'Students should be taught Gita, Quran, Bible twice a week'

School students must be taught from six major religious texts – including the Gita, Quran and Bible – to inculcate tolerance for different faiths, Union women and child development (WCD) minister Maneka Gandhi has said.

These days, there is a lot of religion-based tension. One of the reasons is that children don’t know enough of other religions, and operate on blind hatred. Teaching from scriptures of major religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam will help dispel religious stereotypes that students develop at a young age,” Gandhi said.

The Union minister, who raised the matter at the Central Advisory Board of Education meeting on Monday, now plans to ask the human resource development (HRD) ministry to conduct classes on the six religious scriptures at least twice a week.

How many of us have read our religious scriptures? I have read the Quran. How many of us know that Prophet Mohammed was anti-war? We were taught moral science during our school days, but it is not done anymore,” Gandhi said.

The Union minister also spoke on ways to regulate playschools across the country during the meeting. Although the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights – the country’s key child rights panel – has framed guidelines for the purpose, they are hardly ever enforced.

The WCD ministry has no feet on the ground to do it (regulate playschools). Enforcement has to be done by the HRD ministry. I have requested the HRD minister to take up this issue, so we can work jointly towards a solution,” Gandhi said.

She has suggested to her counterpart in the HRD ministry that playschools be attached to the nearest government school, so the principal of that institution could be made responsible for ensuring that the prescribed guidelines are followed.


A Prism of Absolute Truth: Actor Bruce Greenwood Discusses ‘The Post,’ Spielberg, History as a Teachable Moment

In Steven Spielberg’s The Post, Meryl Streep, playing Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, and Tom Hanks, as its legendary editor Ben Bradlee, race to catch up with The New York Times to publish a classified account of the U.S. Government’s decades-long involvement in Southeast Asia. The Post received raves during its pre-Christmas limited


This dog goes viral for his awesome sledding skills

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This Australian shepherd seems to have no trouble with the cold winter.

She loves sledding,” her owner, Cat Peters, 17, of Sioux City, Iowa, told InsideEdition. om.

Peters explained that she taught her pup to sled and ever since the city got snow, Secret has gone down the hill at least 50 times.

It’s definitely one of her favorite activities,” the post’s caption read.


Movie Reviews: Solo

Authors: Ecroaker. com Boosters.

Another good thing about Solo is Dulquer, who is a treat to watch in all the four avatars. The characters are named after Shiva, and all the four stories are connected by elements such as water, wind, fire and earth. The references to the elements in each portion are smartly done and it is proof to Nambiar’s ability to rise above a mediocre filmmaker. Read the complete review here.

One of the fascinating scenes in Solo is when Shiva's brother seeks comfort in a stranger. It tears us apart. That's how a repressed boy would react. It gets better later, when we get a Udaan-styled ending.

Recommended: Read all the latest reviews.


Movie reviews: Chef

Authors: Ecroaker. com Boosters.

Here's what the critics are saying about Chef, starring Saif Ali Khan, Padmapriya Janakiraman, Svar Kamble, Dhanish Karthik, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Milind Soman.

This is an elegantly mounted film that stresses the importance of the human touch that makes all the difference between a truly mouth-watering meal and a passable one - a rule that be might applied equally to movie-making - while it underscores how second chances, when tapped right, can turn things around. Read the complete review here.

Considering it spends most of its running time in a leisurely canter, Chef’s initial scenes are taken at a somewhat undignified gallop. Within the first 15 minutes, Roshan has punched a customer for telling him his food isn’t what it used to be, landed in jail, and been fired from the New York restaurant he’s head chef at. Read the complete review here.

Even if we forego the food porn expected from the remake of Chef, the characters are given little space to establish their identities and personalities. While we are told Roshan is a self-made, passionate star chef, nothing in his personality gives us a glimpse of the gravity that such a man would carry.

Saif Ali Khan totally submits himself to the role, but the direction lets him down. This script is too bland to indulge in. You find yourself yawning and tempted to check out Facebook on your phone midway through the film.

  • Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi of Rajasthan on Thursday issued a death threat to Salman Khan, saying the Bollywood actor will be killed in Jodhpur. Bishnoi's death threat to Salman is being linked with the black buck killing case of 1998, in which Salman and his co-actors are accused. It was the Bishnoi community which had brought up the black buck hunting case, and ever since the community considers the Bollywood actor a "villain". On Thursday, the actor appeared in the Jodhpur's Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Rural Court in connection with the hearing in the black buck poaching case.

  • Veteran actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha says he had an opportunity to meet actor Sanjay Dutt's "beautiful" daughter Trishala, who claims to be a huge fan of Sonakshi Sinha. Trishala is the daughter of Sanjay and late actress Richa Sharma. The two got married in 1987. Richa died of a brain tumour in 1996.

  • Breathe TEASER OUT| R Madhavan, Amit Sadh |

    Actor R Madhavan, who was last seen in Tamil crime thriller "Vikram Vedha", has been away from the Hindi Screen for a while since Saala Khadoos, which was released in 2016. Well, after the popularity of Vivek oberoi and Richa Chadha starrer Inside Edge, Amazon Prime has come up with another show Breathe, starring R Madhavan and Amit Sadh. Yes, Madhavan is back is on Hindi screen with his web series named Breathe. This will be Madhavans first outing on a digital platform. The show also stars Amit Sadh along with Sapna Pabbi. The web series will be available in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.

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'It’s horrible when actors say they're not political'

Authors: Ecroaker. com Boosters.

Bollywood actor Ali Fazal on working with Judi Dench in his upcoming Hollywood release, Victoria and Abdul, aspiring to stardom and how art needs to engage with politics.

Your upcoming film, Stephen Frears’s Victoria and Abdul, explores the relationship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant, Abdul Karim. How’d you land the lead role?

I got a tip off — someone told me that the casting for the film was happening and Stephen Frears was at the helm of the project. I got in touch, sent a tape for the audition and forgot about it. After the first tape was sent, a lot of back and forth happened and they finally zeroed in on me. Sometime last year, Beeban Kidron, the producer of the film (known for Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason), gave me a call and asked me to be on board.

How did you prepare for the role? Did you read Shrabani Basu’s book, which the film is based on?

No, I didn’t read it until after the shoot was over, and it was a conscious decision. Lee Hall, the writer of the film, had written the script in a certain way, and I wanted every ounce of me to be influenced completely by it. But I ended up reading many other books that dealt with the history and the topic even in the remotest way possible; the Victorian era, the Mutiny, the industrial revolution, all the way up to Independence — even though that isn’t really related to the film. read a book, written by Queen Victoria’s doctor. A chapter in it was called ‘The Munshi Mania’ — how everyone was unhappy with this servant who was being treated like an equal and almost knighted at one point. the art department of the film had put in a lot of work. They required me to learn how to write like Abdul Karim: his Urdu handwriting, signature and his English handwriting.

Queen Victoria never visited India despite being the empress of the country and a lot has been said in the past about it. Did your perspective of things change during the course of the film?

It did change my perspective, but not radically. The film does not glorify the Victorian reign. It’s true that Queen Victoria never bothered to visit India, which is why Abdul is sent to London to present her with the country’s mohar (the Indian coin). t there were other things that changed my perspective. Reading makes you gather legitimate information. I understood that she was ahead of her time, which is probably why the relationship was not understood by the royal family. I read about her relationship with John Brown, her first affair. However, she was also a woman who wore black till the end of her life because she was a widow. Before she died, she requested that she wanted everything to be white the day she died. So, the only time the UK saw white and death together was the day she died. She was the first woman to make the first telephone call, and lived at a time when there were so many discoveries happening.

How was your experience of working with Dame Judi Dench?

It was lovely. I couldn’t have asked for more. We really struck up something nice, or, at least, I’d like to think so. We met over lunch the first time and then we spent a lot of time together. We’d go for long walks, talk and rehearse a lot. Stephen, as a director, was confident. I think that’s why the audition process was so long. He wanted to be confident that the interactions would work. I had studied the script so well that I knew it inside out. I owed it to her because she comes from that background (theatre) where you need to know your lines really well. Also, something really interesting happened. There’s a quote by the iconic actor Spencer Tracy — ‘Learn your lines and don’t bump into the furniture’. left for London, Naseeruddin Shah gave me this advice. Once there, Judi Dench told me the same thing. It was so weird! I guess, good actors are always on the same page.

What are the core differences in the way a Hollywood film and a Bollywood project work?

This is the first time I’ve worked in a project such as this and it’s the best thing I’ve been through. ink the larger productions in India are very methodical and pretty much on the ball in terms of work. When I say work, I mean pre-production and the homework that’s required. On-set ethics are something that we’re conditioned to, and we’ll take time to fall in line. ere, the producers put in a million dollars and still call it a low-budget film. Here, we make films for much less. Sometimes, things go wrong as quality is compromised due to lack of money. Also, technologically, Hollywood is far ahead because we started much later.

There was also this marvellous way Stephen directed me. I can’t compare that to anyone back home. It was this beautiful manipulation, where he let you arrive at a preciseness by nudging you in the right direction. In Bollywood, we are told exactly what to do and how to do it, and, not to counter things by saying there’s a better way. We make our actors feel important by paying them more. But the real deal is when you let the actors take some decisions on the sets.

The audience has seen you in 3 Idiots, Fukrey and Happy Bhaag Jayegi. Were these conscious choices or were you taking up any project coming your way?

Sometimes, I had to take them because things were not coming to me. Some of them were conscious choices. Some of them were not positioned right. Khamoshiyaan was one of the best scripts I read, but it just didn’t work. Saeed Mirza was the first man to cast me in my debut, Ek Tho Chance (2009), which still hasn’t seen the light of day. Then, it was Always Kabhi Kabhi (2011), produced by Shah Rukh Khan, which bombed badly, so it was heartbreak after heartbreak. But these things happen. I relied on advice from people like Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Farhan Akhtar, who’ve been mentors. That helped.

How did films happen to you?

The way mothers tell fairy tales to their kids, my mother told me a story about this cool Italian family in New York. She was narrating the story of The Godfather. This was the first thing I heard as a story. Also, I was a very attention-seeking child and lied a lot. I would come up with crazy lies and tell my mother the next day that it wasn’t true. I did theatre in boarding school (Doon School, Dehradun) too. In the beginning, it was because I had broken my arm and couldn’t play any sport, and later, because I had begun to enjoy it. But I always wanted stardom.

Has the dream changed — from wanting to be a superstar to being a good actor?

I think it’s a mix of both. I got spoilt while working on Always Kabhi Kabhi. There was song and dance in it and that perpetual feeling of being a superstar; the biggest superstar was producing it. Of course, there was a matter of too many cooks and a spoiled broth: eventually, that film didn’t work. But I haven’t been able to crack the formula. Stardom is beautiful, something we all crave for. No actor will tell you that he only wants to be a good actor and not a star.

Do you think artistes need to engage with politics?

Yes, absolutely. We have the responsibility to endorse, speak up and engage with the democracy. The point is to not be scared. That’s the sad part now, because people are (scared). It’s horrible when actors say that they are apolitical. This is not the time to be apolitical. Every frame of every film is from a particular time. So, if you make a film in 2017, the times can’t not have a bearing. I would like to think that I am involved.

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