News Leak Centre

Google remembers Kamala Das’s ‘My Story’ with a doodle

Google on Thursday remembered legendary Malayalam and English writer Kamala Das with a doodle.

Popularly known by her pseudonyms Madhavikutty and Ami, Kamala Das is prominent in Indian literature for her poetry and short stories.

Created by artist Manjit Thapp, the doodle celebrates “the work she left behind, which provides a window into the world of an engrossing woman,” Google said in a blog post.

Kamala Das was born in a Hindu family in Thrissur district of Kerala on March 31, 1934, as Nalapat Kamala. Her father V.M. Nair had been the Managing Editor of Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, while her mother Balamani Amma was a renowned poet. Her maternal great uncle was the famous Malayalam writer Nalapat Narayana Menon.

Kamala was brought up in Calcutta, where she began writing primarily in English. She was married to banker Madhava Das at the age of 15 and thus became Kamala Das. She wrote in Malayalam under the pen name Madhavikutty. Kamala is known for her multilingual writing. Her Malayalam works would feature English phrases, while her English stories will have a flavour of Malayalam and Hindi. Noted poet K. Satchidananan calls her writing as ‘interlingual.’ “I speak three languages, write in two, dream in one,” Kamala would say.

She passed away on May 31, 2009. “Perhaps the greatest “work” of hers is the alter self whom she created, this mysterious and puzzling, ambiguous and sphinx-like “persona” that is Kamala Das, who emerges from her writings taking Protean forms – to fascinate and charm, to tease and torment, to hold and enthral, and to reveal her world anew with each new reading,” Devika Nair wrote in The Hindu Friday Review.

Kamala’s poetry and writings revolved around a myriad women’s issues, from sexuality to childbirth. Critics labelled her a feminist writer and the “the mother of modern English Indian poetry,” but she never accepted the former. Inspired by her real-life, Kamala wrote ‘My Story’ in English, and later ‘Ente Katha’ in Malayalam. Once believed to be her memoir, in ‘My Story’ Kamala got candid about her emotionally fragmented family, an unfulfilling marriage, sexual yearnings, suicidal thoughts and many more. ‘My Story’ was released this day in 1976, according to Google. She later dubbed both books as “work of fiction”.

Kamala is also known for her contradictions. She embraced Islam at the age of 65 and changed her name to Kamala Surayya. Her religious conversion and interviews favouring the purdah came as a surprise to many.

She is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award and many literary awards such as the Asian World Prize, Kent Award, and Ezhuthachan Puraskaram.

Her biopic is being filmed in Malayalam as Aami a name was given to her by her fans, with actor Manju Warrier essaying the role of Kamala Das.

All you need to know about the Union Budget; How it’s made, where it’s printed

As of now, just a few days are remaining before Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the floors of parliament would deliver India’s Union Budget 2018.

Most of the political parties are terming it as a report card for the Goods and Service Tax exam for Narendra Modi government making it look like an acid test. The budget discloses the government’s future expenses intended to boost the economy and bring stability through tax proposals.

That’s the simplest way to put it. But one must wonder Why do we need a budget? How is it prepared? Why is it so important? So, keep your reading machines on and burning to know most of the interesting fact related to Union Budget of India.

The first step towards answering the questions is questioning the existence of the question itself, so here we are, What does the word ‘Budget’ mean?

The word Budget is derived from the Middle English word ‘bowgette’, derived from ‘bougette’, which means a leather bag in the French language. According to Article 112 of the Indian Constitution, the Union Budget is a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the government for that particular year. Independent India’s first Budget was presented in 1947.

As you now know what does the Budget mean, let’s now know how India’s budget is made.

To make the budget, Finance Ministry collects receipts and expenditure information from various departments, holds discussions with industry bodies, and prepares revised estimates. The process takes place in complete secrecy with scrutiny by the Intelligence Bureau and the budget is printed at the North Block in Delhi. Officials are kept in isolation for over a week before the presentation.

So, now who presented Independent India’s first ever budget?

Independent India’s first Budget was presented by Finance Minister RK Shanmukham Chetty on November 26, 1947, for a period of seven and a half months from August 15, 1947, to March 31, 1948. He was the first Finance Minister of independent India. The Budget was a review of the economy and no new taxes were proposed.



On November 26, 1947, R.K. Shanmukham Chetty had presented the first budget of Independent India. But actually, it was a review of the economy and no new taxes were proposed as the budget day for 1948-49 was just 95 days away.



From then onwards an interim budget began to mean a budget for a short period.

Chetty resigned a few days later due to differences with Prime Minister Nehru.



K.C. Neogy then took charge of the Finance portfolio and held that office for just 35 days.

John Mathai became the third Finance Minister of India presenting the budget for 1950-51, the first budget for the Republic of India.



John Mathai who, in 1949-50, delivered the most lucid Budget Speech as he took the decision not to read out all the details telling members that a White Paper with all details were being circulated. He then gave a mini-lecture on inflation and economic policy.

It was the first Budget for a really united India since it included the financial statements for the former Princely States and where the biggest news was the news of forming of Planning Commission and the need for having five-year plans

Even with John Mathai, Nehru had differences and forced him to resign.

Budget papers were first prepared in Hindi in 1955-56

CD Deshmukh, while introducing the budget for the year 1955-56 as the Finance Minister, circulated the Hindi version of the Budget Speech for the first time. Hindi versions of the Annual Financial Statement and the Explanatory Memorandum were also circulated since that year. Notably, CD Deshmukh was the first Indian Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

The biggest problem for his successor, CD Deshmukh, was finding money for the Plans which meant higher taxes. In one Budget Speech, he tried to buck up taxpayers with the story of a letter he claimed he had got from a villager who paid no taxes but wanted to help.

Deshmukh said, “He has remitted a sum of Rs 5 to me and has promised to remit a similar sum every year… so long as the common run of our people can produce men and women with this spirit, this country can face the future, however difficult it may be, with confidence.”

It is not recorded if this made taxpayers happier to pay rather more than Rs 5.

Next, TT Krishnamachari, who replaced Deshmukh was an industrialist who, strangely enough, had a lot of enthusiasm for taxation.



In 1957, he invented two new levies, a wealth tax and an expenditure tax, and sternly told those who had to pay these to display some patriotic spirit: “I am one of those who also believe that the greatest advances towards economic equality and positive social improvement are made in difficult times when the conscience and the solidarity of a people are raised to the highest pitch.”

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first PM to present Union Budget

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister to present the Union Budget when he was also the Union Finance Minister, in the financial year 1958-59. Only Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi have presented the Budget while serving as the PM.



Rajiv Gandhi presented the budget for 1987-88 after V P Singh quit his government, and in the process became only the third Prime Minister to present a budget after his mother and grandfather.

In 1959 Morarji Desai became the Finance Minister.

He has presented the maximum number of budgets so far- ten. They included five annual and one interim budget during his first stint and three final and one interim in the second tenure when he was both Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

Morarji Desai was the only Finance Minister to have had the opportunity to present two budgets on his birthday – in 1964 and 1968. He was born on February 29.



After the fourth General Elections in 1967, Morarji Desai once again became the Finance Minister. This was his second stint.

Dreaded part of Morarji’s Budget

Morarji Desai relished levying taxes. In 1968 he said: “I now come to the much dreaded part of my Budget speech. I trust Honourable Members will not take me to task if the proposals do not fulfill the expectations of dread…

A deficit of this kind is usually an invitation to an FM to sharpen his knife…I propose to engage myself essentially in a minor operation of plastic surgery-taking out a little flesh here and adding a little bit there.”

Desai was the first to make the Budget into a big opportunity for publicity for the FM and also the first FM with serious aspirations for PM’s seat.

After he resigned, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, took over the Finance portfolio, becoming the only woman Finance Minister of India and Indira Gandhi became only woman to have presented the budget till date.She presented the Union Budget of India in 1970-71. She was indeed an Iron Lady…!!!!



Yashwant Sinha became the Finance Minister and presented the interim budget for 1991-92.

In the election held in May 1991, the Congress returned to power and Shri Manmohan Singh became the Finance Minister.



This was the first occasion when the interim and final budgets were presented by two ministers of two different political parties.

Shri Manmohan Singh opened the economy, encouraged foreign investments, reduced peak import duty from 300 plus percent to 50 percent and introduced the concept of service tax.

Manmohan Singh is the most reticent of men, but in his first Budget Speech of 1991, he made some uncharacteristic personal remarks that recalled his own history: “I was born in a poor family in a chronically drought-prone village which is now part of Pakistan. University scholarships and grants made it possible for me to go to college in India as well as in England.

This country has honoured me by appointing me to some of the most important public offices of our sovereign Republic. This is a debt which I can never be able to fully repay. The best I can do is to pledge myself to serve our country with utmost sincerity and dedication. This I promise to the House.”



After the elections another non-Congress ministry assumed office.

So, a final budget for 1996-97 was presented by Shri P. Chidambaram of the then Tamil Maanila Congress. It was the second time that an interim and final budgets were presented by two ministers of different political parties.

Following a constitutional crisis the I.K. Gujral Ministry was on its way out and a special session of Parliament was convened only to pass Shri Chidambaram’s 1997-98 budget. It was passed without a debate…….really without debate in democracy.?

You must have surely heard leaks of exam papers, entrance exams , and more common nowadays, movies, but this list a great old candidate, you read it right below, the Union Budget Itself. The Union Budget was leaked in 1950

In 1950, a certain portion of the Union Budget was leaked. After the leak, the Budget printing venue was shifted from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to a press on Minto Road. In 1980, a government press in the North Block’s basement became the permanent place for Budget printing. To avoid leaks, officials stay in the press till the speech is over.

Why was the 1973 budget called the ‘Black Budget’?

The Union Budget for 1973-1974 is referred to as the ‘Black Budget’ as India had a deficit of ₹550 crore. The Budget was presented by then Finance Minister Yashwantrao Chavan. Chavan in his Budget speech stated that a deficit of this order was inescapable due to the difficult situation caused by the drought and the resultant shortfall in food grains.

Why was the Budget presented at 5 PM till 2000?



The Budget was presented at 5 PM as a practice inherited from the pre-independence era. This lead to simultaneous presentations of the Budget in India and UK. Others believe that this was done to provide relief to officials who worked all night to prepare the statement. Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha first presented the Budget at 11 AM in 2001.

How are officials kept in complete secrecy during Budget?



As Budget printing at the North Block’s basement in Delhi begins, officials are isolated from the outside world for over a week to maintain secrecy till Finance Minister delivers the speech. A single phone is available on which the families of officials can leave a message. Budget is usually handed over to printers at midnight, two days before its announcement.

Why does the FM carry a briefcase on Budget day?



The tradition of carrying a Budget briefcase can be traced back to the British, who carried a ‘Budget box’ on every Budget Day since 1860. The practice reportedly started when Britain’s budget chief was asked to ‘open the budget’ while presenting the statement. The practice was introduced in independent India by the first Finance Minister RK Shanmukham Chetty in 1947.

Where are the Budget papers printed?



The Budget was initially printed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan but in 1950, it was leaked and the printing venue shifted to a press at the Minto Road in Delhi. In 1980, a special government press in the North Block’s basement became the permanent place for printing the Budget. The officials stay in the press till the speech is over.

Arun Jaitley takes part in Halwa ceremony ahead of Budget


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took part in the ‘Halwa’ ceremony on Thursday, which marks the printing of documents for the forthcoming Budget. As a ritual, ‘halwa’ is prepared in a big ‘kadhai’ (frying pot) and served to the ministry’s entire staff. Over 100 officials will now stay in Budget printing press till Jaitley’s budget speech on February 1 gets over.


Only two Finance Ministers did not present the Union Budget

KC Neogy and HN Bahuguna have been the only two Finance Ministers who did not present India’s Union Budget. This was because they held office for such short durations in between two budget days that they had no occasion to present a budget. Notably, Neogy, who was India’s second Finance Minister, held the office for just 35 days.

First of First, President Mukherjee approves changes for Rail Budget merger

President Pranab Mukherjee has approved changes in government rules to allow merger of the Rail Budget with the Union Budget 2017. The Union Cabinet had in September 2016, approved the scrapping of the 92-year old practice of presenting a separate Railway Budget and merged it with the Union Budget. The government is expected to present the budget on February 1.

Now, let’s brace yourself for the budget……!!!!!!!

Beware: This is how fake Jio TV SMS scam stealing your credit and debit cards

With the entrant of the new start-up in the telecom sector, Reliance Jio has uprooted its competitor with the new data war, and with new freebies offers, Reliance’s Jio has managed to mobilise the Indian internet users in their team, leaving behind their primary network. And as the talks and the rumours also start to build on their DishTV launch, giving fears to DtH service providers.

Taking the advantage of the situation, conman have found a new way to dupe you with your hard earned money and savings in the name of giving you a new “Jio Dish TV”

According to The Asian Age, a text message is sent to the person that claimed to be According to The Asian Age, the message they first received is from AM-AMZOFF, which looks like an authentic messaging service. The message says that the number has won a Jio Dish TV, with a three-month free subscription at a nominal price of Rs 11. A link also accompanied the message, which opened into a web page which seemed to give a small introduction to booking the Jio Dish TV.

Once the person scrolls down, a segment saying “Book Now” appears. It prompts the user to enter the private details like the name, email, address and phone number. After agreeing to the terms and conditions, you’re directed to the next tab. What seems to be rather surprising is that even when mere alphabets were entered, the writer was directed to the next tab.

The next window was a so-called ‘Paytm’ site with the name For making a payment of Rs 11,a transaction ID is provided for the user. The payment window asks for a payment option from Debit Card, Credit Card and BHIM UPI.

Even though a notification on the same page says ‘Your payment details are secured via 128-bit encryption by Verisign’ but it is definitely not so. The same tab asks for the card details. Once the user enters the payment details, the next tab asks for a three-digit security PIN.

We again entered random numbers just to check the authentication. Once we submitted the OTP (which wasn’t even valid), a succeeding window popped up saying ‘OOPS- Something went wrong’, claims The Asian Age.

So customers, beware of such kind of messages which ask for your confidential information.

This is how people are celebrating Republic day

As India slips into celebrating the 69th Republic Day, a day that instil the feeling of nationalism and patriotism in the youth that helped break the chains of slavery, bondage, captivity laid before us before we attain the much-needed Independence, India stand tall after all that left to India.

Today, as the tricolour will be seen unfurling across the nation, let’s have a look at how young and old India celebrates the day.

Ban rape, Ban female foeticide, Ban sexual molestation not ‘Padmaavat’: Renuka Shahane

Slamming demands for banning Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming film ‘Padmaavat’, actress Renuka Shahane shared photos on Facebook, wherein she demanded a ban on rape, sexual molestation and female foeticide instead of the film. The film was initially banned in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Haryana, but the Supreme Court later allowed an all India release on January 25.

Renuka Shahane is not one to mince words. The actor is known for her forthright views on the important topics of the day and this time she has a take on Padmaavat release. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film has been hanging fire with Karni Sena and other right-wing organisations demanding a ban on the film and threatening violence if it comes out.

Shahane shared four photos on Facebook where a big red cross is placed on placards demanding Padmaavat ban. Instead, she wants rape, sexual molestation and female foeticide banned.

Renuka Shahane sent out a strong message for all the haters. Shahane who is known for being vocal about expressing her opinion on matters. Now her post on Facebook on protesters seeking ‘Padmaavat’ ban has gone viral. She shared a picture of a protest with people holding a big banner with ‘Ban Padmavat’ written. She drew a large red cross on the picture, indicating that it should not be banned. Instead, she shared three pictures that show her holding placards that say- Ban rape, ban female foeticide, ban sexual molestation.

The film has been embroiled in controversies ever since early last year when the shooting began. The film’s Jaipur and Kolhapur sets were vandalised, Bhansali was attacked and a Thakur leader Abhishek Som declared an ‘award’ of Rs 5 crore to anyone who would behead Bhansali and Deepika Padukone.

Knitting patterned pajamas to warm the freezing elephants

As the harsh unforgiving winter is inching, these women crochet sweaters to keep these rescued elephants warm in freezing temperatures keeping aside the time of hard freezing winter days.

To shield the rescued majestic animals from cold, the volunteers knitted giant sweaters to keep these rescued elephants of Elephant Conservative Care Center warm in freezing temperatures.

The long foggy night, the curl up and the desperate trying to keep out the chill on a wintry night, these villagers of Agra are rescuing enormous woolly sweaters for rescued elephants to keep them warm in the near-freezing temperatures.

This Wildlife SOS sanctuary near Agra rescues elephants from across India who have been abused, beaten, and neglected by previous owners.

As temperatures in the region have dropped, locals have been busy knitting and crocheting super-sized sweaters to keep the animals cozy in the steep freezing cold.

After staff warned that temperatures were approaching freezing, many local women came forward with pajama-like garments for the elephants to wear.

Having suffered so much abuse and vulnerability, this is sure to keep these creatures protected from the bitter cold during this extreme weather.

They are susceptible to ailments such as pneumonia and the cold aggravates their arthritis, which is a common issue the rescued elephants have to deal with.

The center currently houses 20 elephants rescued from illegal captivity, trafficking, exploitation for begging or circus shows, and they’re hoping to rescue 50 more elephants this year, as well as expanding the sanctuary with new land.

These majestic creatures, escaping abuse could not hold out battle any further and are finally able to spend their days happily, with frequent baths, a nutritious diet, and good veterinary care. Water pools have been provided to the elephants with the free access for them to bath and play in the water, at will.

“Elephant Conservation and Care Center” is a project of Wildlife SOS, created in 2010 in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department to rehabilitate severely abused captive elephants in distress.

Living out their retirement years, these adorable creatures are no longer forced to bear heavy loads, or walk on hot pavement, these majestic creatures are finally able to spend their days happily, with frequent baths, a nutritious diet, and good veterinary care.

This is sure to keep the curls up under control!

A Roller Coaster ride in reverse! All the ups and downs of 2017 in one go

It will make you cry, and at the same time, it will give you smile and probably all other emotions included in between.

The online search engine giant Google’s 2-minute video, released this Wednesday, highlights what people have been looking up over the last 12-months. The clip focuses on one term – “How.”

Such as:

• How much the wall cost
• How to board up a window
• How to run for office. And many more

Watch the video for yourself

Meet Babiya, The Vegetarian Crocodile Who Guards A Temple In Kerala!!

India is all about amazing stories! Apart from historical monuments which makes a place interesting, there are many other miraculous stories which make India a truly incredible country. Once such story is of Babiya, a crocodile who guards the famous Ananthapura Lake Temple in Kerala.

When we talk about crocodiles, we always think about their vicious killer instincts and their ability to gulp anything within seconds. But, there is a crocodile in Kerala who totally defies this characteristic of a crocodile. This is a crocodile who is a vegetarian and acts as a guard at the Ananthpura lake temple.

Babiya only eats the prasad prepared by the priests, which is made up of rice & jaggery. Babiya, unlike any other crocodile, does not harm anyone who visits the temple complex, even the fish in the lake! As per the priests, Babiya has been guarding the temple for 60 years.

It is also said that if you’re fortunate, only then you can spot Babiya swimming in the lake water! Indeed an intriguing temple, right?

From being denied a role in Ramlila for being a Muslim, how Nawazuddin potrays Bal Thackeray in biopic

It’s powerful, its influential, it’s compelling and what not. The teaser on the Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray is here and is gaining much of the appreciation from the netizens. Fitting the shoes of the Shiv Sena chief, Nawazuddin Siddiqui gives the full justice to the role of Maharashtra’s most celebrated politician.

Following the Bal Thackeray footsteps, Nawazuddin Siddiqui justifies the role he is given.

Given the image he has among the masses of anti-Muslim and extreme right-wing approach, Balasaheb Thackeray was considered to be the face of the Hindus.

But this approach of communalism traversed the general mindset and fall into the lap of the most versatile actor of Bollywood, a Muslim, Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who revealed last year that he was denied a role in Ramayan because of his religion after the objection was raised by the same party who signed Nawazuddin Siddiqui to play the role.

Interestingly, this movie is written and financed by Sanjay Raut, an Upper House M representing Shiv Sena

Watch the teaser of Thackeray film here:

Here’s how internet reacted:

Hindus objected sale of a house to Muslim family in posh society in U.P

Nuisance created by religious groups backed by the people in power has created more news this year than ever. The communal thoughts of extremist Hindus have found their voice to be one with the ruling party’s agenda. And that’s made them fearless and unstoppable.

Playing with Hindus and Muslims, polarizing them on the name of religion has a history and it is repeating itself now. The list of things we are not supposed to do is only getting longer. The day is not far when India will remain a democratic country only in the books of history and not civics.

The recent incident which has become news took place in Meerut. A pro-Hindu organization has coined a new term called “Land Jihad”. Bajrang Dal convener for Meerut province, Balraj Dungar said, “There is a sinister strategy by members of the minority community to buy a house in a Hindu-dominated locality. Over time, due to their activities, their Hindu neighbors are compelled to sell their houses to other minority families and move away. In this way the entire neighborhood becomes dominated by that community and there is exodus of Hindus. All this comes under land jihad.”

This statement was made just a day after Bhartiya Janta Party worker kept a Hindu family from selling their house to a Muslim man in Maliwara locality. Jeweler Sanjay Rastogi sold his house which is in a Hindu-dominated area on this Sunday night but BJP worker got the news. Deepak Sharma, city secretary for BJP youth wing said, “We have convinced Rastogi not to allow anyone from the minority community to buy the house.”

What do you call when you’re not free to love whom you want? Eat what you want? Watch what you want? What do you call it if there is no freedom of speech and the creative liberty in zilch?
Is it democracy? or dictatorship?

By – Vivek Kashyap