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Archana Nag and Jagabandhu Chand

Sex Scandal Cutting Across Parties Rocks Odisha

The casting couch allegations made against Odisha’s NRI film producer Akshay Parija by an aspiring 23 year old actress has now turned into a nightmare for high profile politicians, businessmen and celebrities. Akshay Parija filed a retaliatory police complaint accusing the 27-year old Archana Nag as the mastermind stating he was “honey trapped”. When the police raided Archana’s luxury apartment in the heart of Bhubaneshwar from where she and her husband Jagabandhu Chand  ran a high profile prostitution racket, they stumbled upon photos of top BJD, BJP and Congress leaders in compromising position. The sex racket has opened a Pandora’s box. Congress leader Suresh Rautray has urged the chief minister to take stringent action against Archana and her husband for blackmailing and extorting money from several prominent personalities including political biggies of Odisha. Police have stumbled upon as many as 64 photos of influential people from Archana’s laptop and this includes two from erstwhile royal families, who are veteran political leaders. Nag who had hired around 20 high-profile sex workers instructed them to always click photographs of prominent personalities in compromising position. Archana has been arrested while her husband is absconding.  “I do not know when, how and who clicked my photo, ” said Law Minister Jagannath Saraka. Similarly, BJP Lok Sabha MP Jual Oram dismissed his link with Archana saying “I do not know the women. As politicians we meet many people where they click selfies and photos. She might have clicked a photo at a public event.”
Collage Maker-10-Oct-2022-05


PM Modi Will Certainly Miss Mulayam, His One Well-Wisher Across The Aisle

In the passing away of socialist veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav (82), Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have lost his one well-wisher across the aisle. Recalling an incident in the 16th Lok Sabha, Modi pointed out how he treasures to this day Mulayam’s words as a blessing; words that had stunned the entire Opposition. Modi said it was just ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Mulayam had predicted that he would return as PM. “Mulayamji had said he wanted to congratulate the PM for trying to move forward by taking everyone along. I hope you (Narendra Modi) will become the Prime Minister again. It was ahead of 2019 general elections when the opposition was planning to form a mahagathbandhan to take on Modi’s BJP. His statement had stirred the hornet’s nest, shocking his son Akhilesh Yadav too,” recalled Modi speaking at a rally in Gujarat. It is this penchant to throw surprises that has marked many upheavals in the long career of Samajwadi Party patriarch. Be it joining hands with BSP supremo Mayawati in 1993 to form a short-lived coalition government in UP or refusing  to extend support to Congress President Sonia Gandhi to become PM  after the fall of Vajpayee Government by one vote in 1999.  Mulayam could have become PM in 1996 but his chances were scuttled by Lalu Prasad and Sharad Yadav — ironically, his kinsmen. Now, Lalu Prasad proudly talks of “Netaji” as a close relative since his daughter is married into Mulayam’s family.


Pawar’s Remark On Muslim Contribution In Bollywood To Become A Political Tool

Nationalist Congress party chief Sharad Pawar’s statement that the minority Muslim community has contributed the most to Bollywood has generated intense political heat, leading to indications that this remark can become a political tool in the coming Andheri assembly constituency by-election, to be held on November 3. At a function organised by Vidarbha Muslim Bauddhik Manch at Nagpur, Pawar said the highest contribution has come from the minorities, whether it is art, literature or cinema. Pawar felt that the community is not getting its due share though being a large part of the population. In the past, Pawar’s various statements have generated sharp reactions. His remarks about the Brahmin community is a case in point. Following the turmoil, Pawar interacted with a delegation of the community in Pune in a bid to assuage the feeling of hurt expressed by its members. About the latest statement, BJP spokesman Shehzad Poonawala has asked, “What about the contribution of Dadasaheb Phalke, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishor Kumar, Madhuri Dixit and such luminaries?” BJP MLA Ram Kadam said the statement was made with an eye on the vote bank. Producer Vivek Agnihotri tweeted, “When I came to Mumbai, SP ji was the king. Like any king, his party collected taxes. Many Bollywoodiyas contributed generously. In return, they were allowed to create their own kingdoms. I always wondered who were those people. This from Pawar has cleared all my doubts.”


Technology Cannot Disrupt Original Content Provider: Short Post Editor

They say time flies. How true!  Today is our #SecondAnniversary. Two years back at the height of Covid-19 Pandemic when lockdown was the way of life we took a leap of faith and launched Short Post (Jan 28, 2021), the first-of-its-kind website in the country that focuses on Authentic Gossip. The Oxymoron is deliberate. Well, the response has been quite encouraging. That’s what has kept us going. Till date we have posted close to 2000 stories in the areas of Politics, Business, Entertainment and Sports. Each insightful story of around 225 words has been contributed by Senior Editors. There is a sense of satisfaction of creating a new segment in the market – authentic gossip — and in the process creating a brand (in a limited sense), creating demand (readers) and creating supply (writers). Well known advertisers — IDFC FIRST Bank, ICICI Lombard – supported us.  And that really boosted our confidence. Thank you!

So here we are raring to go.  But, when I look at the media landscape the disruption is indeed fast and furious. Technology is playing a very big role in how content will be consumed. In the past, we have seen how social media has disrupted the media world. Now, everybody is saying the same thing about ChatGPT. It has reached 1 million users in five days. Its scorching pace of growth is indeed frightening and will disrupt the media industry big time. My limited argument is can it do investigative stories, write gossip items using the digital world ecosystem. Unlikely. Clearly, the original content has to be created first — only then can ChatGPT do the magic. That’s what we promise to do – focus on original content.

Before I sign off, I am reminded of an old advertisement of the early sixties: “Avis is only No.2 in rent a cars. So we try harder”. Likewise I can say, we are two years old and we are trying even harder to be relevant to you readers.