chennai l sunday l september 24, 2023 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l vellore EDITION The biggest Asian Games begins The Games was officially declared open by China’s President Xi Jinping amid a festival of colours on Saturday. Postponed by a year due to Covid, it will be one of the largest in terms of representation Intelligence, human and artificial Mission 100 for India in hangzhou An amalgamation of old and new, technology and human, eco-friendly, non-polluting fireworks were the highlights of the Opening Ceremony. The magical world of artificial intelligence, traditional and creative works fused into a seamless show of profound beauty and grandeur. Digital technology was used as torchbearers in virtual and physical worlds lit the cauldron ■ ■ The stated aim for India’s athletes is to breach the three-figure in terms of medals won. Their best was the 70 they won last time at Jakarta The 650-odd Indian contingent has five (six if you include the men’s hockey team) Olympic medallists, including Neeraj Chopra. The Games close on October 8. Japan are the next hosts in 2026 | P11 12,000 The largest in terms of participation at Hangzhou CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI If Dravidians are continued to be provoked, the east, west and south will be in danger. There is nothing new in DMK’s Sanatana stance as they have been stating this for years Mani Shankar Aiyar Tribute to Jayanta Mahapatra A special tribute was paid to legendary poet Jayanta Mahapatra, who passed away recently. Prof Sachidananda Mohanty and poet Sampurna Chattarji said Mahapatra was a true genius, a citizen of the world. “Someone who came from a small town to become someone who rubbed shoulders with great poets like A K Ramanujan speaks about the efforts he made to become someone so outstanding in his craft,” they said NIA confiscates property of hate merchant Pannu Ha r p r e e t Ba j w a @ Chandigarh Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan lighting the ceremonial lamp to inaugurate the Odisha Literary Festival, in the presence of the Editorial Director of The New Indian Express Prabhu Chawla (second from R), CEO Lakshmi Menon (R), Editor Santwana Bhattacharya (second from L) and Resident Editor Siba Mohanty in Bhubaneswar on Saturday | DEBADATTA MALLICK Odisha Lit Fest off to a blazing start Express News Service @ Bhubaneswar The 11th edition of the Odisha Literary Festival got off to a blazing start as acclaimed authors from across genres and different parts of the country came together to celebrate the written word here on Saturday . The two-day annual literary festival — the only-of-its-kind in Eastern India hosted by The New Indian Express — was inaugurated by Union Minister for Education and Skill Development Dharmendra Pradhan. Speaking at the inaugural evening, Pradhan in his session ‘Words, Ideas and Lessons: Creating a New Sense of Identity’ said the opposition to the three-language policy es- pecially in Tamil Nadu is purely political. “While the opposition to NEP in Tamil Nadu is for political reasons, in my view, there is unanimity at the ground level that there should be scientific temper for the students and language should not be a barrier,” he said in a free-wheeling chat with TNIE Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla. Refuting allegations that people with RSS ideology are being drafted in to head top institutions in the country, the Union minister said all appointments are made on merit. He, however, maintained that there is no bar in the Constitution on appointing persons with RSS affiliation. Introducing the festival, TNIE Editor Santwana Bhattacharya said it stands for everything TNIE stands for — a decentering of power, and the idea of getting close to the real life of India on the ground. “Here, we celebrate books — the power of word, of ideas and expression. More potent than any weapon of destruction, more enduring than anything built as a form of physical destruction,” she said. Speaking about the theme of festival, ‘The Ideas of Identity’, TNIE’s Odisha Resident Editor Siba Mohanty said identity — be it national, cultural, caste, class, gender or ethnicity — has assumed cenContinued on: P7 trestage. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday confiscated the immovable property of Canadabased hate merchant Gurpatwant Singh Pannu in Chandigarh and Amritsar. Pannu, the controller of the banned Sikh For Justice (SFJ) and a Khalistani proponent, was designated a terrorist by the Union home ministry under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in 2020. The SFJ had in a recent hate video threatened Hindus, asking them to vacate Canada. Days later, Canadian ministers and top federal public safety officials denounced the video but did not name SFJ in their statement. “All Canadians deserve to feel safe in their communities. The circulation of an online hate video targeting Hindu Canadians runs contrary to the values we hold dear as Canadians,’’ said public safety minister Dominic LeBlanc. In New York, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US was deeply concerned about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations against India on the killing of a Khalistani separatist in Canada, adding Washington was closely coordinating with Ottawa and wants accountability. Back in India, the NIA action came after a special court issued confiscation orders. Pannu has been on NIA’s radar since 2019, when it registered its first case against him. Non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against him on February 3, 2021 and he was declared a proclaimed offender on November 29 last year. His confiscated property include 46 kanal farm land in Khankot village of Amritsar and 1/4th share of a house in Chandigarh. India gives it back to Pak Y e s h i S e l i @ New Delhi INDIA on Saturday tore into Pakistan for alleging it had evaded implementation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions on Kashmir. Pakistan’s interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar made the charge at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly . Invoking the right to reply Petal Gahlot, India’s first , secretary at the UN, said Pakistan is a habitual offender in misusing the UNGA platform to peddle baseless propaganda. She said J&K is India’s internal matter and no country has any locus standi to comment on it. She went on to ask Pakistan to end cross-border terrorism, vacate PoK and stop human rights violations against minorities on its land. “Instead of engaging in technical sophistry we call upon Pakistan to take cred, ible and verifiable action against the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack whose victims await justice even after 15 years,” she added. Organ donors to be laid to rest with state honours in TN: CM E x p r e s s n e w s s e r v i c e @ Chennai W ITH THIS ISSUE Khalistan: The Canadian Connection Terror Firmer PLUS 12 PAGES In a significant decision on Tamil Nadu Organ Donation Day, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday said funeral of the deceased whose organs are harvested for donation will henceforth be held with state honours. In a statement, the CM said the state continues to be a frontrunner in giving a new lease of life to hundreds of patients through organ donation. “This has been possible only because of the families who come forward to donate the organs of their kin who are declared brain-dead. They volunteer for the gesture at a time when they are grieving the loss of their family members,” the CM pointed out. A health department official said a government order expected to be issued in the next two or three days will have more details. Collector or other top officials of the district administration will do the honours, he added. Officials, however, said the initiative will not be applicable to donors who are alive. For Health Minister Ma Subramanian felicitates the family of an organ donor at Kalaivanar Arangam in Chennai | P Ravikumar instance, a family member or a friend who donate a kidney to another family member or a friend may not be eligible for the honours, sources said. The practice of observing September 23 as Organ Donation Day began in Tamil Nadu after the tragic death of 15-yearold AP Hitendran in 2008. His parents, Dr Ashokan and Dr Pushpanjali, decided to donate his org ans. This incident sparked a movement-like resurgence in organ donations across COntinued on p5 the state. Honour by collector Collector or other top officials in the district will do the honours. It will not be applicable to donors who are alive. Full details are expected in two or three days o u t s ide r e s e r v e Tiger deaths in India at an all-time high J i t e n d r a C h o u b e y @ New Delhi Less than two months ago, India celebrated the success of its tiger conservation efforts, with the data suggesting an annual population growth rate of 6.1%. Now comes the worrying downside: tiger deaths across the country have reached an alltime high, with more than half of them perishing outside the tiger reserves. There have already been 142 tiger deaths in the country till September 20 as against 121 during the entire last year, and 127 in 2021. About 51% of the tiger deaths so far this year (73 of 142 deaths) happened outside tiger reserves, whereas in 2022, the number was 43% (52 of 121). Most of the deaths were in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Assam. While the rise in the number of tiger deaths is concerning, experts say it is commensurate with the increase in tiger population. “As the population is increasing, so is the number of deaths,” S P Yadav, member-secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), told this newspaper. “We need to be concerned if the deaths are due to poaching,” he added. Many tiger deaths since 2019 are under investigation for links to poaching. Forensic infra poor Wildlife forensic infrastructure in many states is not commensurate with the size of their tiger population, affecting probes into tiger deaths ODISHA LITERARY FESTIVAL Chief Guest NAVEEN PATNAIK, Odisha Chief Minister
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