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Why Tatas Did Not Bid For Jet Airways?

Tata Sons’ bid for debt-laden national carrier Air India has much to do with its legacy, mostly linked to the group’s patriarch JRD Tata, than just being a business decision. But why did Tatas turn a Nelsons’ eye to Jet Airways, another beleaguered carrier which got all approvals overnight by the Civil Aviation to start operations from January 2022? That’s one topic on which many articles and books have been written on over the years. Even the movie Udaan (Soorarai Pottru in Tamil) had a passing reference. The story goes, in 1997, the then civil aviation minister CM Ibrahim scuttled Tata group’s plan to start an airline jointly with Singapore Airlines (SIA). This was allegedly to support Naresh Goyal’s Jet Airways. The blocking of its application by the minister surprised Ratan Tata as he was about to close the deal with SIA. Perhaps, that bitter experience may have kept the Tatas from bidding for Jet Airways, insiders say. The group already holds stakes in two carriers – 83.67% in AirAsia India and 51% in Tata SIA Airlines (operating as Vistara) – and the acquisition of Air India will help the group to dominate the skies. The group pioneered India’s aviation with Tata Air Service in 1932 which became Air India in 1953 after it was nationalised. If Tatas win Air India then the wheel would have come full circle.

Photo : Wikipedia

Stalin Govt’s Bid To Reclaim Temple Lands From Encroachers Stirs Hornet’s Nest

Ever since DMK galloped to power in Tamil Nadu, some of its policy decisions have shocked and shaken many established institutions. Let’s just take one such incendiary issue. The recent decision of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Ministry (HR & CE) headed by DMK MLA PK Sekhar Babu has stirred a hornet’s nest over reclamation of temple lands from “encroachments”.  When the minister announced that Kishkinta Amusement Park, one of the most popular mass attractions theme park and water world is built on 130-acre of temple land belonging to Pappachathiram Kasi Viswanathan temple, he might as well have bunged a Molotov cocktail at the park. This park conceived and promoted by producer-director MC Punnose (aka as Navodaya Appachan) in 1995, gained huge popularity for tourists across TN, and adjacent states. Sekhar Babu claims that his government is focussed on reclaiming all such properties built on temple lands. And till date, he says, they have already reclaimed Rs 900 crore worth of such temple real estate. The popular, 100-year old Mylapore Club has also been impacted as the HR & CE Ministry says it stands on Kapaleeswarar Temple land. Babu’s action has raised a fundamental question as to why only Hindu religious places and their properties are being singled-out. Is there any hidden commercial/ real estate agenda behind this reclamation move? Only time, many PILs hold the answers.

Commentators See Kohli Regaining His Batting Mojo After Quitting T20 Captaincy

Virat Kohli has set himself one goal and that is to become the world’s No. 1 batsman in all formats. He has another long-term aim and that is to crack Sachin Tendulkar’s world record of 100 international centuries, but he has to make another 30 centuries just to catch up with the Master. Towards meeting his goals, he has taken decisions like quitting T20 captaincy. The crown is not sitting squarely on his head and the intense focus on the Indian cricket captain hasn’t helped though it must be said the debate is running at a time of grand success for Team India in Australia and then in England. The loss in the WCT final was the only sore point, which also led to personality clashes within the team. As Test captain since 2015 and ODI skipper since 2017, Kohli averages 56.1 in Tests, 72.7 in ODIs and 48.5 in T20s. But the hundreds have dried up, his last coming in November 2019 since when he has been averaging just 26.8 in Tests and 46.7 in ODIs. He would love to let his bat do the talking again. Since most of the cricket will be on pitches more amenable to his style of batting, Kohli will be among the runs again and the noises around captaincy may just stop.

Photo : Fotocorp

Salman Khan: The Big Boss Of All Formats

Salman Khan’s popularity on the small screen continues to soar with every passing year. Reportedly, the actor will be paid around Rs 350 crore for the new season of Bigg Boss 15 that premieres on October 1 and will run for 14 weeks. Well, eyebrows were raised over this number but Bollywood analysts say that Salman Khan who has over 42 million Twitter followers, plus other social media assets, knows how to connect with his audiences via movies, small screen and social media. And his valuation is based on those plus the intangibles he brings to the table. Well, it is the small screen that has played a big role in making him hugely popular with the masses. That was probably the reason the actor took the risk of releasing Radhe although the theatres shut just before the release of his film. The actor kept his promise he made to his loyal fans and released the film on OTT and later in cinema halls. The actor is back on set completing the third instalment of his film Tiger which is one of the most successful franchises and Salman is surely looking forward to a huge hit at the box office. But for now, the audience wants the actor returning on Bigg Boss 15 with Rekha playing a proxy for Bigg Boss voice.

Photo : Fotocorp

BJP Takes Aim At MVA’s Political Image Ahead Of BMC Polls, After Failing To Topple The Govt

After its failure in pulling down the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, the BJP has decided to rejig its strategy by stepping up attacks against the government and portray it as corrupt and inactive. The decision to adopt this strategy was taken after the state unit was given go ahead by the central leadership. Apart from exposing the alleged scams and corruption involving ministers, it is learnt, the BJP – led by leaders like Kirit Somaiya – will target Shiv Sena and the party controlled BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ahead of upcoming elections slated for 2022. The agenda is quite clear: to tarnish MVA’s image and create a perception that the incumbent government is not interested in the State’s progress but only keen on minting money – and in the process, neglecting people. Political observers hold that Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress seem to be lacking a comprehensive strategy and proper coordination to counter BJP’s charges. Despite almost two years in power, the MVA partners were unable to expose alleged scams and corruption involving the BJP ministers during 2014-19. Ahead of the BMC elections, it will be a free for all as both the sides are expected to ramp up their efforts to attack each other to meet their political goals. In this tug-of-war, it is the poor citizens who will continue to be neglected.
srk kkr

SRK Misses Celebrations As Morgan-Led KKR Stun Kohli’s RCB

Bollywood badshah Shah Rukh Khan was not spotted at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, September 20 when his Red Chillies Entertainment-owned Kolkata Knight Riders sprang a big surprise on Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore. According to Venky Mysore, CEO & MD of the two-time title winner (2012 and 2014), SRK who has 26.1 million followers on Instagram, and 42 million on Twitter, was busy shooting somewhere else in the world. Anyway, one of the most popular thespians of the Indian cinema of modern times would have been delighted with the fact of the Eoin Morgan led KKR reflecting the essence of team’s theme song “Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo Re (we will act, fight and win!)” as it scored a facile win against RCB in the second match of the League-14 that resumed after five months. The League had come to a standstill after 29 matches were played in India from April 9 to May 2 this year, because a few players and coaches were struck by Covid-19. Virtually not running for the play-offs berth after five losses in the first phase, KKR gathered its wits to outplay RCB, looking to win its first IPL title. After a terrific KKR win against RCB, SRK and the other co-owners Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta, would have more reasons to cheer their team.

Photo : Twitter

Trisha's Wedding Plans Sets Tongues Wagging About Her Future In Kollywood

Tamil film’s enfant terrible, 38-year-old Trisha Krishnan had media build-up as a gamin imp, couldn’t-care-less brat for conservative chin wags. All the more striking as she is from a TamBrahm (Tamil Brahmin) family. But she built up a loyal fan base for her sophistication and strong roles, topping her career with a memorable performance in the film, 96, pitted against the formidable Vijay Sethupathi whose huge physique starkly contrasted with Trisha’s elfin looks. Trisha has also held media attention for her mercurial love interests: she had STR Simbu wrapped around her after the commercial success of Gautam Menon’s Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya. For a long time after, she and Rana Daggubati were an item, as the slow and steady twosome. She almost got engaged to Varun Manian but walked out, and much talked about! She is a free spirit, and her escapades with close friends and spirits is the stuff midnight masala is made of on Besant Nagar beach. But recently she has not signed any new movies. Have the offers fallen? The Kollywood world sprouts new and sexy females like mushrooms in the monsoon. It is rumoured… finally Trisha has found her love and will soon sashay into marital bliss. What goes up, has to come down. Beached film careers lead to the altar.

It’s The MVA Govt In Power But BJP Seen Calling The Shots?

Even though the BJP is out of power, it has its say in the functioning of the government, say Mantralaya insiders. A case in point is that the contracts given in the information technology sector during Devendra Fadnavis’ rule continued to be carried forward. This, despite repeated pleas by a section of Maha Vikas Aghadi partners to change the contractors and developers in IT. It seems project implementation officers appointed by the IT companies up to the village level continue to work and get their perks without any problem. Fadnavis and company are therefore happy as they continue to get access to important documents without much hassle, say insiders. This perhaps explains why BJP has been able to take MVA head on in several issues. IT is just the tip of the iceberg; there are other departments including home, finance, irrigation, revenue and public works where BJP’s ‘say’ is still given enough weightage. Recently, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was targeted by NCP for holding meetings with the IAS and IPS officers. This is yet another example of Fadnavis clout in the state administration, which has grown sharply after the Antilla bomb scare exposed the role of rogue cops and lawmakers.


Technology Cannot Disrupt Original Content Provider: Short Post Editor

They say time flies. How true!  Today is our #SecondAnniversary. Two years back at the height of Covid-19 Pandemic when lockdown was the way of life we took a leap of faith and launched Short Post (Jan 28, 2021), the first-of-its-kind website in the country that focuses on Authentic Gossip. The Oxymoron is deliberate. Well, the response has been quite encouraging. That’s what has kept us going. Till date we have posted close to 2000 stories in the areas of Politics, Business, Entertainment and Sports. Each insightful story of around 225 words has been contributed by Senior Editors. There is a sense of satisfaction of creating a new segment in the market – authentic gossip — and in the process creating a brand (in a limited sense), creating demand (readers) and creating supply (writers). Well known advertisers — IDFC FIRST Bank, ICICI Lombard – supported us.  And that really boosted our confidence. Thank you!

So here we are raring to go.  But, when I look at the media landscape the disruption is indeed fast and furious. Technology is playing a very big role in how content will be consumed. In the past, we have seen how social media has disrupted the media world. Now, everybody is saying the same thing about ChatGPT. It has reached 1 million users in five days. Its scorching pace of growth is indeed frightening and will disrupt the media industry big time. My limited argument is can it do investigative stories, write gossip items using the digital world ecosystem. Unlikely. Clearly, the original content has to be created first — only then can ChatGPT do the magic. That’s what we promise to do – focus on original content.

Before I sign off, I am reminded of an old advertisement of the early sixties: “Avis is only No.2 in rent a cars. So we try harder”. Likewise I can say, we are two years old and we are trying even harder to be relevant to you readers.