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Seven Days

The states of the nation: news, headlines, gossip, rumours, things we learnt

Seven Days

Tamil Nadu
Internalised Affair

If you steal from an unknown foreign aut­hor, it’s research; if you steal from a local one, it’s madness. Congress MP and ex-Union minister Veerappa Moily lost sight of the old adage and lifted several paragraphs from an op-ed piece published in The Hindu for his own article on the same subject. The ‘Mount Road Maha­vishnu’ was far from amused and pulled Moily’s article from its website after naming the offender and declaring that such plagiarism was unacceptable. Moily, who won the prestigious Saraswati Samman award last year, has pleaded mea culpa.

Gavel Time

A-G Mukul Rohatgi’s aggressive defence of the NJAC in the Supreme Court has become a talking point in legal circles. In a stinging attack on the colleg­ium system, he refer­red to ex-SC judges Gyan Sudha Mishra and Cyr­iac Joseph, the former for being habitually late to court and the latter for giving just “50 judgements in 50 years”’  and yet getting elevated to the apex court and even bec­o­­m­ing NHRC acting head.

Show The Pose

The ED, in the news for doing little against ex-cricket tsar Lalit Modi, has dropped the money-laundering charges against Baba Ramdev, who claimed to have received an island in Scotland as gift, for “want of evidence”. Will the next move be to shelve the charge of over-invoicing of imports at the Adani ports? As a comm­en­tator said last week, this is “risk-free capitalism” at its best.

Operation Sulaimani

‘Sulaimani’ is black tea with a dash of lemon juice, an iconic drink for long in Kozhikode which got some play in the media after the movie Ustad Hotel came out. Now the enterprising district collector, N. Prasanth, has code-named a unique initiative ‘Operation Sulaim­ani’ under which the hungry and needy of the district get free meals (one of the movie’s themes) in listed eateries with coupons distributed by the administration at specific points. This, he explains, is less likely to affect the dignity and self-respect of the poor, who are now required to stand in long queues to have free meals. The trial run of the operation this month will be keenly watched by policy planners across states. “It’s modelled on projects like Food-on-the-Wall in the west, where you pay for an extra meal or coffee,” says collector Prasanth.

Crushed Beneath The Feet

The Sabarmati riverfront, that showpiece of the “Gujarat Model” in Ahmedabad flaunted to visiting dignitaries, the same place where visiting Chinese premier Xi Jinping and his wife got themselves photographed on a swing, is now in a small spot of bother. Apparently, as much as 14 per cent of the riverfront, developed at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore and after having displaced and resettled over 10,000 people, is now being sold to the highest bidder, yes, the real estate ‘developers’, says a study. UK-based think-tank Overseas Development Institute has confirmed the worst suspicions of homegrown critics about the state’s urban development model. Unconfirmed reports say the “transformation” of the Sabarmati riverfront is possibly the inspiration for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency, Varanasi. We wait with bated breath.

Uttar Pradesh
In A Blaze Of Glory

A diatribe against the state’s dairy devel­o­p­ment minister for his ill-gotten gains and for raping an anganwadi worker has cost freelance ‘Facebook’ journo Jagendra Singh his life. While the  ‘Shahj­ah­anpur Samachar’ on FB did not provide evidence for the charges, local policemen and the media are yet to clarify why the uniformed men chased him to his own terrace where he died in a blaze. In a dying video recorded declaration, Jagendra Singh names an inspector, accuses the cops of setting him on fire.

Jammu & Kashmir
Cab Grab

Only The Hindu carried the story of the Rashtriya Rifles requisitioning a cab every night from Srinagar’s taxi sta­nds. Cabbies had apparently been leaving a taxi without a driver every night for the last 29 years and were “clueless” how it was being used. No payment was ever made and the cabbies even incurred the wrath of the militants for this. No den­ial was forthcoming but the cabbies have now been told by authorities that the car was no longer needed.


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