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Friday, June 5, 2015

Queen Elizabeth is doing fine ~ it was wrong reporting by BBC

Queen Elizabeth II  -  is the Queen of 16 of the 53 member states in the Commonwealth of Nations.  Upon her accession in Feb  1952, Elizabeth became Head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon. Her coronation service the following year was the first to be televised.

In our own Nation, this man after his role in freedom struggle, returned to prominence in State politics in the late 1960s. 1974 ushered in a year of high inflation, unemployment and lack of supplies and essential commodities. Nav Nirman Andolan movement of Gujarat asked him  to lead a peaceful agitation. On 8th  April 1974, aged 72, he led a silent procession at Patna. The procession was lathi charged. On 5 June 1974, Jayaprakash addressed a large crowd at Gandhi Maidan in Patna. He declared, " after 27 years of freedom, people of this country are wracked by hunger, rising prices, corruption... oppressed by every kind of injustice... it is a Total Revolution we want, nothing less!" In 1974, he led the students' movement in the state of Bihar which gradually developed into a popular people's movement known as the Bihar Movement.

It is ‘Jayaprakash Narayan’ (Harsu Dayal Srivastava) popularly referred to as JP or Lok Nayak (Hindi for The People's Hero),  Indian independence activist, social reformer and political leader, remembered especially for leading the mid-1970s opposition against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.  In 1999, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in recognition of his social work. Other awards include the Magsaysay award for Public Service in 1965. The Patna airport is also named after him. The largest hospital run by the Delhi government and the teaching hospital of the famous Maulana Azad Medical College, Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Hospital, is also named after him.

Away in UK,  a ‘behind-the-scenes’ rehearsal of how the BBC will handle the death of Queen Elizabeth II ended with an apology Wednesday after one of its reporters mistakenly tweeted that the British monarch had passed away.  Ahmen Khawaja, a reporter working for the BBC's Urdu-language service, posted on Twitter that the 89-year-old had been taken to hospital. A second tweet announced: "Queen Elizabrth [sic] has died." This incorrect tweet was "swiftly" deleted, the BBC said. The initial report was picked up by media outlets including CNN Newsource and German newspaper Bild. However, when NBC News alerted Buckingham Palace to the tweets, a spokesman said that the queen was not only alive but carrying out public engagements.

It is not clear exactly how the mistake happened but the U.K.'s publicly-funded broadcaster was staging an internal drill on Wednesday to examine its readiness for the queen's death, a routine event staged by many news organizations.  The BBC subsequently has apologised.   About Queen’s  annual health check-up, Buckingham Palace said. "This was a routine, pre-scheduled appointment. The queen has now left the hospital."  The queen 89 now,  has cut back her public duties in recent years with heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles taking on more official roles. When she was hospitalised in March 2013 with symptoms of gastroenteritis, it was the first time she had needed hospital treatment in a decade.

Back home, Jayaprakash Narayan died in Patna, on 8 October 1979, three days before his 77th birthday. In March 1979, while he was in hospital, his death had been erroneously announced, causing a brief wave of national mourning, including the suspension of parliament and regular radio broadcasting, and the closure of schools and shops. When he was told about the gaffe a few weeks later, he reportedly smiled !!
It is not perhaps uncommon – the premature obituary !  We often read about that of  arms manufacturer Alfred Nobel, whose  obituary condemed him as a "merchant of death"  that reportedly leading him to create the Nobel Prize, to many others.  Such publications could have been due to multiple causes including : accidental publication, brush with death, hoax, frauds, faked deaths, impostors, missing in action, drowning to name confusion !!

Only recently there were reports of the Queen enjoying the June sunshine in Windsor Great Park in the  morning as she geared up for yet another busy week. Her Majesty, who turns 90 next year, was spotted riding her faithful black Fell pony, Carltonlima Emma, accompanied by head groom Terry Pendry. Her Majesty wearing  one of her trademark silk scarves, looked relaxed and happy. A rider since the age of four, when her father George VI presented her with a Shetland pony named Peggy, the Queen has never worn a helmet - reportedly because of her hair.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

4th June 2015.

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