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Rahul Gandhi (1)

The 3570-Km Padayatra That Will Define Congress And Rahul Gandhi’s Future

The Indianisation of Rahul Gandhi begins on Wednesday (Sep 7). The real test for him as he takes up a padayatra in the fashion of many in India, from Mahatma Gandhi downwards, is whether he can sustain a 150-day walk covering 3,570 kms. The padayatra is his biggest attempt to revive a sinking party as he hits the ground that he has rarely done as a politician more prone to taking foreign breaks periodically. He is to begin this campaign with a visit to his father’s memorial in Sriperumbudur on September 7 morning and then to the starting point of the padayatra where Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin will give him a national flag to carry on his march. The walk is loaded with symbolism and if Rahul is serious enough in walking from one end of India to the other, he stands some chance of washing off the image of a person born with a silver spoon in a political dynasty. While he is still inclined not to worry about who becomes the Congress President, he will assume the mantle of campaign leader for the 2024 elections. If he can simply double the Congress 2019 tally of 52, he would be giving his party and the combined opposition half a chance to down the BJP. But first, he would have to be seen walking like an Indian on home soil.
Bharat Jodo Yatra

Cong Pins Hope On Rahul's Padyatra, Says Will Take Break Only For Poll Campaign

As Rahul Gandhi embarks on his ambitious 3,570 km Bharat Jodo Yatra by foot from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7, the Congress touted it as a campaign to connect the party with people. AICC media in charge Jairam Ramesh described it as “a mass mobilisation campaign”. Unveiling theme song of the yatra of “Ek tera kadam, ek mera kadam, mil jaye, jud jaye, apna watan” Jairam admitted that the Congress had never attempted such a yatra though there have been smaller yatras by Congress leaders. He referred to Digvijaya Singh’s 3,000 km Narmada yatra as a “spiritual yatra, not a political yatra”. Incidentally, it was Digivijay who was incharge of putting together the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Jairam pointed out that Rahul’s yatra was the first political yatra in Indian political history.”Chandra Shekharji did a Bharat Jodo Yatra in 1983, but it was an individual yatra, this is the first time a political party has launched such a massive Bharat Yatra on foot. There will be 118 people accompanying Rahul completing this entire length”. Though the yatra is to last for 150 days, Rahul will be available for campaign in poll-bound states.  27% of the 118 volunteers are women, age-wise those selected to walk the entire 3,570 km stretch across 12 states are mostly in their late 30s. Rahul and AICC spokesperson Pawan Khera are in their early 50s.
Virat Kohli


Kohli Creates Buzz In Dubai With Bat And Words!

The arrival of Virat Kohli for the customary press conference after the loss against Pakistan in the Super 4 match of the Asia Cup Twenty20 created a terrific buzz. India had sent its vice-captain KL Rahul, Captain Rohit Sharma before the first match against Pakistan, and thereafter Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja and Head Coach Rahul Dravid on two match days and one before the last Sunday’s (Sep 4) match against the arch rival Pakistan. But Kohli was seen as sort of a maverick, especially when he was at the helm of Indian cricket until last October with Ravi Shastri as Head Coach. That view may not have changed yet after Rohit Sharma was made captain. Kohli was business like responding to questions from the Indian and Pakistani media. But his answer to a question that only Mahendra Singh Dhoni touched base and sympathized with him when a lot more had his mobile number (in the months he had ceased to be India captain and not getting the big scores and generally going through a rough patch) has made his own well-wishers wonder if the former India captain was grousing about some cricketers not calling him up during his difficult times. Some of them who have played with him are: Virendra Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and the legend Sachin Tendulkar.

Bleak Future For EdTech Companies As Kids Go Back To School

The EdTech industry which was booming during the Covid-19 pandemic as parents and students preferred online classes, is now battling for its very own survival. Some are laying off employees, opening offline centres, offering discounts and restructuring their businesses. Byju’s has laid off 500 employees and Vedanta 425. Unacademy has stopped offering complimentary snacks and meals across offices. The economic slowdown is also leading to funding problems. Byju’s which announced raising $ 800 million in March 2022, is yet to receive $ 250 million from two of its investors. Abu Dhabi’s Sovereign Wealth Fund and Qatar Investment Authority are willing to invest but at 40-50% discount. A PwC India report says that funding for EdTech companies has declined 50% in the second quarter of 2022. The funding is now phase-based which is target and revenue driven. The downhill run started once kids started going to school and parents not renewing EdTech services. This has prompted Byju’s, Unacademy, Vendantu, Physicswallah, Eruditus, Lead etc to open offline tuition centres to attract students. The problem was that the industry focused only on growth and not stability, says an industry expert. The EdTech companies have now realised that 360 degree attention is required. The sector needs to communicate clearly so as to ensure students are not misled. More transparency and clarity are required on courses and cost factors.


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.