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Photo : BCCI

India Won All Five T20 Matches Ashwin Played Against Pakistan: Will He Play On Oct 24?

The million-dollar question, as a legion of excited Indian fans await coming Sunday’s (October 24) ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup match against Pakistan at the Dubai international stadium is: whether off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will make the playing XI cut. The injury to off-spinner all-rounder Washington Sundar may have paved the way for Ashwin’s recall for white ball internationals after a little over four years, but his place in the playing XI is not guaranteed. India captain Virat Kohli has given sufficient hints of fielding Ashwin in the crucial match against Pakistan that always raises the noise levels in the two countries across the Wagah and among the diaspora in the UK, USA, the antipodes and generally across the world. Going by his past record between 2012 and 2016, Ashwin has played five Twenty20 matches against the archrival, bowled reasonably well and won all five. Of these five, three were in Twenty20 World cup matches in 2012 in Colombo, 2014 in Mirpur and 2016 in Kolkata. The talk of the town here in Dubai is that Kohli has the mystery spinner in Varun Chakravarthy and left arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja to look at, before he mulls over Ashwin who played in the warm-up matches against England and Australia. Recently, Kohli also gave a thumbs up to the sidelined spinner in white ball cricket for five years.

Photo : Fotocorp

After Jail & Bail How Many Bollywood Stars Have Bounced Back?

It is a wager within Bollywood that once Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan comes out of the jail there will be any number of producers willing to sign him as a hero. “He is bound to become a big star,” predicts an industry insider. Really? Twenty-three-year-old Aryan had already made his intent clear that he wants to be behind the camera. So, one has to wait-and-watch whether he succumbs to producers’ pressure and becomes a reel life hero. How do the public at large react to those stars serving jail terms? Salman Khan has two cases against him: a fatal hit-and-run case in Mumbai; and a blackbuck poaching case in Rajasthan. Salman’s brush with the law is in sharp contrast to his softer image supported via the Being Human foundation’s charity work. Also, reality show Bigg Boss helped him build a positive image. Likewise, Sanjay Dutt who served a jail term under the Arms Act continues to be Munnabhai for the people. Rhea Chakraborty – out on bail in a narcotics case – is also getting offers. So too Sooraj Pancholi post Jiah Khan’s suicide. But some careers were damaged: like Shiney Ahuja (out on bail in a rape case); and Monica Bedi, girl friend of gangster Abu Salem (who is serving life sentence) didn’t get any offers after a Big Boss show. Is it fear, one wonders!
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Photo : Dan Taylor / Heisenberg media

Elon Musk All Set To Be The World’s First Trillionaire Via SpaceX Led Satellite Broadband

The electric car maker and space enthusiast Elon Musk is on course to become the world’s first trillionaire. Analysts at investment banks are going gaga over the prospect of a trillionaire on earth as Tesla raced to a record quarter with revenues of $13.8 billion and profits of $3.7 billion despite a global chip shortage cramping car production. The potential of Musk’s rocket company SpaceX places Musk in pole position for gathering wealth to a stupendous trillion dollars. Thanks to its surging share price which went up by 18% just this year, Tesla is still the main driver behind Musk’s wealth whereas SpaceX comprises only around 17% of his $241.4bn fortune, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. While SpaceX comprises multiple different companies, from earth observation and space infrastructure to deep-space exploration and other industries, his satellite communications business Starlink is behind a $200-billion valuation estimate. It is almost like Star Wars now as satellite broadband market players are launching satellite constellations that will blanket the earth with high-speed connections. Tomorrow’s broadband is likely to come down to earth from satellites, replacing expensive optic fibre cable laying. The race for number one ranking on the personal wealth index is loaded in favour of Musk who has made so many sunrise industries viable, most of all the Tesla electric car that the world laughed at when it made its debut.

Photo : Twitter

NCB’s Sameer Wankhede In The Dock Over Caste Certificate?

Narcotics Control Bureau’s zonal director Sameer Wankhede, who is handling drugs cases involving high profile celebrities, may soon face inquiry into his caste certificate. There are allegations that Wankhede has not got a certificate from the caste scrutiny committee and therefore the certificate that he had produced at the time of his IRS exam – and after that – may be scrutinized. If the caste scrutiny committee takes objection, then the onus will be on Wankhede to prove his caste by producing necessary papers to substantiate his claim or face a punitive action. Few independent lawyers have already compiled details about Wankhede’s caste certificate. The scrutiny by a caste scrutiny committee is mandatory for a candidate contesting various elections and also for examinations and jobs. NCP minister Nawab Malik is firing salvos, day in and day out, against Wankhede, who must now not only counter the allegations, and combat drug cartels but also prove that his caste certificate papers are in order. Clearly, there are too many forces giving Wankhede a tough time.
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Photo : Twitter

Is Devendra Fadnavis Being Groomed For Delhi?

Like corporate India, BJP too invests in future leaders. The latest news wafting from party HQ is that the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra state assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, is being groomed to move to the Centre. He is expected to fight the 2024 Lok Sabha polls from Pune which is currently represented by veteran BJP leader Girish Bapat. Fadnavis, who is currently a legislator from Nagpur south west constituency, recently bought a house in Pune. Pune is a safe bet as it is a Brahmin dominated constituency with a sizeable presence of RSS Parivar. Fadnavis has been recently told by the Central leadership to focus on Pune by increasing his visibility there. BJP has launched Samarth Booth Abhiyan with a resolve to retain power in the upcoming elections to the Pune Municipal Corporation. It is the party’s conscious decision to send Fadnavis to Pune to avoid any rumblings as Nagpur, which houses the RSS headquarters, is represented by veteran party leader Nitin Gadkari who will be the party’s nominee for the third successive term. Recently, BJP through a reputed organization conducted a survey for PMC elections in which it was revealed that the party’s popularity index was 54% in outer Pune which is growing exponentially.
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Photo : Wikipedia

Harish Rawat Bids Goodbye To Punjab, After Tryst With Sidhu & Captain

As sought by him for some time now, Harish Rawat, former Uttarakhand CM, has been relieved of charge as AICC General Secretary handling election-bound Punjab. The Congress leadership has replaced Rawat with Rajasthan Revenue minister Harish Chaudhary, considered close to Rahul Gandhi. Rawat, 73, will, however, continue to be a CWC member – and chairman of the campaign committee for the Congress in the forthcoming Uttarakhand assembly polls. His hands had been too full trying to find a solution to tame a forever recalcitrant Punjab PCC chief Navjot Sidhu. Chief Minister Chandrajit Singh Channi has also been at wit’s end to meet Sidhu’s requirements. Initially, there were a lot of misgivings about Rawat’s equations with the Gandhis – as it was felt that he was not focusing enough on the return of all Congress leaders who had joined the BJP back to the party-fold. Interestingly, orders to relieve Rawat of his Punjab charge were issued on October 21 – that is on a day when Capt Amarinder Singh lashed out against Rawat for questioning his secular credentials because of his possible alliance with the BJP. “Don’t forget that the Congress took Navjot Sindh Sidhu after he was with the BJP for 14 years. And where did Nana Patole and Revanth come from if not RSS.” He also sought to know what the Congress was doing with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.

Photo : Fotocorp

Ajit Pawar Dares BJP To Prove Corruption Charges

Veteran NCP leader Ajit Pawar is known for his no nonsense style of functioning. He follows his uncle and the party supremo Sharad Pawar in day-to-day functioning, including attending the Mantralaya, and government and public functions. But of late there has been any number of attempts to tarnish his image with the Maharashtra BJP levelling corruption charges. Pawar preferred to keep a low profile despite being repeatedly targeted by BJP and especially by the former MP Kirit Somaiya over the sale of Jarandeshwar Sugar Mill situated in Satara district. Finally, Pawar decided to take the opposition head on by asking them to prove the allegations. Pawar, it is learnt, gave the list of 65 sugar and textile mills sold or given on lease to operate for 25 years following the High Court order. Now the ball is in BJP’s court. They have to respond not just to get the headlines in the newspapers and TV channels but also to take the case to its logical conclusion. It may be recalled that BJP had threatened to submit truckloads of proof in the alleged irrigation scam linking it to Ajit Pawar but till date has failed to prove it, says NCP insiders. Power tussle in Maharashtra is getting curiouser and curiouser.


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.