Home Tollywood News Bollywood Gola Political News Hyderabad Mania
Custom Search

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Photo Feature: Rare Pic Of Rajiv-Sonia On Roadside

The image “http://www.greatandhra.com/newsimages/rajivsonia1197776848.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

This is the rare picture of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi having ice cream on a road side. It's taken sometime in 70s on the roads of Delhi.

Rajiv Gandhi is not a well known face at that time. He used to roam outside with Sonia Gandhi like any other person without big security.

The ice cream vendor didn't know that he was selling ice cream to the grandson of Nehru and the son of Indira Gandhi. He didn't even know that he is selling ice cream for the future Prime Minister (Rajiv) and the future king maker (Sonia) of India.

300 attend memorial for slain Andhra students in US

More than 300 people attended a memorial service for two slain Indian doctoral students, filling the ballroom at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Student Union.

Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma, 31, a biology student from Hyderabad, and Kiran Kumar Allam, 33, a chemistry student from Kurnool, were fatally shot late on Thursday at Edward Gay Apartments, a student-housing complex at Baton Rouge, the state capital.

The apartment complex is home to 288 residents, 94 per cent of whom are international students. With a contingent of 332, Indians form the largest group of international students from a single country at LSU.

At Friday night's memorial service, university provost Astrid Merget said, "What transpired last night was simply a profound tragedy. It was also... an assault on the community."

Pallavi Rastogi, an assistant professor of English at LSU, agreed saying she felt shell-shocked all day.

"I think it really hit us close in two ways: one, that it was at LSU, where we work; and the second, that it happened to someone from India, someone who followed the kind of trajectory that we had," she said.

"We also came here as graduate students and got our PhDs."

"People come here thinking that they'll have a better life, better career opportunities, and then it's all cut short in a brutal fashion," she said. "It's just really strange to feel this way for someone you've never met, but I think it's resonating with all of us."

Fareed Aboul-ela, an assistant professor in the Biology Department, told local media that he taught both men. "They were delightful people, very lively," he said.

Dheeraj Singireddy, who attended the ceremony Friday, described Allam as a close friend whom he had met during his time with the Indian Student Association.

Allam "was very helpful to other Indian guys, new guys who had just come over and are new to LSU," said Singireddy, who moved to Baton Rouge from India to pursue a master's degree in electrical engineering.

Gopu Vikram was among a group of Allam's friends gathered Friday morning with Allam's wife and mother at a student housing complex on Nicholson Drive.

Allam's pregnant wife, whom Vikram declined to name, was in a state of shock, he said. Allam's mother flew into Baton Rouge Saturday morning.

Matthew Gilbert, who had coffee with Komma once or twice a week, said Komma and his wife had just got married.

"He was a wonderful guy with a lot of friends," he said. "He was unique in the Indian community in that he really reached out to Americans."

Terry Bricker, a professor of basic sciences who worked with Komma in his laboratory two years ago, said Komma recently passed his general exam to become a doctoral candidate.

"That was a milestone for him," Bricker said, "which kind of makes this even more difficult to take."

Meanwhile, the double slaying has left many students worried about their safety.

LSU doctoral student Sachin Chintawar, who lives in the Edward Gay Apartments, told the Baton Rouge Advocate he was "totally shocked" about the shootings and feels unsafe on campus.

"Everybody is talking about moving," said Chintawar, who was a neighbour and acquaintance of Allam.

"There is no safety at all here," said Chintawar, who moved away from Tiger Manor, another apartment complex on the campus, because of safety concerns. "Off campus there is no safety. On campus there is no safety."

Hemant Chowdhary, who has lived at Edward Gay for three years while pursuing his PhD in civil engineering, dubbed the complex "famously insecure" and implored authorities to step up security there permanently.

"We're always living in kind of a shadow of fear," he said. "Three hundred apartments may deserve slightly more (security) than what we presently have."

The last time someone was killed on LSU's campus was the early 1990s. But several apartment residents cited by the Advocate said that during the past month several incidents have made them feel unsafe.

Article: Chiru Needs Strategists Like NTR Had

The image “http://www.greatandhra.com/newsimages/chiranjeevi21197771261.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Hyderabad: The legend goes that in the early eighties, before he formally entered politics, N T Rama Rao made a request to the Congress bosses to elevate his son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu who was then a minister of state in the Congress government to the level of a Cabinet minister. The request was not kept. A little before that, NTR had apparently sought a nominated membership of Rajya Sabha; again his request had been kept aside. The superhero was miffed. He declared to his close friends that he would not go to anyone with a begging bowl, but rather form his own party and appoint ministers and MPs himself. The rest they say is history.

An old timer recalling this story wondered whether Chiranjeevi mulling over the prospects of entering politics had this spirit of NTR which made him take the plunge, oblivious of all the risks. “Chiranjeevi is faced with an Hamletian dilemma. But a decisive man has to be a risk taker. Remember fortune favours the brave,” the analyst said.

Nobody denies that Chiranjeevi has a huge fan following, especially among the youth segment in the ages of 18 to 24. But whether the superhero has a strategy to harness the raw youth power is the question.

A senior Kapu leader whose name is being bandied around as a possible entrant into the Chiranjeevi camp said: “NTR had a group of strategists who used to plan his moves and decide the publicity for him. If Chiranjeevi has such a core group, then we know nothing about them.” This leader points out that the fan clubs of Chiranjeevi have already become active in the last fortnight after word started doing the rounds that the superhero was planning a foray into politics. “The problem is that they have become aggressive, alienating other sections of youth - fan clubs of Mahesh Babu or Junior NTR. Chiranjeevi instead of dilly-dallying should appoint district secretaries who should channelise this raw power,” said the leader. However, it seems that Chiranjeevi’s emissaries are active over the last few days. Many politicians and professionals confirmed to STOI that Chirumen had sent feelers to them about the possibility of their making common cause with the superhero. Most of them are keeping their options open, not very sure of the shape that a new Chiranjeevi party will take. “We are interested in the new formation, but who along with him would occupy a vantage position is the issue. Will his brother-in-law Allu Aravind who controls his film destiny be hyperactive, whether younger brother, the quick tempered Pavan Kalyan play an important role will be an important issue,” said one professional, getting feelers.

But there is unanimity that Chiranjeevi’s party - when floated - would be a success. “There are a lot of disgruntled persons in the political stage. Chiranjeevi’s ability is immaterial at this point of time. They will use him as a glue to stick around. Chiranjeevi will provide a platform of sorts - especially for the Kapus who nurse the feeling of being non-entities in the political scene,” said an analyst. “But in the long run for the party to be successful, it would require proper party managers, programmers and continued charisma of Chiranjeevi. We have to see whether all these can combine,” the analyst added.

Linked to the whole issue is the question of Telangana. Many analysts feel that in the event of a Chiranjeevi threat if the Congress high command starts mulling on Telangana, the film star’s activities would be restricted to the Andhra area. This will contain him to a large extent.

No leads as FBI joins hunt for US varsity killers

Washington/Baton Rouge (IANS): As the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) joined the hunt for the killers of two Indian students at a US university, the winter break there posed a new problem to investigators looking for leads.

The two Ph.D students, Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma, 31, of Hyderabad, India, and Kiran Kumar Allam, 33, of Kurnool, India, were found shot dead at the Louisiana State University (LSU) apartments at Baton Rouge Thursday night.

With final exams over Saturday, students who might have information useful to investigators started leaving for the holidays, police faced difficulties in identifying suspects and potential witnesses. "We're up against a rapidly ticking clock in terms of identifying potential witnesses," said Baton Rouge Police Department Sergeant Don Kelly, a spokesman for the law enforcement task force investigating the double murder.

"Police has some leads, but they have not been able to identify the prime suspects yet," Indian consul general in Houston S.M. Gavai told IANS on phone. He had also spoken to the LSU chancellor Sean O'Keefe and was told "FBI is also involved in the investigations besides the police of the university and the state."

The Indian ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen, too spoke to Keefe and was assured that police was doing everything to apprehend the killers. Sen in turn assured of him of all help in investigating the crime. Sen also spoke to the spouses of the two slain students.

Two Indian officials, K.P. Pillai, consul at Houston and Alok Pandey, first secretary at the Indian embassy in Washington, had a series of meetings in Baton Rouge Saturday with the university authorities, police department, the Indian Students Association and the Indian-American community.

The autopsy of the two students has been completed, Pandey said. The bodies will be flown to India after embalming as requested by the victims' families.

The investigation focused on three black men who police said were seen late Thursday hurriedly leaving from the apartment complex where Allam lived and the shootings occurred. Police also searched for information about a possible fourth suspect, who they believed drove a getaway car.

But police had no real description of the men, other than to say they are young and got into small to mid-sized four-door car whose headlights were turned on only after the car had left the parking lot.

"That's the best information we have at this time. It's still very early in the investigation, and other leads may come forward," Kelly said.

"We have not established a motive ... All we know was there was a double murder," he said. There was no forced entry, and while some items were missing from the apartment, Kelly said it was too early to consider it an armed robbery.

Many students had already left campus before the killings, but with all examinations completed Saturday, an exodus started from the 28,000-student campus for the holidays.

Police patrols were stepped up near the Edward Gay apartments at the edge of the campus where the two students were shot in the head in a home attack. Officers on Saturday walked nearby streets, knocking on doors and asking people for any information they may have about the killings.

The apartment complex is home to 288 residents, 94 percent of whom are international students. With a contingent of 332, Indians form the largest group of international students from a single country at LSU, which has a total of 1,468 international students enrolled for 2007 fall semester.

Political Buzz: TDP leader denies Chiru overtures

Hyderabad: TDP Rajya Sabha member C Ramachandraiah dismissed reports that he would join the new political party to be floated by megastar Chiranjeevi.

“These are all imaginary stories and do not carry any conviction. Everything about Chiranjeevi’s overtures is imaginary. So, the question of one contacting the other doesn’t arise,” Ramachandraiah said.

Saying that Telugu Desam Party is synonymous with empowerment of downtrodden, any attempt to woo BC leaders from the party by any organisation would be a futile exercise, he said. “All BCs are with the TDP and will continue to be in future as well,” the MP said.

Ticker: Reddys Created Problem For ANR and Chiru

This is a phenomenon where Reddys have been creating disturbance for top actors in Tollywood. Digging the history, we can understand that a few decades ago Minister Nallapareddy Sreenivasula Reddy announced to Press that Akkineni Nageshwara Rao was entering into politics by setting up a new party. Since that was the announcement of a Minister, all the News Papers published that news prominently. There were no TV channels and 24 hour news bulletins during those days. Hence the people stunned reading the news in News Papers. ANR was abroad when this news was broken in AP. When he returned he arranged a Press Meet. All the journalists thought that he will be announcing his new party and that's the essence of this Press Meet.

But ANR said, "Had I decided to star a political party I would have invited you to convey the same. I don't understand why some others have shown interest in it and declared on behalf of me. And you have published that without asking me".

But Chiranjeevi didn't play that role now. When Kasu Prasada Reddy announced about Chiranjeevi's new party, entire state was shaken and media got full meal to discuss. Chiranjeevi didn't respond immediately and asked to wait until he announces.

People should understand that the circumstances are not same as they were during the days of NTR and MGR. Rajesh Khanna was the big man in Indian Cinema who had countless fan-associations in entire India. But what happened to his political career? What about the plight of Amitabh Bachchan? He said that he simply ran away from politics knowing that it is not his cup of tea. How many seats would Sivaji Ganesan win after starting own party in Tamilnadu? How many seats could NTR's son Hari Krishna win by setting up NTR TDP? Many stars like Krishnam Raju, Vijayanirmala, Satyanarayana and Jamuna were lost in elections.

Now there are many parties in the state. We have Congress, TDP, BJP, TRS, Talli Telangana, Lok Satta and many. How difficult it is for Chiranjeevi to get majority beating all these parties, their followers and their sentiments?

Are Chiranjeevi and his allies listening?

"If Chiranjeevi has stunning following in public, Ashwini Dutt would have won 2004 elections as Chiru supported for him. The animated film 'Hanuman' that was promoted and sold on Chiranjeevi's dubbing must have been a minimum grosser. But no one turned towards the theater at all. So, Chiranjeevi's following is an assumed one in many places. The true followers may be a few", said a Congress leader.

Chiru effect: Kanna viewed with suspicion

Eversince the talk of Megastar Chiranjeevi entering politics doing rounds in the State political circles, Transport Minister Kanna Lakshmi Narayana is being viewed with suspicion by the Congress leaders in the State capital.

Gandhi Bhavan is agog with rumours say Kanna was lobbying with the Kapu leaders in Guntur district, who are predominantly backing Chiranjeevi in launching the political party. It is suspected that Kanna, along with other minister Jakkampudi Rammohan Rao, has been in touch with the people closer to Chiranjeevi. And if they think that all is not well with the Congress party in the next elections, if Chiranjeevi comes into politics, they can as well take a plunge into the Megastar party.

But, people who know Kanna and Jakkampudi in close quarters have the least suspcion about their loyalty towards the Congress. In fact, Kanna is trying to neutralize the effect of Chiranjeevi on the Congress party in Guntur district by implementing Indiramma and other schemes. But who knows how politics take a different turn and how politicians change colours?

Google Custom Search