity the film aroused. Phoolan Devi sued the filmmaker of Bandit Queen, and it required a great number of accusations, negotiations and pre-conditions before the film finally made it to the theatres. Ditto with Vinay Shukla’s Godmother based on the life of Santokben Jadeja, the feared don of Jamnagar. Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Lajja was inspired by the gang-rape and gruesome murder of Siya Dulari, a 40-year-old dalit woman, by members of the upper-caste. Director Raj Kumar Santoshi was so shaken by the incident that he felt he had to make a statement on the oppression of women. As expected, the film’s release was preceded by various court cases, and the first screening disrupted by violent protests.

There are innumerous examples of movies being inspired from real life incidents like Bombay, Mumbai Meri Jaan, Fashion, Page 3 etc. We can also look forward to forth coming movies that have taken inspiration from real life incidents like Aamir Khan’s Peepli Live, Rajkumar Gupta’s No One killed Jessica based on the Jessica Lall murder case.

In the same vein we can also cite examples where common man took inspiration from movies and fought injustice like Lage Raho Munnabhai which propagated Gandhigiri and inspired many people to fight corruption and injustice through non-voilence. Taare Zameen Par a movie on dyslexic children helped in making the people identify with the problem and deal with it like any other illness. 3 Idiots questioned the education system and also opened the eyes of many parents who were forcing their ambitions on their children. The increasing number of student suicides were something that was beyond any parents imagination and control. 3 Idiots helped in making people understand that how burderned our today’s youth feel due to the high educational competion and parental expectations leading them to end their life.

There have also been incidences of negative influence of movies like mass suicides by many lovers after getting inspired from EK Dujhe Ke Liye or the mass eve teasing and ragging experienced in colleges after getting inspired from movies and movie stars. Children especially likes to immitate whatever they see over the TV and movies and end up with tragedies eg: After getting inspired by Shaktimaan many children tried to jump off their balconies or tried to set them ablaze with the whole belief that Shaktimaan will come and save them.

Films have also inspired the fashion trends like after Maine Pyar Kiya you could see the chudidars, sarees and accessories worn by Bhagyashree getting popular and every girl wanting to don one. Similarly the cap worn by Aamir Khan in Dil Hain Ki Manta Nahi or the ‘FRIENDS’ cap worn by Salman and Bhagyashree in MPK were a rage. The purple saree worn by Madhuri in Hum Aapke Hai Kaun or the Chandni Chudidaars worn by Sridevi in Chandni or the mini skirts worn by Urmila in Rangeela or the DDLJ skirts worn by Kajol were something every woman or girl in India wanted to have in her wardrobe. al

Many customs or games we had forgotten in due course of time came into vogue due to Sooraj Badjatya’s movies. Festivals like ‘Karva Chauth’ and games like ‘Antakshari’ ‘Joote Chupana’ or even the ‘Pillow Passing’ games. ‘Chak De India’ brought back the long neglected national game ‘hockey’ to the fore front and made the Government realise how we had ignored the game for long for Cricket.

Cinema has always been a mirror to the society and society has always immitated the good or bad values of cinema. So come what may inspiration in any form will always translate to art and vice versa. Whether Life immitates Art or Art immitates Life its a circle which compliments eachother. Oscar Wilde once quoted “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.”

Talent Hunt Shows: Boon or Bane

Sunidhi Chauhan, Kunal Ganjawala, Shreya Ghoshal & Abhijit Sawant, what is so common among them? The answer is, all the above mentioned singers are discoveries of various Talent Hunt shows beamed out of the various television channels.

Lets run back in time when every parent wanted his child to be an Engineer or a Doctor. Children were subjected to full time studies with very or less importance given to extracurricular activities. Scoring high marks in exams were the prime focus.

Today if you ask any parent or child what he or she wants to become the answer would be ‘Actor’ or ‘Singer’ or ‘Dancer’. Gone are the days of only concentrating on studies and nothing else, today’s parents are more keen on making their children celebrities thanks to shows like Indian Idol, Saregamapa, Fame Gurukul, Dance India Dance or Dance Premier League.

The craze for reality television hit India when channel V came up with Viva, a band of five young singers. When channel V announced the auditions, young dreamers gathered in huge numbers to give their luck a try. They cried when they failed, celebrated when they triumphed. The audience, on its part, lapped up this overdose of emotions thrown at them by the channel. The show was a big success and an inspiration for both the shrewd business minds and also for the young dreamers waiting for their share of fame.

Since then there has been no looking back as reality television proliferated with each passing day. With the registration for each show surpassing the last one and the audience votes pouring in billions, all doubts over the acceptability of these shows by the Indian audience were cleared. The real life Bunty and Bablis came forward for the auditions of Indian Idol, Fame Gurukul, India’s Best, Roadies, etc. Almost every channel today has an Abhijeet Sawant and a Prajakta Shukre to boast about.

Even before commercialized format of talent hunt shows started in India we had our very own Yash Chopra to thank. Chopra started a show in the early 90’s called ‘Meri Awaaz Suno’ which gave us a talent singer in the form of Sunidhi Chauhan. Same was the case with Shreya Ghosal who won the Zee Saregamapa at a very young age and was discovered by Sanjay Bhansali to sing for his magnum opus ‘Devdas’. Sonu Nigam and Shaan who were a nobody, came to be noticed through Zee TV’s Saregama, as they hosted the show for many years and became the favourites of the Janta.

The reason for these talent hunt shows to become a success is anybody’s guess because anything that strikes the emotional chord is an instant hit in our country. The reason for this is that we Indians are high on the emotional quotient and every Indian (even the most practical one) has an emotional soul hidden somewhere. The success of reality shows in India can be attributed to a great extent to this weakness of ours. Apart from this, the relief that these shows provide from the saas-bahu soaps, which currently dominate television, is another reason for their immense popularity.

The various television channels exploited the potential of reality shows and saw a huge surge in popularity. Sony’s popularity saw a huge rise after it launched Indian Idol, an adaptation of a hit British reality show. It was reality television that wrote the destiny of television channel Star One. The two reality shows, The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Nach Baliye, are to a great extent responsible for the popularity that Star One has got.

Reality shows not only changed the destinies of many television channels but also of many ordinary people. People like Kunal Ganjawala, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghosal and Anushka Manchanda are some of the successful finds of reality television. It was only for these shows that a teashop owner, Sunil Pal, became a laughter champion and Prashant, a sepoy from Darjeeling, became the third Indian Idol.

Reality television is a win-win situation for everyone, be it contestants, channels or the viewers. The high TRPs that these shows command explains the advantage they have for television channels. For the viewers, they are refreshing change from the somnolent Saas-Bahu dramas. The biggest gainers, however, are the contestants who are provided with the right platform to showcase their talent. There is a lot of untapped talent in our country and these shows by extending their reach to small cities provide an opportunity to bring out this hidden talent. These shows give an instant recognition to the contestants. A chance to showcase their talent on such a big platform and in front of such esteemed judges is something for which any struggler can die. Reality television can provide them with this lifetime opportunity. The rest, of course, depends on their talent and destiny.

Apart from this, the emotional angle of these shows is to a great extent responsible for their success. The fact that the contestants in these shows are ordinary people with whom audiences immediately relate to is the biggest trump card of these shows. The vicarious joy which people get in seeing somebody from amongst them living an almost impossible dream glues people to these shows.

Reality shows have come under a lot of criticism. Questions have been raised over the authenticity of the voting system on the basis of which the contestants are voted out. Prominent names like Lata Mangeshkar have raised fingers over the very method of selection that is used on such shows. Throwing contestants out on the basis of the votes cast by people sitting at home with hardly any knowledge about the technicalities involved in a contest like singing or dancing has been questioned.

Moreover the competition has become so tough its taking its toll on the contestants more on young children like Shinjini Sengupta.

Shinjini used to be a normal 16-year-old girl. She loved to dance, she went to college and probably had a great set of friends. A talented youth, Shinjini is a very good dancer who has also acted in Bengali tele-serials and has even acted in a Bengali movie.

Just like all other kids like her, Shinjini entered a dance-based reality show that has been airing on a Bengali TV channel. Things seemed to be going okay until the fateful shoot on May 19 saw a turn of events that changed this young talented girl forever. Shinjini was criticised harshly by the judges after her performance. Unlike other contestants she kept her cool and didn’t break down and cry.
Things got increasingly worse when Shinjini went into depression and eventually lost her speech… Today, her parents are worried as this once active dancer has lost even lost the use of her limbs. Psychiatrists claim that her case is an extreme and rare one in which depression plays a vital role.

To avoid such similar cases in future a new ruling has come into being which bars any child below 8 to take part in any reality shows and moreover the money of child artist will not go to them or their parents but will be kept in the form of FD.
Despite all this, the end reality is that such shows enjoy great popularity among the audience. Reality television is a ray of hope for the ordinary people. It not only gives them the courage to dream but also the assistance to turn their dreams to reality. It is difficult to say whether reality shows are a phase or they are here to stay, but we wish they stayed for long so that more and more Debojeets aand Abhijeet Sawants get a chance to live their dreams.

Movies, Masti, Magic etc…

I am a huge movie buff, especially Hindi Movies. Today I want to talk about the movies I am looking forward to watch in the next month. After seeing few very good movies in the last few weeks eg: I Hate Luv Storys, Peepli Live, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, Tere Bin Laden, Udaan etc I am hoping that the tidings are going to be good for our Hindi Film Industry and its viewers. Where big budgeted movies like Raavan and Kites that put our film industry into a big soup, small and medium budgeted movies are trying to bring it out of the doldrums.

In the coming months we have few really interesting movies up for release. Here I am presenting my choice of movies that I would love to watch in September;
DABANNG: After a long time a movie with Salman looks promising. The promos are promising, the songs are melodious and the fight sequences looks breath taking. After WANTED which released last year, I feel Dabangg would be another mass hit for the beefy Khan. The movie promises a line up of debutants eg: Abhinav Kashyap – Director, Arbaaz Khan – Producer & Sonakshi Sinha – Actress. Would love to watch it first day first show.
ANJAANA ANJAANI: Director Siddharth Anand and Producer Sajid Nadiadwala are known for their excellent track record with huge hits like Salaam Namaste, Bachna Ae Haseeno (in case of Siddharth) and Housefull, Mujhse Shaadi Karoge etc (in case of Sajid). Even Ranbir and Priyanka are heading the popularity charts after their past films like Raajneeti, Wake Up Sid, Kaminey, Fashion and Dostana. The music by Vishal Shekhar is already a blockbuster and the promos looks pleasing. Another sure shot hit for the hit starved movie industry.
WE ARE FAMILY: Kajol and Kareena with Arjun Rampal is a deadly combination at the box office with KJo’s named lanking behind. A movie that promises powerhouse performances and thrilling moments for its viewers however lets them down with its mediocre sound track. The returns on the box office looks grim unless priced intelligently. Would watch the movie irrespect of its box office outcome. Kajol here I come….

Music Review: Anjaana Anjaani

Coming from the stables of Siddharth Anand and Sajid Nadiadwala ‘Anjaana Anjaani’ comes with a lot of expectations musically. With superhit music tracks like ‘Salaam Namaste’, Tara Rum Pum’ and ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ in the past, Siddharth Anand’s latest movie offering with Vishal-Shekhar helming the baton is going to be a sure shot hit in the coming days.

The album starts with the Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sung ballard ‘Aas Paas Khuda’. Rahat means that there would be something slow, subdued, subtle and soulful. This is exactly what one gets with ‘Aas Paas Khuda’ which does require a couple of listening before one settles down to the sound. Written by Vishal Dadlani with Shekhar Ravjiani adding to the chorus, ‘Aas Paas Khuda’ is about the protagonist being inspired to be positive and trust in the almighty. The treatment in fact has a Western touch to it though Rahat does his own stuff of staying in his ‘sufi’ zone. What works more though is the ‘unplugged version’ because with Rahat around, all you wish to listen to is his voice with nothing else around. In this version, there is Shruti Pathak around though one doesn’t mind that.

Next one ‘Anjaana Anjaani Ki Kahani’ sung by Monali Thakur and Nikhil Dsouza is a spunky club track that is already heating up the music charts. With Hindi and English lyrics thrown in with equal measure it would definitely appeal to the club going youngsters. This song written by Neelish Mishra gives a retro feel heard in the songs of 70’s and 80’s.

Lucky Ali surprises everyone with ‘Hairat’ another future chartbuster written by Vishal Dadlani. A love song that describes how life is beautiful if you have a great companion. Lucky needs to sing more often as his voice brings a freshness that is rarely to be seen these days. Another up for him after the ‘Ahista Ahista’ another Vishal Shekhar composition from another Siddharth Anand movie with Ranbir ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’.

‘Tumse Hi Tumse’ sung by Shekhar Ravjiani with a boyish charm has a Vishal-Shekhar stamp to it when it comes to simplicity. Written by Amitabh Bhattacharya and Anvita Dutt with Caralisa Monteiro contributing with the English Lyrics, ‘Tumse Hi Tumse’ is a modern day romantic track for a lazy coffee outing.

‘Tujhe Bhula Diya’ sung by Mohit Chauhan is not a typical sad judaai song. The song has its own uniqueness which captures you even in its remix and lounge versions sung by Shruti Pathak. Written by Kumaar and Vishal Dadlani, Tujhe Bhula Diya is a very good attempt.

The entertainment continues with the sixth song – ‘I Feel Good’ – and one realises that you are indeed feeling good by the time this song appears. In fact this Vishal Dadlani sung and written number makes one wonder that this song could well have come at the very beginning of the album as well. Normally some of the relatively weaker songs make a late appearance in an album but listening to ‘I Feel Good’ makes one sure that the team here indeed chose some of the best compositions that they had in hand. With Shilpa Rao giving Vishal some good company here, ‘I Feel Good’ (which has been set as a Western teenage love song) turns out to be yet another good inclusion in the album.

The last song that appears on this album is titled ‘Anjaana Anjaani’ sung by Shilpa Rao and Vishal Dadlani. The second title track is quite a revealation which draws parallel with the ‘Khuda Jaane’ song from Bachna Ae Haseeno.

Listening to the songs you feel really complete as every song is a gem and in today’s time where you just find one or two songs worth listening here you get an entire album with beautiful melodies.

I am already rocking to these songs…. I bet even you guyz would also agree to me once you listen to the same.


How do you feel when you crash onto a family of six accidentally
while learning to ride a bike?

How do you feel when accidentally you peep into a bathroom to see your girlfriend’s mother taking a bath?

How do you feel when high on beer you accidentally kick onto a dead body?

How do you feel when a dog chases and bites you when you accidentally stroll into someone’s garden?

How do you feel when accidentally you are caught red handed making love to your girlfriend by her mother?

The answer is “Knocked Up” a hilarious tale of friendship, love, happiness and togetherness experienced, redefined and celebrated by three best friends Sid, Ron & Prateik.

Growing up days is fun especially when you have a set of friends who are as whacked and crazy as you are. Sid, Ron and Prateik had nothing in common other than their friendship and zest for life. The fun loving trio who were never serious about their lives or career ultimately find their goals and meaning to their life through funny events and incidents.

A story that will relate to you and also put a smile on your face making you miss those fun filled teenage days.


As per the latest reports nearly 18 percent or rather one out of every five Americans feels that Obama practices Islam. The numbers have alarmingly risen from the 11 percent people who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released today. The number of people who say he is a Christian is down to 34 percent.
The largest number; 43 percent of people said that they didn’t know his religion which is an increase from 34 percent who said so in March 2009.

The survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and its affiliated Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, is based on the interviews conducted before the controversy over whether Muslims should be permitted to build a mosque near the World Trade Center site.

The poll emerged as the President said he has ‘No Regrets’ over the comments he made about the right of Muslims to build a mosque near Ground Zero. The President was asked about his comments while he was finishing a meeting with the public on the economy of Ohio yesterday which has sparked an outrage by the Republicans and the families of the 9/11 victims. Last week Obama had also commented that Muslims have equal right to practice their religion like any other citizens of America.

Emergency crews like the New York firemen, Police and ambulance workers who dealt with the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks have condemned his support for a mosque near Ground Zero and accused him of deserting them.

Since the terrorist attack by Islamic extremists, many who risked their lives saving others have been plagued by serious health problems. A bill which would give them £4.6billion compensation is stuck in Congress.

John Feal, who heads the Fealgood Foundation supporting emergency workers, said the plight of the Ground Zero workers and their diseases brought on by the toxic cloud over the twin towers had been sidelined.

‘Why have you failed us? We thought you would be our champion,’ he wrote in a letter to Mr Obama. ‘It is disturbing that you have the time and energy to speak in favour of the mosque, but not on the health crisis caused by the attacks.’

The rescuers want Mr Obama to show support for the £4.6billion Zadroga 9/11 health and compensation bill which will guarantee payments to workers who are suffering as a result of 9/11 rescue efforts. The bill was rejected last month by Congress amid accusations by the Republicans that it was a cash grab by New York.

There are renewed calls for an investigation into how the mosque will be paid for as reports suggest it may be funded by cash from regimes with questionable stances on terrorism.

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, called for an investigation into those opposing the mosque plans. She told a San Fransisco radio station: ‘There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how… this opposition to the mosque is being funded.’ But her campaign was immediately rejected by New York Mayor Micheal Bloomberg as ‘un-American’.

According to the Siena Research Institute poll, 63 per cent of New Yorkers polled were against its construction and just 27 per cent were for it. But in the same poll a similar margin – 64-to-28 per cent – said the developers had the constitutional right to built it.

The mosque, previously called Cordoba House but now known as Park51, will be a 13-storey Muslim community centre costing £70million which will include a swimming pool, gym, theatre and sports facilities.

To add insult to injury, in the eyes of the victims’ families and the majority of Americans, approval has just been granted for a mosque to be built two blocks away from Ground Zero as the Construction is due to begin on September 11 next year – the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack.

Nine years after 9/11, the site of the Twin Towers is still an open sore on the face of New York — a festering reminder of the terror attack which claimed almost 3,000 lives.

What began as a local planning dispute could come to determine the fate of Barack Obama’s Presidency in the coming few months.
Source: Daily Mail


A new research has found that women who grow up with a younger brother tend to lose their virginity nearly two years later than otherwise because of their traditional care-giving roles.

Researchers said that elder girls were more likely to take on the role of helping with family chores and as a result were less likely to form sexual relationships.

“Elder daughters may provide more help to their parents in raising their younger brothers than elder brothers,” said study authors Fritha Milne and Debra Judge, of Western Australia University. “Associated with this prolonged help is a delay in sexual activity and thus a delay in potential for starting their own family.”

The researchers studied 273 people aged 18 to 75 and found girls with exclusively elder brothers were almost a year older when they had their first period than those with no older siblings or those with only elder sisters. And girls with only younger brothers were on average almost two years older when they first had sex than those with no younger siblings. The findings were published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Scientists in the Salzburg University have found that the contraceptive pill has the potential to increase the grey matter inside your head to make you smarter. Their study has shown that contraceptive pills enhance the brain’s ‘conversation hub’ and memory. It increases brain size by around 3 per cent.

Scientists, who took high-resolution images of the brain, found that several areas in the brain looked larger for women who took the pill, irrespective of the brand or formulation of the drug, or how long it had been prescribed for.

These areas seemed to be the ones that dealt with social skills and memory. “The behavioural changes due to contraceptive use are likely to affect those skills that are already better developed in women compared to men like, for example, memory,” said Dr Belinda Pletzer of Salzburg University.

One theory as to why the pill affects the brain this way is that the oestrogen or progesterone used to stop eggs from being released also strengthens the links between nerve cells in the brain. The study is published in the journal Brain Research.

Bruce Lee to be immortalised by China into a Mammoth Statue

China is all hell bent on creating world history by creating a red painted 30m-tall and eight-legged sculpture of kung fu legend Bruce Lee , which they hope would eventually be recognised as a landmark very much like the Statue of Liberty in New York harbour.

According to the China Daily, the ceramic statue depicts an eight-legged Bruce Lee, known as Li Xiaolong in Chinese, balancing world famous monuments on each foot. The monuments include The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower and the Bird’s Nest or National Olympic Stadium, in Beijing.

Chinese artists in Foshan, a city in Guangdong province are working on the same. One of the artists Shu Yong said “We hope it can compete with the Statue of Liberty. But our sculpture, The Kungfu God of 1,000 Legs, is meant to symbolise Chinese wisdom, creativity and health.” It took 100 people six months to complete the sculpture, because of its complexity and size of the ceramics.
Bruce Lee, the star of the 1973 cult hit ‘Enter the Dragon’, was born in San Francisco but has ancestral links to Foshan.

The towering sculpture, which looks like a stop-motion capture of Lee doing one of his explosive high kicks, is expected to be ready by next year.

“We are taking it to the Guggenheim Museum (in Manhattan) next year as part of a grand world tour,” Yong added.

Foshan, the city in Guangdong province where the sculpture is being made, bills itself as the home of Chinese kung fu. In reality, it competes with several other Chinese towns and provinces for kung fu bragging rights, notably the Shaolin monastery in Henan province.


Marilyn Monroe the Hollywood diva who ruled the screens in the 40’s and 60’s was always known for her fashion and style. Recently some rare photographs taken between the shoots of 1961 film Misfits – the last film Marilyn Monroe completed has surfaced which shows a relaxed side of the Hollywood icon, who is synonymous with glamour.

In the newly released images, the actress is dressed in a simple white shirt and her hair is plaited in pig tails. She looks sombre but relaxed.

Monroe who was associated with many controversies during her lifetime had committed suicide a year after completing the film, which was written by her ex-husband Arthur Miller. It was directed by John Huston and also starred Clark Gable. The film tells the story of a depressed divorcee’s chance encounter with an ageing cowboy.

Other photos also show a fresh faced Marilyn caught off-guard wrapped in a towel, reading the script between takes and standing at her trailer door sipping coffee as she chats with co-star Montgomery Clift, Daily Mail reported.

These eight images have been captured by photo-journalist Eve Arnold and are on display in the US. Recalling his association with the star, the 98-year-old photographer said: “She was going places but she hadn’t arrived. She liked my pictures and was canny enough to realise that they were a fresh approach for presenting her – a looser, more intimate look than the posed studio portraits she was used to in Hollywood.”