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Pretoria: South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday, was an icon for ending the much-reviled apartheid system, a colossus who strode over world politics and a staunch Gandhian.

Mandela, who spent three decades in jail and went on to lead a life that was an inspiration, died at his home in a suburb of Johannesburg, at the age of 95.

He was a believer in principles of Mahatma Gandhi, who served in South Africa and later went on to lead India to freedom.

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Koodiyattam by Margi Sathi and KalamandalamSangeeth Chakyarat IKKF

Dubai: The staging of an unabridged Malayalam classic in the colours and drama of Kathakali; the rich repertoire of Koodiyattam, a 2,000-year-old Sanskrit theatre; graceful Mohiniattam; music in the Sopanam style and a percussion ensemble high on energy - this UAE capital saw a five-day-long celebration of ancient Kerala art forms.

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Mumbai: Socially conscious youth in India are hopping on to their bicycles for countrywide tours to espouse public causes, which range from suicide preventing to driving awareness about the rare and debilitating Hunter syndrome.

In the last fortnight alone, Mumbai has hosted nearly half a dozen such "driven" youth who have been cycling up from the south of the Vindhyas to the Himalayan north.

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Hyderabad: The union government may be going ahead with tabling a bill in next month's winter session of parliament for carving out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh but leaders from the Seemandhra region are still hopeful that the state will remain united.

Even as the Group of Ministers (GoM) finalised its report on the mechanics of the bifurcation and a draft bill is likely to come up before the union cabinet next week, the leaders from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) have not lost hope.

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New Delhi: A man so exceptionally gifted that the entire cricketing fraternity remained wide-eyed in awe till his last innings but so unassuming about his own aura that even the pressure of a billion expectations failed to ever distract, let alone rattle him.

That, in essence, is the legend of Sachin Tendulkar, who became much more than an iconic cricketer by the time he turned up to play his 200th and final Test which ended in Mumbai Saturday.

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The government of Akhilesh Yadav in UP has asked the battered Muslims of Muzaffarnagar to sign an affidavit:

“Myself and members of my family who have left our village and our homes due to violent incidents in our village, will not now return to our original village and home under any circumstance.”

This undertaking, sought by a government which lays a special claim on Muslims, has made Firaq Gorakhpuri’s famous couplet stand on its head.

“Palat rahey hain ghareeb ul
Watan, palatna tha

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New Delhi: Traces of a Third Front could be seen when 14 parties shared the dais in the capital late last month and vowed to fight the "threat of communalism" at a gathering organised by the Left parties. But doubts over its long term viability persist.

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"I would submit that the highest possible form of national security, well above having better guns and bombs than everyone else, well above 'speaking softly and carrying a big stick, as President Roosevelt suggested, is the security which comes from being a nation which does the kinds of things that make other countries want to join with us to do them. If this is not 'strategic', then what is?"

 - Michael Griffin, former NASA Administrator.

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Thiruvananthapuram: Infighting in the Kerala Congress (Mani), the third largest ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government, is the latest bother for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Kerala Congress (Mani), led by Finance Minister K.M. Mani, has nine legislators in the 140-member assembly.

Over the past few years, the party has seen two mergers, first when Kerala Congress (Secular), led by government chief whip P.C. George merged his party with that of Mani ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

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Their voices are a part of the everyday life of the people of India, and some have lent their voice to history - to announce the independence of the country, the assassination of Indira Gandhi, India winning the 1983 cricket World Cup. Veteran All India Radio (AIR) newscasters are familiar household names who continue to share a special bond with their listeners.

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