For Authentic Gossip
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Independent Probe Called For Into Kalakshetra Sexual Harassment Complaints

The #MeToo issue surrounding the famous dance school Kalakshetra, run by the Union Culture Ministry in Chennai have blown up into a massive controversy. The brave girls of the school, who had voiced their misgivings and complaints about at least four male teachers at the school of sexual harassment, came out in protest defying the school closure order given by the director Revathi Ramachandran. The State government was compelled to take note of the goings on as complaints aired over social media for months coalesced into a movement akin to the one against Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood that blew open the issue of inappropriate male behaviour. The school director, an appointee with political influence in New Delhi, was seen protecting the accused rather than take the side of the hundreds of girls with grievances against the male teaching staff. Only the lack of a specific complainant was holding up a police probe but after the issue came up in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, the hands of the State government have been forced to act. It may set up an independent probe soon under the aegis of the State Women’s Commission as the NWC tried to sweep the issue under the carpet after an inadequate internal probe. Only a powerful probe panel that can set up a safe channel to receive complaints can bring any justice to hundreds of affected girls.

Ajit Pawar Shows Maturity, Livid At ‘Inhuman’ Statement By A Congress Leader

Top Nationalist Congress party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar has once again shown how a mature politician should behave and talk. Taking to task a Congress leader for his ‘inhuman’ utterances about selecting a candidate for the Pune Lok Sabha byelection, Pawar pulled up his own party colleague Jayant Patil for predicting the fall of the Shinde-Fadnavis government in Maharashtra. Pawar’s sharp response to media questions on both these sensitive issues was laced with outrage. He also admonished Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders not to vitiate the atmosphere in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, which is shaken by a communal incident in the night after Ramnavami. MVA has planned a public meeting there on Sunday (Apr 2) but it is doubtful if the administration will allow it in view of the tension in the area. Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar had stated that MVA will file a candidate in Pune seat, vacated owing to the demise of BJP MP Girish Bapat. When asked for his response, Pawar angrily said, “Have some humanity. It is just three days for the death of Bapat.”  About Jayant Patil’s prediction, he said, “I shall be meeting Patil on Sunday. Shall ask him what clue he has found to make such a statement.” Refusing to criticise the state government about the Sambhajinagar incident, Pawar quipped that the priority was to restore normalcy. MVA leaders should desist from making any controversial statements, he has advised.
Namo Stadium

Hardik Pandya And NaMo Stadium Mix Could Attract Huge Footfall For Gujarat Titans

It will truly be the first home season for Gujarat Titans in the IPL Twenty20 competition. The Titans will play seven league matches at the massive edifice at Motera, starting with the opening bout against four time winner Chennai Super Kings. A new entrant to the league last year, the Titans led by crowd puller, Hardik Pandya stunned the discerning and layman by winning the title putting it across the inaugural season champion Rajasthan Royals at the Narendra Modi (NaMo) Stadium in Ahmedabad. This season the Titans will play most matches in the presence of a crowd around one lakh. The high footfall for almost all matches will be happy news for the franchise, CVC Capital Partners, Europe’s biggest Private Equity firm which has  bought the franchise for Rs 5166 crore. At least four franchise owners had reported revenues upwards of Rs 35 crore every season, except when the league was held in South Africa and in the Persian Gulf. The venues in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mohali, Lucknow and Jaipur and a few more have a capacity much less than at the NaMo and hence the sheer footfall numbers and the price range for tickets should see good revenue from the paying spectators for the Titans which boasts of a big star in Hardik Pandya who delivers the goods with the bat, ball and to boot as a leader!
Tanaji Sawant

Maharashtra Health Minister Tanaji Sawant Seeks New Political Post, Ignoring Covid Resurge

As the number of Covid cases resurge in Maharashtra with the state registering a 63% spike in daily cases and three deaths as on March 29, its health minister Tanaji Sawant seems preoccupied with completely different concerns. At a meeting in Pandharpur recently, Sawant admitted that the health ministry didn’t interest him and he had taken it up with much reluctance. He claimed that the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government had given him positions that didn’t interest him, be it the health portfolio or even the guardian ministry of Parbhani and Dharashiv districts. Not one to mince words, Sawant had openly admitted that he was planning rebellion against Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray for denying him a ministerial berth in 2019, by holding over 100-150 meetings with legislators, over a period of two years when the state was reeling under Covid. Now, when the State is witnessing resurgence of Covid, the man at the helm, Sawant seems to be on a personal overdrive boasting that he could pull crowds much more than the likes of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee or even Bal Thackeray. Sawant is now eyeing the guardian minister’s slot for Solapur and has openly appealed to the chief minister and his deputy, to do the needful.

Cong Bets On “Sympathy Factor” For Rahul Gandhi To Clinch Karnataka Elections

The Congress is betting big on an undercurrent of sympathy for Rahul Gandhi who was disqualified as a Lok Sabha MP in Karnataka assembly elections to help the party clinch a magical three- digit number. Party leaders are already talking of winning at least 130 seats. The Congress is hoping to project Rahul as a “victim” of BJP’s plot to unseat the Wayanad MP by a Surat trial court order in the defamation case regarding Modi surname. Interestingly, Rahul is launching his “Satyameva Jayate” campaign in Kolar on April 5, the same place where he made the contentious speech. Congress leaders are not willing to accept that Rahul was disqualified as MP on March 24, as per a Supreme Court ruling in 2013. Under the ruling, any MP or MLA stands to be disqualified automatically if convicted and sentenced to two years or more.  Party leaders feel it was under heat of Rahul’s case that the Lok Sabha Speaker had revoked Lakshadweep NCP’s MP Mohammed Faisal’s suspension made in January. “Rahulji’s suspension is one of criminal defamation and it cannot be equated with Faisal’s case who was convicted in a case of assault” argued a Congress leader. Interestingly, Faisal was restored as MP this week just ahead of his appeal in the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, for Faisal, the SC has questioned the stay of his conviction by the Kerala HC. That means Rahul will watch his route of appeal.
Naveen Patnaik_010

Naveen Patnaik’s Direct International Flight Plans To Protect Global Investment

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik is pulling out all stops to transform his state at double quick time. The latest news from the state is the commencement of direct international flights, three times a week, round trip Bhubaneswar-Dubai beginning in April. This move is part of Naveen’s larger plan to catch the huge swath of the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and Japan markets to boost Odisha’s industrial growth, tourism and in the process create job opportunities. The immediate objective behind fast tracking direct international flights is to protect the Rs 21,000 cr investment proposals received from Dubai-Middle East and North African markets during the ‘Make in Odisha Investment Meet’ in Dubai last year. This explains why Patnaik government has agreed to invest Rs 100 cr towards Indigo Airlines viability funding including reduction of VAT in Aviation Turbine Fuel for direct international flights commencing from Bhubaneswar to Dubai. According to Prasanna Pradhan, Director, Bhubaneswar Airport the old Bhubaneswar airport is being refurbished to make it ready by end March 2023 and he expects ticket sales for Dubai to commence from April 1, 2023.  Eventually, Indigo has plans to operate direct flights between Bhubaneswar-Bangkok and Singapore.

KICL Puts Loss Making Fertiliser Unit On The Block

You bend to grow.  So goes an old adage. Wisdom lies in a practical approach. That is what this management is doing. Rather than clinging on to a continuously losing unit, it is wiser to let it go. Well, the bosses at Kothari Industrial Corporation Ltd (KICL) have now chosen to give up its SSP (single super phosphate)-making unit in Chennai. Well, they see a clear gain in giving this one up. Production of SSP at its Ennore unit was discontinued due to scarcity of imported quality raw materials. Also, working capital has proved a big issue. Given these, this facility was leased out to one of the manufacturers of fertilizers in Chennai. The lease is still on. A comprehensive review, however, has suggested that the company will be well served by getting rid of this unit. Well, it has now decided to sell the Ennore facility on a slump sale basis. The proposal has since got the approval of the shareholders. The business environment has turned topsy-turvy of late. Also, the debt burden of the company is mounting by the day due to assorted statutory and legal compulsions. Hopefully, the sale of SSP facility will ease the debt burden of KICL which is pining to return strongly in a new avatar under a fresh management.

With AIADMK Firmly Under His Control, EPS Trains His Eyes On Alliance Partners

With the Madras HC rejecting O Panneerselvam’s application, Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) was elected unopposed as General Secretary of the AIADMK, a party founded by MGR in 1974. After his death it was in the iron grip of J Jayalalithaa for 27 years till her death in December 2016 which saw both EPS and OPS pitted against each other for the control of the party.  With EPS firmly in the saddle, the scene at the party headquarters was upbeat with fire crackers bursting, a 50-kg laddoo on display and milk ‘abhishekam’ offered to the giant cut-out of EPS. Interestingly, EPS was coaxed to wear MGR’s signature cap and dark glasses. Not surprisingly, he obliged his party workers. His first announcement after the verdict was to add more muscle to the party with a membership drive. His second urgent strategy is to keep the current alliance partners intact especially PMK’s Dr Ramdas who is being wooed by DMK. But the real problem is Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai. Both don’t see eye-to-eye. Annamalai who wanted to walk out of the alliance, and go solo, has been stopped in his tracks by the party’s Delhi high command.  EPS is well aware of the serious hoops he has to jump. But, for now he is firmly in the saddle everybody will accept his leadership.


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.