When the word “secular” went missing in a Union government ad featuring the preamble of the Constitution, the BJP blamed it on oversight. Likewise, now an “administrative mistake” has come in handy to assuage incensed residents of Vasco da Gama, a port town, who received fresh ration cards that said they were living in ‘Sambhaji Nagar’. It’s an uneven match between the 15th century Portuguese explorer and the 18th century son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, but a worm has been unleashed to work its way.
The Andhra Pradesh-Telangana split is now a fait accompli, but the move continues to divide minds beyond the borders of the two states. Telangana has indicated that it is not interested in sharing the capital’s iconic Andhra Bhavan, the building once owned by the Nizam of Hyderabad. State officials have skipped all meetings on the plot of land, called by officials to settle assets distribution.
Can’t Slow Me Down
When he urged RS colleagues to forego the subsidised meals at the Parliament canteen, MPs came down on the BJD’s Baijayant Panda, reminding him of state subsidies his firm enjoyed. Undeterred, Jay has now called for a review of the role of the House of Elders in slowing down legislation. The BJD MP’s published views were dismissed by most ‘experts’ but BJP leaders have been busy trying to shore up the argument.
Perils Of Perception
The questions were simple: how much household wealth does the wealthiest one per cent in your country own? Out of every 100 working-age women in your country, how many are employed? What is the average age of people in your country? What percentage are immigrants? What percentage of politicians are women? And so on. Unfortunately for us, based on the answers, the Ipsos MORI survey handed Indians the title of being the second most ignorant among the 33 countries polled. Indians didn’t know that the wealthiest one per cent owns 53 per cent of national wealth; that only 25 per cent of Indian women are employed, that only 19 per cent of Indians have Internet access. And contrary to the general belief among respondents that one-third of Indians are atheists, the actual number is between 0-1 per cent.
The ‘Harmless’ Hindu
He’s clean-shaven, portly and not menacing at all. And yet the middle-aged stockbroker had sent 200 bomb threats to various banks, offices and police stations in Rajkot, Surat and Baroda. The letters, signed on behalf of the ISIS or the Indian Mujahideen, were liberally sprinkled with names of senior officers, adding to the panic. When the terrorist was eventually nabbed, he turned out to be a “harmless Hindu”, Shreyas Chandrakant Gandhi. He’d done it to have some fun and to brag to his wife on how he could “spread panic”.
The Northeast still remains well outside the mind’s eye of ‘mainland’ VIPs. But the announcement that the PM, accompanied by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, would be visiting the state later this month has generated considerable excitement. While the PM is expected to inaugurate the ‘International Internet Gateway’ connected by submarine cables from Cox’s Bazaar port in Bangladesh, Tendulkar is said to have agreed to launch a sports complex.
Applause at a funeral service is as unlikely as snow in the Sahara. But mourners present at a service held this week to bid a final farewell to thespian Saeed Jaffrey were so moved by the tribute paid by ex-BBC legend Sir Mark Tully, who broke down while speaking, that they burst into spontaneous applause. Jaffrey, recalled Sir Mark, built bridges between cultures.