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Dance pioneer Astad Deboo dies at 73, Twitter flush with tributes

Deboo is noted for creating a modern dance vocabulary that was uniquely Indian. His innovative style of Indian dance may have raised some eyebrows in the 1970s and 80s, but later in the 1990s saw people embrace this new idiom.

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Dance pioneer Astad Deboo, renowned for Kathak as well as Kathakali, died on Thursday at the age of 73. His family announced on social media that Deboo died in the early hours of December 10 at his residence in Mumbai after a brief illness. The announcement said, the loss to the family, friends, fraternity of dancers, both classical and modern, Indian and international, is inestimable. May he rest in peace and will miss him.

Padma Alva, a longtime friend of Deboo and a former PTI journalist, said his funeral was a private affair due to the COVID-19 restrictions held at Worli in Soth Mumbai. It was a private funeral because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Deboo is noted for creating a modern dance vocabulary that was uniquely Indian. His innovative style of Indian dance may have raised some eyebrows in the 1970s and 80s, but later in the 1990s saw people embrace this new idiom.

Deboo, who was born on July 13, 1947, in the town of Navsari in Gujarat, began to train in Kathak under Prahlad Das in Kolkata from a young age and later trained in Kathakali under E.K. Pannicker, who described his style as contemporary in vocabulary and traditional in restraint. Spanning almost half a century in dance, Deboo had performed in over 70 countries, including solo, group and collaborative choreography with artistes, at home and abroad.

Known for his charitable endeavours, Deboo worked with deaf children, both in India and abroad for two decades. In 2002, he founded the Astad Deboo Dance Foundation which provided creative training to marginalised sections, including the differently-abled.

Deboo also forayed into other art disciplines, like films, choreographing for directors such as Mani Ratnam, Vishal Bhardwaj and legendary painter M.F. Husain’s Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities.

Also Read: Anil Kapoor’s film AK vs AK stirs controversy, IAF asks Netflix to withdraw scenes for inappropriate language, uniform

Actor Anupam Kher took to Twitter to pay tributes to the dance icon and wrote Deboo”s art would be missed. He wrote the world of modern dance has lost a pioneer and India has lost a cultural treasure. Filmmaker Nandita Das also tweeted that a lot of dance was still left in him. Describing Deboo as a powerhouse of talent, music composer Ehsaan Noorani tweeted that the dancer was a man who pushed the dimensions of dance. Casting director Tess Joseph said Deboo was not only a generous person but a visionary and stunning dancer.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Voter turnout of 56.68% recorded till 5pm in 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections

Elections are being held in 49 constituencies across eight states and Union Territories in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024.

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A voter turnout of 56.68 % was recorded in phase 5 till 5 pm as per the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout App, with the highest voting percentage in West Bengal (73 %) and the lowest in Maharashtra (48.66 %). Lok Sabha elections are taking place in 49 constituencies across 8 states and Union Territories in the 5th phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024.

Voter turnout of 56.68% was recorded till 5pm. The breakup is as follows: J&K: 54.21%, Bihar: 52.35%, Ladakh: 67.15%, Jharkhand: 61.90%, Maharashtra: 48.66%, UP: 55.80%, Odisha: 60.55% and West Bengal: 73%. The fate of 4 Union ministers, including Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani, as well as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be decided in the ongoing Lok Sabha election. Former UP CM Mayawati, BJP’s Rae Bareli candidate Dinesh Pratep Singh, Smriti Irani were among the early voters today who cast their vote in the morning.

 The Lucknow East Lok Sabha seat will also hold a bypoll on the same day. The Lok Sabha seats which are participating in this phase include Rae Bareli, Mohanlalganj, Jalaun (SC), Amethi, Hamirpur, Jhansi, Banda, Kaushambi (SC), Fatehpur, Faizabad, Barabanki (SC), Gonda  and Kaisarganj. The candidates also include and minister of state of consumer affairs Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Fatehpur) and minister of state for housing and urban affairs Kaushal Kishor (Mohanlalganj). Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat which was previously held by his mother and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

 The total number of voters expected to cast their vote in this phase is over 2.68 crore voters, with 144 candidates looking for their support. 11 BJP incumbent Lok Sabha MPs are contesting in this phase, while nominating new candidates in Kaisarganj and Barabanki (SC) Lok Sabha seats.

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Minor crashes Porsche killing two in Pune, granted bail in 15 hours, asked to write essay

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Tragedy struck in Kalyani Nagar, Pune during the early hours of Sunday when a speeding Porsche collided with a two-wheeler, resulting in the immediate deaths of two motorcyclists. Police officials have confirmed that the luxury car involved in the horrific accident was being driven by a juvenile. 

The juvenile court has granted bail to the 17-year-old after 15 hours with specific conditions. The bail terms included working with Yerawada traffic police for 15 days, writing an essay on the accident, seeking treatment from a doctor for alcohol cessation, and undergoing psychiatric counselling with a report submission.

The victims, a man and a woman, died on the spot after the speeding Porsche Taycan crashed into them from behind. Soon after the accident, the police arrived at the spot and booked the minor for rash and negligent driving, endangering life, and causing harm under IPC Sections 304A, 279, 337, 338, 427, and relevant sections of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Act at Pune City’s Yerwada Police Station.

The victims have been identified as Anis Avlia (24), and Ashwini Kosta (24). Both the victims hailed from Madhya Pradesh and were employed in Pune as engineers. Anis Avlia, a graduate in computer science, was employed at a multinational company situated in Kalyani Nagar, while Ashwini had been working alongside him at the same company until recently, before opting for a break.

Meanwhile, concerned authorities said that they have dispatched the minor’s blood samples for analysis to determine potential alcohol influence, with the results pending at the time of press. Reportedly, the accused is the son of renowned builder and Brahma Realty and Infrastructure owner, Vishal Agarwal. The Porsche involved in the accident was an unregistered vehicle.

It is reported that when the Pune police produced the minor in front of the magistrate, they requested the court to treat him as an adult. Nonetheless, the request was rejected and the court granted bail under the Juvenile Justice Act, imposing a few conditions along with the bail.

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Messages threatening Arvind Kejriwal appear on walls of Delhi metro station, inside trains, AAP blames BJP

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs has a letter sent to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday and demanded prompt and severe action in response to graffiti that had appeared on the Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar stations of the Delhi Metro.

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Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recieved threating messages today, May 20, which were witten on a poster. These posters were found at two metro stations of Delhi and inside the metro coaches.

Images of the statements appeared on social media, with at least two of them appearing on signboards carrying the names of the Patel Nagar and Rajiv Chowk metro stations, and several of them sticked on the walls of metro stations. However, it is yet to confirm that who did this.

According to a senior police officer, the incident has been brought to their attention and an inquiry has been started.

Following the appearance of threatening graffiti within the metro stations of Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar in the nation’s capital, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP were preparing an attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

AAP MP Sanjay Singh claimed claimed that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was the hub of the purported plot to target Arvind Kejriwal.

The BJP has been in a panic since Arvind Kejriwal’s release from jail. Right now, the BJP is preparing to strike Arvind Kejriwal with deadly intent. The prime minister’s office is the direct source of this plot. At the Metro stations in Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar, an attack threat against Kejriwal ji has been inscribed, according to Sanjay Singh’s statement today.

There have also reportedly been threatening messages scrawled inside metro trains.

AAP leader Atishi said the BJP is afraid of losing the next Lok Sabha elections in Delhi.  She claimed Arvind Kejriwal was targeted by the BJP through Swati Maliwal.

Meanwhile, the MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has a letter sent to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday and demanded prompt and severe action in response to graffiti that had appeared on the Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar stations of the Delhi Metro.

Social media users have also posted pictures of the graffiti. Security guards are stationed 24/7 and these stations are covered by CCTV. Why don’t the cops take any action? The Cyber Cell is where? This indicates that the BJP is behind this, she claimed.

In light of the Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal was granted interim relief by the Supreme Court earlier this month. On March 21, Kejriwal was taken into custody in relation to his purported involvement in the Delhi excise policy case.

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