06 June 2016 National Happenings

Seven Days

The states of the nation: news, headlines, gossip, rumours, things we learnt
Seven Days
ABVP Banned In BJP-Ruled Land

Astonishingly for a state ruled by a BJP-PDP coalition, Jammu University didn’t allow the ABVP to hold its national executive meeting on campus and banned its activities in all educational institutions under it. While the buzz on social media hinted at the role of some party stalwarts, more eyebrows were raised when BJP general secretary Ram Madhav hinted the government would act against the ‘obstinate’ vice-chancellor appointed in 2015.

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Return Of The Prodigal

Dumped not long ago as a ‘spent force’, Amar Singh, self-confessedly ‘Mulayam­wadi’ more than ‘Samajwadi’, has boun­ced back as SP’s Rajya Sabha nominee for the election due next month. “Unfortun­ate,” exclaimed his SP critic Azam Khan, who had famously said that people like Amar Singh who drove in BMWs wou­ldn’t know who his wife was voting for.

Denounced Before It’s Out

It has not been made public yet, but a ‘leaked’ version of the caste survey, allegedly undertaken at a cost of Rs 200 crore, has put the number of Vokkaligas, Lingayats and Veerashaivas far behind that of the scheduled castes and tribes. The revelation has sparked protests at the ‘unscientific’ survey and demands that it be shelved. For chief minister Siddaramaiah, though, who has made batting for the marginalised his leitmotif, this could be handy ammunition as he enters his fourth year.

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Tread Lightly On Brahmin Toes

While addressing workers at a trade union convention, Dalit writer and philosopher Kancha Ilaiah referred to Brahmins as a community that has traditionally shun­ned physical work. The media quoted him as saying that Brahmins were lazy and liked to sleep rather than work. That was enough to trigger threats from Brahmin ‘terrorist’ organisations drawing inspiration from the mythical Brahmin warrior Parashuram. Ilaiah says he has Brah­min friends and wouldn’t apologise for what he didn’t say. Maybe the other side should apologise for what they never did!

Swami & Foes

The North-South divide between godmen affiliated to the Modi regime was apparent in the run-up to Inter­national Yoga Day last year. It seems to have boiled over at the Simhastha Kumbh in Ujjain this year. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s absence at the do has had tongues wagging over how Baba Ramdev outmanoeuvred him. Some say this is a natural spillover from Yoga Day. Other insist it is a result of the growing commercial tussle betw­een Ramdev’s range of products and Sri Sri’s in the market. Patanjali wants to double his Rs 5,000 crore sales in a year; Sri Sri wants to set up 2,700 stores. In either case, Sri Sri was conspicuous by his absence after the loud noise that the World Culture Festival had generated.

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Seat Of Trouble

When M.K. Stalin attended Jayalali­tha’s sixth swearing-in as CM, it hinted at fresh inter-party bonhomie. But a 16th row seat for the DMK scion, with actor-­politician Sarath Kumar in the front row, sparked rumours that “Amma” was no in mood for a thaw in ties after a no-holds-barred campa­ign. But Jaya quickly clarified it was unintended she meant no insult. She even wished him well.

A Different Kind Of Red

A flanking jacket advertisement on the front pages of top national dailies on the day of his swearing-in conveyed that Kerala’s new CM Pinarayi Vijayan is not going to be the archetypal Left leader. The ad had no mention of the LDF or its constitutents. No trace of the hammer and sickle; instead, the word  ‘god’ was conspicuous. Yes, of course, swimming in a red background.

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7 Stories We Are Not Covering This week
  • Phnom Penh
    Cambodia’s PM Hun Sen wanting to be called “Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo” (roughly Lord Prime Minister and Supreme Military Commander)
  • Itanagar
    Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju being invited to China with the promise of a visa after being denied one nine years ago
  • New Delhi
    CAG of political strategist Prashant Kishor, who jumped from Narendra Modi to Nitish Kumar, being asked to disclose his source of income
  • Coimbatore
    A 61-year-old auto driver charging one rupee for every ride, to celebrate Jayalalitha’s victory, making Rs 102 at the end of the day after 102 trips
  • Sriharikota
    ISRO claiming it had test-launched its first indigenous unmanned “space shuttle”, the size of an SUV, with the winged Reusable Launch Vehicle
  • Mysore
    Padmabai Lodha, 59, who was found alive during her funeral procession, forcing the cremation to be put off, dying in hospital a week later
  • London
    British Asian actress Sofia Hayat, who posed nude after Rohit Sharma scored 264 in an ODI, becoming a nun with an Instagram account
VII Things We Learnt Last Week
  • The oval-shaped gold strokes on the Royal Enfield petrol tank are handpainted on every motorcycle
  • One month of training is what it takes to become an RSS pracharak
  • Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, selected for the Zimbabwe tour, was a natio­nal under-12 chess champion
  • Milch animals in India produce 1,647 kilos per annum against the global average of 2,189 kilos
  • Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka’s net worth has shot up 10 times from Rs 4.56 crore per annum to Rs 48.7 crore
  • Russian president Vladimir Putin loves The Beatles
  • The world’s most exclusive pasta restaurant in New York City is called Rao’s

Compiled by Uttam Sengupta, Alka Gupta and Satyadeep



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