Star Wars Day is here! Celebrate May the 4th with some of our favorite Star Wars behind the scenes videos.As a filmmaker who grew up in the 80s, the Star Wars universe has long been a massive influence. Years and years of “making-of” documentaries and photos only served to fan the flames of inspiration. So, to celebrate Star Wars Day, let’s pull back the curtain on the legendary space opera’s production with a handful of Star Wars behind the scenes clips.These are the videos you’re looking for… /waves handThe Sound Behind the LightsaberFirst up is the genius of Academy Award winning Sound FX Designer Ben Burtt. Burtt is the man behind some of the greatest Sound FX in the history of film with Indiana Jones, E.T., WALL-E, and, yes, Star Wars to his credit. In this video from the Star Wars archive, Burtt explains how he crafted the iconic sound of the lightsaber.The Artist that Designed Star WarsRalph McQuarrie was a legendary concept artist whose design work helped flesh out the universes of such pop culture properties as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Battlestar Galactica, Cocoon and Star Trek. But he is most remembered for creating the look and design of Star Wars. One of the first Star Wars images to capture the public’s imagination was the original concept art of Luke versus Vader, seen below.We found a great documentary on McQuarrie and his art which is broken into five parts, the first part which you will find below. More Boba Fett!Just because we think Boba Fett is so awesome and actually appeared so little in the original trilogy, we’re always trying to find ways to see more of our favorite bounty hunter. Here’s a classic behind the scenes look at the original Boba Fett suit with Sound Designer Ben Burtt hosting.This look matches the original Ralph McQuarrie concept art of Boba Fett in his white uniform, which you can see the image below. Making Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom MenaceYeah. We know. The Prequels. Controversial at best. While many would like to gloss over their existence, we have to applaud the time, effort, and vision of Episode I. It was the last Star Wars film to be shot using film stock until, of course, J.J. Abrams announced that Episode VII would be shot on film. It was also the last time we saw the use of a practical Yoda puppet.Of course, some digital cameras were used on The Phantom Menace, primarily by the special effects team that used these. In the end, George was so impressed with the workflow capabilities of digital, Episodes II & III both used Sony CineAlta digital cameras. The Making of a SagaOur favorite Star Wars behind the scenes look is the amazing documentary titled From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga. This documentary gives us a full overview of the original trilogy and a fantastic inside look at how George Lucas and his cast and crew crafted, in our opinion, the greatest film franchise of all time.Remember this is part one of nine, so be sure and check out the additional parts. Want more great behind the scenes action? Then check out these additional articles from PremiumBeat.David Fincher Fest: Behind the Scenes of ‘Gone Girl’ and MoreBehind the Scenes: Creating Amazing Visual Effects for The Walking DeadVideo Editing Behind-the-Scenes: Saturday Night LiveWhat are your thoughts on this Star Wars behind the scenes roundup? Which episode of Star Wars is your favorite? Sound off in the comments below and may the force be with you!
Crafting an Animated Title SequenceHere’s another tutorial that you’ve probably seen before here on PremiumBeat. It’s worth re-sharing simply because it’s a very solid tutorial. In the video, Nick Campbell from Greyscalegorilla breaks down the steps for generating animated title sequences using Cinema 4D and After Effects.PART ONE: Creating the Logo and Setting the Material and EnvironmentPART TWO: Taking the Render from Cinema 4D and Finishing It out in After Effects Get Inspired by These AnimationsNow that we know how to create a high-quality logo animation using Illustrator, Cinema 4D and After Effects, we just need to get inspired. Take a look at some of our favorite logo animations and then try to make one of your own If you get stuck, there’s plenty of additional inspiration to be found at From Up North.Papa Logo Animation by KROLAlessandra Leone Artist Logo Animation by Alessandra LeoneAnamaskin Logo Animation by Mohammed AlhiwyPlus One Amsterdam Logo Animation by Sander van DijkPause Festival Logo Animation by Dima GrubinAdobe Creative Cloud Logo Animation by ROCKNROLLER STUDIOSFanPlus Logo Animation II by Fernando Lazzari Let’s learn how to turn a flat 2D image into a 3D animated logo with Cinema 4D and After Effects.Whether it’s for a customer project or for your own purposes, you may need to take a great 2D image and turn it into a 3D logo. While this may seem like a daunting task, it really isn’t. With a combination of Illustrator, Cinema 4D, and After Effects, anyone can create a high-quality 3D animated logo. As Holly Bretschneider alluded to in this great article, using high-quality 3D animation is a great way to set your work (and your client’s end product) above the rest and take your portfolio to the next level.From 2D Image to 3D Animated LogoTo teach us how to do this very thing, let’s check out the video below from professional motion graphics artist Sean Frangella as he takes us through the steps of recreating the Seattle Seahawks logo. Some of the topics that Frangella covers include:How to take vector image from Illustrator and save it properly so it will work nicely with Cinema 4DOpen the Illustrator file or Merge it into Cinema 4D for extruding and adding materialsFinishing out the logo and animation in After EffectsPART ONE: Importing the Image and Extruding the LogoPART TWO: Animating the Logo and Adding Effects and Depth Pass Got any favorite 3D logo animations that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below!
LightingHere are just a few of the new ways you’ll be lighting your set in the year ahead, courtesy of NAB 2016.ARRI SkyPanelSome of the earliest NAB news we saw came from ARRI, who updated the firmware on the SkyPanel. They introduced a ton of new features like onboard gel libraries, tungsten mode, and dimming mode. You can read more about ARRI’s SkyPanel and other announcements here.Recently, No Film School got a look at the SkyPanel in action.KinoFlo Select Series Lighting company KinoFlo introduced the Select Series at NAB 2016. The LED fixtures have a Kelvin range of 2700K to 6500K, and offer a green/magenta correction as well as wireless DMX. The Select 30 and Select 20 can be operated wirelessly as well. The lights will come with a 90-degree honeycomb louver, and a 60-degree is available to add on. The Select 30 ships in May, and the Select 20 is scheduled for June.Here’s look at the KinoFlo Select Series from No Film School.Ikan LED Soft LightsIkan released the new Lyra LED Soft Lights, designed with a CRI LED chip and soft panel — the fixture offers a nice soft wrapping light. The series of lights include the Lyra Daylight LED Half x 1 Soft Light (LW5), the Lyra Bi Color LED Half x 1 Soft Light (LB5), the Lyra Bi-Color LED 1 x 1 Soft Light (LB10), and the Lyra Daylight LED 1 x 1 Soft Light (LW10).Here’s a look at the Lyra LED Soft Lights from Newsshooter.Aputure Lightstorm Fresnel and MicrophonesAputure introduced a few new work lights designed to fit the tight budget of indie filmmakers. The new Lightstorm COB 120t fresnel will come in daylight and tungsten versions at first, with an adjustable color temperature version coming later. Expect the light to cost around $585.The company also announced two new microphones, the A-Lyra Lavalier mic and D3 Shotgun mic. The A-Lyra was designed for mobile use and will actually connect to iPads and iPhones via lightning cables. They also designed the A-Lyra with Mac devices without a 3.5mm jack in mind, as the device has its own 3.5mm jack for monitoring. The A-Lyra will cost $120 upon release.The D3 supercardioid shotgun mic was designed to make broadcast-quality audio more affordable. In the video below, you’ll see the D3 tested next to the Sennheiser 416. The D3 will be available for $280. Here’s a look at their new lights and microphones from No Film School.FotodioxFotodiox introduced a new FlapJack LED Wand and LED Ring Light at NAB 2016. The bi-color light wand has removable barn doors and a pistol-grip for handheld use. The color is adjustable between daylight and tungsten. It’s powered by either Sony NP-F batteries of AC power.The LED Ring Light was designed to offer 360-degrees of soft and uniform light. The fixture has a 1/4-20 thread, compatible with 15mm and 19mm camera rods.AudioOn top of the Aputure microphones mentioned above, here’s a look at some of the other noteworthy NAB 2016 audio announcements.Tascam DR-10SGTascam debuted the DR-10SG, a $199 recorder with built-in microphone that attaches directly to your camera. This is ideal for those shooting on DSLR and mirrorless cameras. The supercardioid microphone rests on an integrated shock-resistant mount. The recorder has four selectable EQ modes, audio pass-through, and an onboard audio slate. The DR-10SG also uses a Dual Recording mode with records a secondary track at a lower level, in case you experience any popping or loud bursts of sound from your subject.Take a look at the Tascam DR-10SG from No Film School.Zoom U-24 and U-44Well known by indie filmmakers for their handheld recorders, Zoom just introduced the U-24 and U-44 interface. These devices allow you to connect microphones, instruments, or monitors into an array of recording devices like computers and iPads.The U-44 is the more impressive of the two, as it features a 10-pin connector compatible with all other Zoom products. There are combo TRS/XLR inputs, a selectable S/PDIF connection, MIDI support, and outputs than can go directly to your monitors. The U-44 is available for $199.99 and the U-24 for $149.99Sennheiser MKE 440Sennheiser announced a new supercardioid microphone designed specifically for DSLR and mirrorless users. The MKE 440 is a stereo pair set up in a new arrangement developed by Sennheiser. The V shaped setup is said to represent the viewpoint of the camera. This allows the microphone to pick up dialogue and ambient noise, offering a more accurate sound of the shooting environment.The MKE 440 has built-in shock mounts and can run for over 100 hours on two AAA batteries. It connects to your DSLR via a 3.4mm jack. The MKE 400 will be available in June.Keep up with the PremiumBeat Blog for more on NAB 2016. Take a look at some of the new HDR monitors, light fixtures, microphones, and recording devices from the 2016 NAB show.Top image via SmallHDWe’ve seen some awesome camera rigs and gear updates announced at NAB 2016 — and the industry headlines just keep coming. Here are some of the latest in lights, sound, and storage.MonitorsNeed to keep an accurate eye on what you’re shooting? These just-announced monitors are a fantastic place to start.SmallHD SmallHDRPerhaps the most popular monitor manufacturer at the moment is SmallHD. They’re known for the 500 and 700 series of mobile monitors, but the company recently teased their new HDR line. The company started their announcement by showing off their Torture Test, in which they literally shot the monitor with a gun and parked a truck on top of it.The incredibly sturdy SmallHDR will come in three sizes, all priced in a way that makes this one of the most affordable lines of HDR-capable production monitors on the market: 17-inch ($3999), 24-inch ($5499), and 32-inch ($7999). The SmallHDR line will be available in May.AbelCine got a look at the new SmallHDR monitors at NAB.Blackmagic Video Assist 4KWe didn’t hear too much from Blackmagic this year, but the company did announce some updates to their cameras and software. One of the more exciting new devices was the Video Assist 4K, which is a touchscreen display that also allows you to record 10-bit 4:2:2 quality ProRes or DNxHD files to an SD card.Atomos Shogun InfernoAtomos was the first to introduce an all-in-one monitor recorder, and they’ve just announced a new flagship monitor in the Shogun Inferno. The monitor combines 1500nit/10bit/HDR recording capability with 4Kp60 over Quad-SDI playback and editing. The Atomos Shogun Inferno is scheduled for a Q3 release at $1995.Take a look at the Shogun Inferno and more in this video from Adorama.Teradek SphereFor those of you working in VR, there have been quite a few announcements about 360-degree video production. One of the latest announcements comes from Teradek, who has introduced Sphere, a wireless monitoring system for VR. Not only does it offer real time monitoring on an iPad, you can also use the device to live stream VR video — which will be supported by YouTube.
Follow these steps to really earn a twist ending in your feature film — one that will leave audiences coming back for more.Causal fans and seasoned cinefiles can never get enough of twist endings. There’s something about the experience of it all. You feel tricked, or even lied to, by being drawn into a narrative that turns itself (and you) on its head — but you enjoy it. While there are many examples of memorable twist endings throughout film history (several of them featured in this article), it’s actually a very nuanced trick to pull off.Let’s look at some examples of how to lure your audience in before pulling the rug out with these memorable twist ending tricks.Hide Clues in the BeginningImage via The Prestige (via Walt Disney Studios).The first tenet of earning a good twist ending is to hide clues in the beginning. (Bonus points if you can hide them in plain sight, as is the case with Christopher Nolan’s classic psychological magic thriller The Prestige.) Nolan leaves clues to the dramatic twist ending throughout the film from the very beginning. While these can subconsciously add to the anticipation, they also make great easter eggs for audiences to comb through again and again.Build ExpectationsHowever, while hiding clues about your twist ending may be fun, the majority of your film’s beginning and middle acts should center squarely on building expectations. Quentin Tarantino offers a master class in deceptive rising action in his breakout classic Reservoir Dogs, wherein he creates a boiling pot narrative filled with guns and angry gangsters. Inside the building tension, he’s also laying the expectations for what becomes a well-earned and powerful twist at the end.Consider Red HerringsImage via Shutter Island (Paramount Pictures).Alfred Hitchcock is perhaps the most well-known user of plot devices like the McGuffin and the Red Herring. While the former advances the plot, the latter is a great example of how to throw audiences off the chase and bring about new surprises and information. A stalwart Hitchcock homage-r, Martin Scorsese uses Red Herrings expertly throughout his film Shutter Island to mislead audiences into expecting one narrative before twisting it into something completely different.Invest Your Audience EmotionallyImage via Memento (Ambi Distribution).At the heart of every good twist is a movie with emotions and, well . . . heart. In another example from Christopher Nolan, one of his first features Memento is great inspiration for filmmakers who want to see how a film can build emotional investment in audiences. In Memento, Guy Pearce’s character is a tragic figure with an awful memory problem and a terrible past. Thanks to the film’s clever plot-telling device, audiences learn about the events of that past along with the character, which draws them into the narrative and builds investment for the gut-wrenching twist at the end.Twist at the ClimaxImage via Fight Club (20th Century Fox).For both Gen Xers and Millennials alike, Fight Club might be one of the most memorable twist endings in modern cinema. David Fincher, who also brought us other notable twist ending movies like Se7en, creates a wholly unique and stylized world that can leave audiences shaken. Fight Club presents a heavily layered narrative that masquerades as a standard thriller before taking a very earned twist into the psychological with an ending that has now become a part of modern pop culture.Explain or . . . NotImage via The Usual Suspects (Focus Features).Finally, as is the case with Kevin Spacey’s famous character in Christopher McQuarrie’s crime thriller The Usual Suspects, filmmakers have an interesting option to consider at the end of their twist ending narratives. They can take The Usual Suspects route and have their diabolical character explain the twist for audiences to examine step-by-step, or they can simply leave it open-ended like the extreme example of Christopher Nolan’s Inception. The choice is yours as a filmmaker, but only if you take all the necessary steps to bring your audience in and earn your surprise and powerful twist at the end.Cover image via The Sixth Sense (Walt Disney Studios).For more filmmaking theory, techniques, tips and tricks, check out some of these articles.Manipulating the Audience’s Emotions With ColorFilm Theory: How to Master the Memorable Ending ShotHook Your Audience With the First ShotHow the Buddy Comedy Continues to Enamor AudiencesFilm Theory: Why Don’t We Notice All Those Editing Cuts?
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Most people don’t really intend to be takers. They don’t intend to do social media wrong. But the tool kit makes it easy. It’s easy to find people with an audience. And it’s easy to find their email address. But that doesn’t mean that you are entitled to leverage someone else’s community and platform to promote whatever it is you sell.If the very first communication you make with someone you have never met is to ask them to promote your work, you’re doing social media wrong. You are making a withdraw from an account that you haven’t even opened.If the very first communication you have with someone that has a community to which you want access is to ask them to review your product or service, you are doing social media wrong. Your not really looking for a review. You’re looking for promotion.If you believe that access to someone else’s community is a shortcut for developing your own community, you are doing social media wrong. There aren’t any shortcuts to relationships of value. You have to do the work yourself.If you believe that you are entitled to claim value without creating any value, then you misunderstand how relationships of value work. You have to join the community. You have to add value to the community. You have to develop relationships by helping to create value for others in the community first.If you do social media right, you won’t have to ask for help. Instead, you’ll find the community will ask you how they can help. Yes, it takes more time. Yes, it takes more effort. And, yes, it also produces much better results.QuestionsWhat are the mistakes people make on social media?When is it okay to ask for value before you have ever created any?What do you do to promote the work of others in your community?How do you do enough for others that they will volunteer to promote your work?
If research were prospecting, you could research all day and have appointments to show for it. Research is necessary but not sufficient for creating new opportunities.
If your win rate would increase substantially by your making an additional face-to-face sales call, would the “lack of efficiency” be worth the increase in effectiveness?If slowing down and spending more time in the discovery phase would allow you to come up with the right solution through collaboration while also building consensus, would slowing down be valuable if it meant a greater likelihood of winning the deal?Would the time spent nurturing your dream clients over the course of 36 months be worth it that initiative was responsible for your winning two or three multi-million dollar opportunities with the kind of loyal clients that remain with you for a decade?Efficiently InefficientThere is a particular focus on increasing efficiency in sales that stems from the digital age in which we find ourselves. The desire to use technology to gain efficiencies has caused companies and salespeople to trade automated emails for phone calls, and web meetings for face-to-face to meetings, reducing the time and the expense of selling.Because efficiency is the stated goal, the reliance on technology is accompanied by a form of Taylorism, slicing the sales roles thinner and thinner in attempt to “reserve the most expensive” sales resources for “closing well-qualified leads.” Both of these strategies are supposed to win more deals faster, and at a lower price. The less expensive, less effective salesperson is the first to speak to a prospective client, instead of the greater value creator.Like many good ideas, when one takes an idea too far, the result is often the opposite of what was intended. The complex, dynamic, and non-linear activity that is selling doesn’t resemble the assembly line. Your efficiency doesn’t do anything to help people and companies change, and make no mistake when you are selling that you are engaged in change management (whether you like it or not, and whether you believe you are responsible for doing so).No Wasted EffortThe additional face-to-face call isn’t inefficient if it increases your wins. If not making the call means you are likely to lose, you wasted all the effort up to that point, making skipping the face-to-face call inefficient.If slowing down to create greater value and certainty for your prospective client and all their stakeholders means you have the right answer and the support that results in a win, it is inefficient not to have the additional meetings.When you repeatedly do something that causes you to expend energy without achieving the desired outcome, that process is inefficient. For that process to be efficient, you’d need to achieve the result, in the case of selling, that means winning.
There could not have been a better gift for the birthday boy – Capt. Amarinder Singh as the Congress bounced back in Punjab.Capt. Amainder, party’s chief ministerial candidate, talking to reporters said: “People of Punjab have voted for development. It’s time to bring back the heydays of Punjab.”AAP storm now over“AAP was nothing more than a fair weather storm, AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal was a summer storm, which is now over,” said Capt. Amarinder, who is celebrating his 75th birthday on Saturday.Punjab went to polls on February 4 and recorded 78.60 per cent polling as against 78.57 per cent voter turnout in 2012. As many as 1,145 candidates are in the fray, 81 of whom are female and one transgender.Shiromani Akali Dal contested 94 seats while its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party fought on 23 seats. The Congress contested all the seats. The AAP and its ally Lok Insaf Party contested on 112 and 5 seats respectively.
Eight coaches of the Jabalpur-Nizamuddin Mahakaushal Express derailed in the wee hours on Thursday near Mahoba station in Uttar Pradesh.According to initial reports, around nine passengers of the Delhi-bound train were injured in the incident which took place at 2:07 a.m, the Chief Public Relations Officer, North Central Railway said.The official said an accident relief train has also been rushed to the site and the injured have been given first-aid.Around eight coaches from the rear side of the train derailed between Mahoba and Kulpahar stations, the CPRO said.Senior officials, including the general manager of North Central Railway M C Chauhan, have rushed to site and rescue operations are on.The cause of derailment is yet to be ascertained.Railway officials have operationalised helplines at Jhansi, Gwalior, Banda and Nizamuddin stations to disseminate information to relatives of the passengers. Ex-gratia announcedRailways announced ex-gratia payment of Rs 50,000 in case of grievous injury and Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries in the Mahakaushal Express derailment today.
A shocking incident, in which three people were feared drowned after a bridge connecting a village collapsed, was recorded on camera in Bihar’s Araria district.Incessant rains in Bihar for the past few weeks have created a flood-like situation in several areas. The flood fury has thrown normal life out of gear in the State.The video shows a bridge collapsing when a mother tries to cross it with her two children.
A day after the Centre on Monday refused to give 40,000 Rohingya Muslim immigrants an assurance that it will not move for their deportation back to Myanmar, MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said State governments have been asked to make a task force to identify them.He was speaking on the sidelines of a North East Democratic Alliance meet in NEw Delhi on Tuesday.Responding to criticim made by human rights activists on government’s proposed deportation plans, Mr. Rijiju said India has absorbed the maximum number of refugees and “nobody should tell us how to deal with refugees.”During the monsoon session of Parliament, the government said it had directed State authorities to identify and deport illegal immigrants, including Rohingya, who face persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
Government of India special representative Dineshwar Sharma on Thursday concluded his three-day maiden visit to Kashmir and arrived in winter capital Jammu to meet parties and civil society groups.Soon after his reached Jammu, Mr. Sharma met BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh “to initiate and carry forward dialogue with elected representatives and other organisations.” A party leader said several “J&K-centric issues” were discussed. Mr. Sharma will stay in Jammu for two days.Earlier in Srinagar, Mr. Sharma met senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz. “Now it is time to hold a meaningful dialogue. There are several working group and interlocutor reports gathering dust. Time has come that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make this fresh process a meaningful one. There is a great trust deficit between the Union of India and Kashmir,” Mr. Soz said.Hurriyat seminarIn a significant move, the State government allowed Syed Ali Geelani-led Tehreek-e-Hurriyat to hold a seminar at his residence at Hyderpora. “The authorities are using this [National Investigation Agency] agency to create fear psychosis among youth,” Mr. Geelani said at the seminar, adding “J&K was never a part of India.”
Pune: The Pune sessions court on Monday rejected the anticipatory bail application of Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote who is accused of orchestrating the violent clashes in Bhima-Koregaon village on New Year’s Day which left one person dead. Quashing Mr. Ekbote’s bail plea, Special Judge Prahlad Bhagure observed that the violence during the bicentenary celebrations of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon on January 1 was “a grave matter” and that Ekbote faced “very serious charges against him”.With this, the Hindutva leader, whose whereabouts are ostensibly unknown, faces arrest.On January 18, Mr. Ekbote’s lawyer, Chintamani Ghate, submitted an application seeking anticipatory bail.According to Mr. Ekbote’s counsel, the Hindutva leader could not have been present at the time of the clashes as he had been under police protection for several days.Two FIRs were lodged against Mr. Ekbote — who is executive president of the fringe Hindutva outfit called the ‘Samasta Hindu Aghadi’— and the octogenarian Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide ‘Guruji’, who heads the fringe outfit Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan. An FIR in Pimpri against the duo was registered by Anita Ravindra Salve, a member of the Bahujan Republican Socialist Party while another criminal case was lodged against them in Auranagabad. Both cases have been transferred to the Shikrapur police in Pune district.Recently, a report prepared by a coordination committee comprising Dalit leaders to assist the police in their probe submitted evidence asserting that the violence was a well-planned conspiracy.A mob of 1,500-2000 strong comprising of Hindutva activists believed to be the followers of Mr. Ekbote and Mr. Bhide was believed to have gathered on January 1 in Sanaswadi near Bhima-Koregaon with the objective of wreaking havoc and disturbing the peace of the occasion, alleges the report.
Pradyot Kishore Manikya, of the erstwhile royal family of Tripura, and also the Congress working president, feels the state has space for the non-Left and the non-right too, which is the centre.“BJP of all people should realise in life there is no such thing as black and white. You have to strike the right balance between the right and the centre and the left. I believe Congress is the right alternative between the extreme right and the extreme left,” he said.
The Shiromani Akali Dal on Tuesday demanded that the Punjab government withdraw all cross-cases registered against Dalits during the recent clash in Phagwara within a week or else the party would launch a State-wide agitation.SAD Scheduled Caste leader Gulzar Singh Ranike said the police should immediately arrest all the accused involved in the April 13 attack on Dalits.‘Only four arrested’“Cases have been registered against sixteen people, but only four have been arrested so far,” he said.Mr. Ranike alleged that leaders associated with the Shiv Sena were behind the attack and the State government should act against them.‘Episode pre-planned’Akali leader Pawan Kumar Teenu alleged that the entire episode in Phagwara was pre-planned, pointing out that electricity to the area was disconnected before shots were fired.‘Mute spectators’“Around forty shots were fired, but the police personnel deployed at the spot remained mute spectators and did not take any action. Shockingly, cross-cases have been registered against Dalit activists,” he alleged.Two groups had clashed on April 13 night over an attempt to install a flex banner with a picture of Bhim Rao Ambedkar at Goal Chowk and rename the square as Samvhidhan Chowk.The members of a right-wing outfit had objected to the installation of the flex banner.
Frustrated over lack of adequate rain, inhabitants of Masiakhali village in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Thursday resorted to the traditional ritual of ‘bengei nacha’ or frog dance to appease the rain gods.Despite the onset of the monsoon, several areas in Ganjam district have not received proper rain. As a result, the villagers of Masiakhali have not been able to start work for the kharif season.Now, the villagers are trying out an old tradition, involving frogs, in the hope that it would bring rain. According to them, the croaking sounds made by frogs during the ritual would alert rain god ‘Indra Devata’ to the lack of precipitation in the village.As per tradition, two big frogs were snared and then bathed with turmeric water and smeared with vermilion. They were then tied to a long pole with a piece of new cloth and carried around the village to the beat of traditional drums and cymbals. The carriers of the frogs danced to the drumbeats, making the frogs jiggle inside the cloth bundles.Throughout the journey, the womenfolk poured turmeric and red water on the frogs. “It was as if the festival of Holi had revisited the village along with ‘bengei nacha’,” said a villager. The procession culminated at the Kali temple in Masiakhali, where a special puja was performed. Later the frogs were released in the nearby fields.Jamula Suresh of the Humanist and Rationalist Organisation, Odisha, termed it superstition with no scientific basis as “rains and frogs have no connection”, and called upon the villagers not to torture the poor creatures.
After more than two decades as an independent MLA, Thakur strongman from Uttar Pradesh Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias ‘Raja Bhaiya’ has decided to float his own political party.On Friday, Mr. Singh indicated that his party would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election but maintained suspense on possible allies.The new outfit could be called the Jansatta Dal, Jansatta Party or Jansatta Loktantrik Party. Its flag will be yellow and green.The six-time MLA from Kunda in Pratapgarh wants to galvanise upper caste voters.
Around 1.7 lakh people in Haryana’s Jind assembly constituency are set to exercise their franchise amid tight security arrangements on Monday to decide on the political fortunes of 21 candidates in fray in a high-stakes election being held just months before the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls due later this year. The counting of votes will be taken up on January 31.Around 3,000 police personnel and 500 Home Guards have been deployed in the district for the peaceful conduct of elections, besides a company each of the Central Reserve Police Force and the Rapid Action Force.Security blanketJind Police spokesperson Pawan Kapoor said adequate police forces were deployed at all the 174 polling booths and additional force was sent to sensitive and hyper-sensitive booths. He added that the vehicles and the people from outside would not be allowed on the voting day and 51 check posts were set up across the district.Though not holding much significance for the electoral strength of various political parties in the Vidhan Sabha, the Jind by-election turned into one of the most keenly-fought elections in the state in the recent years after the Congress decided to field its Kaithal MLA and party’s Communications Chief Randeep Singh Surjewala, making it a triangular fight involving BJP’s Krishan Middha and newly-formed Jannayak Janata Party’s (JJP) Digvijay Singh Chautala.For the BJP, the result of the election — the first by-election since the party came to power in 2014 — could be construed as a referendum on its more than four-year long tenure which it could make or mar the prospects of JJP, recently formed after a split in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). More so because Jind, a Jat heartland, has been the traditional stronghold of the Chautalas. The results to the election would also decide as to who, among the JJP and the INLD, are the true inheritors of the legacy of late Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal.While BJP seems to be banking on the non-Jat urban voters having fielded a “Punjabi”, the JJP hopes to corner most of the votes of the Jat community, who comprise around 30 % of the electorate. The Aam Aadmi Party also announced its support for JJP towards the end of the campaigning.Mr. Surjewala tossed a slogan, “Jind Badlenge, Zindagi badlege” (Will change Jind, Will change the lives), promising development in a hope to seek support of all communities. The Congress also seemed to put up a united fight with former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his Rohtak MP son Deepender Hooda campaigning for Mr. Surjewala.The dramatic cancellation of former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala’s parole preventing him from canvassing in the election saw trading of charges between the INLD and the JJP.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday praised the farmers of Haryana for adopting new methods to manage stubble and crop residue as he honoured some of them with ‘Kisaan Ratna’ and ‘Krishi Ratna’ awards. Stubble burning by farmers in many States has been one of the major causes for air pollution for years, prompting the governments to ban the practice and encourage the growers to adopt alternative ways to manage crop residue. Attack condemned President Kovind, addressing the closing ceremony of the 4th Agri Leadership Summit organised by the Haryana government in Sonipat’s Ganaur, condemned the Pulwama terrorist attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed. “Three days ago, some of our brave jawans lost their lives in a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir. Along with every Indian, I condemn this heinous crime. The entire country is in mourning with the bereaved families. On behalf of the country, I express gratitude towards our brave soldiers and security personnel,” he said. The President honoured farmers with the ‘Kisaan Ratna’ and the ‘Krishi Ratna’ awards. He said that the people and the government of Haryana were making efforts for the overall development of the State, including in enhancing ease of doing business and improving social indicators such as the child sex ratio. Adoption of modern, 21st century technologies in agriculture was part of this process. The farmers, Mr. Kovind said, would benefit from such collaborations. The President called for locating farming in a wider entrepreneurial context, and linking traditional farming to the agricultural value chain. Mr. Kovind appreciated that farmers in Haryana, with the help from the State government, were adopting new methods to manage stubble and crop residue. He also expressed confidence that farmers would help find a solution to the problem of pollution emanating from stubble burning. Every year, Punjab and Haryana are blamed for rising air pollution and smog caused by crop residue burning by growers. The two States annually generate 220 lakh tonne and 65 lakh tonne of paddy stubble, respectively. Farmers find stubble burning as an easy option as a way of its disposal in the wake of limited time available for next crop sowing.