For Authentic Gossip
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

DoT Yet To Get A Formal Call From Vodafone On BSNL Merger

Among its many attempts to stay afloat, beleaguered telecom operator Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) has offered to merge the firm with state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), another debt-laden company. Further, in an attempt to keep it afloat, VIL’s UK parent Vodafone Group Plc is also ready to offer its stake in the Indian company to BSNL for free. If a merger or stake exchange happens, VIL – which provides telecom services under the brand ‘Vi’ – would become a government entity, a move that would help it buy more time for raising funds. The company also hopes its spectrum dues would be kept in abeyance, giving it a much-needed lifeline. While the merger would bring in a number of synergies, including BSNL being able to provide 4G services, it also comes with a number of pitfalls. BSNL in itself is a loss-making firm, and a revival package approved by the Union Cabinet in 2019 is yet to bear fruit. Worse, the public sector unit is finding it difficult to pay salaries on time. Importantly, a formal communication from VIL or its promoters is yet to reach BSNL or its parent the Department of Telecommunications. “We might take a call depending on the contours of the offer, but we are yet to get a formal call,” a source in the telecom ministry said.

Inset - Naveen Patnaik

Spotlight On Naveen Patnaik’s Hockey Nurturing As 41-Year Olympic Drought Ends

Every stakeholder in India’s burgeoning hockey community — from the fans, players, the Indian men and women teams, and Hockey India — must doff its hat to the State of Odisha, and its five-time elected Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik. One of the very few tallest politicians in the country, an outlier if it can be said, Patnaik and his government have committed to spend Rs 150 crore on Indian Hockey from 2018 to 2023, which includes the two national teams. All the more, Patnaik is celebrating the men’s team’s bronze medal win at Tokyo, breaking the 41-year jinx, and the women’s team reaching the semi-finals. Odisha had four players in Tokyo, thanks to a plethora of academies in the State. Odisha staged the World Cup Hockey 2018, and it will do so in 2023 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and the Birsa Munda International Stadium in Rourkela. With the Covid-19 affecting normal life, Patnaik may not have been able to stir out of his Naveen Niwas residence often, but over the past fortnight he would have seen India in action in Tokyo. Others like the Sahara Group and a handful of Public Sector Units have supported Indian Hockey, but for demonstrating focused commitment for the development of Indian Hockey, Patnaik stands head and shoulders above the rest.
andrew cuomo

Photo :

#MeToo 2 Claims New York’s Mighty Governor Andrew Cuomo

The story of the rise and fall of one of the most powerful Democrats of the USA might culminate in his impeachment as Governor of New York: Andrew Cuomo is also facing possible criminal charges that he sexually harassed 11 women. Once married to Robert Kennedy’s daughter Kerry, with whom he had three daughters, Andrew, son of Mario, a three-time New York Governor, was once seen as a possible replacement for Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination for President. At the height of the pandemic last year, a staggering 60 million used to tune into his daily briefings on the Covid outbreak as he promised leadership in the crisis. He won an Emmy and a book deal and had the admiration of half the nation until the women emerged with horror stories of work inside a toxic Governor’s office environment. Cuomo is now under threat of becoming a poster boy for reviving #MeToo movement. Cuomo says his actions had been misconstrued, his words misunderstood. He said it was cultural: He hugs, he kisses, he says, “Ciao, bella.” He said it was generational: Sometimes he lapses into “honey” or “sweetheart” or tells bad jokes. Now even President Joe Biden is calling for his head as the 63-year-old went from hero to zero with a speed only ultra-ambitious politicians suffer.

Sanjay Raut’s Session With Rahul Gandhi Conjures Up New Possibilities

The growing proximity between Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has surprised not only the traditional Congress leaders but also Shiv Sena’s erstwhile ally BJP. Both Sena and Congress are keen to further consolidate their ties not just for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections but also for the forthcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections. Despite BJP’s Mission 2022 and resentment from Mumbaikars on a couple of issues, Shiv Sena is hopeful of retaining power in BMC and for that it needs Congress and NCP by its sides to lure non-Marathi speaking voters. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi have been regularly interacting over phone but Raut has directly opened channels with Rahul and thereby has sent signal to the Maharashtra Congress leaders to fall in line and stop ”going solo” talk.  Raut who was part of the core team that saw the formation of Maha Vikas Aghadi gave Rahul a complete run down as to how Sena functions. An impressed Rahul is likely to visit Maharashtra soon and meet up with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Essentially, Sena is sending a message to BJP that even as it hobnobs with Congress it is not moving away from its Hindutva and Marathi Manoos agenda. Political analysts see this high profile meeting as optics and say nothing concrete will emerge until NCP supremo Sharad Pawar takes a lead.
Subramanian Swamy_003

Dr Swamy: No Political Parties Have Condemned The Genocide In J&K

Two years ago, on August 5, 2019, the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a bold decision to revoke Article 370 that granted special status to J&K. As expected, two well-entrenched political parties/ families of J&K – National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party raised hue and cry and not surprisingly Pakistan also joined the chorus. But Modi soldiered on. Now, the government is talking about holding elections and restoring statehood status for J&K, among other things. But the moot point is: When will you allow the five lakh Kashmiris driven out by ethnic cleansing to return? That’s the question BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subramanian Swamy asked Hasnain Masoodi of National Conference at NewsX Roundtable Debate. Dr Swamy said that post 370 the situation at the ground level has improved but the local leaders (read pro Islamists) have not expressed any apology nor regret over the biggest genocide. “Five lakh Hindus were driven out and nobody from the valley has shown any sympathy.” He called for a new strategy: Modi government should seek the withdrawal of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s petition that sought UN intervention in Kashmir. He added: the petition is illegal as it has been filed by Nehru without cabinet approval. And his parting shot was that the all-party meeting on J&K chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi could have been avoided.

100th Anniversary Of TN Legislature: A State Event For All Or Stalin’s Party Gala?

Voices of disapproval and social media whining were heard after the grand Centenary celebration of the TN Legislature on August 2. There were murmurs of protest as political leaders felt that the Chief Minister MK Stalin had turned the event into DMK, and first family affair. Five time chief minister M Karunanidhi’s portrait was unveiled by President Ram Nath Kovind. But was this august assembly which had enacted many far-reaching laws and transformed Tamil Nadu was presided over only by Karunanidhi?  What about the great Savant C Rajagopalachari or Karmaveer K Kamaraj who brought the highest principles of ethical governance to this assembly? CN Annadurai who inspired Karunanidhi and M Bhaktavatsalam, an erudite politician who was CM? What about MGR, the darling of millions who popularised the concept of mid-day meal schemes in schools? The precursor to this Assembly was the Justice Party, which at least got its due as the new Finance Minister P Thiaga Rajan could bask in the glory of his grandfather PT Rajan, one of the founders of the Justice Party. The least Stalin could have done is to have portraits of these earlier stalwarts also unveiled by the President. When public money is spent on a big event no ruling party should appropriate it. They must cut across party lines and give dues to all leaders who have built Tamil Nadu.

Photo : Fotocorp

Is Pawar Running With The Hare And Hunting With The Hounds?

NCP MP Supriya Sule once said: ”My father is unpredictable.” That was experienced this week not just by his partymen but even opponents. Sule’s father and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, on the one hand, has taken up the role of bringing Opposition parties together to put up a joint front against BJP while on the other hand he met PM Narendra Modi a fortnight ago on the issue of amendments to the Banking Regulation Act. Two days ago he led a delegation to meet the newly appointed Cooperation Minister Amit Shah to draw his attention to problems plaguing the cooperative sugar industry in Maharashtra. To avoid speculation Pawar released a letter in which he had sought Shah’s appointment. Further, he has offered to help West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Khela Hobe’ call in all the states. Parallelly, he met RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav. All these actions seem to have puzzled his close confidant, BJP leaders and other political leaders. Everyone is trying to decode Pawar’s actions. Anti-corruption activist Anjali Damania, senior bureaucrats believe that Pawar will join hands with BJP soon and ditch Shiv Sena and Congress. Pawar’s purported meeting with Shah a couple of months ago at the residence of a leading industrialist at Ahmedabad had triggered the talk of two parties coming together. Like cricket, nobody can say until the last ball is bowled.

Supreme Court Pulls Up Serial Litigant Advocate ML Sharma In Pegasus Case

Seems like this Delhi-based advocate Manohar Lal Sharma loves to court controversy. He picks up controversial cases and files Public Interest Litigations (PIL) in the Supreme Court. He hit the national headlines when he appeared as a defence lawyer for one of the accused in 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. According to, a leading legal news portal, the Supreme Court on Thursday (August 5) pulled up serial litigant Advocate ML Sharma over the PIL filed by him seeking probe into the Pegasus snooping controversy. “Mr Sharma, except newspaper cuttings, what is there in your petition? What purpose you have filed the petition for? You want us to collect the material and argue your case? This is not the way of filing a PIL. We also read newspapers,” CJI expressed displeasure at his PIL. This is not the first time Sharma is being hauled up by the Apex Court. In August 2019, he got slap on his wrist for filing a shoddy petition challenging the August 5 Presidential Order on Article 370 on the very next day of its issuance. Likewise in May 2015, SC asked why he should not be debarred from filing and/or canvassing any Public Interest Litigation on account of the “irresponsible and scandalous allegations levelled by him” against the members of Parliament. He later apologised and was allowed to file PILs with certain checks.
ponniyin selvan_mani

Inset : Mani Ratnam

Mani Ratnam’s Magnum Opus ‘Ponniyin Selvan’

Mani Ratnam’s cinematic genius and the late Amarar Kalki’s literary genius merge in the soon to be released magnum opus, Ponniyin Selvan (The son of Ponni). But which screen? Cinema lovers wait with bated breath for a Mani Ratnam movie; his every script and film have riveted audience to an amazing creative spark, unparalleled in Tamil cinema, and in the Hindi adaptations. So, we are justified in speculating, will Ponniyin Selvan stride the premium screens, like the cult Spartacus? Or OTT, if the pandemic plays foul? Such challenges are sleight of hand for Ratnam. Cine buffs are goggle eyed about the omnibus ensemble cast. The joke doing the rounds, except Rajini and Kamal, most Kollywood top stars are in the film: Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Sarath Kumar, Prakash Raj, Trisha, Keerthi Suresh, Nayantara, Aishwarya Lekshmi and more top rung names. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is in the lead. With AR Rahman‘s mesmerising music, palace intrigues, conquests and empire building, awe inspiring temples that still stand as testament to the Chola era artistic genius, beautiful women and intricate costumes, audience expectation is sky high. Ponniyin Selvan, we expect, will match the grandeur and scale of the Tanjore Big Temple, built by Rajaraja Chola, an architectural feat unmatched so far

Mayank Jalan

Keventer Agro Plans To Raise Rs 800-900 Crore Via IPO

The Kolkata based Keventer Agro is looking to raise anything between Rs 800 crore and Rs 900 crore through an IPO. The proposed issue will offer an exit route to the existing Singapore-based private equity investor Mandala Capital, which holds close to a 22% stake in the company. Sources said the fresh issue of shares would be in the range of Rs 325-375 crore. While about Rs 125 crore would be kept for capital expenditure, Rs 250 crore would be used to retire debt and build a capital base to expand the business in other parts of India. The IPO, valuing Keventer in the range of Rs 2,400-2,800 crore, is expected to hit the market during Diwali. The company plans to file a draft prospectus with SEBI in the next few days. Post-issue, promoters’ holding will dip by 10 percentage points to 70%. Owned by Jalan family, Keventer Agro is the largest milk producer in the private sector in the East and the Northeast and is also the franchisee for Parle’s Fruity, Appy and FIZZ. Now diversifying to frozen foods segment, it is also a large seller of bananas, especially in Bengal. It clocked a revenue of around Rs 1,000 crore in the last fiscal. The issue is the second this year from Bengal after iron and steel company Shyam Metalics.


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.