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It’s Time For Virat Kohli's XI To Display Bradmanesque Spunk In England

“When you play Test cricket, you don’t give the Englishmen an inch. Play it tough, all the way. Grind them into the dust,” declared Sir Don Bradman, the colossal performer against England with 5,028 runs at 89.79 in 37 Tests. No cricketer has surpassed the record for 73 years. The Indian team led by Virat Kohli can only be inspired by cricket’s  all-time Don’s matter-of-fact words in order to put it across Joe Root’s England in the Test series to be played in August-September at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, Headingley, The Oval and Old Trafford. On the previous two tours to England in 2014 and 2018, India was trounced 3-1 and 4-1. The cause of the mismatched results was the lack of wherewithal to lift the batting average well above 23.95 in 2014 and 23.91 in 2018, when Kohli’s average was a fraction lower than 60! India’s bowling unit worked wonders in 2018, taking 82 wickets at 29.82 as against 59 at 43.25 in 2014. Statistics are part and parcel of cricket, more so in the bilateral series played in flannels. And achievements in England get a premium value. Familiar with the fickle weather, England has been a tough nut to crack. It has won 223 Tests and lost 123 of the 528 it has played at home since the one-off first Test against Australia at The Oval in 1880. England’s winning percentage of 54.84 against India at home (played 62, won 34, lost 7, drew 21) is the highest against a traditional opponent for close to six decades. England though has a 100% record at home against Bangladesh and Ireland and 75% win against Zimbabwe. So, India’s task is cut out; just try and put into action the Don’s message to the hilt to upset England apple cart.  

Round One Goes To Yogi, No Cabinet Reshuffle In UP

The top leadership of BJP — Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Party President JP Nadda — seems to be having one too many problems on their plate. From handling of Covid-19 second wave to dissent in key states where it is in power. According to highly placed sources, the move to appoint PM’s trusted aide and former IAS officer AK Sharma as Deputy CM of Uttar Pradesh (so as to rein Yuva Vahini apostle turned Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath) has been dropped with Yogi raising strong objections to Sharma’s inclusion as well as cabinet reshuffle. It is learnt that RSS tried to reason out with Yogi but he remained adamant. BJP has to tread cautiously here as any move to antagonise Yogi will see the revival of Yuva Vahini which may impact its poll chances not just in the assembly polls but also in Lok Sabha elections slated for 2024. So for now BJP and RSS will continue to hold Chintan Baithaks and gives suggestions to Yogi from time to time.

Discontent Brewing In BJP Ruled Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh

In Karnataka, the Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has been under attack from the party ministers and legislators who are running a campaign for his removal. Yediyurappa who is serving as Chief Minister of Karnataka for the fourth time is under tremendous pressure to resign and pave the way for his successor. Last week Yediyurappa, a prominent leader from influential Lingayat community, ultimately yielded and announced that he will step down if directed by the central leadership. Modi and Shah have yet to take a call. RSS functionary BL Santosh, who hails from Karnataka, does not get along well with Yediyurappa. In Madhya Pradesh, the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s leadership has been challenged by few party legislators who want the central leadership to immediately change him. Sources say that the state’s Home Minister Narottam Mishra and state BJP chief VD Sharma have thrown hat in the ring. Former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is now BJP MP in Rajya Sabha, went to Bhopal, after which speculations of change in leadership sparked a row. BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who camped in Bhopal and met many state leaders has clarified that MP will run only under the leadership of Shivraj Singhji. However, BJP insiders claim all is not well in MP; it is a wakeup call for Shivraj Singh Chouhan, popularly known as Mamaji.


Question Mark Over Future Of Real Estate After Lockdown 2

Just when the real estate sector was picking across the country, the second wave has hit the sector really hard. In Mumbai, the scene is looking bleak. According to, a leading real estate website, “property sales in Mumbai in May 2021 saw a 50% dip to 5,360 units from 10,135 units in April.” The reason for this fall is the withdrawal of incentives by the Maharashtra government. It may be recalled that during the first lockdown – in August 2020 – the Maharashtra government had slashed stamp duty to 2% from 5%. This had a salutary effect on property sales.  Besides, new sales, It is learnt, many investors who bought flats and had not registered took advantage of this low rate and got their properties registered. Thus, between September 2020 and March 2021, property registrations were brisk. In December 2020, property sale-registration peaked at 19,581 units — 204% jump over December 2019. Citing this example, the industry’s apex body, CREDAI-MCHI, has dashed off three letters to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, urging him to once again reduce stamp duty to 2%. The other setback to builders is that nearly 4.22 lakh homes, across the top seven cities, which were expected to be completed by December 2021, will be delayed due to disruptions in supply chain.  Add to this, work from home culture is hitting sale of commercial premises and leases. According to, “There are 7,400 Office Leases, spanning approximately 90 million sqft which will come up for renewals in 2021 across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Gurugram and Noida.” But real estate agents are not bullish about renewal possibilities.

Remembering Seductive Siren Silk Smitha Who Set Silver Screen On Fire

She oozed oomph in the most unselfconscious manner. Maybe she herself was not aware of the magnetic sexuality she projected when she came alive on the screen. If fate had consigned her to the backwaters of Eluru in Andhra Pradesh as Vijayalakshmi Vadapatla, this seductive actor launched as Silk Smitha in the Tamil film, Vandichakram in 1979, would have remained yet another anonymous villager. Silk fought her way out of abject poverty and struck out to conquer the arc lights of Kodambakkam as the Rani of raunch. This dark skinned, scintillating, and striking woman careened across the filmy scape, like a meteor, acted in over 300 films in just a span of 17 years, before she died by suicide in 1996. Whatever a lecherous audience spoke about her in trashing terms, few had the integrity to speak about the goodness of Silk Smitha. Bayilvan Ranganathan, a film actor, critic and chronicler talks about Silk as a generous, dignified person, who was punctual and disciplined. If a producer was in dire straits, she would not insist on immediate payment, cooperated with all on the sets, never asked for exotic meals to be catered. Even when the skimpiest costumes were given, she would robotically perform. Director Bharathi Raja cast her in a memorable role in Alaigal Oyvadillai. But Late Balu Mahendra exploited her raw sensuality to the maximum in Moonram Pirai (Sadma ). Even when Rajnikant or Kamal Haasan were signed as leads, the distributor/ financier would insist on at least one dance by Silk, guarantee for repeat audience. Three biopics, including Dirty Picture (Vidya Balan as lead) were made on Silk Smitha.  

Chairman Anil Agarwal

Will Oxygen Leadership, New Political Dynamics Resuscitate Sterlite Copper TN Plant?

Sometimes, bad times unexpectedly bring good tidings for some. Almost pushed to the realm of history, Sterlite Copper, part of the Anil Agarwal-controlled Vedanta Group, has suddenly started breathing. Closed for a few years now in the wake of a police firing that killed close to a dozen people outside its plant at Thoothukudi (Tuticorn earlier) in Tamil Nadu, Sterlite Copper virtually got the oxygen when the Tamil Nadu government complied to a court directive to let the plant produce medical oxygen to meet the shortage caused by the deadly Second Wave of pandemic. No doubt the environment (read political) has changed in the Dravidian land with the return of the DMK to Fort St George. But the Corona-induced health dynamics too have brought a change in the anti-Sterlite sentiment in the State. Insiders indicate that the Sterlite Copper team has all of a sudden undergone a major metamorphosis at the top. Vedanta has reportedly named an old-timer Kishore Kumar as the new CEO of Sterlite Copper. The incumbent CEO, Pankaj Kumar, who navigated the Sterlite Copper during its tough phase is believed to have called it quits. Along with him, a top functionary has also reportedly resigned. What surprises long-time watchers of Sterlite is the suddenness with which the changes are made at the top. The top-level re-jig, especially the timing and suddenness of its implementation, has taken everybody completely off-guard.

TN Finance Minister Is Stalin’s Brahmastra To Take On BJP

He comes from a political lineage famous in the south of Tamil Nadu. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan or PTR, the finance minister in MK Stalin’s cabinet, is the weapon the DMK government will be using to take a hard look at the Centre’s financial policies. The suave former investment banker has been told to deconstruct BJP top brass moves in finance and take them down whenever the opportunity arises. The finance minister’s contempt for the Goa transport minister Mauvin Godinho, who attended the GST meet and kept parroting lines in support of the Centre, will rate as an all-time classic. Dipping with sarcasm, the TN finance minister had a lot to say about Godinho, which he topped off with the throwaway line that said a lot: “Finally, I sincerely request the [Bharatiya Janata Party], even across the political divide, to impose some minimal quality control on its ‘MLA Acquisition’ procedures. If it had done so, Goa, and the Nation would be saved a lot of pain.” Some might say that sarcasm is the lowest form of art but it is an art form the 55-year-old may have perfected. The DMK has always been short of polished speakers in English who could take on Delhi and it has found a champion now. The finance minister and his vitriol could turn out to be a double-edged sword but right now he has been told to sharpen his skills.

Mammootty Is Number ‘1’

Easy to speculate: did Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala’s cult CM look over his back after watching Mammootty in the just released Malayalam movie 1? Every Malayalee worth his pips as an educated political would wish… if only Mammootty stood for election, if only he could lead our state to that Camelot. This Mammootty showcase has a laudable theme…the Right to Recall your elected representative if he is proved corrupt, self-serving and insensitive. Many films have taken inspiration from this kernel….unbridled corruption, and unpatriotic representatives. But the ideal is beyond the best intentions of the idealists. 1 too tries and weaves a few commonplace incidents to ignite that fire of selfless service to the people. Even as the CM, Kadakkal Chandran played by Mammootty, moots the bill to Recall the Elected, the expected outcry, posturing and malevolent reactions from his own party and the opposition erupts. And in a telling comment, the ruling party MLA hits out, “we will face elections every two years.” The ganging up of the plundering and profiteering is quick. Even as the well-intentioned plot touches a chord, no viable or practical solutions are given. In fact, 1 leaves the viewer mystified, baffled: why so many loose ends including those memory losses the CM suffers? But it is Mammootty who carries this me-too motivational effort on his towering self. And makes 1 worth a watch…who knows some young contenders may come up with an ideal of politics.  
KV Ramani

After Software Exports, KV Ramani Bets On Education With Sai University In Chennai

A soft spoken person, he is now ready to demonstrate his wares afresh. Indeed, he is unfolding a new future. Well, KV Ramani of Future Soft fame is now venturing out to set up a brand new private university. Established under the name and style of Sai University, it is aimed to integrate three fundamental pillars of education – learning, research and societal impact. The 104-acre campus in Chennai has been designed with an eye on maintaining a balance between modern aesthetic and cultural heritage. Ramani, the founder and chancellor of Sai University, played no small role in India achieving a pre-eminent place in the global information technology space. He was a co- founder of the IT industry body National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), and served as its chairman during 1997-98.  Ramani is currently the CMD of Digital Holdings and the founder and managing trustee of Shirdi Sai Trust. A hugely successful technology entrepreneur, he is a prominent philanthropist now. He joined IBM as a graduate engineer in 1970. Later, he went on to found Future Software in 1985. He also co-founded Hughes Software Systems, a telecommunications software company in India, as a joint venture with the US firm Hughes Software in 1990. The board of Sai University comprises some illustrious names. Well, a new innings has just commenced for Ramani. For a man with a kind heart, providing quality education is not just a passion but a mission too.


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.