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SICCI President Ar Rm Arun

Century Old Trade Body In Spotlight As It Sets Up Core Advisory Council

This is one of the oldest chambers in the country. This industry body is over 100 years old now. The Southern India Chamber of Commerce Industry (SICCI) is indeed an iconic association in Chennai. The SICCI was promoted ostensibly with the idea of serving the Indian business by protecting and promoting its interests at the regional, national and international levels. Indeed, SICCI was the founder-member of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). SICCI saw eminent industrialists from Chennai such as AC Muthiah, MA Alagappan, A Vellayan and like heading it at one point or the other. Ar Rm Arun, son-in-law of AC Muthiah, is now serving as its president. SICCI has chosen to change. This move put the spotlight on the century-old chamber. SICCI has decided to constitute a Core Advisory Council (CAC). More than its constitution, what has surprised many is the power vested with the CAC to oversee the induction/ replacement of the executive committee members. CAC is also sought to be vested with powers to recommend right candidates for top positions at SICCI, which has hitherto been the domain of the board members. Why CAC at all? With CAC in place, what will be the role of the executive committee? Surely, SICCI is set for interesting times ahead.

Actor-Lyricist Pushpa Verma Conferred Doctorate By An American University

She is an actor-lyricist-poet-producer who has deliberately kept a low profile for over two decades now. Meet Pushpa Verma who has contributed immensely to Hindi, Bhojpuri films and TV shows. And finally, the recognition of her outstanding talent did come. The Evaluation Board of the South Western American University has conferred on her with the Doctorate in Fine Arts (non-academic) degree for her creative contributions. It was not an easy rise in Bollywood; it was a hard won struggle. Often fighting against well-known lyricists and music directors as she refused to become a “ghost writer.” She shot into fame for her lyrics Tik tok tik tok darwaaza khulla chod aayi she wrote for Najayaz and the title track for multi-starrer Dharamsankat in which she played a cameo role too. She has played various character roles like mother, mother-in-law, and sister in movies starring Amitabh Bachchan, Nana Patekar, Govinda to name a few. Pushpa who has acted in over a 100 feature films, played the role of Sulochana in the most popular TV serial Ramayana. A regular at the Hindi Kavi Sammelans her poem collections- Khwabon ke Arzoo and Tumahare Liye have won her many accolades from discerning poets. Pushpa who hails from academically strong IPS and IAS family is media shy and prefers her work to speak for her. And it has.
jaynarayan mishra

Odisha Chief Minister & His Private Secretary May Face Jail Term If BJP Voted To Power, Says Mishra

Odisha’s Leader of Opposition Jayanarayan Mishra says if his party (BJP) is voted to power in the state then there is a chance that Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik and his secretary VK Pandian will face jail term. It is indeed a sweeping statement and a reckless one feel seasoned political observers. Patnaik’s track record has been impeccable and he has indeed transformed the state. But what is getting Opposition leaders’ goat is the unbridled power enjoyed by Patnaik’s private secretary Pandian, who many say rides roughshod. Mishra says, IAS Secretary Pandian who hails from a poor family from Tamil Nadu has amassed huge wealth in Odisha. He also charged him favouring Tamil Nadu contractors over the state’s local contractors. Mishra dropped a bombshell saying the killing of BJD’s minister Naba Das was a state sponsored murder. Going further, he even made a more provocative statement stating that “If BJP is voted to power in 2024 both chief minister Patnaik and his private secretary Pandian may face jail term.” Political watchers say given Naveen babu’s bonhomie with Modi these kinds of threats are kite flying, merely to boost the morale of local BJP cadres. Meanwhile, Patnaik is unfazed saying “double engine doesn’t matter, good governance wins” thereby justifying why Odias vote for his party BJD again and again.
Sai pallavi

Fake Marriage Photo Angers Actor Sai Pallavi

The film gossip conveyor belt is on turbo mode getting more ingenious in plating up fake news in authentic garb. This apparent “wedding” photo of popular actor Sai Pallavi is on frantic viewership. Sai Pallavi, the girl who shot to fame in her very first Malayalam movie Premam as Malar teacher is a busy actor in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam movies. But she was in for a shock after the muhurat of her new film, SK 21 featuring Sivakarthiketan as hero and directed by Rajkumar Periyasamy (produced by Kamalhaasan). The group muhurat picture was creatively cropped and spread as “Sai Pallavi and Periasamy get married? A furious Sai is now hitting out at such cheap tricks by “publicity hounds”…a possible many who stand to gain. Marriages may be made in Heaven…but in filmdom, marrying off two people with no fear of a backlash is common. Recently, Anirudh , newsmaker musician and Keerthi Suresh were shown to be serious about hitching their stars. Keerthi’s father is busy denying. Trisha Krishnan at 40, single and blazing was also “married” to a Malayalam director. In the bigger scheme of films such publicity is secretly coveted.

Self Goal: Maharashtra BJP Chief Invites Media Ire, Party Embarrassed

Maharashtra BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule has once again put his foot in his mouth by exhorting party functionaries to ‘look after’ local media so that nothing adverse for the party is highlighted. After an expected furore, the former energy minister has tried to cover up by claiming that all he meant was to tell the party workers to understand the media, behave with it respectfully. However, nobody is buying his argument. Bawankule had told a party meeting in Ahmednagar on Sunday, “Take the local press people to the nearby dhaba. Serve tea to them. You must have realized what I mean by tea. In case some assistance is required, the local MP will be available to help.” The print and electronic media are infuriated with him. The BJP has launched the ‘Maha Vijay 2024’ campaign for the coming Lok Sabha election. Under the plan, one Super Warrior has been appointed to take care of four election booths. The campaign in Maharashtra has started from Ahmednagar South LS constituency. It is presently represented by Dr Sujay Vikhe, a scion of the powerful sugar baron family. The meeting was not open for the media but Bawankule’s priceless advice somehow found its way to the social media and provided ammunition to the opposition. The BJP leaders in the state were so embarrassed that it asked Bawankule to use the standard political excuse by saying that his statement has been misinterpreted.
purohit zutshi

Lt Col Prasad Purohit and Chitkala Zutshi

Malegaon Blast Case: Lt Col Purohit Must Pay Ex-Maharashtra Home Secretary Rs 10,000 To Cross Examine Her Again

The special court trying the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case (323 witnesses deposed, 34 turned hostile) recently asked accused Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit to pay Rs 10,000 to Maharashtra’s former Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Chitkala Zutshi. The directive came after Purohit’s (known for connections with pre-independence Chaphekar Brothers gang in Pune) counsel sought to re-examine Zutshi. The good judge cited her concluded cross examination and said, “Why call a senior citizen repeatedly? She has been here, given evidence. If you want to recall her then pay her Rs 10,000.” Zutshi was cross examined over two-and-a-half days over granting sanction to prosecute the accused in September and queried whether she blindly signed the sanction to prosecute? Fully read the case file? Zutshi also cancelled her return flight ticket on occasion when her cross examination lasted one-and-a-half days. When inquired Zutshi, who was literally hostage during the Pakistani terror attack at The Taj hotel in 2008, confirmed that she was yet to receive the Rs 10,000. Back on the night of November 26/27, 2008, Pakistani handlers got wind of her presence and directed the Fidayeen at the Taj terror site to “Take the home secretary hostage. We will be able to free (arrested terrorist) Ajmal Kasab”.Multi-tasker Zutshi informed Mumbai Police Commissioner Hassan Gafoor of need for specialized forces, shared contact of erstwhile western command army head Arjun Menon and shepherded 46 international/Indian guests stuck in Sea Lounge restaurant with her, till evacuation early next morning.
Carry on jatta_Maujan

Punjab Film Industry Rejigs Its Strategy, Emulates South Indian Cinema Model

Impressed by the success of south films pan India, the Punjab film industry is thinking of emulating it and releasing all Punjabi films pan India. What has given them confidence to go mainstream is the super success of Carry On Jatta 3 which has grossed Rs 150-crore plus at the box office. Actor-producer Gippy Grewal is planning to release his next film Maujan Hi Maujan in over 150 screens in Mumbai circuit. Like the South industry which roped in north Indian producers and actors like Karan Johar and Alia Bhatt for Bahubali and RRR to gain entry into the Hindi belt, the Punjabis are planning to enlist the support of the Khans to draw the attention of the Hindi movie goers. Salman Khan was at the trailer launch of Maujan Hi Maujan has promised to work in Punjabi films. This cross pollination of stars across the country will give a big boost to the country’s film industry. Aamir Khan was seen at the trailer launch of Carry on Jatta 3. Of course Punjabi comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi had his film Mastney released in Mumbai and the reason was that the subject had a pan India appeal; they wanted the country to know about Punjab’s martyr’s story. Given these new dynamics, it will not be surprising to see SRK come out and support the next Punjabi film. Ironically, Punjabis who dominate Bollywood have not supported movies made in their own mother tongue.
EPS KAnnamalai

Why AIADMK Walked Out Of NDA In A Huff

The now on, now off relationship between BJP and AIADMK see-sawed for over 10 days when criticism and condemnation of the BJP by EPS and cohorts flew thick and fast. The main target is K Annamalai. How can our revered Annadurai whose name is the anchor for our party’s very existence be sullied like this or our beloved Amma insulted? The people of Tamil Nadu will never forgive us if we turn into ingrates thundered party chief EPS; all this after senior party leaders had camped in the capital to meet home minister Amit Shah but, they could not meet even BJP president JP Nadda. One of the reasons for AIADMK walking out of NDA is they asked Annamalai to be replaced. And BJP, impressed by his padayatra, is not ready to oblige. The other reason for breakup, according to a Vikatan source, TN for over 60 years acknowledges only two parties…the AIADMK and the DMK, an almost Pavlovian response to set cues of Dravidian ideology….promises, schisms and caste divides , blame all ills on the prosperous Brahmins. A third dimension, making an impact here has to neutralise this Dravidian rhetoric. But for Tamils, a north Indian power is poison ivy, Hindi allergy and Delhi Sultanate baggage. And most crucial, TN is dreading the post census delimitation which would definitely cut its Parliament numbers.  Also, EPS is rabidly opposing any back room bid by BJP to bring in OPS and Sasikala along with TTV Dinakaran. There lies the rub.


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.