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Politics Peaks In India Over Rise Of Rishi Sunak In UK

Rishi Sunak’s rise as UK PM has prompted sharp responses in India. Sunak, the 42-year-old Indian-origin UK leader, is the first-ever UK PM of South Asian heritage, and is the youngest premier the country has seen in about two centuries. For the UK to have a PM of colour is being hailed as a key moment. In India, PM Narendra Modi defined Sunak — the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy — as a “living bridge” and looked forward to working with him. Meanwhile, the Opposition were gloating how a minority member has been accepted. “First Kamala Harris, now Rishi Sunak. The people of the US and the UK have embraced the non-majority citizens of their countries and elected them to high office in government,” tweeted Congress’s P Chidambaram. “I think there is a lesson to be learned by India and the parties that practise majoritarianism,” he stressed. Coming from the Congress, it is a bit rich. The party could have got Sonia Gandhi elected as PM in 2004 itself. But then if one were to go by the account of K Natwar Singh in his book it was Rahul Gandhi’s threat that had made Sonia give up the crown. As for Shashi Tharoor wondering if India could have a minority PM in India, he forgets between 2004 and 2014, Dr Manmohan Singh belonging to Sikh minority was the PM.


The Rajini Phenomenon Endures As Fans Throng To Glimpse Their Thalaiva

This Deepawali, the crowds in front of his house, “Brindavan” in Chennai started swelling from 7 am. Men, women and youthful enthusiasts stood rearing to greet Thalaiva with frenzy. The Poes Garden cul de sac of just six families has witnessed this crazed stargazing crowd, year after year. Age does not wither nor custom stale the Rajini phenomenon despite all the criticisms flung at him…fickle political stance, waning star attraction, dropping box office collections, hackneyed formula films…Rajini is Teflon coated and super resilient. The phenomenon has kept his fan base intact for over 45 years now. The 70-year old clad in a simple dhoti, white jubula with vibhuti generously smeared on his forehead came out, stood on a bench and greeted the crowd. The roar that went up must have given him goosebumps. The star still reigns super. After the lukewarm response to his Annathe, Rajini signed up for SUN pictures Jailer, directed by Nelson and its shooting is in progress. With Aishwarya Rai and Ramya Krishnan as female foils, Rajini hopes to stir up a storm. He is working hard to be fit. Neighbours spot a trim Rajini on regular brisk walks, wearing his earphones, even walking backwards, a yogic practice for balance. Is Rajini the ultimate Karmayogi? Do your stuff, move on, don’t let success or failure weigh you down. This phenomenon endures, a cult figure.
modi Kargil

In High-Altitude Kargil, Modi Connects In Gujarati & Tamil

In an emotional reunion, a young Army officer in Kargil presented PM Narendra Modi with a 2001 picture of him when Modi had visited Sainik School in Balachadi, Gujarat as CM and presented him with a shield. When they met again on October 24 this year in Kargil it was a nostalgic meeting. Interacting with soldiers, Modi pointed out, “There has not been a single war with Pakistan when Kargil has not flown the victory flag”. Emphasising on the importance of 1999 Kargil armed conflict for India, he recalled how he was a witness to the war and had watched it closely as he had come to spend time with the jawans when they were giving a befitting reply to the enemies. Modi had gone to Kargil as an ordinary citizen to drop off the supplies put together by countrymen and said that it was a moment of worship for him. What is of interest is the manner in which the PM was seen freely interacting with the soldiers, enjoying  music with them — like when a soldier crooned AR Rahman’s number Maa Tujhe Salam. The high-altitude conflict zone reflected mini India with Tamil soldiers enthralling the PM with a Tamil song and even a Gujarati song boomed from Kargil —“Gandhiji Gujarati, Modiji Gujarati, Gujarati na bol bala amme lehri lala, amme lala“. Modi tweeted about the videos in Gujarati & Tamil.
Rishi Sunak_02

An Indian Takes Over At 10 Downing Street

It will not only be a great moment in British history but also that of Indian history as Rishi Sunak takes over at 10 Downing Street after being voted in as Tory Party leader on Diwali day. It is 75 years since Winston Churchill, Britain’s greatest hero of World War II, made the terrible remark on Indians saying – “All Indian leaders will be of low calibre & men of straw”. And that was said by a man who is considered as responsible for the Bengal Famine of the 1940s when he allowed Indians to starve while the grain was earmarked for British troops. Only seven years ago was the greatness of Mahatma Gandhi as the apostle of peace and fighter of freedom for India recognised as his statue was installed in the British Parliament in 2015. Britain gets an Indian origin Prime Minister. At 42, he is Britain’s youngest PM in 200 years, educated at Oxford in true blue Britain and Stanford in the US, as rich as royalty thanks to his wife Akshata, daughter of Narayana Murthy of Infosys fame, and as fund manager at Goldman Sachs conversant with the financial markets. The controversies over his wife’s non-domiciled tax status in the UK and the US green card he kept for too long are behind him now. He is expected to unite Britain at a time of a grave financial crisis.


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.