23 May 2016 National Happenings

Seven Days

The states of the nation: news, headlines, gossip, rumours, things we learnt
Seven Days
We Didn’t Start The Fire!

When Omar Abdullah fired the first shot by tweeting the image of an official letter to counter the PDP’s denial on allotting land to set up colonies for ex-servicemen, he probably didn’t know he could be inviting trouble. But the ruling PDP lost no time in giving it back to Omar, with evidence of matching quality. They zeroed in on the “point of initiation” of the Sainik Colony proposal—meeting no. 73 in 2011, where Omar was present as the CM!

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The Hair-Trigger Of Power-Rage

How dare a modest Maruti Swift overtake his Range Rover? When Rocky Yadav, son of a JD(U) MLC  and a former don, shot dead Aditya Sachdeva, 19, between Bodh Gaya and Gaya following an altercation, it looked like he would get away despite eyewitnesses. He was in Delhi and did not shoot anyone, he claimed after his arrest. All eyes now are on CM Nitish Kumar.

For Whom The Noose Hangs

Eighty per cent of those on death row have never been to school. An overwhelming majority are Dalits, adivasis or from the minority religions. The Supreme Court upholds only five per cent of the sentences. From trial to mercy petition, the process takes five to 16 years, which undertrials spend in solitary confinement. Students of the National Law University, Delhi, learnt all this and more by interviewing 373 prisoners on death row.

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Wait Before You Mutilate

Female genital mutilation prevalent among the Bohras was traumatic and should be done away with, declared Taher Fakhruddin, a claimant to the office of the Syedna, in a statement issued in Mumbai. Women from the community appear to have welcomed his suggestion that the minor surgery of ‘clitoral unhooding’  should be left to the discretion of  the women after they become legally adult. There is no religious sanction for doing it when girls are as young as seven.

One Q&A Tests All

Has the Supreme Court acted in haste by insisting on a common NEET (National Eligibility & Ent­rance Test) for admissions to medical colleges across the country from this year itself? In 2013, the court had considered the idea unconstitutional because it infringed on the rights of states, universities and minority institutions. That verdict was criticised as pro-rich and one that encouraged coaching institutes. And though the rec­ent one is being called student-frien­dly, problems remain, given the cou­ntry’s vastness and diversity. One was illustrated by Gujarat’s counsel in court, who said students in his state knew the Gujarati word for spinal cord but not the English or the Hindi word.

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A Tale Of Two Sentences

Another bid to erase Jawaharlal Nehru out of public memory. The controversy over dropping mention of India’s first PM as a freedom fighter in a social science textbook for Class VIII has had one positive fallout, though. As the state’s education minister defended the two sentences on Nehru on two different pages in the book as adequate, that can now be a benchmark to compare the weightage given to other icons from Indian history.

The Sangh Poops The Party

Describing former CM and the current defence minister Manohar Parrikar as a “bluff master”, the RSS and the BBSM (Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch) served an ultimatum that unless the state government withdraws grants from English-medium primary schools and agrees to support Konkani as the medium of instruction by October, it will be RSS vs the BJP in the state. With Goa going to polls next year, the writing is on the wall.



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7 Stories We Are Not Covering This week
  • USA
    Seventy years after the US dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, Barack Obama will be the first US President to visit the Japanese city
  • Hyderabad
    MA (Arabic) student Jalees Kodur barred from taking the PhD entrance as he was one of 25 who took part in a beef­-eating fest last December
  • Kohima
    Nagaland becoming first state in the country to legalise online gaming
  • Amritsar
    Daljinder Kaur, 72, delivering a healthy boy 46 years after her marriage to Mohinder Gill and 20 years after her menopause
  • Mumbai
    Pranav Pandya, director and head of the all-world Gayatri Parivar, turning down a nomination to the Rajya Sabha
  • Los Angeles
    Five nuns, aged between 70 and 80, refusing to sell their 22,000 sq ft convent to the pop star Kate Perry
  • Philadelphia
    Italian economist Guido Menzio being taken off a plane after a suspicious co-passenger took his scribbles to be “terrorist code”
VII Things We Learnt Last Week
  • Suresh Raina played 143 IPL matches in all nine seasons without a break till fatherhood gave him a break
  • Ahmed Patel earned his first rupees by selling vegetables he carried from his village to the market in Ankleshwar
  • Google India chief Rajan Ana­ndan’s father Kumaran has swum the 53-km Palk Strait dividing India and Sri Lanka
  • V.S. Achuthanandan is the only one of the 32 who split from the CPI to form the CPI(M) still alive
  • Before he got on to natural history, Sir David Atten­borough was the brain behind televising snooker
  • The GDP of Philippines in 1960 was higher than that of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand
  • Lady Gaga has 19 species of an entire genus of ferns named after her

Compiled by Uttam Sengupta and Alka Gupta



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