By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, firstname.lastname@example.orgThere are three major things that people budget in life- money, time, and calories- and they are all related. For example, physical activity to burn calories and working at a job both take time and eating less food saves money.Photo by Alan Cleaver. CC BY 2.0Many articles have been written in the health field about “budgeting” calories as a way to lose weight. People can visit an online Calorie Calculator and get their recommended daily calorie “budget” (a.k.a., calorie salary) based on factors such as age, gender, height, weight, and activity level.Then it is up to individuals to “spend” their calories wisely throughout the day on meals and snacks and try not to exceed their “number.” Similarly, people make choices with the money they have available to spend. Barring an infusion of cash, such as a settlement or contest prize, most people build wealth slowly by living below their means.Let’s go back to a calorie analogy. The basic principle to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn in a day. For example, if the calculator says you need 1,874 calories to maintain your weight, you’ll lose a pound a week if you consume 1,374. A financial equivalent example is earning $50,000, living on $46,000, and saving $4,000.How do you live below your means? Many experts recommend starting with a detailed written or computerized budget with specific dollar amounts and categories. While this sounds great in theory, the reality is that only 32% of American households actually prepare a written budget or use budgeting software.So what else works? Many people live on less than they earn by automating their savings. Commonly called “pay yourself first,” this strategy gives savings the high priority of a rent or secured loan payment. Savings gets deposited before people receive their take-home pay and they somehow learn how to live on less. Another strategy that works well for some people is personal “decision rules” that restrict their spending.Consider this analogy from the world of NASCAR Motor Sports. Ever since a car wreck nearly killed hundreds of spectators in the grandstands at Talladega in 1987, when a speeding car went airborne, races at Daytona International Speedway in Florida and Talladega SuperSpeedway in Alabama have required drivers to use “restrictor plates” that limit the horsepower of their cars and slow them down.To avoid overspending, people also need “restrictors.” In other words, cues that they’ve “had enough.” Not everyone will have the same restrictions, however. Rather, the amount that people spend relative to their income will vary. Looking for some specific ideas? Consider the following examples of personal financial restrictors:Spend no more than $800 on holiday gifts and partiesCarry a revolving credit card balance of no more than $500 at any timeCharge no more than $200 per month in new purchasesSpend no more than $75 per week at the supermarketIf you want to lose weight, you monitor calorie intake by writing down what you eat and how much. Want to get ahead financially? You do the same thing by tracking income and spending. By writing things down- be it food intake or household expenses- you increase awareness of current practices and motivation to change. You also look at food and spending choices in a different light and mentally ask yourself “can I afford it?” For tracking worksheets for health and finances, see http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/workbook/01_Track_Your_Current_Behavior.pdf.Research conducted with a Rutgers University online quiz suggests a positive association between a wide array of recommended health and financial practices. This is not surprising since many of these activities require a time commitment, discipline, and/or sacrifice. Conversely, some people overeat and overspend and say they’ll cut back later to “balance things out.” Unfortunately, many never do.
By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, email@example.comThis post describes small steps that people can take to create a margin of safety (a.k.a., a buffer or a cushion) for their personal finances. According to author and productivity expert, James Clear, the term “margin of safety” is an engineering concept used to describe the ability of a system to withstand loads that are greater than expected.For example, imagine that someone is building a bridge and the maximum weight for a commercial truck carrying a full load is around 80,000 pounds. An engineer on the project would build a bridge that can safely carry vehicles weighing far more than the maximum weight, just to be on the safe side.A margin of safety is crucial, not only in the world of bridges and construction, but also in many areas of everyday life. Having a “cushion” helps people deal with unforeseen problems and deal with life’s inevitable challenges. An example is shoveling a wide swath of snow from your driveway in case there is even more snow coming from another snowstorm before the first round of snow can melt. The way that people schedule their time is another example of the “margin of safety” concept. For example, if it takes 30 minutes on a day with “normal” traffic to get to work, you might leave 45 minutes ahead of time “just in case.” Finance, money management, margin of safety Return to article. Long Descriptionstevepb/Pixabay.com, CC0The “margin of safety” concept can also be applied to ways that people handle their personal finances. Below are five strategies to increase your financial margin of safety:Live Below Your MeansPeople who spend less than they earn have a cash cushion to weather the unexpected. Not only do they have positive cash flow (income greater than expenses), but they likely have accumulated some savings by living frugally and setting aside some of their extra cash. Those who are able to live on, say, 60% to 80% of their income can handle more financial stress than others who cannot.Build Adequate Emergency ReservesAn adequate emergency fund provides a margin of safety against unexpected events such as accidents and unemployment. Financial experts recommend setting aside three to six months expenses (e.g. $6,000 to $12,000 with monthly expenses of $2,000). Many households do not come anywhere near this amount, however, so today is a good day to start building emergency reserves.Any savings is better than none. Clear notes, “The bigger the buffer, the more chaos you can handle.” Pay Off DebtDebt is an albatross around personal finances. The sooner it is paid off, the more “wiggle room” people have to handle life events. Aim to pay off outstanding credit card debt in a year or less. The PowerPay debt reduction program from Utah State University Extension (see https://powerpay.org/) can create an accelerated debt repayment plan. Also, aim to make a final mortgage payment before retirement.Purchase Adequate InsuranceSometimes negative life events are so costly that, even with savings, people cannot afford to pay for them out of pocket. Examples include a cancer diagnosis or the inability to work for two years due to disability from a severe auto accident. This is where insurance comes in because the risk of loss is transferred to a third party (insurance company) in exchange for payment of a premium.Arrange Contingency OptionsExamples of planning for financial contingencies include having a line of credit for small business owners and freelancers to bridge gaps in their irregular cash flow, reverse mortgages as a financial planning tool (e.g., to delay the receipt of Social Security benefits so they will be larger), and preparing current estate planning documents (e.g., a will and advanced directive documents such as living will and durable power of attorney for health care).Want to take small steps to improve your personal finances? Take action today to build your financial margin of safety. Every small step that you take to prepare for life’s inevitable “bumps in the road” makes a difference. For examples of factors that promote resilience in times of financial stress, take this quiz.
3D pre-compose in After Effects with this free script from Andrew Kramer.Andrew Kramer’s done it again. This time he’s giving away a free script specifically designed for 3D pre-composing. This may not sound very sexy but it will definitely save you time if you do a lot of work within AE. Instead of going back and forth copying and pasting lights and cameras in each pre-composed composition, you can now simply select which properties to transfer across pre-compositions.If this all sounds like gibberish to you check out the following tutorial created by Kramer explaining how to use his new 3D Pre-Compose script. The tutorial covers:Problems with Pre-ComposingUsing ScriptsWorking in 3D SpaceIntegrating Element 3D with the New ScriptTo download the free script visit the Video Copilot Blog.This script and tutorial was first shared on Video Copilot’s blog. Thanks for sharing guys!Want to learn more about After Effects? Well you’re in the right place! Check out the After Effects section of the PremiumBeat blog where you can find hundreds of After Effects tutorials, tips, and articles all designed to help you become a better motion graphic designer.Have any other uses for this After Effects script?Share in the comments below.
Looking to fund new gear or future movie projects? This is a list of legitimate ways you can make money as a videographer and filmmaker!Image from Breaking Bad via AMCThis is not a get rich quick scheme or a random list of jobs. This is actual real-world insight from the staff here at PremiumBeat. We’ve all had these jobs. Some of us still do these jobs in our free time!All of our writers come from the production world. We got together and talked about the ways we learned our craft and paid the bills. Sure, some readers will say that these jobs are below them, and that’s fine… It just means less competition for the rest of us.1. Weddings Weddings are the easiest video job you can fall into. As soon as you buy your first camera, family members are going to ask you to shoot their weddings. That said, they are a ton of work. Be sure you are getting something out of it. If you aren’t getting paid, ask the couple to buy you some memory cards or batteries in exchange for your services.When I first started filming weddings, the wedding video was my “gift” to the couple. Then something happened. When they shared their highlight reel online, I started getting inquiries to shoot other weddings. It snowballed into starting my first company. It wasn’t an overnight success story, but after a few years of shooting weddings, I started getting more business than I could handle. I no longer had to shoot every wedding… just the weddings I wanted to. I still shoot weddings to this day, and still have a blast doing so.When you get to the end of this article, check out some of the suggested links for more insight into shooting weddings.2. Music Videos If you are in the video world, you probably have friends in the music scene. If not, make some. The added benefit of making music videos is the friendships you make with musicians. It adds the future benefit of more collaborations. If you shoot a music video for a band, they may make you a deal when you have a project and want to use their music. You can also help them record their concerts, which leads into our next point.3. Live Events Concerts, corporate events, product releases, speakers, conferences. That’s just the starting list. Aim for events that are reoccurring. If an agency wants you to film their new product release party, make a video great enough that they call you back for the next product release. Same goes for yearly events or conferences. Companies will promote their next event with a video from the previous year. Then you’re setting yourself up for a yearly gig.Speaker series are also an awesome opportunity. Not only do you get to make videos each time a new speaker comes to town, you get to meet some incredible people. In one month I once met an astronaut, a World Series champion, a legendary comedian, and an award winning poet. Had I not filmed the series, I wouldn’t have been able to meet and talk to them.4. High School Sports and Highlight Reels It’s easy to start doing this when you are in high school, but even after you graduate, you can always return to your alma mater. Most of these jobs are incredibly easy, especially if you are shooting footage for a coach. A coach just wants a wide shot of the field, that way they can analyze every player during each play. All you have to do is follow the ball.You shoot the footage and immediately turn it over. No hours of editing, just a dvd or digital copy of the footage is all they need. Come the end to the season, juniors and seniors are looking to make highlight reels to send out for potential scholarships. Their parents will gladly hire you to put together a highlight reel of their child’s best plays. The best part: you already have all the footage from the games you shot.5. Tutorials and Monetization There is nothing worse that the saying, “If you can’t do – teach.” The film industry was once notorious for being an unfriendly environment. Many people wouldn’t take the time of day to help up-and-coming filmmakers. It became the classic “old-boy” network, where you couldn’t get a job without having a connection. Then came the internet and digital revolution.People began sharing tips and tricks in forums, eventually making video tutorials on YouTube. It’s easy to forget how much this industry has changed since the days of YouTube. You now have access to any tutorial on any subject. If you make tutorials, you can set up your YouTube page for monetization. You can start making money of the knowledge you have acquired. If you aren’t an expert on a subject, you can also interview experts. Have an uncle that fixes cars? How about a mother that has an incredible garden? You can make tutorials about anything. Someone will search for it.6. Crowdfunding Crowdfunding is a double headed beast. Yes, if your passion deserves to be backed, you can raise the funds to make your projects. However, some projects are only able to raise enough to fund the project itself. So you may raise enough to make the film, but not enough for you to get paid too.There are tons of sites out there. The most popular are Kickstarter, Seed & Spark, and Indiegogo. I was able to raise funds online to work on a documentary, but I still put in a lot of my own money into the project as well. I certainly didn’t make any money on the project, but I wouldn’t have been able to complete it without raising the additional funds.7. Real Estate Build a relationship with a realtor or two and you are already on your way. Every realtor uses still photos on their website. However, photos aren’t enough when it comes to large houses or large properties. That’s when they turn to video to reach a larger clientele. Be sure to also capture the surrounding area and nearby amenities to really help push the sale of the house. Like always, if you do a great job on the video, you’ll be asked to shoot more properties.8. Freelance News Reporting Image: Nightcrawler via fandango.comThis job is tricky to pull off, but it can be done — especially if you get some great exclusive work. Don’t let a station ask to share your video, you need to sell your work. Offer them exclusive use. Smaller stations don’t have the biggest budgets, so you really need to be in a major metropolitan area to pull this off to make any significant money.9. Stock Footage Just like stock photos, someone has to create that work. You can sell your footage to places like Shutterstock. Stock footage also incorporates just about anything. People are usually looking for b-roll when buying stock, so that should be your number one priority. You can shoot landscapes, buildings, people, just about anything. Make sure you are shooting at least 1080p, but most buyers are looking for 4K footage. There is an occasional request for older looking footage, so you can shoot on old 16mm cameras too.10. Rent Your Gear If you aren’t pulling enough work on your own, you can always rent out your gear. It’s also a great way to make connections and eventually work your way onto more projects. Understandably, you may be hesitant to rent out your camera, especially if you only have one. This is usually a better option if you have an older camera you aren’t using often. That way the camera is still making money for you, rather than getting dusty on the shelf. Take a look at places like ShareGrid to rent you gear. We previously covered ShareGrid when they first debuted, and they are only offering service to the Los Angeles area at the moment.11. Online Freelance and Competitions As previously mentioned, the internet has totally changed this industry. Now you can create profiles on sites like Upwork, Thumbtack, and Fiverr, where agencies and clients can find freelancers for any project. You can also follow industry sites like Staff Me Up or Stage 32 for gigs in your area. There are even competition sites like MoFilm and Tongal, where you make a pitch or video in attempt to win serious amounts of money from major brands. As always, there’s also the Craigslist route too.Was this list helpful? Do you have some new clients to target? Let us know in the comments below.
Upload to YouTubeAfter I’ve uploaded my video to Youtube, I’ll go to the Subtitles/CC section, where I can select Add new subtitles or CC. Once I select English, I get a window prompting me to Upload a File. I’ll specify Subtitles File and then choose my .srt file. Youtube has already autogenerated some captions for me, so I’ll need to overwrite these with my own file. After the upload, I can see my captions in the Transcribe and set timings window in Youtube. Here I can choose to further edit and retime any captions. Looking for more YouTube tutorials? Check out these articles.Create and Animate the YouTube UI in Adobe After Effects10 Must-Follow YouTube Channels for Filmmakers and Video EditorsVlogging 101: Tips for Using Music in Youtube Videos Streamline your workflow and expand your YouTube audience by exporting Youtube subtitles straight from your Premiere Pro project.Cover image via Shutterstock.Adding subtitles to your Youtube videos can help you significantly increase your video’s reach. There are a variety of different ways to add subtitles to your videos, including adding them directly on YouTube. Premiere Pro also offers many tools that let editors quickly add and export captions in various methods. One of those methods includes exporting a caption file that is perfectly formatted and prepared for upload to YouTube. Let’s take a closer look at how we can create a caption file in Premiere Pro and then upload it directly to YouTube. Add TextWorking with captions in Premiere Pro is quite nice once you get everything properly set up. In order to add text to my new caption file, I first need to open up the Captions panel. I can do this by simply double-clicking my caption file, or I can go to Window > Captions. Now I can begin to type in text and add additional captions with the plus button. I can time and position each caption by dragging the black slider bars on the caption clip in the timeline panel. To view the captions in the Program monitor, I need to click on the wrench icon and select Closed Captions Display > Enable. After this, I need to go back into the same display settings and make sure to select CEA-608. ExportNow that I have all of my captions in place, it’s time to export my files. I’ll press command+M to bring up the export settings dialog box. There’s a Captions tab in the middle of the dialog box where I can specify how I want to export my files. For Export Options, I’ll select Create Sidecar File and for File Format I’ll choose SubRip Subtitle File (.srt). This file format is one of many formats YouTube accepts. Once it’s exported, I’ll have a separate sidecar (.srt) file ready for upload. Create a New Caption FileI have a 10-second test clip in Premiere I’ll be using. To create a caption file, I’ll first click on the new item button in the Project panel and select Captions. I have four different options from which to choose when creating a new caption file. Both CEA-608 and Teletext work best when exporting for Youtube, so I’ll go with CEA-608 and select OK. Premiere will create a new caption file in the Project panel, which I can then drag over my clip in the timeline. Now I’m ready to add text.
Emmy-nominated editor and filmmaker Vera Drew sat down with PremiumBeat for a look into her work on “Who is America?” and more.PremiumBeat: Vera, you’ve had a diverse career. How did you get into filmmaking and, more specifically, editing?Vera Drew: I’ve wanted to direct and write movies and TV since the first time I saw Back to the Future, when I was six. My first big industry job was on a Roman Coppola movie. I was initially hired as a PA, but one day Roman decided to have me help him put together animatics, based off of his shot list. He liked my work so much that he decided to bring me onto the project as a line editor. It was very exciting because I was literally editing on set. I really got to see how material changes from the page to the screen, and that once it comes to post-production, it’s kind of your last chance to rewrite the script. I saw editing as a way of getting more experience in learning how to tell stories visually, and that would make me an even better writer and director someday. I can now confidently say that my skill as an editor really informs my directing style and has made me an excellent storyteller.Who is America? (Four By Two Television).PB: You’ve recently been nominated for an Emmy for your work on Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America? How does it feel to be recognized by your peers?VD: It feels amazing! I have definitely given my share of imaginary acceptance speeches over the years, but having come from an indie film/late-night/alt-comedy world, I truly never could have imagined being nominated for an Emmy.PB: How did you get involved with Who is America?, and what was your experience working on the show?VD: I was initially brought onto Who Is America? by the show’s director Dan Longino. We both came from the Tim and Eric world (Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of Abso Lutely Productions) and had worked together on a Netflix comedy special for Joe Mande, so we just really click as collaborators. Editing on Who Is America? was a dream that I never even knew I had. Sacha Baron Cohen had been a hero of mine since I was in high school, so I could never even fathom that I would have the opportunity to work with him someday. Brüno was one of the first LGBTQ+ characters on TV that genuinely made me laugh. Growing up as a closeted trans kid, in the Midwest in the ’90s, was not ideal. It was so important for me to see an adult comedian call out the queer-phobic policies of the Clinton and Bush administrations. And now, with how scary, chaotic, and absurd the political landscape has become in this country, it was cathartic to be able to work on a show with a strong point of view, that had no qualms about exposing hypocrisy. I was able to find a constructive use for my frustration and genuine fear for this country.Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Cartoon Network).PB: You helped launch the Adult Swim streaming network Channel 5. Can you tell us a bit about that?VD: It was an absolute blast putting together Tim and Eric’s new online TV network, Channel 5! In addition to coming up with the overall aesthetic for the network and putting together over 100 original bumpers and interstitials, I wrote, directed, and executive-produced four original web series, including I Love David, a doc-series starring public access legend David Liebe Hart; Tim and Eric Qu?z Game,, a dystopian sci-fi game show; a nightmare-fueled anthology/found footage series called Scum; and a show called Our Bodies — which was basically just an excuse to have Tim and Eric talk to a real medical doctor about erections and diarrhea. I really love working with Tim and Eric. The shows I make with them have so much room for experimenting, and they see editors as creatives, rather than technical button pushers.PB: What is your editing process like? How much time do you get to work on each show/episode?VD: When editing reality-based comedy, the goal is to make damn sure the audience knows that what you are seeing on screen is 100 percent actually happening and isn’t being carefully manipulated to make someone look like they are saying or doing something that they didn’t. So, a lot of times, this is knowing when to not edit — when to live in a wide shot or let a moment breathe. Editors like me are really just writer/directors using editing software. With reality-based comedy, so much of the writing and directing happens in the edit bay because the process is about stringing together narrative threads from interactions between fictional characters and real people. The perfect example is with I Love David. The host, David Liebe Hart, is a relatively raw and unpolished performer who we unleash into the real world. A lot of the shooting was grabbing ingredients we needed for post — a line about his time in the Navy here or a shot of him wolfing down German sausage there — it’s in the edit where all of that content is pieced together and the show is essentially “written.”KRFT PUNK’S Political Party (Abso Lutely Productions).PB: How much creative freedom do you get when cutting the episodes? Is it pretty clearly lined out, or do you get to experiment and see what works?VD: It really depends on the show! For KRFT PUNK’S Political Party, they shot three panels and a few days worth of documentary footage in DC. I spent a week or two in the edit bay on my own, putting together my editor’s cut. After that, I worked with director Eric Notarnicola and showrunner Dan Curry for a few weeks to make adjustments, incorporate their vision, and get it down to time. The show had a rough outline as a script, but it was based entirely around real life interactions, so a lot of the “writing” and structural story work happened in that initial editor’s cut, which is why I ended up receiving a writing credit, when all was said and done.PB: What programs or software do you use for editing?VD: I strongly prefer to use Adobe Premiere. My editing often includes a lot of VFX and motion graphics work that requires After Effects, so it makes sense for me to always work inside Adobe-world. Premiere is also intuitively designed in a way that makes sense for my type of creative brain.Who is America? (Four By Two Television)PB: What are the challenges that come with editing comedy vs. drama — or any other genre?VD: I love having the chance to work on something that makes people laugh, but I never really thought of myself as working specifically in comedy. The shows I enjoy working on bend genres effortlessly. When I first approach an edit, generally speaking, I am trying to capture the drama between the characters within the reality of the scene. The humor only really shines if the audience cares about the characters. Also, a lot of the shows I have worked on, whether it’s Who Is America? or Scum, directly confront horror, both real and imagined. In the latter case, I made a wildly terrifying “found footage” anthology. And in the case of the former, we took a hard look at our current political system.Kim Petras (via IMDb)PB: Is there someone you’d love to work with?VD: It would be my dream to work with bad-ass, talented trans-women like the Wachowskis, Janet Mock, or Our Lady J. I feel they also represent the spectrum of stories I want to tell — from sci-fi high strangeness to beautiful emotional stories that embolden queer visibility. In general, I really want to work with other creatives that identify as queer or trans. I would love to direct a music video for trans artists like Kim Petras, Sophie, or Black Dresses. I am also really inspired by the work of Natalie Wynn (a.k.a. ContraPoints on YouTube) and I always felt like our aesthetics would pair really well together.PB: You recently came out as transgender. Does this affect the kinds of projects you work on or the kind of stories you want to tell?VD: Since coming out, my place in the industry has changed in some ways, and in many ways, it hasn’t. I am very fortunate that I was already established in the industry prior to coming out, and fortunately, most of the people I have worked with and enjoy working with are LGBTQ+ allies. It’s an exciting time to be working in television because, while TV has become a lot better at trans representation with shows like Pose, there’s still a long way to go. It’s exciting because I feel like I am on the ground floor of what will hopefully be a time in Hollywood where we start seeing more trans stories that aren’t specifically about the transition. So much of our media representation is only about the before-and-after of it all. I’m not only interested in telling LGBTQ+ stories, I feel that that is the next chapter of my career. I want to continue playing in the genres I like to play in — horror, sci-fi, dark comedy — and using the tools I’ve collected as a writer/director/editor over the years. But I also want to make a conscious shift toward showing interesting and multi-dimensional representations of my queer sisters, brothers, and gender non-conforming siblings. My dream is to make a body horror film about gender dysphoria.Vera Drew.PB: Do you have any advice for editors or filmmakers, in general, trying to break into the industry?VD: I think patience has been the biggest lesson for me since I began working in the industry. In America, we are so focused on the idea of young excellence, to the point where I thought I was going to be a Mozart, overnight success story in my early twenties. The truth is, finding your footing in this industry takes time — you have to meet the right people, make mistakes, and find your voice. You need to have a healthy mix of ambition to reach your goals and the calmness of knowing you are right where you need to be, at any given moment.Keep up with Vera’s latest projects by following her on Twitter at @VeraDrew22, and check out her website.Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Gotham Chopra on Following Stephen Curry for Facebook WatchIndustry Insights: Production Designer John Paino Tells Big Little LiesIndustry Insights: Hulu’s Das Boot Composer Matthias WeberIndustry Insights: Cinematographer Adrian Peng CorreiaIndustry Insights: The Horror Scores of The Newton Brothers
I often hear sales leaders complain that their salespeople “can’t close.” But this is a presenting problem, not the root cause.Closing business is relatively easy and straightforward. You simply say something like, “I believe that we’ve done enough together to move forward. Can we get started or is there something else you need from me first?” Nothing to it. As long as you’ve done a lot of things right before you ask for the business.Here’s the root cause of closing problems:UnqualifiedYou can’t–and shouldn’t try to–close unqualified prospects. But pipelines are full of unqualified opportunities.Mercilessly disqualify. You don’t have time to spend with prospects who can’t buy, won’t buy, or don’t perceive massive value in what you do. Look at your pipeline now. Delete what isn’t a qualified opportunity.Poor ProcessMuch of the reason salespeople struggle to close opportunities is that they don’t follow their sales process.Follow your process. Ensure that you create value for your prospective client at every interaction, and especially focus on where they are in their buying journey. Don’t skip steps or stages, and instead ensure you achieve all of the necessary outcomes at each stage of your process.Build a compelling case for change. Help your client build the case for change and help them build consensus. Spend more time in the process and more time meeting the stakeholders and decision-makers.If you are simply responding to RFPs, you shouldn’t expect a very high close rate. That process doesn’t allow you to create value. That’s why it isn’t your process.Failure to Gain CommitmentsThere is a delicate dance we engage in with our clients. We follow their process, or we sell them on following ours. Your process is a better process, and it helps your client make a better buying decision.To ensure you follow your process, you have to ask for and obtain a series of commitments from your prospective client. These seemingly smaller “asks” are more important than the final “ask,” the close. Without gaining these commitments, you can’t get to the final close.Ask for the information you need. Ask to meet with the people you need to meet with. Here is a list of all of the commitments you need.Dealing with ObstaclesThere are almost always obstacles that must be overcome on the way to a deal. If you can’t overcome these obstacles, you can’t get to a close.Deal with the human obstacles. If someone opposes your solution, go find out why. Ask for help understanding what they might need to support you. Get help from the people who support your efforts. Whatever you have to do, get help resolving their concerns.Deal with the solution obstacles. If you need to make changes to what you do or how you do it, figure out how to make those changes.If you want to massively improve your ability to close, you have to massively improve everything you do on the way to that final ask. The more effective you are through the process, the more certain your close. Learning to ask for the business is useless if you don’t fix what’s really broken.QuestionsWhy are you really struggling to close?Have you done enough to deserve what you are asking for? Have you earned it?Have you followed a process that creates value for your prospective client at every stage?What is your client’s compelling reason to change? How do you help with that?Do you have the support of everyone on your prospective client’s team?
Despite record paddy production in the last Kharif season, farmers in Ganjam, the home district of Odisha Chief Minister, are suffering because of large-scale irregularities in the government’s paddy procurement process, peasants’ organisations — the Rushikulya Rayat Sabha (RRS) and the Odisha Chasi Surakshya Abhiyan (OCSA) — have alleged.According to these organisations, the 2016 Kharif paddy yield in Ganjam district is the highest in the past 20 years. “Data from the agriculture department shows that during this Kharif season, paddy production was around nine lakh tonnes. But ironically, the government target is to procure three lakh tonnes from Ganjam district. This means that the farmers are being compelled to sell the rest of their produce to dubious traders at lower rates,” said RRS secretary Simanchal Nahak. The convener of OCSA, Rabi Rath, said the government should have taken into account the real state of production before fixing the target of paddy procurement. Mr. Nahak and Mr. Rath alleged that because of this, farmers of Ganjam district are not going to earn much from their paddy yield despite a bumper crop.Irrigated landAs per government norms, 18 quintals of paddy is procured per acre of irrigated land and 12 quintals from an acre of non-irrigated land. “At several places in Ganjam district, farmers have resorted to use of SRI or other scientific methods of agriculture due to which their yield is 25 to 28 quintals per acre. Due to lack of proper machinery, the farmers are unable to sell off their paddy at good rates and at many places stored paddy has started to germinate,” said RRS president Trinath Biswal. The peasants’ organisations calculate that farmers in Ganjam district are losing income worth more than ₹20 crore due to irregularities in paddy procurement. They claimed that there were around six lakh farmers in Ganjam district and of them three lakh are share croppers. But for paddy procurement, only one lakh farmers have been registered.Share croppers“It means most farmers, especially share croppers, have been left out of the paddy procurement process,” said Mr. Rath. As the government is yet to provide official recognition to share croppers, they are unable to sell their produce in government mandis, said Mr. Nahak.Delay in opening of the paddy procurement mandis is also said to be a reason behind the distress sale by small and marginal farmers.
NAGPUR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Nagpur on April 14, the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar.“His program will include a visit to Deekshabhoomi (where Dr. Ambedkar embraced Buddhism with his followers in 1956) and Mankapur sports complex. He will also inaugurate a thermal power unit at Koradi power station,” said a statement issued by the director of information and publicity of Nagpur.Incidentally, former JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar is also scheduled to be in Nagpur on the same date.According to sources, the PM’s visit, planned at a short notice, follows the BJP’s initiatives to reach out to the people to ward off any impression of slackness after their recent victory in the local body elections.Not being complacent“We do not want to give an impression that the party has slipped into a comfort zone after winning the polls. We want to stay in touch with people and the party workers have been asked to organise various events in their respective areas,” the State unit BJP chief spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said.Mr. Bhandari said most of the district and tehsil level functions will commence immediately to coincide with the BJP’s foundation day. These functions will conclude with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public address in Nagpur on April 14.Activating cadres“Party workers can communicate recent decisions and welfare measures of the Union and State government to people. This will also activate our cadre till the booth level,” Mr. Bhandari said. He refused to comment on the Sangharsh Yatra held by the Congress and said their will be no criticisms of the yatra in our functions. (With inputs from agencies)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s instruction to ban rallies and protests in the city’s College Square, a hub of educational institutes where all major demonstrations are staged, in central Kolkata generated strong reactions from both civil society as well as Opposition parties. While the ban will be in force from Monday, Opposition parties and rights activists made it clear that they will not abide it. Ms. Banerjee announced the decision at a meeting in Chinsurah in Hooghly district on Thursday after a Calcutta University student raised the issue of use of microphones at the agitations at College Square.College Square, a a half square-kilometre park, located on the College Street, has been a hotbed of political activities and agitations since the early 19th century. Even as Kolkata police announced that from Monday no rallies will be allowed at College Square, civil rights organisation the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) will hold a demonstration there on that very day against the decision. ‘CM’s fear exposed’“By taking such an autocratic decision the Chief Minister has exposed her own fear of mass movements,” APDR vice-president Ranjit Sur told The Hindu. However, a section of the civil society supported the decision. “College Square has witnessed chaos for several decades due to such protests. Someone has to put an end to it,” Sahitya Akademi awardee poet Subodh Sarkar.Opposition parties, however, accused Ms. Banerjee of “throttling democracy”. “The Chief Minister is afraid of the people as she has realised that the youth in Bengal has seen through her bluff. So she wants to gag the voices of protest,” Communist Party of India-Marxist MP Md. Salim said. Bharatiya Janata Party State president Dilip Ghosh described the ban as “undemocratic”.
Security agencies said that the militant killed on Tuesday morning in Baramulla’s Uri is the wanted militant commander, Qayoom Najar, who rebelled against the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Hurriyat in 2015.Sources said the police had approached the family of Najar to identify the body. The Army on Tuesday said it killed an infiltrator in Uri in the morning and recovered the body and arms later.Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav in a tweet confirmed the killing of Najar in the Uri gunfight. “Longest surviving terrorist of Kashmir Qayoom Nazar killed today at LoC (Line of Control) Lassipora Uri,” tweeted Mr. Madhav.Najar, who headed the splinter group of ‘Lashkar-i-Islami’, was expelled by the Hizbul Mujahideen in 2015 after a series of attacks on Hurriyat supporters and leaders in Sopore. Najar tried to stage a centrestage by attacking mobile towers in north Kashmir. Later, Najar was believed to have crossed the LoC and exfiltrated to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.Meanwhile, the army foiled an attack of the Border Action Team (BAT) on Tuesday afternoon.Defence sources said 7 to 8 armed intruders were spotted around 1 p.m. in Kupwara’s Keran Sector. “They came near the posts. The group was supported by nearby Pakistani posts with mortar and small arms fire,” said deence sources.The Army said it repelled the attack. “It was effectively thwarted. The armed intruders retreated. There was no own casualty,” he said. The operation continues in the area.
Breaking the glass ceiling, the city of Nawabs, Lucknow, will create history on Sunday by electing its first-ever woman mayor in 100 years.All the parties have fielded female candidates after the Lucknow mayoral seat was reserved for women.The civic polls will be held in the state capital on Sunday in the second leg of the three-phase municipal elections across Uttar Pradesh.The city got its chance to elect a woman mayor 100 years after the Uttar Pradesh Municipalities Act came into existence.‘Better late than never’“But better late than never,” says Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Bulbul Godiyal.The BSP is contesting the civic polls on its party symbol — elephant — after 17 years.“Our time has come,” feels Sanyukta Bhatia, the BJP mayor candidate.The Samajwadi Party has selected Meera Vardhan, kin of educationist Acharya Narendra Dev and the Congress has pitched Prema Awasthi, wife of the late former Congress legislator, Surendra Nath.In retrospectThe Uttar Pradesh Municipalities Act came into being in 1916 and Barrister Syed Nabiullah became the first Indian to head the local body.In 1948, the UP government changed the electoral nature of the local body and introduced the concept of administrator and Bhairav Datt Sanwal (ICS) was appointed to the post.In 1959, the UP Municipalities Act, 1916, was replaced by the Uttar Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, paving the way for the formation of the municipal corporation (nagar mahapalika) in Lucknow on February 1, 1960.It was on the intervention of the Allahabad High Court in 1989 that the government announced local bodies’ polls.An amendment in the Constitution accorded the status of municipal corporation to Lucknow’s local body retrospectively from May 31, 1994.Provisions were made in the Municipality Act of 1959 to allow citizens to elect a mayor. Provision of reservation to women, SCs, STs and OBCs was also made on a rotational basis.
Often believed by locals and passersby to be abandoned churches or lighthouses, these lofty towers built of fired bricks can be spotted in and around Kolkata.Not many are aware that these structures, rising 20 m above the ground, were built to undertake one of the greatest surveys in the 19th century — the Great Trigonometrical Survey (GTS) — aimed at measuring the entire terrain of the Indian subcontinent and the great Himalayan mountain peaks including Mount Everest.Almost 200 years after the GTS was undertaken, a group of geographers and archaeologists have surveyed 15 such towers spread around 50 km radius of Kolkata under the project, “Legacies of the GTS in West Bengal.”Keith Lilley, professor of historical geography at Queen’s University Belfast and the principal investigator of the project, said that some towers have survived while some others are soon to be lost forever.“Restoration of these towers is possible and is also important. What is required is an assessment and consolidation of these structures. These structures have been built on firm ground and have survived almost 200 years,” Prof. Lilley told The Hindu.Referring to one such tower located in the southern fringes of Kolkata — the Samalia GTS — he said the tower has nearly collapsed. Half of the tower, run over by vegetation, fell in 2011. Researchers who carried out the fieldwork said the locals believe that the tower was a batighar or lighthouse, erected during the colonial period to keep an eye on the countryside.The Bhola GTS tower near Singur in Hooghly district is thought of as a church by locals. Some locals, however, believe that Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah built the structure to look out for the Marathas, who plundered parts of Bengal in the 18th century.M. Satish Kumar, another professor from the Queens University, said multiple narratives centring around these towers were an equally important part of culture as the towers.“In the earlier times these structures were seen as an imposition of the British Empire on the landscape and were even opposed,” he said, referring to the towers located around Kolkata.Prof. Satish Kumar, however, added that there was not much opposition for such structures in the Madras Presidency where the population “had better understanding about science” and knew what these structures aimed at.Bishnupriya Basak , assistant professor in the Department of Archaeology of Calcutta University, who has also been associated with the project, said that mapping was an essential part of colonial rule but it was through this project that the culture of surveying has been documented in such detail. “It is like surveying the surveyors,” she remarked.There are other fascinating stories about the GTS towers.Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, was named George Everest, the first Surveyor General of India who had described the GTS as “perhaps of itself the most herculean undertaking on which any Government ever embarked.”“George Everest was particularly pleased with the towers erected in the north of the city, now on the Barrackpore Trunk Road, which was referred as Calcutta Baseline for the survey. Interestingly, these towers were built under the guidance of Radhanath Sikdar, a city-based mathematician who played an important role in the survey,” said Rajat Sanyal, also an assistant professor in the Department of Archaeology.In an attempt to highlight the cultural significance of the heritage, an exhibition titled “Legacies of the GTS in West Bengal” will be organised by the National Library, Kolkata, later this month.“There are hundreds of thousands of such towers and trigonometrical stations across the sub-continent and a detailed study can bring more awareness about the collective value of these towers and the significance which GTS has not only for India but for the world,” Prof. Lilley said.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Bihar’s Opposition party, walked out of the inaugural session of the sixth India region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference on Saturday in protest against Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi’s statement that “four former Chief Ministers of the country today are behind bars in corruption cases”. Raising slogans, the RJD leaders alleged that the Deputy Chief Minister was using the event, attended by delegates from across the country and abroad, as a “political platform.” They alleged that it was an indirect reference to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who is currently lodged in Ranchi jail in the fodder scam cases.‘This is not Assembly’Lok Sabha Speaker and chairperson of the CPA-India region Sumitra Mahajan intervened and told the RJD leaders that this was not the Bihar Assembly. “You all have been invited here as guests… Yhis is not Bihar Vidhan Sabha… Please behave with decency that is expected of respected guests.” Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary too appealed to the Opposition leaders to stay calm. However, RJD members continued to raise slogans and walked out of the conference hall at the Samrat Ashok Convention Centre in Patna. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, veteran parliamentarian Murli Manohar Joshi and over 100 delegates participated in the conference, being organised for the first time in Bihar. Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav sought an apology from Mr. Sushil Modi. “He has let us all down before the delegates,” Mr. Lalu Prasad told journalists outside a court in Ranchi.The ruling BJP leaders said the protest by RJD leaders was uncalled for. “It has marred the reputation of Bihar,” said senior BJP leader Vinod Narayan Jha.
A 22-year-old dalit labourer Ankit was beaten to death by five people at Baghra village of Muzaffarnagar on Saturday. Amid the ongoing protests by dalits, the incident led to tension in the area.Police arrested all the accused on Sunday and slapped cases against them for Culpable Homicide (not amounting to murder) and under relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act. The Superintendent of Police, (Muzaffarnagar rural) Ajay Sahdev told The Hindu that Ankit was a labourer who was beaten to death by workers of a jaggery unit on suspicion of being a thief.“Ankit was a labourer who had gone to Muzaffarnagar on Saturday looking for work. According to his mother Kesho’s complaint, he came back home in the evening and after having a meal, he went out for a walk but did not return home. Later some villagers found his body near a jaggery unit,” Mr. Sahdev said. “The villagers took him to the nearby hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead. We have sent the body for post-mortem. We have also arrested Rampal, Lookesh, Ajay, Amit and Haseen on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and relevant sections of the SC/ST POA Act,” he addedThe police said that the five accused confessed that they found Ankit allegedly trying to steal the belongings of the jaggery unit after which they beat him which caused his death.“Police in investigating the case. We are waiting for the post-mortem report. Action will be taken on the basis of the post-mortem report,” Mr. Sahdev added. The alleged murder of Ankit who was the lone breadwinner of his house, led to anger among the local dalits who protested against his murder. Senior police officials persuaded the protesters to calm down and assured them of justice. Considering the sensitivity of the issue in the context of the ongoing dalit protest as the case could become a trigger of another set of protest by local dalits, Police has deployed police force in the village to control law and order.
Mumbai: The Maharashtra cabinet on Wednesday approved the recruitment of 72,000 employees to overcome a crippling staff shortage which has been holding back government machinery, especially in the agriculture and rural sector. The first batch of 36,000 will be recruited for departments providing essential services such as health, and revenue. The government’s current wage bill is ₹1.08 lakh crore on on 17 lakh employees. At least two lakh sanctioned posts are lying vacant, officials said. Meanwhile, the opposition alleged that the hiring spree was just an eyewash to gloss over poor data on job losses and unemployment in the four years of the BJP rule in the State. “Last year, the same government had abolished over 5 lakh posts. There has been no replacement for those, as also for the employees who are retiring every year. The wage bill will not increase as is being claimed by government,” said senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik. The cabinet has approved recruitment in the rural (11,004), health (10,467), and home (7,111) departments, among others, besides 2,572 in the agriculture department, officials said. The recruitment will help strengthen the machinery in the rural areas and also help the agriculture sector to grow. “The decision was approved by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today,” an official said, adding that the CM has kept a promise made in the previous Assembly session assuring recruitment in batches of 36,000 each. In the wake of a serious cash crunch, the state had last year cut down staff strength by 30% inviting criticism from the employees union which had said it could lead to a dip in the state’s economic growth. But Mr. Fadnavis had assured all that the vacancies would be filled up soon.
Heavy rains continued to lash most parts of Himachal Pradesh, with Shimla recording the highest rainfall in a day in the last 68 years, the Meteorological (Met) department said.“As per the rainfall recorded today, Shimla witnessed 118.6 mm rains during the last 24 hours. This is the highest rainfall in the city in a day in the last 68 years as per the data available with our department since 1951,” Met department director Manmohan Singh said.“The previous highest rainfall in Shimla was at 108.4 mm, recorded on April, 15, 2005,” Mr. Singh said. The weatherman said that the rainfall in Shimla occurred due the formation of cumulonimbus clouds and moisture incursion from both the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal.“When monsoon shifts from south to north close to foothills, such heavy rain occurs,” he said. Heavy rainfall occurred at isolated places in Bilaspur, Solan, Sirmaur and Una districts. During the last 24 hours, 109 mm rain was recorded in Dharampur followed by Berthin 93, Jhandutta 85, Bharwain 74, Pachhad 72, Baijnath and Kahu 68 each, Bilaspur-65, Kasauli-60, Arki- 52, Banjar 48, Dehra Gopipur, Mandi and Gohar-45 each, Ghumarwain and Bangana-44 each, Naina Devi-40, Aghar-39, Solan and Sarkaghat and Sunnibhaji-27 each, Amb-25, Gaggal-24, Paonta Sahib, Rajgarh and Jogindernagar 22 mm each. Rainfall is likely to occur at isolated parts of the state tomorrow, Singh said, adding that scattered rains will take place in the state from July 5 to 7.
In yet another instance of alleged cow vigilantism, a 28-year-old Muslim man was beaten to death in Rajasthan’s Alwar district on Friday night by a group of people on suspicion that he was smuggling cows.The victim, Akbar Khan, was a resident of the Ferozepur Jhirka region in neighbouring Haryana. Khan and his friend, Aslam, were transporting two cows on foot through a forest area in Ramgarh’s Lalawandi village, when the villagers surrounded them and started thrashing them. While Aslam managed to escape, Khan was severely beaten up.Jaipur range Inspector-General of Police Hemant Priyadarshi said at a press conference here on Saturday that two of the accused, Dharmendra Yadav and Paramjeet Singh, had been arrested.He said the victim had spoken to policemen who reached the spot on being informed about the violence. According to the victim’s last statement, he was assaulted by five people, the official said.“When the policemen reached the village, the two accused were standing with the cows and an injured Akbar was on the ground, covered in mud. The mud was removed from his face and he stated that he and Aslam had purchased the cows in Ladpur village and were going to their native village Kolgaon when they were stopped and attacked. He then lost consciousness,” Mr. Priyadarshi said.Khan was taken to a government hospital in Ramgarh, where the doctors declared him brought dead. The body has been shifted to a mortuary in Alwar.Mr. Priyadarshi said Akbar apparently died due to internal injuries. Aslam’s statement was yet to be recorded. “We are investigating whether Akbar and Aslam had any past record of cow smuggling.” he said.The two cows have been sent to a nearby gaushala and a case has been registered under Sections 302 (murder), 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (criminal act with common intention) of Indian Penal Code at Ramgarh police station.Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who was busy with the BJP’s organisational events in Jaipur attended by party president Amit Shah, has condemned the incident. She said strict action would be taken against the accused. “I have asked Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria to get the matter investigated at the earliest,” she said.The incident comes just over a year after a dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, was lynched by a mob of cow vigilantes near Behror in Alwar district. Pehlu Khan and four others were transporting cows in vehicles to Haryana’s Nuh district, when they were stopped on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway and assaulted on April 1, 2017. In another incident, cow vigilantes had killed Umar Khan near Govindgarh in Alwar district in November 2017.Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot criticised the BJP government for its failure to stop incidents of mob lynching. Mr. Gehlot said the human life had “no value” for the BJP and criminals disguised as vigilantes were roaming freely without fear of law.“The Prime Minister remains silent on such cases and the Chief Minister orders customary inquiries, in which [the] actual accused are rarely arrested or punished,” Mr. Gehlot said.Rule of ‘mobocracy’Mr. Pilot said a “mobocracy” was ruling in the country and Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s words in Parliament about the State governments’ responsibility seemed “even more hollow now”.While the People’s Union for Civil Liberties alleged that a racket of extortion by criminals roaming in the garb of ‘gaurakshaks’ was responsible for Khan’s lynching, the father of the deceased, Suleman Khan, who arrived in Alwar, demanded immediate arrest of all the accused and speedy justice for his son.
The Shiromani Akali Dal on Wednesday demanded an immediate withdrawal of the newly released chapters of the Class XII history book of the Punjab School Education Board, alleging that it contains distorted history related to the Sikh faith and Sikh gurus.Former Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema said the new chapters, which had been released online, have numerous mistakes and factual errors.“An attempt has been made to distort historical facts pertaining to Sikh gurus and objectionable observations about Sikh dharmic granths (religious books),” alleged Mr. Cheema, adding that Education Minister O.P. Soni should be sacked from the Cabinet and PSEB Chairman Manohar Kant Kalohia removed from his post.Mr. Cheema said the Sikh panth would never allow the Congress government to play with the history of Sikhism as well as that of the State. “If the chapters are not withdrawn immediately the Akali Dal would launch an agitation on this issue,” he said.‘Wrong facts’“It seems the Congress government wants to deprive the younger generations of their history and culture by putting misleading and wrong facts about Guru Sahibans and Sikh religion in their history books,” he said, adding that there are numerous wrong facts in the third and fifth chapters of the modified history book.
The killing last week of five Bengali villagers in Tinsukia’s Bisonimukh-Kherbari threatens to widen the cracks that have resurfaced in Assam three decades after the violent language agitation as the Centre seeks to push the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.Amid a volatile situation fanned by “inflammatory remarks” from BJP MLAs and ULFA leaders, a Bengali’s passion for sound recording offers a harmonious bridge across the acrimonious divide.Early beginningsRoy Cycle Store was established on Tinsukia’s Gopinath Bardoloi Road by a Bengali railway employee in 1959. It, however, stopped selling bicycles in 1966 and was converted into an electronics shop.The new avatar gave an opportunity to Mr. Roy’s son, Subhash C. Roy, to indulge in his passion for sound recording.In 1971, a touring Assamese theatre group, Abahan, set up camp near the shop and Mr. Roy recorded the group’s popular musical ‘Shakuntala’. His audio cassette of the performance was the first production in Assamese.There was no looking back and cassette recordings of Assamese Bihu songs, children’s songs and music followed, catapulting Mr. Roy into the State’s music and theatre circles.“I did not do it as a commercial venture. I am proud to be a part of the history of Assamese music and play a role, however insignificant it may be,” the 66-year-old Mr. Roy told The Hindu.“Nothing can be more significant than Roy Cycle Store’s contribution to Assamese culture. The shop underlines the harmony the two communities have enjoyed despite hiccups, and is worth revisiting for those who are pessimistic about co-existence of communities,” Mugdha Jyoti Mahanta, Tinsukia District’s Superintendent of Police, said.Tinsukia is also the home of Pradip K Dewan, a Bengali who in 1971 was the founder-president of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) that champions a brand of Assamese nationalism more inclusive than other groups.“I was the general secretary of Jorhat Engineering College in 1970-71 when tension between the Assamese and Bengalis was at a peak. We, the students, helped assuage tempers around the town, and my fellow Assamese students felt I should take the lead in forming an all-Assam union to cater to the needs of the students and highlight their issues,” Mr. Dewan said.He was elected the first president of AASU and Atul Bora, now a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, the general secretary. “We didn’t think of him as someone different from us,” Mr. Bora said.Mr. Dewan, however, was critical of the party of his former ‘second-in-command’.“The communal tension was much, much worse in the 1970s (a decade after Bongal Kheda, meaning ‘drive out the Bengalis’, movement) than today. The BJP is responsible for bringing in the Citizenship Bill and reopening old wounds,” he said.“This phase will pass, and we will make sure certain divisive forces do not undermine what the likes of Roy Cycle Store and our first president have done for Assam,” Dikshit Hazarika, who was Tinsukia district president of AASU from 1998-2000, said.‘Government failure’The Tinsukia Bar Association, which prides itself as the most ethnically diverse in Assam, has sought a judicial probe into the Bisonimukh-Kherbari killings “motivated by the sole intention of creating disturbance and communal riot” among the people of the State.“Villages dominated by minorities have always been soft targets in Tinsukia. For instance, extremists had killed 28 Hindi-speakers at Sunpura near Sadiya in 2000. This (Thursday’s) incident could have been avoided if the government had invoked relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code to penalise people, including MLAs, who were making provocative statements for a fortnight or more,” Biswajit Prasad, the bar’s secretary said.Though the police say members of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent gunned down the five people in Bisonimukh-Kherbari, many believe the extremists took advantage of a volatile situation created by “inflammatory remarks” by BJP lawmaker Shiladitya Dev and pro-talks ULFA leaders Mrinal Hazarika and Jiten Dutta.Senior police officials said it was typical of ULFA-I to deny involvement in any subversive act whenever the tide goes against it.