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Protocols Of Condolence: Why President Kovind Did Not Place Wreath On CDS Body

Initial buzz said President Ramnath Kovind would be among dignitaries to lay a wreath on the mortal remains of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and others killed in the Tamil Nadu helicopter crash, at the Palam air base.  Apparently, however, as per protocol the President may not place a wreath on the bodies of any soldier. Being Supreme Commander of the armed forces he may not discriminate between a general or a soldier while paying tributes. The President, of course, had canceled all engagements after the helicopter crash and tweeted his condolences to the bereaved families. The PM and Defence Minister who laid wreaths had actually done so on behalf of the President. However, when it comes to commiserating civilian deaths, the President is not encumbered by any such protocols. Ramnath Kovind was first to write to Mallika Dua, daughter of late journalist and Padma Shri awardee Vinod Dua who passed away early this month. PM Modi also followed suit, condoling Dua’s demise. Modi’s gesture surprised some in the news media as the late journalist was among the PM’s staunchest critics. Was it a move intended to soften the liberal media that is vocally against the PM or, just a routine letter from the PMO? Only time will tell.

Mrs Thalaiva's Political Ambitions After Rajini Says No?

December 12: Superstar Rajini’s 71st birthday Stargazers, fans and critics stood lost right outside his Poes Garden home in Chennai. Media persons held vigil since 7 am, even as gathered fans raised slogans:‘Iraiva, Thanga  Thalaivaa, Yesuvee’!…a crowd that could not be fathomed as friendly or angry. For years, Rajini or Thalaiva always met fans, handed out Rs 100 each as a birthday take away but the dole stopped by mid-2000. Still restive crowds waited, hours on end before the brief appearance, almost a Hitchcockian glimpse lapping it up. More change followed. Rajini left for known/unknown destinations. Rumours of a Himalayan sojourn sometimes or, his farmhouse and, even in Bengaluru at times. When his imminent political foray was known, carefully scripted and crafted, crowds went ballistic. But an anti-climax followed. A December 2020 announcement – “No (more) politics, my health is fragile. Sorry if I led you on, fans.” Rajini’s popularity as an entertainer is unabated. But, some equations are mutating. Wife Lata is emerging as the driving force, a shadow alter ego with strong political aspirations.  A superstar’s wife has limits but a superstar’s political heir has endless possibilities. The birthday crowd’s clamor now turns into a crescendo, demands for her appearance. Analysts are trying to decode as to why fans were cheering for Mrs Thalaiva. Hopefully, the cat will be out of the bag soon.

No Mamata For Mahua, Didi's Public Rap Over Moitra's SEBI Chat!

Feisty 47-year-old investment banker turned TMC MP, Mahua Moitra was taken by surprise when her party boss and, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, ticked her off for her brand of politics. Moitra nodded meekly as Didi dressed her down in public, apparently for writing to SEBI chairman alleging irregularities by brand Adani Power when it delisted. The letter, came just days after the Mamata-Gautam Adani meet in Kolkata, a prelude to the business summit planned in January 2022 so, Didi naturally blew her top. Moitra’s letter to SEBI was the proverbial last straw. Sources say Moitra’s solo style of politicking finds her out of team TMC’s favour. Her negative local politics over seat distributions and rumour mongering on TMC corruption in Nadia (where elections are scheduled) sparked off the party chief’s ire. And Mamta said “Mahua, let me give you a clear message here. I don’t see who is in whose favour or against. I don’t believe in the politics of putting on a show on YouTube, paper, digital etc. This kind of politics cannot sustain for long. And it is not right to expect that one person will stay at one post forever.” Question doing the rounds now is: Will Moitra quit after her public humiliation?

Yogi's Double Engine Drive Lifts ‘Dronagiri’ For PM Modi, As Kashi Shines!

PM Narendra Modi’s complete endorsement of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, whom he calls ‘Karmayogi’, was clear and evident over the last several weeks during his frequent trips to Uttar Pradesh, ahead of assembly elections slated next year. Modi has good reason to be happy with the manner Yogi has executed and delivered projects very close to his heart, in particular, the Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor in Varanasi, well within the scheduled timelines. Returning the compliment Yogi compared the PM to Ahilyabhai Holkar and Raja Ranjit Singh who had contributed similarly and restored the temple. At the inauguration ceremony of the corridor, Yogi was at the PM’s side all the time at various stages of the ceremony. Several other BJP leaders, including chief ministers, attended the ceremony but no one accompanied the PM. Significantly, a month ago Yogi’s twitter handle shared a picture of PM Modi during a stroll with his hand on Yogi’s shoulder. The picture, snapped up at the UP Raj Bhawan captured Modi in deep conversation with Yogi.  The PM was in Lucknow attending the DGPs conference when the CM called up on him. Buzz is, the idea to share the Modi-Yogi picture of camaraderie had emanated from the PMO.

Jai Bhim' Inspiration: Real Life Judicial Crusader Calls Out Andhra Pradesh Judiciary

Justice Krishnaswamy Chandru is in the limelight after the critically acclaimed movie Jai Bhim, based on the human rights abuse case that he handled to expose police brutality in Tamil Nadu, is not popular with the judges of the Andhra Pradesh high court at the moment. A division bench of the AP high court was up in arms about comments made by the outspoken retired judge who is championing public causes in his speeches these days. Speaking at an event in Andhra recently, Justice Chandru had said, “We need judges who will protect the rights of the people. Now, what do we see in AP? Today, an elected government is fighting for survival not from rivals, not from political rivals or mass movements, but from the judiciary itself!’’ He had gone on to say that the judiciary, whose duty is to defend the rights of the people, “is doing something different, which is not expected.” The AP HC chief justice blamed the celebrity without naming him, saying remarks made against the judiciary were just to be in the limelight. Why should a judge from another state come to Andhra and make comments on the functioning of the court, the CJ asked. He explained that contempt of court proceedings are not being contemplated now in consideration of the judge’s contribution to the judiciary in the past.

After A Million Views, Men Are From Mars, Want Samantha Item Song In ‘Pushpa’ Banned !

An all males association in Andra Pradesh has petitioned a court to ban an item song-and-dance in the just released trilingual movie, Pushpa. This is a first in India’s male dominated misogynistic society. Samantha, who recently divorced, openly flaunts her assets, and dances to a raunchy rap song crooned by Andrea with lyrics by Vivekh. The gist of the in-your-face song: “When the lights are off, who cares if the catch is skinny, winny, winsome, wholesome or just plain?” The song has turned on a macho challenge (read bristled some male egos). Samantha is rumoured to have earned Rs 1.5 crore for the item song and returned good value for money, her attire and gyrating causing temperatures to sky rocket. Yes, Samantha ki jawani will jingle cash registers for the movie at the box office. Sentimental Rajesh Khanna said it right famously, “Pushpa I hate tears!” Producers of Pushpa are laughing all the way to the bank.  An estimated million people saw the gyrating dance and have already drooled.  What is the sought ban set to achieve? Surely more clicks of the mouse.

Pune-Based Maritime Research Centre Pitches For National Deep Sea Policy

The Pune-based Maritime Research Centre (MRC) has achieved a milestone by submitting an interim report on a proposed national capacity- and capability-building policy to bring about effective Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA). This is a ‘whole-of-nation’ approach to bring all the stakeholders in UDA together, feels the founder-director of MRC, Dr (Cdr) Arnab Das, who presented it to NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant in Delhi last week. Kant is understood to have appreciated MRA’s continued efforts in taking the UDA framework forward. The project had started with a presentation to the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar and four Advisors.  Cdr Das also had the opportunity to meet Milinda Moragoda, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India, and brief him on the UDA framework and its importance for Indo-Sri Lanka relationships. The increasing maritime activities in the Indian Ocean Region lead to higher noise levels, affecting marine species that use sound for multiple biologically critical functions like foraging, navigation, communication and finding mates. The sensing of the undersea domain for threats, resources and activities, making sense of the data generated for security strategies, conservation plans and resource utilisation plans are vital; and the MRC is keen to play a major role in this critical national and regional initiative.

Paris 2024 Summer Olympics: Scenic Seine River Will Host 170 Strong Flotilla For Opening Ceremony.

Paris, the fashion city of France and Europe is on an overdrive to get ready for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The organising committee on Monday (Dec 13) announced that the 777 km long river Seine will be the iconic place where the Opening Ceremony will be held with athletes to take a 6 km boat ride as part of a spectacular show. Paris 2024 took the International Olympic Committee into confidence before making the news public. The Paris 2024 Chief, a three-time Olympian Tony Estanguet feels that there will be 10 times more spectators at an open setting than a stadium setting. The organizing committee expects over 600,000 people to watch the Ceremony in the capital city. Athletes will travel in 170 boats starting from the Pont d’Austerlitz, to the bridge located close to the French national library. The Eiffel Tower is close by Estanguet said:  The 6 km route would allow for full immersion into Paris, with landmarks including the Notre-Dame Cathedral. He also revealed that Paris 2024 would look to implement ideas used during their previous Olympic Day celebrations, where sporting events have been held within the French capital. It has been reported that no security obstacles have been identified so far and that the Opening Ceremony is scheduled to take place on July 26 in 2024.


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.