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Parambir Singh_003

After Look Out Notice, Top Cop Param Bir Singh May Be Put In Absconders’ List

The Maharashtra Government has sought legal opinion on the suspension of former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and how to declare him an absconder. This is in the wake of Singh not appearing before the Chandiwal Commission, as also a lookout notice served to him in relation to various cases. The trigger was Singh not reporting to his duty in his capacity as the Director General Home Guards. Top government officials have had a series of meetings involving home department, senior police officers, law and judiciary department, and battery of lawyers as the government wants to tread cautiously so that its actions will pass the test of law. A division bench of Bombay HC on September 16 rejected Singh’s plea challenging two probes launched against him by the Maharashtra government. The HC asked him to approach the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) as the inquiries were of administrative nature pertaining to his conduct as the Police Commissioner. Sources said he will have limited options including either to challenge the HC order in the Supreme Court or approach the CAT or appear before the Chandiwal Commission to plead his case. Some senior officers point out that Singh’s arrest is imminent in cases related to extortion and bribery. Time and options are running out for an officer who despite serving over three decades in Maharashtra Police has to come clean of all charges.

Photo : Fotocorp

When Cricket Legends Of A Bygone Era Were Untouched By Workload Management

Sunil Gavaskar missed a mere four Tests and 20 ODIs in a memorable career of 16 years. The legendary opener played 125 Tests and 108 ODIs. India’s premier spinner Anil Kumble and seamer Kapil Dev believed that doing the hard yards without a break enabled them to pick up the tricks of the trade and become better. They did not hear the fancy and much bandied about words “workload management” when they carried out their work with zeal. Kumble sent down 40,852 balls in 132 Tests, and 14,376 balls in 269 ODIs, and Kapil Dev sent down 27,740 balls in 131 Test matches and 11,202 balls in 225 ODIs. In all, Kumble bowled 66,941 balls in first class competitions and 20,247 balls in limited over matches while Kapil, 48,851 balls and 14,947 in the two formats. They must have been very tired when they bid adieu. Kapil missed just one Test in his career and Kumble, 27 mainly because of injury. Kumble even played 54 Twenty20 matches. Virat Kohli who has announced that he will step down from Twenty20 captaincy of the Indian team post the ICC Men’s World Twenty20 has touched upon the workload factor in his note. He has said it is important to understand workload. Opinions are divided on the workload rationale. Well, it will take a lot more time to understand when it’s applied to a batsman. Is it not!
mumbai skyline_004

Trend Reversal: NRIs Investing In Realty For Self-Use Vs Reselling

The general perception is that NRIs buy properties in India more for investment and less for self-use.  Not anymore, according to Square Feat India, a leading website focusing on India’s real estate sector. In a significant trend reversal post-Covid-19, a much higher percentage of NRI respondents in the latest CII-ANAROCK Consumer Sentiment survey are scouting for properties for self-use, notes the portal. At least 53% of NRI respondents who will buy properties in India in the coming months buy for end-use, 47% for investment for investment. The pre-Covid survey in H1 2019 put this figure at 32% for self-use and 68% for investment. So what’s changing this trend? One major factor influencing this change is that many NRIs are keen to return to India amid the pandemic uncertainties and dwindling job prospects globally. Interestingly, the website says the top seven cities – Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, MMR, NCR, Hyderabad and Kolkata — are where the NRIs are mainly focused. Here once again 48% of NRIs preferred 3BHKs, 28% 2BHKs while 24% preferred 4BHKs. That NRIs are coming back and buying properties certainly augurs well for the country’s real estate sector badly hit by Covid-19.

NEET Politics: Now, Stalin Pinning Hopes On Allies From Non-BJP States

The DMK boss Stalin is caught between a rock and a hard place as he joins the battle against the national common medical and dental entrance test. Having upbraided the AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa for years about The National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the student suicides it has triggered in the state as students fall short against the challenge of multiple-choice tests, DMK took a stand before the polls that it would abolish NEET the day it came into office. It isn’t quite that simple as this is a national test now and outside the ambit of the State list which has Education but the Concurrent list rules medical studies. Stalin has tried everything, from a retired judge-headed committee to study the invidious test that beats rural and State Board students to counselling sessions and yet another resolution in the Assembly to exempt Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court has, however, ruled that NEET should prevail and the President had twice sent back legislation from TN on the subject in 2017. The TN Chief Minister MK Stalin is hoping other non-BJP states would pick up on its stand on the test that has excluded the rural and urban poor while it hasn’t stopped the elite rich from buying private medical college seats. The suicide rate is stinging the state but right now it is a lone fighter against NEET.

L To R: Pradnya Satav, Mukul Wasnik, Prithviraj Chavan , Ghulam Nabi Azad & Avinash Pande

Congress Weighing Five Contenders For Maharashtra Bypoll For The Rajya Sabha Seat

There are one too many aspirants in Maharashtra to file their nominations for the Rajya Sabha election necessitated in the wake of the death of Rajiv Satav, a close confidant of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi. Some of the names that are doing rounds are: Former leader of opposition Gulam Nabi Azad, Former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, whose name figured in G23 of disgruntled party members, former Union Minister Mukul Wasnik, former in charge of Rajasthan Avinash Pande and Satav’s wife Pradnya. Pradnya, who has been recently appointed as the vice president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, may be considered being Rajiv’s wife and her inclination to play a decisive role in active politics. Wasnik has lost local touch although he is in the inner circle of Gandhi family. Whether Congress will nominate one of these contenders or spring a surprise by giving a ticket to a new face will soon be known.

Flashback 1971: India’s Tryst With Historic Wins Under Ajit Wadekar

1971 to most living Indians conjures up the country’s biggest battlefield victory and the creation of Bangladesh. However, if you are of a senior vintage, it’s likely the association will be one of India’s early and epochal sporting triumphs not on the hockey turf. It was indeed nothing short of miraculous when unfancied India beat giants West Indies in their own backyard and followed up by a series victory in England! Such could not have happened without prodigious feats on the field such as Sunil Gavaskar’s astonishing 774 aggregate or Chandrashekhar’s 6 for 38 at The Oval. The story however begins in conflict with the rejection of the Nawab of Pataudi by chairman of selectors Vijay Merchant in favour of Ajit Wadekar by using his casting vote to break a deadlock. The book – 1971: The Beginnings Of Indian Cricket Greatness – details these shenanigans and also how number one keeper Farrokh Engineer was excluded from the West Indies tour. A batting swansong by veteran Dilip Sardesai and the performance of new superstar Gavaskar delivers the series with grace notes from geniuses like Salim Durrani. On the England leg India survives a scare to come back and win at The Oval. Needless to say, in both series the bowling burdens are shared by the fabled spin quartet. The best part of the book are the interviews.

Dharam Chopra with brother BR Chopra, nephew Ravi Chopra and mother

How Dharam Chopra’s Cinematic Debut Soared With A Yes From Rajendra Kumar

BR Chopra’s younger brother Dharam Chopra (elder to Yash Chopra) was learning cinematography. So as to give him a chance to become a full-fledged cameraman (now called director of photography), BR launched Dhool Ka Phool in 1960. Since it was Dharam’s first film as a cameraman, no star readily agreed to sign on for the film. Even Rajendra Kumar, popularly known as Jubilee Kumar, did not respond when approached. Those days Dharam used to stay in a building called Parchhaiyan in Juhu, which was built by lyricist Sahir Ludhiyanvi. One night around 11 pm, Dharam heard somebody shouting out his name. When he looked out, the person was none other than Rajendra Kumar. He shouted “Dharam me kar riyan teri picture! Don’t worry!” And that one yes from Rajendra Kumar changed Dharam’s life forever. Dhool Ka Phool was a runaway hit and thereafter Dharam was on a roll. It was Dharamputra (1961), T Prakash Rao’s College Girl (1962), PL Santoshi’s Dil Hi to Hai (1964), BR Chopra’s Waqt (1965) and many more. For Waqt he bagged Filmfare’s best cinematographer award. Dharam, who was ranked among top five cinematographers in the country, predominantly worked for his brother BR Chopra. He passed away in 2002.


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.