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Seeing positive experience of other Countries the FDI policy debate in India seems unreasonable...

Prateek Pathak : Managing Editor : Allahabad Post 

The recent hullabaloo over foreign direct investment in retail sector has unnerved Parliament into hysteria. The first inkling I got from the opposition by BJP, is this same party which was mooting 100% FDI in retail sector nine years ago. The Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Naidu and how can we forget West Bengal have vowed not to permit FDI in their states. Mamata Bannerjee, who usually act the character of opponent within the UPA government and has presently walloped a populist pose on retail, she should spot where the bona fide interest lie. The BJP might plausibly put on by tripling up the UPA, Trinamool Congress unquestionably won’t.

In veracity the, far-off multi-brand retailers cannot wholly substitute mom-and-pop stores, but undoubtedly create more jobs and momentously, are associated with revenue generation and overall economic development. As the chosen rulers, the Chief Ministers of all states should mull over the philosophical impact that the retail sector has on a country’s socio-economic development. Our economic expert PM. Singh will do well to remember that the economy is in parlous state.

Retailing in mature markets, without similar FDI constraint, employs proportionally more people as well as provides greater education, training and personal development opportunities.

The familiarity of other states should enlighten the guideline dispute in our country. Retailing in middle-aged bazaar without parallel FDI constraint, such as England, provide work for comparatively more people (10.5 % in England versus 8.2 % in India), as well as endow with superior education, training and personal development opportunities. In nations like Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand, lessening of FDI has turn out to be, lessening of unemployment and amplified revenue generation for the economies as a whole. Moreover this might results in shutting down of some neighborhood stores due to inefficiency.

With proper political management Congress can ride out the present FDI crises.

Furthermore, the current FDI policies allow state governments to latitude to march in and grant the incentives and fiscal support to perk up the competitiveness of the mom-and-pop stores. This is what the Malaysian government did when it liberalized the retail sector in 95. There is to a large extent global skill that state governments can hear from.

The definition of Retailing is to provide right product at the right price at the right time to the customer. Accordingly the mom-and-pop stores supply three chief advantages- location, time of delivery and tailored recognition. Those qualities are almost impossible to replicate in modern retail shops. It also includes home delivery, year’s relationship with retailer and mutual trust. This is the very reason why till now we have more consumers in mom-and-pop stores but not in a small modern retailing like Food Bazaar or Spencer. 

The BJP might conceivably gain by tripping up the UPA, Trinamool Congress certainly won’t.   

In India, stat shows retailing is second largest employer after agriculture. If at this point Congress tries to role back it would spell out the end of the Indian story, as it would indicate government failure. If BJP can arrange the traders bandh as we saw yesterday why not Congress appeal to the farmers and consumers. If would act if it gets words of support from allies like Sharad Pawar, who is seen representing the interests of the farmers.

Bracing FDI limitations in a coordinated and managed way offers the leeway not only to give consumers new options but also could provide benefits to farmers, manufactures and small business enterprises.

The FDI stroke gives a break to State Governments to artistically enclose their own canon and smash their own limitations and admonition. If the Chief Minister of some states do not want FDI in their representative state that too is possible. Let them guard their citizens from profits and expenditure that might mount up to other states. To oppose this stroke on the national level seems irrational based on experience somewhere else. In spite of an open market, no one retailer dominates European retailing, you should have solid reason for your opposition. India too can be same as Europe to set its own priorities and principles. It is the time to climb above wobbly and tenuous affirmations. India’s future financial and societal growth is at venture.


The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Aparajita Basu : Managing Editor : Allahabad Post

A two-part finale seems to be the new get go for Hollywood movie to whisk extra money out of fan-favorite young adult franchises – and an arguable way to give lengthier final book installments a bit more room to wrap everything up. While audiences were initially skeptical of the idea when it was introduced with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2, the success of the final two Potter films (both commercially and critically) seemingly justified the extra trip to the theater. But does Breaking Dawn Part 1 fit the standard.....definitely a big NO.

At least half of the film is dominated by one melodramatic scene after another – in place of either interesting character interactions or exciting action – essentially laying ground for the (presumably) more stimulating Part 2. The first half of Breaking Dawn is a mishmash of moments that fail to build tension or further develop any of the fan-favorite characters. The basic plot follows the marriage of the ever sparkly Edward Cullen and Bella Swan as they prepare for their nuptials. The wedding is a grand and joyous affair but not everyone is happy; queue in Jacob. As the wedding bells fall silent, the newlyweds unexpectedly threaten the tenuous alliance between Cullens and Jacob’s Werewolf clan – causing former friends, as well as reluctant allies, to choose sides.

Simply put, the events in Breaking Dawn – Part 1 are underwhelming. While die-hard fans may find the extended honeymoon sequence cathartic – since the films and books have often been criticized for being too “tame” when it comes to sexuality – all of the lustful looks and “passionate” make-out sessions entirely derail any momentum and charm the film had coming out of the opening act. While in previous movies, the fan favourite seemed well balanced with a bit of humor and seriousness here and there but at the end it was a mis-mash of scenes, now here the die hard fans would argue that the film-makers just wanted to stay true to the books....all good....but it is also up to the creative crew to take a big book and make it sing in two or most yet two and a half hours, where it fails.

Instead for a more competent film experience, Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is simply pandering to the existing fan-base (aka teenage girls) with almost nothing of value to anyone who isn’t already in love with the characters. Where most competent directors would have found out a way to make the material interesting for both fan and non-fan bases but they did not and chose to go with smothering the fan-girls with what they want, i.e., more Edward and Bella action and a little bit of Jacob without his shirt and simply glossed over some of the interesting characters with only glances here and there.

The film looks cheap with bland CGI werewolves and vampire effects – and for a series that is raking in plenty of money with each release, it’s surprising to see such flat visuals at this point. Similarly, despite a stable of up-and-coming actors that includes Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner, as well as critical darlings like Anna Kendrick and Michael Sheen, none of the actors are given any room to deliver a stand-out performance. It’s unfortunate, because despite all the anti-Twilight detractors out there, the franchise leads have shown that they’re capable of offering strong performances when a director attempts to get something more interesting out of them (Stewart in Welcome to the Rileys and Pattinson in Water for Elephants). In that sense, it’s disappointing to see that capable performers and intriguing premises haven’t matured the Twilight series from film to film.

Die-hard fans of the book and movie series will no doubt enjoy watching the film – though, it’s still hard to imagine that they won’t, deep down, find a few of the book’s more decisive moments to be overly cheesy, or even downright laughable. Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is not a competent piece of filmmaking and stands as potentially the worst installment in the series to be made out of the most controversial book of the series.

Hopefully, given the much more intriguing plot points saved for Part 2, the final installment will end the series on a high note.


Richa Tiwari : Managing Editor : Allahabad Post

The wedding season has enraptured the ambience in a way that, from the day it has turned up, each day is an occasion to celebrate.

I am sure most of you have attended many wedding ceremonies these days and many invitations must have been piled up to be attended.

Well marriage is a union of two bodies and alliance of their soul. Where two people come together, to unite as one. But marriages are no more an event where we go to bless the couple who get into marital bliss, but it’s wrapped with lot more.

To say it a SHOWBIZ would not be an exaggeration and especially it has evolved as a culture in middle class Indians to exhibit everything as lavishly as possible or better say they want it to be no less than a Big Fat Indian wedding. As for everyone from bride to groom, their families and friends and the guest as well it’s an event to showcase everything from arrangements to attires, from jewelries to accessories etcetera...

However it’s true that our youth is embracing tradition like never before but this generation brings things adorned with fusion of tradition and modernity and in any case in meeting these requirements the bank balance get affected.

While talking of a party, a prime consideration is to gratify the belly of the guest, as we all know our taste buds never forget a ‘good food’… and this brings us a variety of cuisine even in dinner organized by middle class families in India.

And not to forget the gifts, they are supposed to be the best, as of course they play a crucial role in stratifying your importance in the society…

In the veil of all the grandeur and opulence the parents get squeezed.

If the society cooperates it would become easy for people to cut their coat according to their cloth and somehow reduce the extravagance.

And let the true spirit of union of two beautiful people soar, diminishing the shades of show business. 

The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Aparajita Basu : Managing Editor : Allahabad Post

Herge's all time creation Detective/Journalist TinTin along with his faithful dog Snowy had wowed generation but can Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn have the same wow factor?....It definitely does.

Tintin (Jamie Bell) and Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock’s ancestor. But someone else is in search of the ship. Based on three of the earliest Tintin comic books: “The Secret of the Unicorn,” “Red Rackham’s Treasure,” and “The Crab with the Golden Claws.” The film is a joint effort between Spielberg and Jackson, with the former taking lead as director and the latter producing (roles which will supposedly be reversed for the sequel, should it come to pass). Jackson’s WETA workshop is also handling the visual effects, which involve live actors transformed into CGI cartoons via motion-capture performance.

The biggest question, however, is whether or not WETA can achieve the hard task of making humanoid CGI creations (even purposefully cartoonish ones) feel lively and real, instead of having the characters be stranded in that “valley of the uncanny,” in which the eye and mind struggle to accept that the CGI characters are actually believable humanoids. But it is pretty believable seeing as from my own experience, when I first saw its trailer I actually thought it was a live action not motion-captured animation at all. So WETA has definitely succeeded with the concept and not loose momentum (like Mars needs Moms).

Although only marginally popular in the U.S.A., Tintin to many readers worldwide (especially in Western Europe and the UK) what Batman and Spider-Man are to Americans: a comic book they discovered as kids, grew up with and continue to cherish. The brainchild of Belgian illustrator Georges Remi (aka Herge), the Tintin comics – originally published in French between 1930 and 1976 – have grown over the years into a multinational franchise that includes translations in dozens of languages, various animated films and TV series, two live-action movies, several theme stores, a museum and even a field of study known as “Tintinology.”

Tintin himself is far from your typical, butt-kicking crime fighter. If anything, his erudite approach to solving mysteries, along with a taste for escapades in the Middle East, Asia and Africa throughout the mid-20th century, make him a less brawny, more European counterpart to Indiana Jones, which is purportedly what first sparked Spielberg’s interest in bringing Tintin to the screen back in the early 1980s.

The script stays true to the spirit of the books and a hilarious Serkis as the drunken Captain Haddock, who at one point downs medicinal alcohol, makes for a fantastically unique hero in a family movie. The pace is well maintained and the story never seems to overstay its welcome, which is not the case with many recent blockbusters.John Williams’ score, which mixes moody 60s-style music with the composer’s more grandiose themes, accompanies events up through the rather ingenious finale (involving a massive duel where shipping cranes are transformed into sabers), before a cliffhanger sets up the next installment (to be directed by Jackson).

Now the mocap technique falls somewhere between live-action and animated moviemaking, the same can be said for the performances, which are altogether fluid yet sometimes give the impression of watching a very realistic video game with the sound turned up a few thousand notches. Serkis nonetheless manages to turn Haddock into what will surely be the trilogy’s most memorable personage, while Bell (Billy Elliot) makes Tintin about as interesting as he can be, which is to say sometimes less so than his dog. Thomson and Thompson, Edgar Wright regulars Nick Frostand Simon Pegg provide comic asides that will help adults stay in tune with material aimed at an audience younger than the teenage or twentysomething Tintin, even if this Belgian hero seems to be a model of PG undertakings.

Steven Spielberg’s direction is top-notch. He not just makes the film a thrilling ride but also infuses it with old-world charm and heartwarming emotions. Based on the series of books, the movie is full of clever moments, great action sequences, comedy and intrigue. The screenplay is such that the viewers’ interest is maintained throughout as it follows Tintin on his adventure. The characterisation of Captain Haddock, who goes from being a drunkard to reclaiming his courageous legacy, is brilliant. A couple of sequences involving the expert pickpocket, Silk, and the bumbling detective duo, Thomson and Thompson, bring a smile to the audience’s lips.

More so, when the action shifts to the city of Bagghar, the viewer is treated to a thrilling ride as Tintin, Haddock and Snowy go on a fabulously choreographed chase. Sequences such as Tintin and Captain Haddock’s escape from the boat, Haddock’s narration of his grandfather’s war with the pirates and that of the climactic fight between Haddock and Sakharine are the highlights. The climax, which also hints at the film’s sequel, is good. The dialogues are very well-written and enjoyable.

Thus,as far as all the aspects of this introduction is concerned, Spielberg and Jackson will have no trouble selling the sequel to us as they have captured our imaginations with a serviceable Tintin introduction.

4th National Book Fair

Aparajita Basu : Managing Editor : Allahabad Post

From science fiction to romance; from thrillers and fantasy to historical fiction, classics, competitive exam guidelines, religion, biographies and dictionaries; it is raining books at the 4th National Book Fair at Government Girls Inter College, Allahabad.

The books are available under various price tags with those catering to the choice of children priced moderately. Among the Hindi classics, Premchand's masterpieces are in great demand, said a stall owner,adding that they bring forth the social conditions of his times. Besides, Premchand's books are an all time favourite.

Among the English collection, the Harry Potter books, the Twilight books, classics and those by Indian writers like Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi were in great demand as well.

They are available in a range of prices from Rs 10 to 99 while those written by contemporary authors are also much in demand.

The ongoing National Book Fair at Government Girls Inter College, which ends today (27th November, 2011) offered a wide range of books to bibliophiles. The fair drew visitors from all age groups.