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Lakshmi Mittal’s Visit: More Than Cricket?

The world’s largest cricketing stadium opened to a deluge of media headlines. And also, to one of the globe’s wealthiest: Lakshmi N Mittal, Chairman & CEO of the $53.3-billion ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel and mining company. Mittal was spotted at the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium, Ahmedabad along with BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, and Congress Leader Rajiv Shukla, enjoying the fourth test match between India and England. According to the Gujarat government’s official version, Mittal visited the Statue Of Unity at Kevadia, less than 200 kms from Ahmedabad. But the corporate observers are attributing the timing of the visit to more than that. They are connecting dots. It may be mentioned that during the same time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Kevadia to address the concluding session of the annual conference of top officers of India’s Armed Forces. It is speculated that Mittal met Modi and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani before the PM’s address and after that watched the cricket match.
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Why Has Congress Agreed To Play Second Fiddle To DMK In TN?

Once bitten twice shy. After a poor show in the Bihar elections and being publicly insulted by the RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav for spoiling the alliance prospects as Cong could win only 19 seats against 70 contested, the Congress party seems to have gone soft in its seat-sharing talks with the DMK Supremo MK Stalin in Tamil Nadu. Against its original demand for 54 seats, the Congress has quietly settled for 25 legislative seats. And for the by-elections, the party is pleased to get the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat. It is learnt that Rahul Gandhi does not mind playing second fiddle as his only objective is to counter the BJP-AIADMK in Tamil Nadu. Rahul, who has visited Tamil Nadu twice in recent times, enjoys a good equation with Stalin who is very confident of the DMK-Congress win this time. Even poll-strategist Prashant Kishor is talking of DMK winning. What makes the fight interesting is the BJP’s Hindutva appeal while in Tamil Nadu it has always been the Dravidian plank for all parties. Fearing backlash, it is learnt that the BJP’s alliance partner AIADMK has advised it not to push the Hindutva agenda. Rahul is likely to campaign extensively in Tamil Nadu, sharing dais with Stalin and address crucial joint meetings. For Rahul, the idea of playing second fiddle is also to revive Congress in Tamil Nadu. Will his bet pay off? Only time will tell.

Yajurvindra’s Leg-Trap Lessons For Men In Blue

Virat Kohli’s team could do well to spend some time with Yajurvindra Singh in order to pick up hard, but useful lessons on leg-trap fielding and catching. Also, known as ‘Sunny’, Yajurvindra belonged to the royal family of Bilkha in Junagadh, and he played for Saurashtra and Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy. In the corporate world, he worked for Mahindra & Mahindra, Wisden India and Tata Consultancy Services. But Yajurvindra’s claim to global fame happened on his Test debut against England at Bengaluru. Positioned in the leg trap (forward and backward short leg) he snapped up seven catches (5 in the first innings and 2 in the second innings) and created a world record in January 1977. The leg trap came into the picture in the recent series against Australia and England and most fielders were found wanting. Yajurvindra who watched both the series said: “What is happening is both the players who are standing in the trap, they don’t regularly field there. Even at silly point. If you have not fielded there right through your career, suddenly you cannot develop skills that are required to field there. Remember it’s a scary position. One can get hit on the head and killed there instantly.”

Is Rhea On A Come Back Trail?

Just when Rhea Chakraborty thought the nightmare was behind her and that she could focus on her acting career comes the news that her name figures in the Narcotics Control Bureau chargesheet linked to the Sushant Singh Rajput case. Trouble, they say, never comes alone. Earlier, she found to her dismay that her name was missing from the credit list of the mystery thriller Chehre directed by Rumi Jaffery. Yet, this 28-year-old starlet did not lose hope. She, according to sources, flew to Hyderabad to meet a producer and almost bagged the film.  One does not know if Jaffrey will ever revive the film he had planned with Rhea and Sushant. But some film makers have decided to give her a second chance. However, those who know her say that Rhea is treading cautiously; not signing films till there is clarity in her case. Nikhil Dwivedi has already announced that he is open to working with her. People from Bollywood are asking why she shouldn’t get a second chance when Sanjay Dutt has got more than three chances.  In fact, she recently met Salman Khan’s former talent manager Reshma Shetty who helped Salman resurrect his career after two big court cases. Looks like Rhea is working towards a gameplan!

Govt Communication Report: Monologue Vs Dialogue

One of the weakest points of the current NDA government at the Centre has been the lack of leaders who could communicate the economic policies and decisions of the government in the right perspective and that too effectively. The untimely demise of two BJP stalwarts Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj depleted this capability further. While the other side of the story may be that you don’t need anybody else to do this when you have such a strong orator in Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Nevertheless, the need was felt to find ways to improve government communication, and the report of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on government communication, which is the talk of the town currently, has captured the wide gamut of issues. Several journalists, industry leaders and ideologues participated in the GoM’s deliberations. The Opposition parties have labelled the exercise as another effort to control media while the government obviously is portraying this as an exercise to help find the ways to deal with intentional negative narrative and make the policy messages reach people in the right way. An interesting point to ponder here is whether the industry leaders and journalists would do better by being critical of the government policies or by becoming a tool in the hands of the government in promoting the policies — a job that should primarily rest with the government spokespersons.


Editor’s Note: Big Punch In Small Pack

It is the Third Anniversary of Short Post and as a news media startup launched during the Covid-19 pandemic it certainly feels better than good to find ourselves where we are today. Here, I must cite the unstinted support of our seasoned contributors, all senior editors in the country, who brought a great degree of maturity and sagacity to the Short Post newsroom. But for them, our tagline “Authentic Gossip”, an Oxymoron, would not have matured viably. Our user numbers may be small but our stories have created the desired impact among people who matter — decision makers and influencers. We offer a big punch in a small pack and Short Post with its 225-word stories has been punching above its weight category. Having posted close to 3,000 stories in the last 36 months, Short Post, I feel, is an idea whose time has come.
And this is vindicated by our two marquee advertisers – IDFC FIRST Bank and ICICI Lombard. Both believed in our story and have supported us from Day one. A big thank you to both.
If you look at the media landscape – print, TV and digital — it is a mixed bag. There are job losses as some outfits have closed down while a lucky few were bailed out by large corporate houses. Yes, there is a lot of action in the digital space. However, the entry of corporate houses has raised the question of independence of news media outfits. Sadly, there are just a handful of independent media outfits in the country that are highly respected for their neutrality. At Short Post, our credo is not to take sides, prejudge issues or be biased but, informing readers of behind-the-scenes happenings. In essence, Short Post strives to be a neutral editorial platform — neither anti-establishment nor pro-establishment.
As I said last year, disruptions in the media world are moving at a fast and furious pace. Technology is playing a very big role in how content is generated and consumed. But, we are neither alarmed nor perturbed as it is all a part of the evolution process. What gives us comfort is that AI is unable to create original gossipy content. And that is the news arena where we have achieved a distinction.