11 April 2016 National Happenings

Seven Days

The states of the nation: news, headlines, gossip, rumours, things we learnt
Seven Days
Blot On The Canvass

Talented-but-tainted cricketer S. Srees­anth’s inclusion in the BJP’s list of candidates has caught even local leaders by surprise. While a court dropped match­-fixing charges for want of evidence, a life ban on the cricketer is still in place as a BCCI inquiry had found him guilty. While the controversial cricketer has gratefully clutched at the lifeline offered by the BJP, people wonder if he would draw the youth to vote for him.

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A Shahi Foot In The Mouth

Regional ally AGP gamely tried to defend BJP chief Amit Shah, who put his foot in the mouth claiming that Ahomiya King Sukapha had driven out the Mughals 17 times. It’s not Shah’s fault that he doesn’t know history and the fact that Sukapha died 200 years  before the advent of the Mughals, AGP leaders argued. His team should have briefed him better, they said.

Baba Black Science?

Those who had ridiculed Baba Ramdev’s claim that yoga cured cancer and AIDS have another year to change their mind. We have it from Ayush minister Sripad Naik that the government is erring on the side of caution by getting the findings of Bangalore-based Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anus­andhana Samsthana tried, tested and endorsed ‘scientifically’ in the next one year. An admission of sorts, this?

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Giving Up On Amma

Fact 1: Chief minister Jayalalitha is seen to be close to Narendra Modi. Fact 2: The Modi government has been harping on “cooperative federalism”. Fact 3: BJP was trying to cosy up to AIADMK ahead of the assembly elections. What then explains power minister Piyush Goyal’s extraordinary description of Tamil Nadu as “a state within a state”? After the BJP’s efforts to woo AIADMK fell through, Goyal said he couldn’t do much about the state’s power woes unless the government changes. He could speak to Jaya only once in 22 months, he rued, and AIADMK MPs would not speak without a nod from her. So, would Goyal have been so outspoken without a nod from Modi? Bonus question: will Amma forgive him if she wins?

Power Makes A Point

In a first, the Telangana assembly Speaker allowed CM K. Chandrasekhara Rao to make a PowerPoint presentation on irrigation. The CM has offered to distribute the presentation to the MLAs in pen drives so that they can consult experts before taking part in the debate. While the Opposition is upset over the unco­n­ventional step, the jury is still out on the efficacy of the business-like move.

Common Sense?

In line with other central universities, the one in Jharkhand made it to the news for suspending an associate professor for inviting a former JNU professor as a guest of honour. Fearing protests and pressure from ‘higher­-ups’, the VC asked the professor to cancel the trip. That was only after he was told that the Mysore-based academic, who retired in 2009, was a ‘mentor’ of Kanhaiya Kumar and friends.


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7 Stories We Are Not Covering This week
  • Miami
    A sex toys company urging Donald Trump’s wife Melania to become its brand ambassador to “Make Sex Great Again”
  • Delhi
    Union ministers Mahesh Sharma and Suresh Prabhu, and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, wishing people a ‘Happy Good Friday’
  • Mumbai
    Premlata Bhansali, a 44-­year-old mother of two, opting to go to jail for seven days instead of paying a Rs 260 fine for ticketless travel, invoking Vijay Mallya
  • Bhopal
    Ophthalmologist Anand Rai, 39, who blew the whistle in the Vyapam scam, deciding to quit his government job and start a political party
  • Ahmedabad
    Yoga guru Ramdev urging Gujaratis to give up ‘dhoklas’ and ‘laddoos’ and follow an early morning yoga regime to stay fit
  • Chennai
    A lemon auctioned by the Balathandayuthapani temple in Tiruvanainallur going for Rs 39,000 at an auction
  • London
    BBC science journalist Greg Foot eating a chunk of his own leg to find out how human flesh tastes
VII Things We Learnt Last Week
  • The central dome of the Taj Mahal, whose minarets are now in bandages, is not symmetrical
  • Japan’s population fell by 9,47,000 from 2010 to 2015
  • In the past 25 years, the world lost more forest area than the size of South Africa, approx 1.3 million sq km
  • Scarlett Johansson will be the voice of  Kaa, the snake with a hypnotic gaze, in the new movie version of The Jungle Book
  • An average Indian drinks 1.24 litres of whisky a year, compared to 2.15 litres for France
  • Cricketer Ashish Nehra is not on social media, doesn’t read newspapers and still uses his old Nokia phone
  • It is not possible to sell a 3G phone for less than Rs 2,700 (according to the cell phone manufactuters of India)

Compiled by Uttam Sengupta and Alka Gupta



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