July 05, 2020
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The Subcontinental Menu

In UP, superhero community is getting people to obey traffic signals; Why can't Hyderabad techies now drink in their company's T-shirts? Read all the juicy news...

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The Subcontinental Menu
Illustration by Sajith Kumar
The Subcontinental Menu

Slowing Down The Speeding Bullet

The UP police had no choice but to call for help from the superhero community.  The cops have tweeted a series of pictures that depict Superman obeying traffic signals as he goes after criminals. Chacha Chaudhary and Saboo make use of a zebra crossing in another tweet, which comes with a message saying that Saboo is from Jupiter but he understands the importance of the zebra crossing.  This is part of a larger campaign to create awareness about road safety.  “We are using the hashtag—#trafficmonth #uppolice—in every post about traffic awareness across all UP Twitter handles. We are trying to strike an emotional chord with the people. For example, the message, ‘If you want to stay married, divorce speed,’ is aimed at making people sensitive about how precious their life is to their loved ones,” says ASP Rahul Srivastava, the DGP’s PRO.

Cash Flows Into The Till

Khazanchi (cashier) is an unusual name for a child. But perhaps no other name could be more appropriate for this baby boy born in Kanpur Dehat on December 2 last year when his mother was queuing at a bank to collect her widow’s pension in the wake of demonetisation (she had been standing there for five hours).  He was named by no less than the then chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, who announced compensation to the tune of Rs 2 lakh for the newborn. Khazanchi has since become a symbol of the problems caused by demonetisation, with Akhilesh telling the story of his birth at election rallies. The 11-month-old received an early first birthday gift in the form of a cheque for Rs 10,000 from the ex-CM on November 9. This will come in useful, as Khazanchi’s eldest sister Priti is suffering from tuberculosis and needs the money for treatment.

Golden Needles That Dance On The Palate

The leaves glory in their golden lustre. They are hand-rolled, left to oxidise for two to three hours and then put in a tray to dry. And now the golden needles, an exquisite black tea originating in China’s Yunnan province, has been auctioned in India for the first time, fetching a record sum. The tea, which was grown in Arunachal Pradesh’s Donyi Polo garden, was sold for Rs 18,801 per kilo—the highest price ever attained at an Indian auction. Vincent Enterprises bought 2.5 kg on behalf of Prem Internati­onal. “This will encourage small tea growers of our ­region to go for handcraf­ted tea with minimum tea machinery,” Manoj Kumar, a senior manager at Donyi Polo, was quoted as saying.  The record was previously held by the silver tips sold in 2003 for Rs 18,000 per kilo.

Corporate Social Lubricant

Take your T-shirts off before you drink, techies have been told. Due to a high number of drunk driving cases involving corporate employees in Hyderabad, their employers are rushing to protect their brands from damage. Companies such as IBM, Infosys, Cognizant and Deloitte have strictly instructed their employees not to be seen wearing T-shirts with the company logo while drinking. The logo is often seen during police checks, causing embarrassment to the firms. Some have stopped giving out free T-shirts to their workers, replacing them with other gifts such as coffee mugs, bags and stationery. A.R. Srinivas, deputy commissioner of police, Cyberabad traffic police, was quoted as saying, “In the Cyberabad jurisdiction, maximum drivers screened for drunk driving are corporate employees. During the checks, officers certainly don’t target a particular group.”

Wedding Gifts

People who marry a physically challenged spouse in Madhya Pradesh will soon be rewarded with Rs 2 lakh, from the government.  The plan, which is unique in India, is aimed at permanently disabled people aged between 18 and 45, and stipulates that the non-disabled partner should be marrying for the first time. Social and disabled persons welfare minister Gopal Bhargava was quoted as saying, “The plan has been finalised and sent to the finance department. It will be cleared in the cabinet and will come into effect soon.” The state introduced a similar scheme to encourage widow remarriage a few weeks ago.

Monkey And Me

The dog did all it could to protect its dear friend. It circled the monkey and barked ferociously at the humans. But, ultimately, it was all in vain. “We tied up the dog with a rope before gently coaxing the monkey into our trap,” said a forest officer. People had seen the monkey capering around a train yard near Thakurli railway station in Maharashtra for the past few days, and it had befriended the stray dog in that time.  The pair can be seen playing in a video. Unfortunately, the monkey was injured by contact with an overhead wire used to supply trains with power.

Booted From Bareilly

17 years after they moved to Mumbai, actress Priyanka Chopra and her mother Madhu have finally had their names struck off the electoral rolls in their previous residence of Bareilly, where they still maintain a house. The action came about as the result of an inquiry that was ordered when a resident of the same ward filed a complaint. The assistant electoral officer remarked that the Chopras have been listed as voters in Mumbai for many years (being listed simultaneously in two places is not allowed), and also that Priyanka’s late father, Col. Ashok Chopra had informed the district administration in 2012 that they were no longer residents of Bareilly.

Blame Game Hawks

Taking a leaf out of Delhi’s propaganda book, Pakistan has decided to blame India for the inordinate delay in its much-touted China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC)—a multi-billion project that is likely to be a ‘game changer’ in the region and beyond.

India has been opposed to the project because it runs through areas in Jammu and Kashmir that India claims as its own but which are under Pakistan’s control. The establishment of the high-profile project, India argues, will only legitimise Pakistan’s control of these areas.

But Pakistan now seems to be going out of its way to show Indian involvement in the delay in the CPEC.  Ongoing debate within Pakistan on the efficacy of this billion dollar project has raised  concerns in China. The fact that it is President Xi Jinping’s signature project to transform China’s role in the world, has forced officials in Beijing to urge Pakistani leaders to ensure its speedy implementation.

However, so far the desired speed for the work has been absent as much of it focused in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan , where large number of locals are opposed to it.

But Pakistan now seems to be hell-bent on shifting the entire blame on India.

So far the ­desired speed for CPEC work has been absent as a large number of locals, ­particularly in Balochistan, are opposed to the project.

“RAW established a new cell with a special allocation of over $500 million in 2015 to sabotage CPEC projects,“ Pakistan’s Joint Chief of Staff Committee Gen. Zubair Mahmood Hayat said. “India’s indirect interference in Pakistan is ­manifested in sponsoring Tehreek-i-Taliban-Pakistan, Baloch and other sub-nationalist outfits and many other terrorist groups,” he added.

Sections in the Indian establishment have been in the habit to blame Pakistan’s Inter-State-Intelligence (ISI) for almost all calamities in the country. Though ISI’s role on most terror acts carried out against and within India has been widely acknowledged, there have also been tendencies in India to stretch it to other areas.

“India has set up a Balochistan operational cell under RAW to devise a radical force for subversion and terrorist activities in the province,” Gen Hayat said at a seminar in Pakistan. He argued that the arrest of retired Indian naval officer Kulbushan Jadhav from Balochistan had been the “proverbial smoking gun” in the matter.

Speaking about India’s growing aggression towards Pakistan, he said: “I believe India continues to engage Pakistan through an asymmetric strategy and ploys.”

Illustrations by Sajith Kumar

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