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140 Tirupati temple staff members found test positive for Covid-19,



Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams opened to the public on 11 July, and will continue to allow entry of devotees less than 12,000 in number into the temple daily.

Tirupati Balaji in Andhra Pradesh, one of the most visited temples in India will remain open even after a senior priest (Archaka) and staff of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the body which governs the shrine, tested positive for COVID-19.

There are no plans to stop devotees to come and offer prayers at Tirupati Balaji, said a report  citing YV Subba Reddy, chairperson of TTD.There is no evidence of pilgrims getting infected with the highly contagious disease, he said.

A total of 140 TTD staff, including 14 priests, have tested positive for the novel corona virus infection since the shrine was reopened on June 11.Of these, 70 have recovered and only one is having severe symptoms, said the report citing Reddy. Most of the infected staff are from the Andhra Pradesh Police who have been working with the temple, he said.

“We have no plan to close Tirumala temple. Senior priests will not be put on duty. Priests and employees have requested separate accommodation,” Reddy said as per the report.The decision has been taken amid a “controversy over priests and employees testing positive for COVID-19,” as per the report.

The honorary chief priest, Ramana Dikshitulu, has raised concern over priests and employees of Tirupati Balaji temple testing positive.

In a tweet, the priest tagged Andhra Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy and said that “15 out of 50 archakas carona positve quarantined. Still 25 results awaited. TTD EO and AEO refuse to stop glimpse of god. Obediently following anti hereditary archaka and anti brahmin policy of TDP and CBN. Disaster if this continues. Please take action.”Asked about the tweet, Reddy said the honorary chief priest should have given his suggestions to the TTD Board instead of putting them out on social media.

Dikshitulu, who had alleged the TTD of financial wrongdoings, was removed as chief priest of the temple in 2018 after he crossed the age for retirement, said the report. Reddy had reappointed him as honorary chief priest to serve the temple as an adviser after his YSR Congress Party came to power in May 2019, added the report.


Review of ‘Mirzapur S2’: Divyendu Sharma shines in a Dreaded Mirzapur.



The highly-anticipated season 2 of web series ‘Mirzapur’ will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video on October 23, 2020. To keep the momentum going, the makers have for now released the brand new trailer of ‘Mirzapur 2’. The dark, gritty narrative of ‘Mirzapur Season 2’ features Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Divyenndu, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Rasika Dugal, Harshita Shekhar Gaur, Amit Sial, Anjum Sharma, Sheeba Chaddha, Manu Rishi Chadha and Rajesh Tailang.

Pankaj Tripathi that had dominated the first season of Mirzapur that had stormed the OTT medium back in 2018. The man is in very good form all over again in the second season as well, the first couple of episodes of which were made exclusively available to this writer. Whether it is sarcastically asking his wayward son [Divyendu Sharma] whether he has any business plan in mind to him admonishing a senior politician in his own bungalow to go quiet or dealing with the cops, he is up there.

It’s just that this time around, the series seems to be built on isolated moments rather than a seamlessly exciting narrative, something that was the hallmark of the first season. The screen lights up each time when Divyendu is there. He is a villain, of course, but then there is such childlike enthusiasm in him, coupled with inherent humor that he brings in most crass of the situations, that you can’t help but actually wait for him to keep coming back. Watch out for the way in which he gears up to re-establish his business empire and you would know.

In the first season, it was the battle that was fought between the heirs of all things illegal, Divyendu Sharma, and the ‘bhai bhai jodi’ of commoners Ali Fazal and Vikrant Massey. With a neat six minute long recap of the first season that kick-starts the second season, you are reintroduced to the battle that ensued, something that resulted in the death of Vikrant Massey and Ali’s wife Shriya Pilgaonkar. The story moves ahead with Ali Fazal, his sister [Harshita Gaur] and Shriya’s sister [Shweta Tripathi] on the run.

Thankfully, there is a new angle introduced by makers [Puneet Krishna and Gurmmeet Singh] which promise a lot of excitement ahead in eight episodes that would follow. In the first season, there was just a glimpse of a rival gang in motion at Jaunpur. This time around the set up is promising a full throttle battle ahead as the next generation has arrived on the scene, the ones who want to play it with brains instead of bullets, and hence draw up a deep rooted plan. Entry of Vijay Verma on the scene, albeit briefly, further makes it all promising.

One truly hopes though that soon enough there is good character development for Ali Fazal as well because he was truly the ‘jaan’ of the show. In the first season, his character was pretty much inspired from Sanjay Dutt in Mahesh Bhatt’s Naam, what with even the dialogue of ‘crime is a one way street’ being mouthed. Here, he unfortunately goes through a severely clichéd scene featuring his parents (Sheeba Chaddha really hamming it out with Rajesh Tailang just being a little behind). For the sake of the audiences, hope that was just an aberration.

After all, there isn’t much of fun to see the family patriarch [Kulbhushan Kharbanda] continuing to solicit his daughter-in-law [Rasika Dugal] at very given moment. While that has lived its life in the first season, what would be interesting to watch is the plan ahead with the honest cop [Amit Sial] confessing (after witnessing a bloody shootout) that he is now worried only about his family.

So what if that means picking up a bribe up to 10 lakhs from ‘Kaaleen bhaiyaa’ despite not being offered to eat from the same plate as the Tripathi family. It’s the money that counts after all, and this time around the battle lines are drawn between Mirzapur and Jaunpur territories.

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