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Sunak versus Truss

Why Liz Truss Will Beat Rishi Sunak To UK PM’s Post

The basic conservatism of Britain may kick in when it comes to the final contest between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss for UK prime ministership. The PIO whose parents moved from East Africa to the UK was frontrunner for PM up to the moment Tory MPs were the electorate. Now that the polling moves on to 2 lakh primary members of the Tory Party, the odds shifted in favour of the Foreign Secretary to Boris Johnson who stood by her boss till the bitter end. Truss leapfrogged the Trade Secretary Penny Mordaunt into the final head-to-head contest for PM. Even Rishi softened his approach to his rival in saying he respects his opponent as well as her proposals for tax cuts in his Op-Ed article in the Daily Telegraph of July 21. Rishi made it known that he is the successor to Margaret Thatcher and that he will bring the economy back to shape despite a 40-year inflation high beyond 9%. There are a dozen in-person hustings (debates) to be run before the votes are to be counted and the results declared on September 5. But the odds are that Liz Truss has already taken the lead among the party voters. Rishi’s background, his personal wealth and his rich wife’s non-domicile tax status may work against him in the final count.
21 July Rally5

Only TMC Has The Spine To Take On BJP, Says Mamata At Martyrs’ Day Rally

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made a call to reject the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls. Addressing at the Shaheed Diwas (Martyrs’ Day) rally in the heart of Kolkata, Didi launched a scathing attack on the BJP stating that 2024 will not be a vote for election, but one for rejection of BJP for its monumental incompetence. Mamata made it clear that only her party has the spine to take on the BJP since her party is not afraid of ED, CBI and other Central agencies. Mamata said that in 2024, when the BJP fails to form a majority, the Opposition parties have to come together to set up the next government. According to political observers, Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo had been trying to bring the Opposition parties together by organising a mega rally at Brigade Parade Ground but that attempt failed in 2019 general elections. Mamata stressed that in the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, her party will win in West Bengal and other states such as Tripura, Meghalaya and Uttar Pradesh where it would be contesting. Significantly, the TMC chief remained tight-lipped about Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s questioning by the ED. However, party insiders say that Didi is focused on regaining the lost Lok Sabha seats, Opposition unity will therefore come later.

Govt Proposes FTII Revamp But Student’s Body Opposes

The government’s anthem Mera desh badal raha hai, Aage badh raha hai is also applicable to the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).  The 62-year iconic institution is going in for a major revamp. This move follows after I&B Minister Anurag Thakur had a closed door meeting with FTII chairman Shekhar Kapur.  According to sources, FTII will become somewhat of a polytechnic school taking away the halo of film aesthetics and world film studies. The new effort essentially is to make it a digital multi-purpose market-driven media university without segregating film and TV sections. “I will not be surprised if it is renamed as Digital Art Institution of India,” commented a FTII professor sarcastically. With a view to generate more revenue, plans are to offer short-term courses like broadcast journalism, video games, dubbing and voicing, advertising, makeup, special effects and others. Critics says that the government by drawing outside talent — essentially IAS and IIS officers — may compromise with FTII’s core values and DNA, and it may not be able to produce great talents like Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Anupam Kher, Shyam Benegal.  It is learnt that Shekhar Kapur is torn between students’ continued oppositions towards revamp and I&B pressures to remodel FTII.  To do or not to do is Kapur’s dilemma.

After Hockey, Naveen Patnaik Keen To Promote Chess In Odisha Via Schools & Colleges

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik seems to be taking a leaf out of Tamil Nadu which has emerged as the chess hub. It took a long while but it is yielding dividends to TN as it is hosting the International Chess Olympiad, for the first time, between July 28 and August 10 at Mamallapuram. This event will attract 2,000 participants from 187 countries. Naveen knows this is an incredible opportunity for Tamil Nadu and India to get recognition for hosting these international chess events across the globe and showcasing not only its economy but also augment tourism, cultural understanding just as Odisha did by hosting the Hockey World cup recently. Keeping long term aspirations in mind, Naveen Babu has taken the first baby steps in scripting government’s investment support to popularise, promote and nurture chess games in schools and colleges in a planned manner. It is understood that Patnaik’s interest in promoting chess culture in Odisha is only the starting point. It will require a lot of planning, training, patience, infrastructure support for tournaments and feliciting chess players with monetary prizes just as Tamil Nadu did. Going by Patnaik’s track record this task too will be accomplished in double quick time.


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.