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Deep Throat
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Deep Throat
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New Delhi
Silence speaks volumes

A day after his rally in the capital, and after proclaiming his utter lack of faith in the National Commission for Backward Classes, Hardik Patel arrived at the commission’s Delhi HQ, with a TV crew in tow. Unfor­tunately for him, he was permitted to go inside only on one condition— that he leave the media out. Once inside, the agitating 22-year-old was caught offgu­ard by a senior official who pro­­­m­ptly asked him, “Do you know the purpose of affirmative action in this country?” Taken aback, Patel remained silent. Next question: “Do you know what the eligibility criteria for being a part of the central OBC list are?” Again, the ans­wer evaded the man who has been busy gathering the masses. Anot­her question: “When you say your community is backward, do you know what the Constitution and the SC define as ‘backwardness’?” This time, there was some muttering followed by a “rather uncomfortable silence”.


New Delhi
Scrub out the scribes

The number of foreign journalists in the capital is likely to slump following the Modi sarkar’s decision to insist on submission of their contract and terms of service. Many of them were freelance journalists and represented more than one media outlet. So far a letter from the respective editors was eno­ugh to secure work permits. But few foreign news outlets now want full-time journalists in India and are reluctant to commit themselves to conditions that might bind them in future. The exodus has already begun. As it is, complai­ned one of them, India gets a lot less repor­ted in international media than China. “How would it help by red­ucing the flow even further?” he asked. But be it the UPA or NDA, the foreign press and ‘negative publicity’ are always a concern.


New Delhi
Head of the table

The tortured tenure of Delhi University V-C Dinesh Singh comes to an end in October. But with just a few weeks left, no meeting of the search committee has taken place so far to hunt for the next V-C. Reason, the chairman of the panel is yet to be selected. Mem­bers of the search committee include former comptroller and auditor general Vinod Rai and ex-isro chairman K. Kasturirangan.  Speculation in the country’s premier uni­versity is that Lord Meg­h­nad Desai might be named as chairman. But the HRD ministry is silent over it.


Jammu & Kashmir
A dog’s life, it’s not

Known for his mercurial temper, loose tongue and unpredictable behaviour, no one messes with Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s health minister Lal Singh. Therefore, when a call was received from his residence for an ambulance, authorities put together a medical team post-haste with several senior doctors and rushed. It turned out to be an anti-climax because all that the minister’s wife wanted was for the ambulance to carry her pet dog to the clinic. But then who can blame officials for not taking chances given the minister’s past conduct? He got doctors in a hospital to line up in a parking lot for a head count, demanded to know why a psychiatrist did not have an apron on at an official function and on another occasion commented on the ‘loose and long hair’ of yet another doctor. 


Heard: The dramatic rearrangement of chairs in the finance and home ministries is the clearest indication that “change” is in the air.

Overheard: “If Christians can be made to work on Good Friday, why is Modi citing Krishna Janmashtami to advance his Teacher’s Day address?”


Contributed by Pavithra S. Rangan, Uttam Sengupta, Bula Devi, Showkat Motta and Pritam Sengupta

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