The BJP in West Bengal is planning to rope in Hindutva preacher Swami Aseemanand, who was acquitted in the Mecca Masjid blast case earlier this week, to strengthen its base, its State unit chief said here on Thursday.“I have personally known Swami Aseemanand for a long time. I will talk to him and try to bring him to West Bengal so that he can work here. For a long time, he has worked among the tribals in Bengal. He can help us in a lot of ways,” BJP State president Dilip Ghosh said.A special anti-terror court on Monday acquitted the 66-year-old self-confessed monk and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, holding that the prosecution failed to prove “even a single allegation” against them.Aseemanand’s younger brother, Sushanta Sarkar, is presently secretary of the BJP’s Hooghly unit.Mr. Sarkar said he would be happy if his brother returned to the State to work. “Our entire family is dedicated towards the Sangh Parivar. If my brother comes to Bengal and wants to work here, we will be very happy,” Mr. Sarkar said.A science graduateAseemanand, who was born Naba Kumar Sarkar at Kamarpukur in West Bengal’s Hooghly district, completed his graduation in science in 1971.He became involved with right-wing groups from school, going on to work full time with the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Purulia and Bankura districts of the State. It was at the ashram that Naba Kumar Sarkar was christened Swami Aseemanand in 1981.
Shah Rukh KhanShah Rukh Khan stepped out of a swanky Lamborghini and onto a collegiate campus in the city to host a quiz show, looking natty in a formal suit teamed with a scraggy hairdo and rider shades.If the sartorial statement seems like a strange cocktail, only SRK could have pulled it off. For the record, this is the look he will be sporting in his upcoming flick Don 2 and this is the first time that he has unveiled the peculiar fashion statement at a public event in India.The crowd of more than 1,000, who were waiting to welcome the superstar went wild, naturally. In the mini riot that broke out, the fact that King Khan had actually arrived a full three hours after his scheduled time of 1 pm was forgotten. The quiz was scheduled to start at 3pm, but thanks to the superstar’s delayed arrival could only begin around 6pm.SRK of course was quick to make light of the situation with his trademark wit. He promptly mouthed a line from Don 2 : “It’s no longer about the police in just 11 nations, Don is now wanted by the police in 132 nations.” In between waving to the crowd and giving quick photo-ops to the press, SRK found time to leave a few soundbytes for the gathering.”I was Delhi student too, so I can relate to all of you. I must say it’s nice that you guys are studying in such a posh campus,” he said, as the ecstatic crowd drowned his voice. While organisational mismanagement saw half the media leave even before the actual quiz started, SRK made all hassles well worth facing once he took centrestage.When some of the quiz participants seemed nervous, SRK quipped: “I would often wonder how to prepare for something important in life. Till Mr Amitabh Bachchan gave me the right tip. I recall being at a show with him in New York, and I was quite nervous. I asked him how he got over anxiety pangs. He told me, ‘I just ensure my zipper is pulled up’. So, absorb all knowledge that comes your way and zip it up. Seize the day, live the moment.” As the quiz kicked off, SRK was in fine form. He ripped the college jackets off contestants who gave wrong answers, made a couple of teams that argued over a right answer do push- ups, in the process joining them in an impromptu push- up session himself.As the evening rolled, the quiz became a keen contest that unfolded amidst fun fare-SRK style. Contestants and the audience alike would have wished the quiz lasted for a little longer.advertisement