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Today & Yesterday – 2nd May

Today & Yesterday – 2nd May

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Today & Yesterday 2nd May

Today’s episode of this series includes the encouraging news of a medicine to cure inherited cancer, Binary Stars, a punishable law to protect Dalit rights, PPF Fund, Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall, GPS and finally Osama Bin Laden.

Today on the 2nd of May I bring to you yet another episode of this series where I bring to you news from today and from the pages of the history of yesterday. I begin today’s narrative with the wonderful news of Olaparib; a drug to treat inherited cancers. Hundreds of people with inherited breast or prostate cancer could now benefit from a targeted therapy on the NHS in England and Wales. The drug olaparib is designed to treat specific cancers linked to faulty versions of genes known as BRCAs.

With this news, I come to the first story of today on Binary Stars.

William Herschel and his Binary Star

The world believed that stars were isolated objects in space. This notion prevailed till this day today of yesterday i.e. on 2nd May 1780. Astronomer William Herschel made an important discovery when he observed a star in the constellation Ursa Major and determined that some stars were binary in nature. He later renamed it as Xi Ursae Majoris. This was a significant discovery because it was the first confirmed binary star system to be observed, meaning that two stars were orbiting around each other. This discovery paved the way for further research into the nature of stars and their movements.

Dalits find justice

In recent times there is a lot of political debate surrounding Dalits. I do not intend to discuss politics but to bring to you the history of today from yesterday. It was on 2nd May 1955, when the Indian government proposed a bill to discriminate against Dalits or “Untouchables” punishable by law. This proposal aimed to address the issue of caste-based discrimination, which has been prevalent in Indian society for centuries.

Dalits, who are considered to be at the bottom of the Hindu caste hierarchy, have faced discrimination and social exclusion for generations. They have been denied basic human rights, including access to education, employment, and even places of worship. This discrimination has led to a cycle of poverty and oppression that has affected millions of people in India.

The proposed bill sought to address this issue by making discrimination against Dalits a criminal offense. It would have made it illegal to deny them access to public places, including wells, temples, and schools. It would also have made it illegal to prevent them from using public transport or to deny them housing or employment opportunities.

Despite the government’s efforts, the bill faced opposition from some members of the Hindu community, who saw it as an attack on their religious beliefs. They argued that the caste system was an integral part of Hinduism and that any attempt to challenge it would be tantamount to an attack on their religion.

Despite the opposition, the bill was eventually passed and became known as the Untouchability (Offenses) Act, of 1955. This was a significant step forward in the fight against caste-based discrimination, and it paved the way for further legislative measures to address this issue.

Today, the struggle for equality and social justice for Dalits continues in India. Despite the legal protections afforded to them, they still face discrimination and violence at the hands of some members of the dominant castes. It is essential to continue the fight against caste-based discrimination and to ensure that all members of society are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their caste or social status.

‘Lets Save’ says India

“Let us save for the rainy day.” You must have heard this many times. I bring to you my next story which talks about savings. It was on this day today from yesterday in the year 1968, when the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament, passed the Public Provident Fund Bill. This legislation established the Public Provident Fund (PPF) scheme, which is a long-term savings scheme aimed at encouraging savings and providing financial security for individuals.

Under the PPF scheme, individuals can open an account with a minimum deposit of Rs. 500 and can deposit up to Rs. 1.5 lakh each financial year. The funds deposited in the account earn an attractive interest rate, which is decided by the government from time to time. The maturity period of the scheme is 15 years, which can be extended in blocks of 5 years.

The PPF scheme has become a popular savings instrument in India, especially among the middle and lower-income groups. It is considered a safe investment option due to the sovereign guarantee provided by the government of India. The scheme also offers tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

The passage of the PPF Bill in 1968 was a significant step towards promoting a savings culture in India and providing financial security to individuals. The scheme continues to be a valuable savings option for millions of Indians today.

‘Brick in the Wall’ no more in South Africa

I cannot help but express my dismay over the banning of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” in South Africa on 2nd May 1980. It seems that the authorities in power have once again demonstrated their astounding ability to miss the point entirely.

One can only imagine the danger that this particular song posed to the delicate sensibilities of the South African government. Perhaps they were worried that the haunting refrain of “We don’t need no education” would inspire a generation of rebellious youth to throw off their shackles and demand their right to learn. Or maybe they were concerned that the powerful message of the song would encourage people to question the status quo and demand change.

Whatever the case may be, it is clear that the decision to ban “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” was a misguided one. It is not only a timeless classic, but a powerful social commentary on the state of education and the dangers of blindly following authority. To ban such a song is to stifle free thought and creativity, and to deprive the people of South Africa of an important voice. I feel it is yet another example of the powers that try to silence dissenting voices.

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So let us raise a glass to Pink Floyd and their brave stance against the forces of oppression. And let us remember that, even in the darkest of times, music has the power to inspire, to unite, and to change the world.

GPS open for All

Well, well, well! Looks like we can finally stop pretending we’re lost when we’re really just bad with directions. Thanks to President Bill Clinton’s announcement on May 2nd, 2000, accurate GPS access is no longer restricted to the United States military. Now we can all navigate our way through life without relying on our questionable sense of direction or those pesky paper maps that never fold back up properly. Just imagine all the time we’ll save not having to backtrack because we took a wrong turn! And let’s be honest, we’ll probably still blame the GPS when we get lost anyways. But at least now we have the option to do so. Thanks, President Clinton!

Osama Bin Laden killed

On May 2nd, 2011, a significant event occurred in the history of the fight against terrorism. Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, was killed by US special forces in a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The operation, code-named “Operation Neptune Spear,” was conducted by the United States Navy SEALs and involved a team of highly trained special forces personnel who carried out a daring nighttime raid on Bin Laden’s compound. The raid was the result of years of intelligence gathering and surveillance and was authorized by President Barack Obama after he received confirmation of Bin Laden’s location.

The killing of bin Laden was a significant blow to al-Qaeda and a victory for the United States in its fight against terrorism. Bin Laden had been the FBI’s most wanted man for over a decade and his death was celebrated by many Americans as a momentous occasion.

That’s all for today. Stay happy and healthy until we meet tomorrow.


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