While most of the attention was centred on high-school athletes in the Digicel Grand Prix events at last Saturday’s G.C. Foster Classics inside the National Stadium, several of the country’s senior athletes made their presence felt at the meet with good performances.Leading the way was Racers Track Club star Kemar Bailey-Cole, competing in his first 100m event of the season. Bailey-Cole looked quite relaxed in posting 10.06 seconds in winning the race ahead of Andrew Fisher, second in 10.26 seconds, as Emmanuel Callender, the Trinidadian competing for UWI Mona, finished third in 10.19 seconds.half-lap eventAfter good performances in the 400 metres last season, but disappointing at the National Senior Championships, G.C. Foster College’s Demish Gaye stepped down to the 200m and did so in style. Running very strongly in the latter stage of the event, he got the better of training partner Oshane Bailey to win the Men’s half-lap event in 20.48 seconds, as Bailey was timed in 20.55 seconds, while Chadic Hinds, also of G.C. Foster College, was third in 20.76 seconds.In field events, the good season for UWI’s, Fedrick Dacres continued. This time, competing in the Men’s shot put. Instead of his pet event, the discus, he still came out on top with 18.82m, beating Christopher Brown, also of UWI, into second with 16.70m with Demar Gayle of GC Foster getting third with 16.38M.National record holder, Orlando Thomas of UTech was first in the Men’s Javelin throw with 7.05m, beating Elvis Graham of G.C. Foster College into second place with 62.93m with third going to Zaavan Richards of UWI with 60.36m.After a disappointing season last year, Jura Levy had a good start to her new season, as the former Vere Technical athlete competing for Sprintec captured the Women’s 200m in 22.98 seconds, getting the better of her training partners, Anastasia Leroy second in 23.11 seconds and Gayon Evans third in 23.18 seconds.There was major concern here for two of the country’s athletes who participated at the Rio Olympics last year. Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby and Christine Day both failed to complete the event.Of the two, Day looked the more serious as she was stretchered off the track.Samantha James of the Mico University College continued her fine form in the 800m this season, winning the event in 2:08.99, easily getting the better of Sherona Stewart of G.C. Foster College, second in 2:16.81 and Nickeisha Grant of UWI, Mona third in 2:17.26.
Newly-elected TMC MP Nusrat Jahan’s marriage with a Jain businessman and her wearing a sindoor and bangles became a subject matter of controversy on Saturday. However, she has found support from many politicians over the fatwa that was issued against her for being “un-Islamic”.Fatwa-happy Dar-ul-Uloom had issued a fatwa against Nusrat Jahan for marrying a non-Muslim. Dar-ul-Uloom calls itself the largest institution for the propagation of Islam and is based in Deoband in Uttar Pradesh. Criticising her “un-Islamic” post-marriage appearance at her oath-taking ceremony in Parliament on June 25, the group of Muslim clerics had issued a ‘fatwa’ against the newly-married Member of Parliament.Responding to the fatwa, Nusrat Jahan on Saturday tweeted that she represents an “inclusive India” and would not pay heed to the comments made by “hardliners as it only breeds hatred and violence”.Politicos support NusratNow, several political leaders have come out in support of Nusrat Jahan.The first and foremost was her Tollywood colleague and fellow TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty. Mimi Chakraborty showed her solidarity with Nusrat Jahan on Twitter writing, “We are Indian and that’s our only identification. Proud Indian and will be. Love you Nusrat.”Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi too supported Nusrat Jahan, saying that if Muslim clerics were free to speak, Nusrat was free to do what she wants as well. “Just like Muslim clerics may have the right to free speech to air their anti-Nusrat views (howsoever wrong), Nusrat has full rights to marry whom she wants, wear what she wants, say what she wants and behave as she wants. So long as she violates no law which she has clearly not,” he wrote on Twitter.advertisementEven former Union minister Arif Mohammad Khan slammed the clerics for the fatwa, saying “Is working in films allowed in Islam? In place of reacting to it, I feel like crying. Are they god? These are the people who spread hatred. They issue fatwas so that they can get reactions of others.”Former AAP member Ashutosh also praised Nusrat Jahan for taking a stand. “Great Nusrat. That is how clerics should be replied to. Who the hell are these clerics to tell how to dress and what to do in life? Enough is enough. Respect for Religion, but not such clerics,” he wrote on Twitter.Muslim clerics slam TMC MP Nusrat Jahan for ‘Hindu’ attire for swearing-In ceremony.Watch the debate on this issue, on #5iveLive with @ShivAroor.Full Show: https://t.co/ZgyifdQ2dZ pic.twitter.com/jZaS4PuyxM India Today (@IndiaToday) June 29, 2019Clerics shame Nusrat, she hits backA Deoband-based Muslim cleric had criticised Nusrat Jahan for marrying a Jain and wearing sindoor, calling the practices un-Islamic. “Islam says a Muslim can marry only a Muslim. I have got to know that Nusrat is a film actor and people in the cinema do not care about religious practices. They do what they have to,” said Mufti Asad Quasmi of Madrasa Jamia Sheikh-ul-Hind.After being criticised for sporting vermilion and bangles and not wearing a ‘burqa’ in Parliament, Nusrat Jahan on Saturday said that she represents an “inclusive India”.Paying heed or reacting to comments made by hardliners of any religion only breeds hatred and violence, and history bears testimony to that.. #NJforInclusiveIndia #Youthquake #secularIndia pic.twitter.com/mHmINQiYzj Nusrat (@nusratchirps) June 29, 2019″I represent an inclusive India which is beyond the barriers of caste, creed and religion,” Jahan said in a statement that she later shared on Twitter.She also wrote that she “respects all religions”.”I still remain a Muslim and none should comment on what I choose to wear. Faith is beyond attire and is more about believing and practising the invaluable doctrines of all religions,” Nusrat Jahan said.Why should there be a Fatwa against Nusrat Jahan? The media coordinator of Islamic Research Foundation Ilyas Sharafuddin put forward his opinion. Activist @sairashahhalim counters him. #ITVideo @gauravcsawantLive https://t.co/4fqxBVUizL pic.twitter.com/Ocb5hAxDr1 India Today (@IndiaToday) June 29, 2019Caught in the trolling cycleNusrat Jahan was seen sporting ‘sindoor’ that is traditionally worn by Hindu and Jain women and pink and white saree during her oath-taking in Parliament on June 25.She also wore bangles and had her hands covered in beautiful curls and swirls of henna designs.#WATCH: TMC’s winning candidate from Basirhat (West Bengal), Nusrat Jahan takes oath as a member of Lok Sabha today. pic.twitter.com/zuM17qceOB ANI (@ANI) June 25, 2019The TMC lawmaker had touched the feet of Speaker Om Birla and sought his blessings.advertisementBefore Oath touched the Soil of parliament house..Jai bharat, Jai Bangla, vande matram and last touched feet of speaker .hats off @mimichakrabortyProud of You didi pic.twitter.com/y9rDsPIa1j TeamMimi (@mimi_cfanclub) June 26, 2019She had skipped oath-taking for Lok Sabha members on June 17 and 18 owing to her wedding festivities in Turkey. Nusrat Jahan tied the knot with businessman Nikhil Jain on June 19.Towards a happily ever after with Nikhil Jain pic.twitter.com/yqo8xHqohj Nusrat (@nusratchirps) June 19, 2019Nusrat Jahan took the political plunge this year and won from Basirhat parliamentary constituency. Ever since her candidature had been announced by the TMC, the Bengali actress was subjected to trolling and hatred on social media for having no political experience or credentials to contest polls.In May, Jahan and her actor friends Mimi Chakraborty faced backlash on social media over their choice of clothes for their first day in Parliament.And its us again1st day at Parliament @nusratchirps pic.twitter.com/ohBalZTJCV Mimssi (@mimichakraborty) May 27, 2019READ | I represent inclusive India: Nusrat Jahan slams trolls for sindoor remarksREAD | Saree has shackled women, says ex BBC journalist on Nusrat Jahan and Mimi’s viral Parliament pic. Gets burntREAD | Not your film set: Trinamool MPs Mimi Chakraborty, Nusrat Jahan trolled for posing at ParliamentWATCH | I represent inclusive India, says Nusrat Jahan who was slammed for wearing saree, sindoor