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All Eyes On Tamil Nadu Cricket: Will Srinivasan Make Way For Stalin Scion?

Rumours are flying thick and fast that Udhayanidhi Stalin might be in the running to head the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA). It might be a long term plan as elections are only in the 2022 summer but heading a cricket body is a route that many young politicians have been known to take to gain popularity and a bit of national prominence. Remember both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah were presidents of the Gujarat Cricket Association and Shah’s son has gone further to become the all-powerful BCCI secretary. N Srinivasan is not one to give away such a prized post that remains now in his family with his daughter Rupa heading the TNCA. He is very close to the DMK top brass after years-long association with ‘Murasoli’ Maran. But, after years of fighting a losing battle with the Supreme Court, NS had to give up the BCCI presidency, formal ownership of Chennai Super Kings as well as step down from TNCA. To cement his position as South India’s leading cement manufacturer, NS might loosen his grip on TNCA to allow the CM’s son an entry into the glamorous world of cricket with its Bollywood and corporate links. After all, Udhayanidhi’s grandfather M Karunanidhi was a keen cricket fan who never missed a Pongal Test at Chepauk in the old days.

BJP High Command Cracks Whip To Prevent Fissures In Maharashtra Unit

Cracks have surfaced in the Maharashtra BJP unit as the insiders claim that the Modi-Shah duo is displeased with the functioning of LoP Devendra Fadnavis and state unit chief Chandrakant Patil. Both were in Delhi last week and had separately met home minister Amit Shah. The senior leadership is not happy over state BJP’s failure to effectively project the Centre’s slew of programmes, including 100 crore vaccinations. They were also not happy over leaders issuing new deadlines for the collapse of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government without giving any concrete plans. The message was loud and clear focus on further strengthening the party while communicating about the Centre’s achievements and MVA’s failures to the voters. Mere talk of the fall of the MVA government will not be acceptable. The leadership is also displeased over the neglect of old-timers and party loyalists while giving importance to a select few, especially those who have migrated from Congress and NCP. The appointment of Vinod Tawde, who was denied a ticket in the 2019 assembly election as the General Secretary, and nomination of former minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule for state council election, are important decisions taken by Delhi to checkmate Fadnavis, in particular, with a signal that he will have to change his style of functioning by taking everybody together.
bob biswas

'Guru' Bachchan Betting On 'Bob Biswas' To Turbocharge His Film Career

Ever since Abhishek Bachchan entered Bollywood in 2000, critics and viewers have been uncharitably comparing him with his iconic father Amitabh Bachchan. The surname did weigh heavily on him. But, he did not lose heart. He soldiered on and was recognized for his talent in movies like Refugee, Yuva, Zameen and Sarkar. Impressed by his performance, acclaimed director Mani Ratnam cast him in Guru to play the character of Dhirubhai Ambani which won him accolades. But the very next film Raavan bombed big time at the box office and apparently Big B was slightly upset with Mani Ratnam. With not many films offers on hand Abhishek looked at an alternative career; he focused on sports which is doing reasonably well. Then came another opportunity with a movie on stock market scamster Harshad Mehta. Abhishek was banking heavily on Big Bull to boost his sagging acting career. But Pratik Gandhi starrer 10-part OTT series Scam 1992 on a similar subject pre-empted his movie which did not do well. Now, once again Abhishek is hoping that the crime thriller Bob Biswas will boost his filmy career. He was certainly missed in Bunty Aur Babli 2 as Saif Ali Khan had replaced him. Reason insiders say is because of his past relationship with Rani Mukherji and both preferred not to work together. Incidentally, his web series Breathe seems to have done well, it is now into Season 2.  

Scindia & Shekhawat Disarm Belligerent Opposition With Wit & Facts

Two ministers stand out in tackling the Opposition on the floor of the House — Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotirditya Scindia. Shekhawat, who piloted the Dam Safety Bill, 2021 in the Rajya Sabha, faced grim reminders that the Bill could be a repeat of Farm Laws. Not only did he stand his ground but reminded the Opposition that as he spoke 42 dams had collapsed because of lack of action on part of lawmakers. The Bill has been hanging fire for a decade. On the National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS), Shekhawat made it clear the idea of limiting the number of member states to 7 on the 21 panel was a proposal drawn from the Standing Committee headed by late Congress leader Tarun Gogoi. It was the Gogoi report that didn’t want more states on the panels. As for Scindia, he effectively tackled Congress and DMK leaders who teased him for speaking only in Hindi. DMK leader TR Baalu wondered why the Civil Aviation Minister who was fluent in English was not speaking the language. Baalu was joined by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhary. To which Scindia replied: “I would be more than happy to reply in English. I am always available for you Baalu sahab in every language that I know; I am at your service.”
shriram_star health

Chennai Inc Transforming Into India Inc: How's The Josh?

What’s in a name? Everything, some will say. So what, some will argue. At least in the Dravidian land of Tamil Nadu, the name and personality still count. With the business landscape undergoing rapid metamorphosis by the day, the conventional wisdom of placing faith on name and personality, however, is wrought with risk. If proof is required, you have. Take the case of the Shriram group and Star Health, the country’s first private sector stand-alone health insurance company. The Shriram group has long ceased to be a Chennai conglomerate. Known largely for truck financing, Shriram is also known for its chit business. Founded by R Thyagarajan (popularly known as RT), the group has since changed a lot. Today, it is driven from Mumbai by the Piramals. Not many know that the Shriram of today does not really belong to the city of Chennai. Star Health, too, is known by its founder V Jagannathan, an insurance industry veteran. That states such as AP and TN rolled out health cover for the citizens largely due to his connection was well known. Star too has changed. Once the IPO is over, Star will be vastly different. Perhaps the people of Chennai can’t really claim Shriram and Star to be their own!
IAS Radhakrishnan

Photo : Twitter

Alpha, Delta, Omicron: Come What May, Tamil Nadu Seen Safe Under IAS Officer Radhakrishnan

At 55, J Radhakrishnan looks boyish, sartorially subdued and elegant; easily the poster boy for an IAS officer, mission driven and motivated. As Tamil Nadu’s Principal Secretary of Health & Family Welfare since 2020 with the previous AIADMK regime, it is easy to see why the DMK dispensation kept him on. Though he seems a bit frosty, his role in coordinating and controlling Covid-19 pandemic has earned him the respect and admiration of both mantrijis and aam aadmi. With no flamboyance in his work, Mr Cool ticks boxes effectively when it comes to challenges Corona has thrown up. No wonder Chief Minister MK Stalin and Health Minister M Subramaniam take his ability for granted and expect him to deliver. The Vax drive in this state had the stamp of system driven efficiency. So, when the new Omicron scare struck it was decided to check all TN airports. It is learnt both mantriji and Babu set off to Madurai airport. As the convoy was pulling out, Radhakrishnan’s car rammed into the airport’s wall, damaging his car. Radhakrishnan just got out of the car, and told the cringing driver, “Anna, don’t worry, we will take care,” a response typical of a man who faces adversities with equanimity. He reported the accident at a local police station, and then drove on to Tiruchirappalli airport. Covid-19, Delta, Omicron…TN is in capable hands.

Photo : Twitter -- Vijay Sardesai Second From Left

Action Heats Up In Poll-Bound Goa As Political Parties & Local Veterans Play Musical Chair

Goa Forward Party chief Vijay Sardesai was all gung ho about his one-on-one meeting with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. He had every reason to be. That is because his trip to Delhi not only established his equations with the Congress high command but also helped him take a swipe at the TMC which had poached his party functionary. In a slap to the TMC, Sardesai snitched an independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar from South Goa backing the TMC and brought him to Delhi. The TMC was naturally livid with Sardesai’s Delhi visit and his pact with the Congress. It took to social media to attack him. Of course, on his return to Panaji, Sardesai found his gains were short-lived. His third MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar had shifted to the BJP. It was felt Salgaonkar, who was a businessman and belonged to North Goa, may have been under pressure to switch to the BJP. At the national level, the BJP has been making new acquisitions. Manjinder Singh Sirsa, a close associate of the Badals, joined the party. Belonging to Haryana, Sirsa is a prominent Delhi gurudwara leader.

Decoded: Andhra CM In A Hurry To Firm Up District Expansion Plan

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is in a hurry to finalise the district expansion plans, from the present 13 to 26. He has asked his key Secretaries and MPs to lobby with the Home Ministry to seek approval to go ahead with District Bifurcation plans immediately since there was an earlier directive that bifurcation can be done only after completion of Census 2021. Fortunately for Jagan, because of Covid-19, the census process has not yet started. He is keen to complete the district’s reorganization process before the census begins. And of course, nobody will complain as he enjoys a good rapport with BJP. What is the real objective for pushing and implementing district expansion? Is it to bring administration closer to people? Or is it to empower Zilla Parishad, Panchayati Samiti? The real reason is the need to meet electioneering promises and the potential to get additional funds from the Centre and create employment opportunities. Jagan and his bureaucracy are eyeing the benefits from district specific central government funding, particularly the backward districts which will become growth centres and the opportunity of participation in district specific schemes, creating better service delivery and solving administrative and governance issues. Also, a boom in land prices and new job opportunities are attractive factors, as AP has the second-highest density per district population after West Bengal.
laxman siva_vwraman

WV Raman and Laxman Siva To Lit Up Ashes Series In Tamil: Howazzat!

Chennai’s popular boys, Woorkeri Raman and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan aka ‘Siva’ who have played cricket with distinction are set to regale a big cricket audience in the Tamil speaking/ listening world on Sports Channel SONY Ten 4 during the iconic Ashes Test series between Australia and England to get off the ground at the Woollloongabba, Brisbane from December 8. After the opening skirmish at the Gabba that will pitch Pat Cummins’ Aussies against Joe Root’s Englishmen, the series will travel to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. The Ashes has always generated interest among a wider spectrum of the cricket world, and India’s TV channels like Star Sports and SONY pictures are going out of the way to engage former cricketers to bring live action of the game apart from English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Raman was a left-hand bat and slow left-arm spinner and Siva chose the notorious Bernard James Tindal Bosanquet art of leg-spin-googly. After bidding adieu from the game, Raman made his mark in coaching and print-media, and Siva became a spin coach, even as he articulated the nuances of the game in a number of cable television channels in domestic and international cricket. So happy listening to them on SONY Ten 4 from December 8.


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.