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Seven Days

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

Seven Days
Yogic Trance

If elections are around, can posters be far behind? Hoardings pitching BJP MP Yogi Adityanath as the party’s CM candidate have sprung up in a sign of what lies ahead. “UP mein rehna hoga / toh Yogi kehna hoga” (If you decide to live in UP, better chant the name of Yogi) reads one poster in Lucknow. In Faizabad, another declared “Yogi nahin / Vote nahin” (No Yogi/ no vote), hinting at a poll boycott if he is not projected as the BJP’s poll face.

‘Model’ Tuskers

While purists frowned on jugaad in God’s own country as a temple in Alappuzha decided to use elephants made of cast iron instead of live elephants at festivals, most people welcomed the decision. And why not? While richly adorned elephants are a distinctive feature of such festivals, elephants running amok have caused as many as 176 deaths in the past five years.

Root Canal

Punjab’s decision to return the land acquired for the Sutlej-Yamuna Canal and allow farmers to fill it up hasn’t gone well with neighbouring Haryana. The Supreme Court adjudicating the riparian dispute is also far from amused as competitive populism to garner credit for a step that may not eventually pass judicial scrutiny gathers steam in Punjab. The move is designed, perhaps, to put AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, a Haryanvi, in a spot as he makes a serious bid to win the Punjab polls next year.

Honour Killing

It is one of India’s most literate, industrialised states, but its caste faultlines are revealed by two statistics: only three per cent of marriages in TN are inter-caste and only one out of 100 Dalits has a spouse from a higher caste. In 2012, the marriage of a Vanniyar girl with a Dalit boy led to bloody clashes in Dharmapuri. This week, the hacking to death in broad daylight of Sankaran, a 22-year-old Dalit, and the injuries to his wife Kowsalya, 20, a Thevar, showed again that blood is thicker than water. The young couple had met in college and fallen in love, and it was Kowsalya’s idea to elope and marry. The couple had  earlier spurned an offer of Rs 10 lakh from her family to end the marriage. The girl’s father admitted to having ordered the killing.


A sting operation by a news portal left Trinamool Congress leaders shown receiving wads of cash on camera red-faced. ‘Trinamoolah’ sniggered The Telegraph while Narada News opted to add ‘Money’ in the headline to the party trinity of ‘Ma-Maati-Manush’. Unfazed TMC leaders wondered who paid Rs 65 lakh for the sting and alleged the videos were ‘doctored’. A loss of face for ‘Didi’  after the Sarada body-blow, agreed observers, even if it may not lead to loss of votes in state polls next month. Why Trinamool,  wondered others.

Brahmin Welfare

Following Andhra Pradesh, the K. Chandra­she­khar Rao government has set aside Rs 100 crore for the welfare of Brahmins who comprise eight per cent of the electorate. This far exceeds the Rs 65 crore allocated in Andhra Pradesh. The move would address problems faced by poor Brahmins, it was explained.

Reunion In China

Her Chinese father wanted some bhujia (deep fried snacks) and her Assamese mother asked for some malabar leaf (tejpatta) and pulses (masur dal) when Lingi Pramila Leyong, 57, left this week for China. She was barely six in 1963 when her parents were depor­ted post the Sino-Indian war and she got left behind. Her father’s perseverance paid off when one of his letters reached her, leading to the reunion.


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