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Seven Days

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

Seven Days

Andhra Pradesh
Poona Redux

Masks, face paints, cartoons, music, gra­ff­iti, poetry and speeches continued on the Hyderabad Central University campus to protest the suicide of Rohith Vemula. After Rohith’s mother said she would not immerse his ashes till vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile was sacked, the V-C, who issued a clean chit to Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, went on leave, but the students threatened to include Smriti in an FIR.

Lost Memories

For a man who was Gujarat CM for 13 years, could Narendra Modi not spare time to condole Mrina­lini Sarabhai‘s death? He certainly did not tweet; the PIB and PMO Twitter handles too were quiet. Daughter Mallika was scathing. Local BJP leaders claimed he sent a letter to Mrinalini’s son. Shall we blame it all then on the postman?

No Show

While Karnataka showcased coffee- growing Kodagu on Republic Day and Tamil Nadu its Toda tribe, the other three southern states were mis­sing. Kerala’s proposal to highlight Ayyappa and Sabarimala seems to have been turned down in view of the current controversies while Telan­gana, snubbed twice in succession, deci­ded against participation. Andhra Pradesh didn’t make it in the states the MoD committee had cleared.

T. Monisha, V. Priyanka and E. Saranya, the three girls who took their lives; their suicide note. (Photograph by Arun Janardhanan/Indian Express

Tamil Nadu
Don’t Need No Education

India’s best-kept secret is the state of its education, adroitly sustained by flaky advertisements and fake rankings. Three 19-year-old young girls—T. Monisha, A. Saranya and V. Priyanka—studying naturopathy at the SVS Yoga Medical College in Villupuram on the Chennai-Salem Road had to jump into a well to wake the nation up from its false sense of complacency about the future. In their suicide note, the girls blamed the college for fleecing money in the form of fees, forcing them to do menial work, and for not allowing them to study. The college was sealed after the incident, and three people arrested, and the deaths underlined the unregulated nature of private education, with scant monitoring by either the central or state governments.

Arunachal Pradesh
Trouble In The Northeast

The imposition of President’s rule in the Congress-ruled state following sustained political instability tests the 1994 Sup­reme Court ruling that the only place for determining whether a CM has lost or retained the majority is the floor of the House. The apex court has agreed to place a Congress petition before a constitution bench hearing a bunch of petitions, but not before the use of discretionary powers by the Centre stands clearly exposed.

Parallel Track

Just when a fresh spurt in crime was casting a cloud over the new government, CM Nitish Kumar shifted headlines with two announcements: offering women 35 per cent reservation in govt jobs and announcing a development mission, a registered society, helmed by poll strategist Prashant Kishor. Will he be as successful as Sam Pitroda? Or will the 1,500-strong parallel body encounter the might of the bureaucracy?

Gender Bender

Move over, Sabarimala; Shani Shingnapur is here. The temple in Ahmednagar bounced into the national consciousness as women activists, under the banner of the Bhumata Ranragini Brigade, took on the temple trust’s decision to enforce a five-cen­tury-old ban on women from climbing up to the “chauthara” that houses the temple deity. The police finally prevailed but a point had been made.


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