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Bharat ratna

Tales Behind Too Many Bharat Ratnas


In a significant move, PM Narendra Modi conferred Bharat Ratna, nation’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna, on two late non-Congress PMs — PV Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh– and agricultural scientist Dr MS Swaminathan, who is considered the father of our Green Revolution. Honouring former PM Charan Singh with Bharat Ratna, a prominent Jat leader from Western UP, had a positive impact on his grandson and Rashtriya Lokdal Party leader Jayant Chaudhary. An emotional Jayant not only declared that PM Modi’s gesture had “floored him”, he also made it clear he was going to be with the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. The award for Charan Singh and Dr Swaminathan — who had  recommended a formula  for fixing the MSP– clearly comes at a time when farmers from Punjab and Haryana are gearing up to take part in the ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest on February 16 for higher income. They were planning a rerun of their 2021 protest against farm laws. Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Arjun Munda and Nityanand Rai have held a first round of talks with farm leaders in Chandigarh. In conferring Bharat Ratna on former PM Narasimaha Rao, PM Modi acknowledged his “visionary leadership” in opening India to “global markets, fostering a new era of economic development”. For a Congress President, whose body was not allowed inside the AICC in 2005, it was Modi who built a samadhi for Rao in Ekta Sthal, Delhi a decade later. BRS/TRS leaders were happy about the honour for Rao as he hailed from Telangana.” Of course, in his own inimitable way Rao had paved the way for Ram Mandir. Just as LK Advani had.
Eknath Devendra_002

Shinde-Fadnavis Come Under Fire Over Shooting Incidents, Opposition Alleges Goonda Raj

Shooting incidents in Maharashtra have brought the Maharashtra government under fire and raised a chorus for the resignation of home minister Devendra Fadnavis. The killing of close aide of Uddhav Thackeray, Abhishek Ghosalkar during a Facebook live as also the shooting in a Ulhasnagar police station by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator have raised questions of the law and order situation in the state. Parallels are being drawn with Bihar and the Eknath Shinde-led Mahayuti government has come under fire especially from Uddhav Thackeray’s firebrand Sanjay Raut who has demanded implementation of President’s rule in the state. Raut has also been vocal against his bete noire chief minister Eknath Shinde for ‘goonda raj’ and ‘mafia raj’ in Maharashtra. He supported his claims by releasing pictures of gangsters along with Shinde at the state secretariat. The Uddhav faction of the Sena, which is under fire from various agencies, has upped the ante against Shinde and Fadnavis, who it believes are leading the charge to poach their legislators with threats of cases and other means to get them into the ruling alliance. A BJP internal survey in Maharashtra has been unflattering for the party; hence the overdrive to poach political support from other parties. These rising incidents of violence needs to be viewed from the lens of the escalating political tensions amidst the coerced realignments resulting in bitter local equations in the run-up to the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
modi patnaik_002

Rahul Gandhi Slams BJD-BJP ‘Informal Alliance’ Ahead Of General Elections

Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections the political temperature in Odisha is rising with possible alliance talks going on between various political parties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s who was in Odisha recently at a public gathering called Naveen ji as “mitra” openly and this seems to have embarrassed the local BJP unit. It is public knowledge that both Modi and Patnaik have great equations. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who just finished his last leg of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra campaigning in Odisha seems to be upset with the BJP-BJD informal alliance. With a view to energize Odisha’s Congress cadres, Rahul has cautioned Odia people saying Odisha is a partnership government of Naveen Patnaik and Narendra Modi wherein Patnaik is helping Modi in Delhi, while Modi helps Naveen in Odisha. Adding further he said that if BJP comes to power even Navratna NALCO will be sold off to private players. Former bureaucrat VK Pandian, Patnaik’s right hand man acknowledged through podcast that lot of things have been ironed out between BJP and BJD saying that Patnaik has it made clear long ago that BJD will have constructive cooperation with the Centre reiterating that the chief minister is not here to fight BJP or Congress. What is important according to Pandian is “covering Odisha’s interest”. For BJP it has no option but a tactical alliance considering the fact Patnaik’s popularity continues to rise and BJP overall has not been able to penetrate the state save for Western Odisha.
IndVEng test

Photo : BCCI

Can India's Batters Avoid The Airy-Fairy Shots?

Can some of the frontline batters of the Indian cricket team eschew playing the aerial shots in the remaining three Tests of the series against England? The ill-timed shots have caused their doom in recent times. There is no gainsaying the fact that the days of stonewalling are a thing of the past, one that would bring boredom during the six-hour action every day causing drawn results. The scoring rate, even on the not-so-perfect batting strips, has risen with England’s batters averaging 3.92 an over in the first two Tests in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam as against India’s 3.27 an over. Thanks to Yashasvi Jaiswal’s 209 India reached 396 in the first innings of the second Test in Visakhapatnam; a score 40 runs short of the first innings In Hyderabad where the total was 436 but which could have been upwards of 550 if only India’s top five were thoughtful in shot selection.  Both Test matches did not go beyond the fourth day and hopefully, India’s batters will respond appropriately to Head Coach Rahul Dravid’s observation that decision-making on the issue of shot selection is crucial to piling up runs, especially in the first innings. So can the big batters of India’s top and middle order cut out the frills of hitting airy-fairy shots that they did in the first innings in Hyderabad?  Ground shots yield good returns, food for thought for the lines of Sharma & company.
tamilisai nirmala

As Tamilisai Eyes Puducherry Seat For Lok Sabha Polls, Nirmala Sitharaman May Opt For Tiruchy

It appears Tamilisai Soundarrajan, currently Governor of Telangana and Puducherry, is preparing to come back into active politics. She has been pressing for the Union Territory (UT) seat, which Rangasamy’s party that heads the alliance, has marked for the BJP. With her term as Governor coming to an end, she was looking for an MP seat to contest after her unsuccessful foray in 2019 when she lost to Kanimozhi in the Lok Sabha polls. As she is a favoured candidate in a winnable seat in the UT, it seems Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has had to strike off one of the seats she was aiming at in Tamil Nadu where she must stand for the polls as BJP has decided to field all its ministers and senior leaders in elective seats. The current FM had been eyeing the Puducherry as well as the South Chennai seats. But Kamal Hasaan will be a high-profile candidate for the DMK+ front in South Chennai and the finance minister may have to move further south to seek a suitable seat. She might now pick the Tiruchirapalli constituency since she had gone to college and graduated from there. Kamal favours South Chennai for his foray into Lok Sabha polls as Coimbatore, from where he fought the last assembly elections, has been marked for Mahendran of DMK.
koel anand amruta sankarshan

Koyel Bhattacharya, Pt Anand Bhate, Sankarshan Karhade and Amruta Deshmukh

Unusual Trend Of Indian Performing Artists Flocking To The UK In Winter

Braving all odds, chilled weather, cold and snow Indian performing artists especially those from Maharashtra are flocking to the UK. Usually, the influx begins after spring sets in, and Indian performing arts events are showcased till summer ends. But this year the month of January witnessed vocalists, and dramatists performing in the UK. Also, most of them are coming directly from India. Disciple of late Ustad Rashid Khan, eminent vocalist Koyel Bhattacharya from Kolkata,  accompanied by her husband Kuntal Das, a tabla player disciple of the late Shubhankar Banerjee arrived here in London to perform at the Royal Albert Hall on January 15 for the prestigious Saudha Arts. The husband-wife duo will present their repertoire of ghazals, thumris, dadras and classical songs for SAJDA – Festival Of South Asian Performing Arts. Close on their heels the renowned 54-year-old Marathi vocalist Pt Anand Bhate from the Kirana gharana will perform in March in the cities of Leicester, London, and Edinburgh. Bhate will enthral audiences with his mixed bag of classical, light vocal and devotional songs. The UK audience will also enjoy the comedy Marathi drama  Niyam Va Ati Laagoo presented by the young poet, writer, singer, and dramatist Sankarshan Karhade who will be accompanied by the comedian-actor Prasad Barwe and Amruta Deshmukh who was seen on Marathi Big Boss 4. Powered By: IDFC FIRST BANK
Shivsena ES

India Today Survey Predicts Major Upsets For NDA In Maharashtra

A Mood Of the Nation pre-election survey carried out by India Today and C-Voter has predicted that the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) consisting Uddhav-led Shiv Sena, the Congress and the NCP under Sharad Pawar will bag 26 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra while the ruling alliance of the Sena under CM Eknath Shinde as well as the two DCMs, Devendra Fadanvis and Ajit Pawar only 22. In 2019, the BJP-Sena alliance had won 41 seats. It is generally expected that it would repeat the performance, especially since Ajit Pawar teamed up with the saffron alliance. Buoyed up by the forecast, the Opposition in the state has started making claims that its Lok Sabha tally would exceed 35. Maharashtra’s LS tally is only second to Uttar Pradesh with 80 seats. Hence, Maharashtra occupies a crucial place in the BJP’s electoral calculation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s frequent visits to the state are interpreted as a sign of nervousness on the part of the ruling side. He is slated to pay his next visit on February 19 to launch some mega infra projects. According to the survey, the Congress will win 12 seats while the Sena (Uddhav) and the NCP led by Sharad Pawar would capture 14 seats together, leaving 22 for the NDA.  The MVA is feeling more confident ever since Republican leader Prakash Ambedkar has agreed to enter the LS fray under its banner. In 2019, the united Sena had won 19 seats, along with the BJP’s 21. The united NCP had four while the Congress and the AIMIM could win one seat each. The survey findings are rather surprising since it has predicted a BJP sweep in several major states, including UP, MP, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
JP Nadda_001

Of Revolving Doors And Fleeing AIADMK Senior Leaders

Electoral alliance plans are evolving fast, even as party doors are kept revolving.  So when the Home Minister Amit Shah in his interview to ‘Daily Thanthi’ said, “Our doors are open for anyone to come and join us”.  D Jayakumar, AIADMK heavyweight reacted, “BJP doors may be open, but we have shut the doors for BJP, put a big lock too”. Perhaps defying him, 15 former AIADMK legislators and former MP walked in to the BJP, and were given a warm welcome by BJP president JP Nadda, Union ministers Rajeev Chandrasekhar, L Murugan and Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai. With so many AIADMK leaders crossing over to BJP where was AIADMK chief Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS)? EPS it is learnt had just worshipped at the Bhadra Kaali Amman temple when the media encircled him to get his views. His bland response was “I have not seen the newspapers this morning. I can clarify only after reading the news”. Was EPS trying hard to save his face? Or was he really unaware of his brood’s cross over? Even as a former Congress leader’s  son, well respected and considered a quiet achiever was said to be negotiating a truce and face saving retreat, things were playing out without a script. The modus operandi advised by brokering political strategists ….”Sap bhi mare aur lathi bhi na toote”.

David Versus Goliath In Hybrid Vehicles And Electric Propulsion

  Many companies who have got into the electrical vehicle (EV) manufacturing space are looking forward to the music of their cash registers ringing since the government announced its renewed push for such engines. Adding to the euphoria has been the report released in end-January by HSBC Global Research that hybrid vehicles are a practical midterm solution on the decarbonisation road. The smaller players like the Bengaluru-headquartered Altigreen Propulsion Labs, which was a pioneer in hybrids and has announced plans to move towards 100% EVs, is however being cautious in view of the biggies that are already in the field, like Mahindra, Bajaj, Piaggio and TVS. This David is trying to establish its footing in the last-mile transportation space, for electrically-operated cargo as well as passenger delivery vans. Along the way, the company raised Series A funding, which it says is the largest fund-raise from Indian venture and corporate investors by an electric 3W startup. The first investment into the Indian EV sector for all five funders – Sixth Sense, Xponentia, Reliance New Energy, Accurant USA and Momentum Singapore — is a reflection that EVs and last-mile transport have come into their own and are being studied, and investors are willing to take sizeable and long-term bets on them. Of these, Accurant — the investment venture of Bahman of Open Systems International, Inc. — is making its first India investment and promises to be a big player in EV charging infrastructure. As the government moves towards achieving its target of ‘only electric vehicles’ by 2030, will David beat Goliath again as in the original story?
esha deol

Photo :@Esha_Deol

Incompatibility Or The ‘Woh’ Factor: Why Do Some Star Marriages Fail?

In the last few years, several star marriages have turned sour. Many of them opted for a divorce/separation. A few got remarried – Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. And some like Karishma Kapoor, Pooja Bhatt and Sohail Khan prefer to remain single again. The latest separation announcement came from Esha Deol — Hema Malini-Dharmendra’s eldest daughter. She is the first person from Deol family to separate from her husband Bharat Takhtani after 12 years of marriage. Reason: she could not come to terms with various restrictions imposed by her hubby like wearing shorts at home. The first star marriage that turned rocky and hit national headlines was that of superstar Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia. The reason given was Kaka’s numerous affairs. But, most Bollywood marriages have not worked out primarily because of the ‘other’ girl/boy in their partner’s life. Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora separated after reports about her affair with Arjun Kapoor came out in the open. He recently married Raveena Tandon’s stylist Shura Khan. Some stars did not call off their marriages because of sheer societal pressure and kept it under wraps. A case in point is Sunny Deol inspite of his proximity with Dimple has managed to keep his married life intact. In some cases, it has been the substance abuse. Aamir Khan divorced twice is married for the third time. Model turned actor Arjun Rampal separated from super model Mehr Jessia after 21 years of marriage and is now living with Gabriellia Demetriades. Most marriages in Bollywood have turned sour largely because of “torrid affairs”.


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.