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Is Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani A Worry For The TMC?

After Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s exit from the Modi Government on July 7 there were speculations whether the Minority Affairs ministry would be wound up. Questions were asked about who would take Naqvi’s place as there was no second Muslim MP in the ruling BJP to fill his shoes. PM Narendra Modi handed over the charge to Women & Child Development Minister Smriti Irani. Curiously her appointment was slammed by Trinamool Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha MP Jawahar Sircar who wanted to know how could a “Hardcore Hindu, married to a Parsi be given charge of Muslims, Christians. Is this BJP’s brand of secularism?” Sircar was countered by Law Minister Kiren Rijiju who wanted to know why minorities meant only “Muslims and Christians”.  A Buddhist from Arunachal, he hoped, “one can free mind from the shackles of pseudo secularism and appeasement politics. Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jain and Parsis have been notified as minority communities under Section 2 (c) of National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992”. The TMC possibly could be upset with Smriti’s added responsibility and acquiring a profile in Bengal when she went to launch the Sealdah Metro; Mamata’s party may have good reason to get worked up. Meanwhile it is learnt Naqvi moved out of his official residence 7 Safdarjung Road, just a day after his Rajya Sabha tenure ended. That is some record.


England & Wales Cricket Board Rakes It In With The Indian Team In Full Flow

Thanks to the power-hitting displays by Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda and Suryakumar Yadav, it is turning out to be an Indian summer in the British Isles, with last year’s fifth Test being the showpiece event in Birmingham. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) relocated the Test from Old Trafford to Birmingham which is home for thousands of ethnic Indians. At stake for the ECB was a revenue of £ 20 mn from SKY sports from the one off Test. The Indians thronged the venue and saw Pant and Ravindra Jadeja score centuries before Jonny Bairstow’s centuries in each innings and Joe Root’s century in the second brought down the visiting team at Edgbaston. It has been a full house, and the moolah reeling in for Cricket Ireland and the ECB ever since the Hardik Pandya-led Indian team provided the fireworks in the Twenty20 bash at Dublin and thereafter Rohit Sharma took charge for three more at Southampton, Edgbaston and Trent Bridge where the Mumbaikar Suryakumar Yadav pummelled the England bowling for 14 fours and six 6s to give joy to the paying spectators. Sharma’s team is all set to play three 50 over matches against the home team at London’s ‘The Oval’ and  Lord’s and Old Trafford  to complete the Indian Summer before the team’s eight-match engagement at the Caribbean.
Sharad Pawar


Sharad Pawar’s Salvo On Aurangabad Renaming A Damp Squib

NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s salvo about the renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar has proved a damp squib as no political party in Maharashtra has reacted to his assertion that his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was not consulted beforehand by then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Thackeray’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) cabinet decided to rename Aurangabad after warrior king Sambhaji Maharaj during its last moments in office. The decision was welcomed all around. However, Pawar during his visit to Aurangabad a few days ago, maintained that the NCP was not aware that such a decision would be taken. Moreover, Pawar said that since the resolution to this effect was moved by Thackeray himself, democratic norms dictated that a proposal by a chief minister is unanimously endorsed by his council of ministers. Critics of Pawar point out that the ultimate cabinet meeting was attended by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, a nephew of the NCP boss. Ajit is said to have not opposed the proposal nor did he express any reservations. The NCP ministers present could have requested Thackeray to withhold it but they, too, acquiesced.  In fact, it is pointed out that Sharad Pawar himself has not opposed the renaming. He merely has said that the NCP was not consulted prior to its passing.  The expected storm it seems has withered away without a blast.

Former Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb

Fissures Within Tripura BJP Widen As Former CM Biplab Deb Sidelined

Even though BJP continues with its winning streak in the bypolls of Tripura State Assembly, all is not well within the party. Internal feuds continue to loom large just months ahead of the Tripura State Assembly Polls in early 2023. The rift which transpired after the sudden replacement of the chief minister Biplab Deb a month ago, resurfaced after the former CM was sidelined during the programme to host Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu. Deb was not seen along with Murmu and chief minister Manik Saha on the dais. He had to be content sitting with the group of common legislators perfectly hinting at “dais to diaspora”. The incident has not gone down well with Deb’s followers. They have taken up the matter with National president J P Nadda and also intend to personally meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi. The rift basically ensued as these followers believed that the replacement of former chief minister with low-key medical practitioner Saha, who was also a late entrant and an ex-Congressman, was temporary. Fissures have deepened further with a clear indication when a relatively weak candidate was nominated to the prestigious Agartala seat during the recent bypoll against a strong Congressman. It was literally a walkover for Sudip Roy Burman who recently went back to his original party – Congress – from BJP.

Mani Ratnam’s Magnum Opus ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ Teaser Garners Over 1 Crore Views In 24 Hours

The teaser of Mani Ratnam’s mammoth, magnificent multi-lingual Ponniyin Selvan (Part 1) has already garnered 1 crore views in just 24 hours of its launch at the Chennai Trade Centre. Taking a leaf out of Kamal Haasan’s pre-release carpetbagging blitz for his film Vikram, Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions have creatively unleashed the promos. First, there were posters of Aishwarya Rai, who plays the pivotal role of Pazhuvur Rani Nandini in her grand Chola-era costumes and jewellery. Then came Trisha, who plays Princess Kundavai in an equally attractive costume, followed by Vikram, Karti, Jeyam Ravi and others. The multilingual teasers, each launched by regional super stars Surya, Mohan Lal, Mahesh Babu, Rakshit Shetty and Amitabh Bachchan, have kindled high expectations. In an age when reading classics and following history is fast dying, Mani Ratnam has kindled interest in the late Kalki’s immortal literary classic, Ponniyin Selvan, the saga of the Golden Age of the Chola dynasty, and in particular Raja Raja Chozhan. The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones are sure to be compared as benchmarks for this extraordinary visual panorama. Ratnam has harnessed the best of cinematic talent, AR Rahman’s music, Thota Tharani’s Art, Ravi Varman’s cinematography – and the piece de resistance, Kamal Haasan as the Sutradaar narrator. Madras Talkies has mounted the Chola-era classic to be a much talked about film.


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.