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Amish bhavna

Amish Tripathi Returns To India, Explores More Creative Options

Celebrated author-former diplomat Amish Tripathi has returned to India for good. He was probably the first non-IAS and non-IFS officer who served in the Indian High Commission’s office UK as director at Nehru Centre for nearly four years (2019-23). Undoubtedly he brought the Nehru Centre to life by organizing on an average over 20 events a month — online during Covid, then hybrid, and recently several in-person events. For his outstanding performance he was promoted as Minister for Education & Culture from his earlier rank as First Secretary Culture. Amish is back in Mumbai to promote his new book Idols: Unearthing The Power Of Murti Puja co-authored with his sister Bhavna Roy, wife of Mumbai top cop, the late Himanshu Roy. This brother-sister duo earlier wrote Dharma: Decoding The Epics For A Meaningful Life and the new book is a companion to Dharma. The authors ask, why do people worship idols? The book is an insightful and thought-provoking exploration of the philosophy and practice of murti puja. Forty nine year old Amish along with his wife Shivani Bhandari is back to Mumbai, the city that saw him emerge as a writing and publishing phenomenon with his The Shiva Trilogy and Ram Chandra series. Amish has several projects up his sleeve including becoming producer. One of his documentaries is based on the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Ajit Pawar_009

Will It Be A Change Of Guard In Maharashtra?

His resounding victory in the local body elections has brought Ajit Pawar to the centre stage of Maharashtra politics. Two days after Ajit Pawar announced that he would be inaccessible due to dengue, he flummoxed all by holding back to back meetings with Nationalist Congress Party founder Sharad Pawar in Pune and Union home minister Amit Shah at New Delhi the same day. The deputy CM, who has made no bones about his chief ministerial ambitions, is expected to claim his pound of flesh from the BJP having proved his electoral mettle after branching out independently from his uncle’s party. Speculations about change of guard in Maharashtra have also gained currency thanks to talk of Eknath Shinde government set to fall by December 31 as predicted by leaders like Uddhav Thackeray. That is the deadline set by the Supreme Court to decide on disqualification of legislators of the Ekanth Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction. Claims of independent legislator Ravi Rana that Ajit Pawar is trying to convince his uncle to throw in his weight behind the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has only muddied waters further. There had been much talk that the BJP had promised Ajit Pawar the CM’s chair only if he could get his uncle into the BJP alliance. The junior Pawar has been upset at his powers being clipped by the chief minister who reportedly has directed all finance department files to be sent to him. He was also upset at his supporters not being accommodated in ministerial berths and corporations.
Glenn maxwell

Has ‘Bat First’ Time Come In The World Cup?

Is it ‘bat first’ time from here onwards in the World Cup? Putting a total on the board and challenging the opponents to meet the target used to be a regular tactic in World Cups, the first five of which were won by teams batting first. Being played in the modern era after the advent of T-20, the 2023 World Cup has been bucking the trend with great chases, none more excellent than the one staged by Glenn Maxwell for Australia against Afghanistan with New Zealand getting close to 400 and coming within a six hit against the Oz. But the obvious things on the minds of captains at the toss will be India’s virtual invincibility batting first, enhanced by the new balls zipping around under lights for Bumrah, Shami and Siraj. The only way to play them would be to take them on in the afternoon when there may not be that much swing and seam. But the challenge is that India’s spin twins may then throttle those aiming to put a large total on the board. Considering South Africa are lions when batting first and lambs when chasing may mean that we know what would happen at the toss if India and Australia win theirs in the semi-finals. Can New Zealand beat India even if the toss goes in their favour? Can South Africa shake off the choker’s tag if they are chasing?
Kamal Nath

MP Cong Leaders Nervous As Kamal Nath Resorts To Bluff & Bluster

Congress leaders are still wondering whether former PCC chief and ex-CM Kamal Nath is overplaying his confidence of winning Madhya Pradesh assembly elections. Or does he have something up his sleeve? His latest warning to state police and district administration officials, it was felt, betrayed more a sense of bluff and bluster, than real confidence. Imagine a person who was briefly CM saying “No one will be spared, six more days are left, do whatever you want to, but you also have to spend the next five years under a Congress regime.” Party sources conceded that such hollow threats by Nath were bound to be counterproductive in a close contest with the BJP. Attacking the Congress as “Dhamki ki Dukan”, the BJP feels the upcoming assembly election in 2023 for 230 seats is expected to witness largely a closely contested battle between the BJP and the Congress. In addition to these two major parties, the Samajwadi Party and AAP have also nominated their candidates for the polls. The BJP has pledged to offer free ration to the underprivileged for the upcoming five years and provide LPG cylinders to women at a cost of Rs 450. Additionally, the BJP is committed to establishing the Madhya Pradesh Institute of Technology and the Madhya Pradesh Institute of Medical Sciences if it secures victory in the state. Another key promise from the BJP is the provision of 100 units of electricity for Rs 100.
Jay arjun

Arjuna Ranatunga Kicks Up A Storm, Takes Potshots At Jay Shah

Arjuna Ranatunga, the maverick World Cup-winning Sri Lanka captain and politician has accused the BCCI Secretary and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president Jay Shah of influencing the International Cricket Council (ICC) to suspend the full membership of Sri Lanka Cricket. The ICC Board consists of representatives of 12 full member countries, three associate member countries, the Independent Chairman from New Zealand, Greg Barclay, the Independent female director, Indra Nooyi and the Chief Executive Geoff Allardice. It’s virtually impossible for a single entity, in this case, Jay Shah — set to helm the ICC from the annual conference in 2024 — to influence the course of action the Board should take. In September and during the Asia Cup, Ranatunga had cast aspersions on the ICC and the ACC.  And recently the Sri Lanka sports minister citing a Law removed the SLC Board after the national team’s poor showing in the ongoing World Cup,  especially after being shot out for 55 by India, and appointed Ranatunga as head of an ad hoc committee.  This was good enough for the ICC to convene a Board meeting and suspend the SLC.  An ICC statement said that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka.  All said and done Sri Lanka’s cricket appears to be down in the dumps. 
Sunak jaishankar

Playing Straight Bat Or Soft Power Diplomacy, Jaishankar Meets Rishi Sunak

External Affairs Minister of India Dr S Jaishankar has opened his innings in London with soft power diplomacy presenting a signed bat by Virat Kohli to the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Jaishankar and his wife met the Sunak couple on the occasion of Diwali. Is Jaishankar playing with a straight bat? Or carrying some firecrackers under his sleeve?  There are several issues that need to be sorted out. Issues like attacks by the Khalistanis on the Indian High Commissioner and the High Commission office in London, pending status of the Free Trade Agreement, visa issue especially one offered to senior citizens (parents living in India) and setting up a consulate in the North of England among others. It is learnt that The High Commission of India has partnered with Wilton Park to organise conversation with Jaishankar at the Royal Over-Seas League. The conversation themed, “How a billion people see the world” will be moderated by eminent journalist and acclaimed commentator Lionel Barber. The underlying objective is to get India’s perspective on the current geopolitical landscape and how and why an enhanced engagement with the world is consequential to India’s national aspirations. Clearly, Jaishankar’s visit meets more than the eye. One dimension that seems evident is Jaishankar is trying to build a strong pro-government narrative in the run-up to 2024 General Elections.   
Mahua moitra

Mahua Gets Mamata's Nephew On Her Side To Earn TMC Reprieve

On the back of the Lok Sabha Ethics Panel adopting on November 9 the report recommending Mahua Moitra’s expulsion from the Lok Sabha in the ‘cash for query’ case, the TMC pulled a surprise on November 13 by  appointing Moitra as the district president of Krishnanagar, the constituency she represents in the Lok Sabha. How did this high profile MP who has always been on uneasy terms with her constituency secure party assignment? In fact TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had in the past warned Moitra to stay clear of constituency politics as she was hardly known to visit her Lok Sabha area and was forever traveling abroad.  Reportedly, Moitra caught hold of TMC leader and Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who was responding to ED related summons. Not only did she butter him up by organising his papers, improving English of the text of the submission and provided some legal aid, she also appealed to him to ensure that the TMC doesn’t abandon her at this stage.  Looks like her efforts to get into the good books of Mamata’s nephew worked. The TMC has now thrown a life-line to her and got a party shield. But there is no way she can be saved from expulsion from the Parliament. That is because the precedent for summary expulsion of 11 MPs for corrupt practice was set by none other than former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee following a sting operation in 2005. The Supreme Court had upheld the expulsion.  The transgressions of those MPs in the sting pales in comparison to Moitra caught in a shopping spree.
Sharad pawar_008

Sharad Pawar’s ‘OBC Status’ A Gameplan To Slander Him, NCP Insists He Is A Maratha

In a state where being a Maratha is a matter of prestige, top leader Sharad Pawar is facing slander which has gone viral wherein it is alleged that he has obtained a certificate which says that he belongs to the OBC category. Always described outside Maharashtra as a Maratha strongman, Pawar’s baby, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), also is dubbed as a party of the Marathas by his detractors. In the midst of the furore raised in the state over the Maratha caste demand for reservations, a purported school document which says that Pawar belongs to the OBCs went viral on social media within minutes. His daughter Supriya Sule, MP, ridiculed the attempt to defame Pawar. She pointed out that the so-called certificate is in English whereas during Pawar’s childhood nearly eight decades ago, no English medium schools were available in that area. Vikas Pasalkar, a Pawar acolyte, immediately circulated a school leaving certificate which clearly states that Pawar is a Maratha. Pasalkar implied that such a campaign against Pawar was being masterminded from Nagpur. Pawar’s grandson, Rohit Pawar, on the other hand, directly charged the BJP for the misinformation. The Maratha demand for reservations has roasted the caste leaders from both sides, asking them to clarify why they could not secure the reservation over the past 60 years even though they were in power. Pawar, too, is lampooned on this count.
Lalit _Pune

Pune Police Shielded Drug Kingpin Lalit Patil, Local MLA Alleges

Drug kingpin Lalit Patil’s arrest a few weeks ago is followed by sensational disclosures almost on a daily basis. The latest is pointing a finger at the role of Pune police in the sordid affair. At the centre of the controversy is Pune’s reputed Sassoon Hospital, where Patil had managed to stay for a long time claiming fake health issues. The hospital dean, Dr Sanjay Thakur, has been sacked as he was directly responsible for the treatment for the Nasik-based drug lord. Even as some more medical officials have been under the lens, Pune MLA Ravindra Dhangekar (Congress) has alleged that palms in the police commissioner office were greased by Patil to continue his operations. Its alleged drug lord Patil was alleged to have distributed Rs17 lakh every month to some Sassoon Hospital staff members to ensure his prolonged stay in the hospital. Dhangekar, who was elected to the legislative assembly only a few months ago, has been quite vocal about the purported cover-up. He said his demand to investigate those receiving the money from Patil has been overlooked by Pune police. Moreover, he feels that the state government is shielding Dr Thakur by just removing him. “I demand that Thakur must be slapped with MOCCA,” the MLA reiterated. Drug proliferation in Pune was alarming and the police were not arresting Thakur so as to divert attention from this situation, according to Dhangekar.

BJP Learns The Hard Way, PIcks Yediyurappa's Son Vijayendra To Head Karnataka Unit

In a bid to revive its fortunes ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has once again decided to fall back on  the charisma of its tall Linagyat stalwart BS Yediyurappa in Karnataka by appointing his son BY Vijayendra as the president of state’s BJP unit. Vijayendra, an MLA from the Shikaripur constituency replaces Nalin Kateel. The appointment comes six months after the Congress ousted the BJP government in the Karnataka Assembly polls with a landslide win. Vijayendra will be the 10th Karnataka’s BJP state chief. In the recent assembly elections, Vijayendra won as an MLA from Shikaripura constituency, once represented by his father. The BJP’s top leadership is yet to announce the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the southern state where it lost the mandate in the assembly elections. After quitting electoral politics, BS Yediyurappa had widely campaigned for the BJP across the state during the assembly election to help the saffron party to retain power. Interestingly, there were a lot of central BJP leaders vying to lead the state unit including Shobha Karanadlaje and CT Ravi. However, this time it was decided that the party should not risk ignoring Yediyurappa as it did during assembly polls. That too at a time when the ruling Congress is breaking up into various factions. There is already a talk that Congress minister Satish Jharkhioli has support of 65 MLAs rooting for him as CM.
priyanka kamalnath

Kamal Nath Gives Cold Reception To Rahul In MP

When Rahul Gandhi pushed off to Kedarnath on a three-day visit in the midst of elections in Hindi heartland states, it was widely believed that the temple visit was more to improve his Hindu credentials than for any spiritual significance. Party sources admitted that Rahul found he was not being welcomed to campaign in Madhya Pradesh as much as his sister Priyanka was in a state that goes to polls on November 17. PCC chief and CM aspirant Kamal Nath was seen trying to maintain a distance from Rahul; it was as if Nath was cold shouldering Rahul. While Kamal Nath was not seen accompanying or sharing the spotlight with the Gandhi scion, he was not even endorsing or referring to Rahul’s programmes in the state — in his X handle. He was only making references to public rallies addressed by Priyanka Vadra. In contrast, former CM Digvijay Singh made it a point to be part of Rahul’s rally in Ashok Nagar, Guna. Sources said it is possible Nath was uncomfortable with Rahul’s utterances about caste census and OBC politics. He probably did not want any controversy with Rahul around. It may be recalled Nath got I.N.D.I.A front to call off its Bhopal rally soon after Sanatan Dharam controversy. Several Congress leaders have also not been comfortable with Rahul’s neo OBC politics and wondered if it would yield desired results. Meanwhile, Rahul is yet to chart out his campaign plans for Rajasthan that goes to polls on November 25.

Concerns Remain About The Bilateral ODI Format

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is about nine days away from a glorious finish, but concerns remain about the sustainability of the format on a bilateral basis. The ICC’s global media rights — digital and television for 2024-2027 — have been won by Disney Star for around $ 3 billion for all signature events. The ongoing 50-over format World Cup has been far from a resounding success, save for a handful of matches in which teams competed to take the match to the wire. India’s men in blue have met with unprecedented success which will trigger a fresh wave of interest among the boys and girls across the country. Experts from England have suggested that the defending champion’s preparation was far from satisfactory after it won the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia last year. India played a maximum of 30 ODIs from October 1 last year, followed by New Zealand 25, and Sri Lanka 25. Australia played only 18 and South Africa 15. The numbers reflect dwindling interest for bilateral ODI series which India incorporates in good numbers to get a better deal from the broadcasters. The players may not be keen to get on with the 50-over format in the future as much as they would like to look at the Twenty20 franchise leagues. What will be interesting is to see what Saudi Arabia does after this World Cup.  The Arab nation has expressed interest in investing about $ 5 billion in the IPL.

Pradeep Bhattacharya and Sujan Chakraborty

Mahua Moitra Gets Unexpected Support From CPI (M) And Congress

At a time when the Ethics Committee of the Parliament gave its stamp on the recommendation to dismiss Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Maitra from parliamentary position in the case of exchange of money, the parliamentarian has got support not only from the second in command of the party – TMC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee, but also from the arch rivals the CPI(M) and Congress. However, BJP MLA and Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari is not satisfied with that and claims that Mahua has done anti-national work and must be jailed. Taking a dig at the TMC leader who represents Krishnanagar constituency, Adhikari was categorical in stating that her membership is only a matter of time and people want such fraudulent MPs to go to jail. However, for the first time since the issue sparked, Abhishek stood by Mahua stating that the firebrand leader is “competent enough to fight her own battles”. Interestingly, veteran Congress leader Pradeep Bhattacharya stood by Mahua saying that he is doubtful about the logic behind the decision by majority. He further suggested Mahua should approach the court if possible. Echoing similar views, CPI(M) State Committee member Sujan Chakraborty said, ‘It was not understood how a person could be expelled at the same time be investigated upon by CBI. The ethics committee takes a different role arbitrarily. This activity of the Ethics Committee was not seen after allegations were raised against BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri in the Lok Sabha.”

Air India Under Tatas Going All Out To Conquer The Skies

Air India to start direct flight between Manchester and Mumbai. Service to commence operations at the end of November or by December this year. To start there will be three flights per week. Earlier, Jet Airways used to operate this route before it closed down operations in 2019 March. North England has a catchment of over 200,000 people of Indian origin who will benefit with this direct flight as Mumbai is further connected to various destinations and passengers avail their 2-check-in bags allowance. Officials say service can start right away as it has got all approvals. What’s delaying is the lack of fleet to be pressed into this sector. The 787 are old and Air India is keen to launch its service with new aircraft.  With Tatas taking over Air India, the management has taken bold decisions to offer direct flights to Goa, Ahmedabad, Cochin and Amritsar from Gatwick, and reserved its slots at Heathrow for Mumbai and New Delhi. Competition at Heathrow to these sectors is fierce as Middle Eastern airlines managed to grab a larger slice of the cake. British Airways has a monopoly at Heathrow thus non-availability of slots compel other service providers to move out to other London Airports.
stalin ravi

Are Nagas Collateral Damage In Fight Between TN Governor And DMK?

The marathon skirmishes of the Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi and the DMK government are a source of almost daily entertainment for the media. If made into an OTT series, it may run into several seasons. So political wags were in for a surprise when DMK baiting came from a totally different direction — Nagaland BJP Governor Ela Ganesan who hastened to take up the Naga cause even as Ravi had hauled DMK stalwart and former MP RS Bharathi over hot coals over his Nagas dog meat reference. In his eloquent Tamil oratory, Bharathi criticised Governor Ravi for unwarranted meddling. “We all know how he had to quit Nagaland in a hurry. The Nagas too were fed up with his meddlesome ways. Even dog meat eaters like the Nagas found his interference unwarranted. We Tamilians, eating salt of the earth, are incensed“. Ganesan, not wanting to be sidelined, joined the litany. “Nagas did not hound him out. They are peace loving and dignified. As for their food preferences, no one should comment on the culture and tradition of other demographics“.  One hopes the Nagas are sufficiently appeased and their national worth upheld by two Governors. Just shows one man’s meat is another’s political poison dart.

Iconic Air India HQ To Be Sold To Maharashtra Government

The iconic Air Building at Nariman Point in south Mumbai will soon become one more addition to the Maharashtra government’s scattered offices in the city’s commercial hub. The 23-storey commercial tower, the famous landmark, was once upon a time perhaps the most sought after business address when it began serving as corporate headquarters for Air India from 1974 till 2013. It has nearly 10800 square feet of office space on each floor. Air India vacated the structure a decade ago when its loan burden became unbearable and had been trying to sell it to raise capital. AI then shifted its headquarters to New Delhi, leaving behind precious art treasures and other choice articles. The Maharashtra government had plans ever since Air India moved out to take over the building but due to standard hassles, the proposal never came up for implementation. The state government has rented out vast spaces in and around Nariman Point to house its various offices for a long time. With the AI building in its possession, the space crunch will be eased to some extent. Now that the state government has announced its intent to occupy the structure will soon see the farmers, the poor and the labourer in this posh building, once frequented by leaders, business magnates and corporate honchos. The Maharaja on the AI flag will be replaced by another Maharaja, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
thufg life

‘Thug Life’ Birthday For Ulaga Nayagan Who Turns 69

Kamal Haasan has turned a legend in his lifetime, conquering artistic heights that only a few Indian actors have scaled. The Ulaga Nayagan (universal hero) sobriquet in his case is not just a cinematic encomium but a justified title.  A skilled Bharat Natyam artist, screenplay and story writer, singer, director and actor, his every film only adds to his aura. Veteran actor Sivakumar says, “I consider only two actors as unparalleled – the late Shivaji Ganesan, and Kamal.” Kamal turned 69 on November 7. Imagine the delight of his fans when his upcoming movie with Mani Ratnam was introduced with a riveting title video Thug Life. Thirty five years after the worldwide acclaim of Ratnam and Kamal’s classic Nayakan, Thug Life will soon play in cinemas enhanced by its team of super talented artists –AR Rahman, Dulquer Salman, Trisha and Jayam Ravi.  The cherry on the cake was the voice over of Kamal, “I am Ranganayakan Saktivel Nayakkar from Kayalpattinam“, enough to send diehard Kamal fans into ecstasy. Thug Life is bankrolled by his own production house and Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Red Giant Movies. This conveys a significant message; business is business and political postures are on a different track, expedient and expected. Kamal has annoyed the DMK by insisting that his party Makkal Needhi Maiyyam be given three seats — Coimbatore, Madurai and South Chennai.

I.N.D.I.A Humbled In Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Polls, Losers Are Sharad Pawar And Uddhav Thackeray

The three-party coalition ruling in Maharashtra has humbled the NCP founder Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray in the just declared results for the Gram Panchayats in the state. The BJP has emerged as the single largest winner in the public mandate which was tested for the first time after the change of guard last year. Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde and the two deputy chief ministers, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, have welcomed the outcome with claims that the ruling alliance will win 45 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in the 2024 elections. Initial reports suggest that out of 2359 Gram Panchayat bodies, the ruling side has won 1354, with the BJP bagging over 743, Shinde’s Sena getting over 240 and Ajit Pawar’s faction 371.  On the other hand, the NCP under Sharad Pawar has been able to win 178 bodies while Uddhav’s Sena has come last with 102 victories. The overall perception that the electorate will reject those defecting from the main party has been belied, especially since Ajit’s faction has emerged invincible in Pune district’s politics, which was dominated for decades by his uncle Sharad Pawar. This performance will have a direct impact on the seat sharing between the two sides and since the so-called I.N.D.I.A front has fared poorly. 

NMIMS To Set Up 40-Acre Campus In Bhubaneshwar  

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik continues to pursue his dream of making his state, a centre of educational hub. In particular Patnaik is keen educational institutes make students jobs ready. The state already houses reputed institutions like XIMB, IIT, AIIMS, NISER, Utkal University, OUAT and KIIT. In keeping with his goal, the chief minister has roped in the prestigious Mumbai-based NMIMS to set up its branch in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. Patnaik who is wooing investors in the education space has already overtaken Kolkata as the preferred destination as far as medical centres are concerned. Towards this objective, Patnaik’s government in a cabinet meeting has decided to enter into a MoU with the Mumbai-based Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal (SVKM) for the establishment of a world-class educational campus of NMIMS University in Bhubaneswar. By roping in NMIMS it will have the advantage of a learning centre fostering national and global engagement in the field of education. It is understood that the Odisha Government shall provide SVKM 40 acres of land on lease in Jatni, Bhubaneswar for the establishment of the university to be developed in phases. According to NMIMS sources, the MOU with the Odisha government is expected to be finalised over the next two weeks and there are also plans to commit 30% reservations to Odia students based on merit. 

Tollywood Gets New Genre Actor-Turned-Producers

The growing trend of Bengali Tollywood is that several actors turn producers in order to compete with the OTT creative works that have gained immense popularity post Covid pandemic. From superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee, Jeet, Dev to parallel actors Parambrata Chattopadhyay, starlet duo Bonny Sengupta and Koushani Mukherjee and several others have started their own production houses. Majority of the actor-turned-producers have pointed out that their production ventures are mainly to explore themselves as actors in varied subjects and roles. According to Jeet, Grassroot Entertainment’ and Jeetz Filmworks focus mainly on commercial blockbusters with Jeet in the lead. It can be recalled that after establishing himself as a heartthrob of Bengali movies Dev set up his own production, Dev Entertainment Ventures which has produced Projapati, Tonic, Kishmish, Bagha Jatin and Durgo Rahasya. As Dev points out, it is important to do good content and establish oneself as an actor after having a good stint as a hero. However, Parambrata identifies that content is the only thing that matters to him the most. This cerebral actor established his first production house Workshop Productions in 2011 along with colleague actor Rudranil Ghosh but had to close it down. Now, with directors Aritra Sen and Supriyo Sen he has started Roadshow Films. Veteran Actor Prosenjit’s production house, NIDEAS Creations and Productions is giving opportunities to newcomers while Bonny and Koushani had to launch BK Entertainments only to break free from being typecast in romantic movies. 
Indian 2

Kollywood’s New Marketing Strategy, Rajini Unveils Trailer Of Kamal’s 'Indian 2'

Lyca productions started in 2014 by Subaskaran Allirajah has quantum leaped into big stakes cinema production. Lyca’s growth is big, bold and audacious to compete with the other two iconic production houses — SUN pictures and Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Red Giant movies. Has Lyca put all its eggs into one basket? Lyca is sure of its strategy; cross fertilise the marquee names of both Rajini and Kamal simultaneously and use their mass standing as rocket launchers. The sequel version of 1996 blockbuster Indian directed by S Shankar is now ready for cinemas in January 2024. The film started in 2017 had some setbacks. Pre-release promos have now taken on a new mega dimension in Kollywood and every trick in the marketing book is woven in to whip the insatiable appetite of fans. Superstar Rajini did the honours by releasing the teaser of Indian 2 and sent the combined fan club of both these superstars into raptures. Lyca is currently producing Rajini’s Thalaivar 170, and this media exposure is not going to hurt its prospects even as the much delayed Indian 2 gets its endorsement from none other than Rajini who after a string of duds, got back to his pristine popularity through Jailer. Earlier, it was Kamal’s extraordinary success with Vikram. Similarly, Ilaya Thalapathy Vijay’s marketing and media moves for Leo put Rajini on the back foot. 

DMK Succession Plan May Have Been Advanced

It was always a question of when and not if. But the DMK succession plan involving Udhayanidhi, son of Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, may just have been moved up due to pressures from within TN’s first family. It is learnt that Stalin’s wife Durga is keen that the succession be quickly defined so that her son does not undergo the long waiting period her husband suffered because the DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi was unwilling to let go of the top party post lest they isolate him after such a long innings in public life.  Durga was known to criticise her father-in-law for delaying the nomination of his son as the CM candidate and so losing out in the 2016 election to J Jayalalithaa who retained power. Having spent 40 years as heir apparent, Stalin became party president only when his father was facing ill health in old age and allowed the promotion of the once deputy CM to party boss as well as CM candidate. The scion, now sports development and youth welfare minister, could well be deputy CM by December when the party will be holding a youth wing conference. Udhaya has also been the loudest voice of the party in taking on Governor RN Ravi on the Sanatana Dharma issue, gathering signatures against the medical entrance test NEET and drawing praise from his father and CM on his work. Udhaya is also convinced there is positive resonance in the public on the topics he is picking to take on the Centre and the Governor. 
Nirmala sitharaman_003

Photo : X

Nirmala Visits Jaffna, Her Special Puja At Local Temple Win Over People  

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai attended the “Naam 200 Commemoration” in Colombo, Sri Lanka, honouring the 200-year journey of Indian-origin Tamils who endured historical injustices, including loss of citizenship and harsh working conditions on tea plantations. During the “Naam 200 Commemoration” event, the FM reaffirmed India’s unwavering support for the Indian-origin Tamil community in Sri Lanka. However, what won hearts of the Tamils in the island was her visit to Nallur Kandaswamy temple in Jaffna. There when priests asked Nirmala to whom should the special puja at the temple be dedicated. She said it should be dedicated to the inseparable bond between the Indians and the Lankans. During her visit, Nirmala also highlighted the Tamil community’s remarkable resilience and commitment. As a part of this commitment, the FM, along with Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe, unveiled the Thondaman Vocational Training Centre, which was upgraded with Indian assistance and provided school supplies for 10,000 children in plantation areas. In addition to the event, India and Sri Lanka entered into a MoU on solar electrification of religious places in Sri Lanka. India will allocate Rs 82.40 crore as part of the Indian grant assistance of RS 107.47 crore earmarked for the promotion of Buddhist ties between the two nations. India will continue collaborating with Sri Lanka on debt treatment while the island nation attempts to emerge from last year’s grave economic crisis, the FM assured Sri Lankan leadership. 
Modi pawar

Modi Vs Pawar: Aggro Over Agri

Bharat’s Pradhan Sevak Narendra Modi recently cited NCP Chief Sharad Pawar for non-performance during UPA 1&2. Modi alleged Pawar was an ineffective Union Agriculture Minister for a decade. Pawar hit back saying Modi got his facts wrong and now, BJP has provided its data. UPA 1&2 saw production of 1,849 MT of wheat, rice and pulses while eight years under Modi’s watch witnessed total produce of 1,957 MT. Wheat stood at 824 MT, rice at 868 MT and pulses at 157 MT during UPA’s decade. Bharat saw 913 MT wheat stocks, 864 MT rice, 180 MT pulses between 2014 and 2022. A senior BJP leader reveals, “Wastage of rotting food grains in FCI storehouses was the rule under UPA when annually 20,000 MT was the average loss. Under Modi, this scaled down to 1,700 MT annual wastage as reported in 2021-2022. Modi emphasized the first in first out (FIFO) policy at FCI storehouses as against the last in first out (LIFO) policy under UPA. Official records indicate 20,000 MT waste food grain stocks were burnt annually. We now learn a large portion of alleged wastage stocks were clandestinely diverted to wine distilleries across India to manufacture alcohol besides lining the pockets of unscrupulous politicians.” Modi also hammered down India’s hunger index, during the Covid-19 pandemic, with 80 crore beneficiaries getting free food grains to this very day. No coincidence, the Union (international) Budget (2023-2024) says lots on enhancing India’s millet production to meet growing international demand

What A Brutal Piece Of News For Hardik Pandya!

Fourteen days after he suffered an ankle-related injury taking a hard blow of a Liton Das straight hit in the World Cup match against Bangladesh, and walked off the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) international stadium alongside the Expressway between Pune and Mumbai, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that its event technical committee has approved fast bowler Prasidh Krishna as the replacement for the India all-rounder. On the eve of the India-Sri Lanka World Cup match, skipper Rohit Sharma elaborated on Pandya’s plight and the medical attention given to him at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. That he will not be part of the Men in Blue team for the ongoing World Cup must have been a piece of brutal news for the all-rounder. A livewire in the field with the ability to turn a match on its head with big hits with the bat in the lower order, strike with the ball and excel as a fielder, Sharma believed that for India to run a successful campaign in the World Cup, Pandya would have to perform with the bat and ball.  Laid low by a lower back ailment Pandya was out of action for many months from November 2021,  but he made a strong back and was all set to make the big splash in the World Cup,  but misfortune struck him and India with the ankle injury throwing him out of the tournament. Fate can be so cruel!  Hardik Pandya has been plain unlucky.  
Ajit modi

Ajit Pawar Faces Dual Challenge From Cousin Supriya And BJP's Patil

Maharashtra’s deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has started facing a dual challenge in his stronghold, Pune city and district. His cousin Supriya Sule, MP, and BJP leader Chandrakant Patil have markedly activated their supporters in the affairs of the area. This is considered as a new challenge for Ajit, who has been holding the reins of the district and city for nearly two decades. Ajit controls almost all the important institutions, including the prestigious Pune District Central Cooperative Bank, which is the fountainhead of finances for various cooperatives like sugar factories. However, in the past two weeks, he has had to cancel his two appearances, one at the boiler firing ceremony at Malegaon Sugar Factory, which is his fiefdom. More conspicuous is his absence from the centrestage of the various discussions that have been taking place for the past fortnight over the Maratha reservation demand. Perhaps the most influential Maratha leader after his uncle Sharad Pawar, his explanation that he is down with dengue raised many eyebrows. While he was bedridden, Patil and Sule held a series of meetings with their supporters in Pune. Ajit’s supporters are awaiting a signal from him. There is no dearth of speculation. One which has gone viral is that Ajit’s wife Sunetra is likely to enter the Lok Sabha election arena to challenge Supriya, who has been elected repeatedly from Baramati constituency. Ajit’s next move is expected to be announced soon now that the Maratha agitation is withdrawn.  
Suraj diamond bourse

Shinde Govt In Damage Control Mode As Diamond Traders Leave Mumbai

Maharashtra’s Eknath Shinde government has come in for much flak as the traders from the $ 23 billion big diamond business have started shifting base from Mumbai to Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB). The new diamond market at Surat has attracted attention for indulging in some aggressive marketing, even leveraging their political clout, to coerce Mumbai’s diamond traders to shift there. Even before its scheduled inauguration on December 17, at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mumbai diamond traders were lured with major incentives if they completely shut their shop in Mumbai. All this has not gone well with the Opposition parties in Maharashtra, who view this as part of a conspiracy from the Centre to reduce financial clout of Mumbai and Maharashtra. Maharashtra is already upset at the missed opportunities of Foxconn, Tata Airbus and the bulk drug park projects that moved to Gujarat over Maharashtra. The clear push for industries towards Gujarat over Maharashtra may upset BJP’s dream of wresting 40 out of the 48 Parliamentary seats from Maharashtra. Already, there is much consternation in the ruling alliance as some surveys show that public support is weakening for the BJP despite splitting the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Not surprisingly, the chief minister got the industries minister into damage control mode, who announced India’s biggest diamond cluster hub at Navi Mumbai within a year.

Is Kangana Ranaut At An Inflexion Point In Her Life?

Is reel life influencing 36-year old Kangana Ranaut’s real life? At least that’s what seems on the face of it. A politically savvy and well informed actor, she has been consciously choosing characters that are political heroes or villains. And she has been vocal about it that she is interested in politics and that too Modi kind. Kangana has played the role of modern leaders like Indira Gandhi and J Jayalalithaa. Besides, she has also donned the role of legendary and religious characters in movies like Manikarnika 2, Sita: The Incarnation. In all these films she worked hard to make sure that the film got noticed by the audience. In the case of Thalaivii she chose to focus on how Jayalalithaa was shamed by her male counterpart in the Tamil Nadu assembly. Is she thinking of plunging into politics full time? Her various interviews clearly convey that she is keen on representing Himachal Pradesh but will BJP oblige? She arrived at the new Parliament building to attend the session as a woman invitee. In the film trade people say most of her movies do okay business and so producers are a little shy of signing her. Also, her cinema is becoming more about showcasing herself and her political leanings. For instance, there was no need for her to show Ayodhya being targeted by the terrorist in her latest film Tejas which incidentally did not do well at the box office. Is Kangana Ranaut like many south Indian stars using the movie platform to pursue her political dream? 
Elvish yadav

Youtuber Elvish Yadav Performing Ganesh Aarti At Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Residence Goes Viral

Public figures are frequently made to face embarrassment as their pictures with controversial individuals standing next to them are later published. Their defence that they can’t know everybody in a crowd coming near them is valid, though mostly unbelieved by the general public. The latest such leader is embattled Maharashtra’s chief minister Eknath Shinde, who has been finding himself in a tight spot for the presence of infamous youtuber Elvish Yadav at his official residence during the 10-day Ganesh festival along with other celebrities. Barely recovering from the aftermath of an agitation to demand reservations for the Maratha caste, Shinde will be required to come out with his response to the tirade launched against him by the Opposition over Yadav’s presence at his house. Several videos of Yadav performing aarti at the CM’s home on September 25 have been made viral by leaders of the Opposition the moment the news of Yadav’s arrest landed on social media. Leader of Opposition in the assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar of the Congress, led the attack and was supported by Shiv Sena (Uddhav)  and NCP (Sharad Pawar) functionaries. Sena’s Sushma Andhare mounted an offensive by demanding to know how someone accused of making drugs from snake venom had reached the CM’s bungalow. Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, too, had to face some unpleasant moments when his picture with a questionable Nagpur politician was circulated by his detractors.
maneka gandhi

Maneka Gandhi Falls Backs On Wildlife Issues To Prop Up Herself, Call For Action On Youtuber Yadav Only A ‘Bahana’

For a person whose own political future is bleak, BJP MP Maneka Gandhi seems to have once again thrown herself head long into her old passion – wildlife protection issues. She got her NGO to file a complaint against YouTuber Elvish Yadav for using snake venom at rave parties in Noida, UP. Attacking Yadav for being on the run, Maneka wanted to know why the famous influencer was on the run. “This is a grade 1 crime, seven years in jail, a wildlife crime. King cobras die when their venom is taken out. Their venom is for digesting food. Without the venom, they can’t eat anything and thus they die. There are very few cobras and pythons in the country. It is a crime to own them, catch them or use them,” Maneka was heard telling TV channels. Demanding Yadav’s immediate arrest, Maneka Gandhi said her NGO was keeping a watch on Yadav for a long time as he used snakes in his YouTube videos. Then they found out that they sell snake venom. In a statement, a shocked Elvis Yadav dismissed Maneka’s charges as baseless and fake. According to the complaint filed by People For Animals, the NGO, contacted Elvish and asked him to organise a rave party and get Cobra venom. “Elvish gave us the name of one Rahul whom we contacted. He said he could organise the venom wherever we want. He then came to Sector 51 Banquet hall with the venom. The Noida police then came to the venue along with the DFO and arrested the organisers,” the complaint said.
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Shreyas Iyer Becomes A Petulant Child When Bowled A 'Bumper' By A Reporter!

Post-match press conferences featuring an India Men in Blue player are the most looked forward to event and it has been no different during the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Skipper Rohit Sharma has already made a few appearances, and has gone out of his way to give a detailed response to questions without losing his cool. On Thursday (Nov 2) the team nominated Shreyas Iyer to do the needful after his team had scored an emphatic 302-run win against Sri Lanka and qualified for the competition’s semi-finals. Iyer became a petulant child when asked about his problems and troubles against short balls and getting bounced out. Quite angry, Iyer, looking straight at the reporter asked: What do you mean by problems against the short ball? You guys have created this ‘mahol’ (environment). I know to tackle them (short balls), but batsmen can get out playing the pull shot.”  Iyer made the most of the opportunity against Sri Lanka by collaring their  attack — hitting 4s and 6s — and making a swashbuckling 56-ball 82, an aggressive undertaking that ensured India’s seventh win in a row in the competition. Iyer though left a bad taste in the mouth, by going after the reporter in a way he did — losing his composure. Iyer was in a completely jubilant mood though when Sachin Tendulkar named him as the best fielder in a sort of competition run by the team for every match to get the best out of a player in the field.
Hindu rashtra

8 Deadly Sins Against Hindus, Wake Up Hindustan

He is a familiar face on the news channel and it is a pleasure to watch him speaking on Hindutva or any other subject under the sun with such conviction and logic that you have become a convert. His astounding erudition shows. He is scientist, author Anand Ranganathan. In his fifth book, a non-fiction, Hindus In Hindu Rashtra Anand argues why Hindus in India are eighth-class citizens and victims of state-sanctioned apartheid. The eight chapters through which he convincingly argues, embellishes his arguments with facts, figures and events will make any ordinary Hindus angry. He is not rabble rousing; he is merely stating the obvious and that’s bitter for any Hindus to swallow because of our pretensions. He writes that “our Muslim population is 14.2%, in the last eight years, as many as 31.3% of homes under Awaas Yojna, 33% of funds under the Kisaan Samman Nidhi Yojana and 36% of loans under the Mudra Yojana have gone to the Muslims.  And Muslim girls who complete their graduation before marriage will get Rs 51,000 under BJP government’s Pradhan Mantri Shadi-Shagun Scheme. More. Waqf is the third-largest landowner in India, after defence and railways. And that Gyanwapi Mosque built atop the grand Kashi Vishwanath Temple is on Waqf land. The Chapters “Celebrating Those Who Killed and Converted Millions of Hindus” and “Places of Worship Act, 1991” make your blood boil. Yes, a false narrative is being spread that Muslims in India are persecuted. Shame. The book is a wake-up call, and Hindus should not wait for another Adi Shankaracharya, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Ahilayabai Holkar or Veer Savarkar to do their fighting. Time is now.  It is a must read for all Hindus.  
JP nadda amit

Will Shah-Nadda Personally Oversee Bengal In 2024 General Elections?

In an attempt to make a dent in West Bengal ahead of 2024 General Elections speculations are rife that the Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP National President Jagat Prakash Nadda are likely to take joint charge of the organisation of Bengal. According to sources, the state BJP has already been informed by the central leadership about the proposed arrangement. Moreover, during Shah’s recent visit to inaugurate Durga Puja Pandal of Santosh Mitra Square, he had categorically said, “I will come to Bengal regularly and will also talk about politics.” Echoing Shah, Nadda stated the same, mentioning that the BJP will ensure a corruption free Bengal. However, sources mentioned that continued internal feud in the Bengal BJP unit has resulted in these statements. There have been agitations, riots, clashes outside the party’s head office in Kolkata protesting the role of state leadership. Cadres tore district leaders and state president Sukanta Majumder’s posters. In separate incidents, two BJP MPs from Bengal face protests in their home turf. While Malda Uttar MP Khagen Murmu faced protests from villagers displaced by erosion, Union Minister of State Subhas Sarkar was locked at the party office by BJP supporters protesting his interference in appointments. Recently, old guards of state BJP have floated BJP Bachao Manch, and have taken to the path of agitation expressing their strong distrust of the role of the current state leadership. These incidents have left the central leadership extremely displeased with the state unit.
Eknath fadnavis pawar

Political Parties In Maharashtra Alarmed By Violence Over Maratha Reservation Issue

Alarmed by the spreading violence over the Maratha reservation demand, various political parties in Maharashtra have found it prudent to jointly issue an appeal to the general public to maintain law and order. In their joint statement, they condemned the acts of arson and rasta roko that have been taking place in some parts of the state. A meeting convened by chief minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday (Nov 1) was attended by veteran leader Sharad Pawar, the Shiv Sena (Uddhav) faction and various political party leaders. The agitation over the reservation demand has taken an ugly turn since Beed MLA Sandeep Kshirsagar’s house was set afire even when several family members were inside. Deputy chief minister (DCM) Ajit Pawar’s staunch supporter Prakash Solanke’s house too was attacked by an unruly mob. In several villages, politicians of all shades have been banned entry. In view of the developing situation, the state government has made preparations to deploy police bandobast outside the residences of prominent OBC leaders since the community is opposed to granting any Maratha reservation from its quota. Those supporting Maratha reservation have alleged that the ruling coalition is trying to drive a wedge between the two sections by taking such a step. The police have filed several criminal cases against the arsonists and violence-spreaders. At least half a dozen cases will be under IPC Section 307, attempt to murder, according to DCM Devendra Fadnavis.
Kejriwal letter

Kejriwal Picks A Few Tricks From Soren On Tackling ED

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal seems to have taken a lesson from Jharkhand CM Shibhu Soren who skipped five summons of ED in the land scam case and instead moved the Supreme Court challenging it. Soren didn’t get much relief from SC as it asked him to approach the high court. Making an identical legal point, Kejriwal in his letter to the ED made the big point about how the summons came in the way of political work — mainly election work. He skipped the ED summons, landed with Punjab CM Bhagwant Singh Mann in Madhya Pradesh for an election campaign.  It was surprising that Kejriwal remained oblivious to the fact that the SC had already passed the ED on its back for establishing a money trail of Rs 338 crore while denying bail to Delhi’s deputy CM Manish Sisodia in the liquor scam early this week. Maybe it is this money trail that must have alerted the wily CM. That is why in a closely guarded move, Kejriwal seems to have changed his mind of appearing before the ED at the   last minute. The ED issued the summons notice to Kejriwal on October 30 asking him to be present at its headquarters at 11 am on November 2. Shooting off a scathing letter to the agency, Kejriwal said “The summon notice is illegal and politically motivated. The notice was sent at the behest of the BJP. Notice was sent to ensure that I am unable to go for election campaigning in four states. ED should withdraw the notice immediately.”
Eknath shinde_003

Maharashtra CM’s Two Loyalist MPs Resign, Bowing To Maratha Demand

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde’s two loyalist MPs have resigned over the Maratha reservation demand that has engulfed the state in an orgy of violence. Shiv Sena (Shinde) Lok Sabha members from Nashik and Hingoli, Hemant Godse and Hemant Patil, have thus supported the long-pending reservation demand proactively. While Patil submitted his resignation to the Lok Sabha secretariat in New Delhi on Monday (Oct 30), Godse has sent his resignation letter to Shinde. Patil drafted his resignation letter on the spot and handed it over to the agitators when he was accosted by Maratha agitators in Yavatmal, challenging him to state his stand on the reservation demand. Soon after the news became viral, Patil was belittled by many of his detractors, including NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter and fellow MP Supriya Sule. She termed Patil’s resignation as a mere stunt. In retort, Patil said, “I am not born in a family whose two or even three generations are in power.” He regretted that although several leaders from the Maratha community became Maharashtra chief ministers, the caste didn’t get anything. Likewise, Godse drafted his resignation letter in Nashik when Maratha demonstrators asked him to clarify his stand on the burning issue. Patil was recently in the news when he had forced the dean of the government hospital in Nanded to clean toilets after the MP visited it following 24 deaths in 24 hours.

Didi Resumes Office Amid State Minister Arrest And Tata Nano Verdict

West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee returned to her office at Nabanna after one and half months due to her knee problem. Didi last visited her office on September 11 before she went to Spain and Dubai. She returned to Kolkata on September 23 and was forced to visit SSKM Superspeciality Hospital for knee problems. That’s when doctors advised her to rest. Since then, Didi has been working from home. As a result she was forced to ‘virtually’ inaugurate several Durga Puja pandals this year. On October 27, she went in person to attend the Durga Puja carnival at Red Road. Her government is under pressure — facing the twin blows of the arrest of her senior cabinet minister Jyotipriya Mallick in the ration distribution scam and Tata Motors winning the Singur case against the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation. The arbitral tribunal has directed the West Bengal government to pay Rs 766 crore with interest to the automobile giant since they were forced to shelve the Nano project in 2008. TMC is weighing options to challenge the verdict.
Anubhav mohanty)Manoj Mishra

New Controversy Surfaces At Ollywood, Anubhav Mohanty Accuses Manoj Mishra Of Creating Factions

Controversy doesn’t seem to leave Odia superstar and BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty. Be it his ongoing divorce proceedings with his wife Varsha or his fraternity in Ollywood denying his accusations. Reportedly, Manoj Mishra Ollywood’s well-known actor-director-producer has strongly denied via social media Mohanty’s allegations that he is instigating factionalism. The trigger apparently was the key role played by Mishra to boycott the screening of the film Ram at Sambalpur few days ago due to his strained relationship with the film producer Jitu Mangaraj. Mohanty also alleged that Mishra also tried to create conflict and misunderstanding between fellow cine stars Babushan, Arindam and himself. Reacting to these allegations Mishra said “I have never made any attempt knowingly or unknowingly to create any division in the industry”. Mishra also cited indifferent behaviour of cine stars Anubhav and Arindam not attending the release of his film Mind Game in spite of a personal invite by him to bless the inaugural show with their presence. With these controversies out in the open, Utkal Cine Chambers of Commerce have chosen to ban Manoj Mishra’s upcoming movies for two years. This action saw massive protests in western Odisha coming out in support of Mishra. Odia actor Babushan has said that this issue should not be escalated any more.

Wind Energy Evangelist PKC Bose Starts A New Innings

After successfully restarting the Indian operation of Enercon GmbH as its chairman and managing director, PKC Bose hung up his boots after five years at the German wind turbine manufacturer and made it a huge success. The man who proved his friends and critics wrong when they told him he was taking on an “impossible task” in bringing Enercon India back on keel, is not one to rest on his laurels, but continues to take on challenges and changes as he has in the last 30 years of his professional life. Believing as he does in doing things differently, Bose has now launched a new venture with his former colleagues. ENREGO (ENdless REnewable Energy to Go) is engaged in wind, solar hybrid, green hydrogen and energy storage management. This answer to his close friends’ questions of why he had decided to step down from Enercon and what he would do next, ENREGO is his next and biggest challenge. With global experts assessing the wind energy market as being poised to grow from $80.42 billion in 2022 to $160.24 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 9%, the venture is set for a flying future as wind currently contributes just over a third of the total global installations of 121 GW of renewable energy installed by the end of 2022, making India the world’s fourth-largest wind market.

Cheers! Beer To Be Less Dear In Maharashtra

For the first time perhaps, a government is proceeding with a plan of action to promote the sales and consumption of beer in the state. As a result, beer lovers in Maharashtra are soon likely to cheer up each other more spiritedly at a lesser cost. Concerned by the swelling loan burden that is around Rs7 lakh crore now, the declining amount of the excise revenue has created concern for the authorities. Noticing the declining excise recovery from beer, the state has set up a five-member committee to study the beer industry threadbare and recommend ways and means to swell its coffers by promoting the beer swill. The committee, to be headed by an additional chief secretary, has been asked to submit its report within a month. Probably, so that the New Year can be welcomed more spiritedly. Maharashtra and Telangana each have 14% share in the all-India beer market, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 9%. Kerala (6%, Tamil Nadu (7%) and Karnataka (8%) are the other major beer consuming states. The sole non-official member of the Maharashtra committee will be a nominee of the All India Brewers’ Association. The government resolution (GR) dated 16 October 2023 says the beer sales in the state have been going down ever since the excise duty on the brew was increased. The reason for the doddering revenue is that the alcohol content in beer is less as compared with liquor, imported and made indigenously. As a result, the sales of beer are drying up as boozers are not attracted to it due to its higher price. The committee’s report is awaited eagerly.
Lata rajinikantha

Photo: Sakshi

Cinema And Politics Converge At Lata Rajinikanth’s Vijayadashami Puja

The media couldn’t stop gasping over the grand Vijayadashami Golu celebration hosted by superstar Rajinikanth’s wife Lata. The Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at Antilia by Nita Ambani may have inspired Rajini’s wife to present this event, even as the superstar was in Mumbai for the shoot of his film Thalaivar 170 with Amitabh Bachchan. It was the guest list that set off all kinds of speculations.Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin’s better half, Durga was invited, his sister Selvi was seen clinging to her now powerful bhabhi. Not to be missed Tamilisai Soundararajan (Governor of two states), and yesteryear Tamil heroines Khushbu, Lata and Meena. Tamil super hero Vijay’s mother Shobha, a well-known singer was there too. To add to the mystery mix, the presence of breakaway AIADMK’s O Panneerselvam was significant in what was a predominant ladies Puja party. Oh, did we forget to mention that cinema and politics are a volatile mix in TN? Daughters Aishwarya and Soundarya were busy hosts .The event was obviously orchestrated to convey speculations. Lata Rajinikanth could be planning a women’s auxiliary team under her leadership. Or was it a back room bid to bring in Panneerselvan, TTV and Sasikala as the substitutes for EPS who dared the titans? Whatever the purpose, the arc lights were turned on, literally on Brindavan. The dead end location of Rajini’s residence and the long line of vehicles backed up, made the intended statement.

DMK Pleased To Have Confrontational Governor In Tamil Nadu

The standard response to confrontational Governors, whose number is growing in State capitals, would be for the regional party to ask for their recall. But the DMK is taking a different view of retired security forces honcho, RN Ravi, who is the Tamil Nadu Governor. The DMK and its chief MK Stalin want him to stay on in the Raj Bhavan because his run-ins with the State government is finding resonance with the party cadre as well as people as they are seeing through his game as one of North versus South. The Governor’s actions in stopping legislation, certain high-level appointments and his critique of the State’s view of Sanatana Dharma are making him the kind of anti-hero who can bind the opponents together. So high are the decibels of the confrontations with Stalin’s government that the DMK believes it will help the party get even more votes in the next polls. The daily cries of hate against the Governor grew to such an extent that someone tried to throw a Molotov cocktail at the Raj Bhavan. And the Director General of Police had to put out the visuals from CCTV to show it was as much a dud as a non-performing Diwali firecracker. DMK’s head honcho, firmly in the saddle and with the power play button in his hands as he alone can assure to deliver close to 40 seats for the I.N.D.I.A bloc which will be the highest number after the Congress, is laughing all the way to Fort St George as the Governor is helping his cadre bind into a cohesive vote gathering unit.
ShindeFamily modi

Maha CM Shinde Is PM Modi’s Blue-Eyed Guy, Political Winner Even If Disqualified

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde sits pretty over rumours of being replaced by deputy chief minister (DCM) Ajit Pawar for three months and now, his other DCM Devendra Fadnavis. Shinde, the blue-eyed-boy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is unlikely to be replaced till poll bells sound, unless the Supreme Court disqualifies him. BJP’s ‘X’ handle reiterated Fadnavis’ second coming as Maha CM, before hurriedly deleting the post. A BJP leader told, “PM Modi likes Shinde’s efforts as a grass roots worker, reiterated during the Covid pandemic (in erstwhile MVA government) when he contracted the nCov twice. Modi loves Shinde and only a few months back the entire Shinde’s clan (four generations) met PM Modi in Delhi. Earlier, under CM Fadnavis his diligent work during the Kerala floods of 2018 caught the PM’s eye.” He reveals that Shinde is in Modi’s good books for elevation as Union Minister with elections in Maharashtra projecting DCM Fadnavis. Sources say Shinde’s MP son Dr Shrikant is being groomed as Maha DCM in the next state government. When Pawar recently joined the government Shinde’s Sena did not lose many portfolios like Fadnavis led BJP did, due to the 50:50 share of power agreement. Pawar’s political pound of flesh recently (guardianship of Pune and other districts), saw BJP’s Chandrakant Dada Patil losing out his Pune turf. Modi’s new political template using ‘report card’ assessments was to the detriment of BJP leaders while rewarding staunch NDA allies like Shinde, who may face disqualification but still come out a winner.
RamCharan battery

Chennai Firm Develops And Patents Eco-Friendly Batteries

“Go Green” has become the new mantra. Countries across the globe are striving hard to ensure a cleaner environment. The key here is eco-friendly batteries. Not surprisingly, scientists and researchers alike are burning midnight oil to discover an alternative to Li-ion batteries. “Go Green” can be a realistic endeavour only if an alternative is found to Li-ion batteries. This Chennai-based firm appears to have hit upon a solution. Ram Charan Company Private Ltd has just become the first company to be granted a patent in the solid state battery using sodium as a key material. The proof of concept on solid state sodium silicate batteries has been in development since 2021. Claimed to be a breakthrough work, solid state sodium batteries are likely to be tested in real time applications by 2024-end. The breakthrough initiative could have far-reaching implications for EVs (electric vehicles), space programmes and the like. Can a fully recyclable product sans toxic residue, solid state sodium silicate battery be made commercially in an affordable manner? Ram Charan’s founder Kaushik Palicha feels he can. This Chennai firm – which is doing pioneering work in the area of waste management -rose from obscurity to national limelight when it attracted $4.1 billion investment from a U.S.-based private equity in 2021. Public sector SAIL has, in fact, roped in Ram Charan to manage waste in some of its plants. Well, “Go Green” is set for a big boost.

Star Marriages Are No Longer Behind The Screen

Bollywood’s two popular stars Aditya Roy Kapur and Ananya Pandya have gone public about their romance. Will it end in marriage? Early days. Interestingly, Bollywood has had quite a few marriages in 2023 — Parineeti Chopra tying knots in Rajasthan with AAP leader Raghav Chadda being the biggest of them all. Then came her co-star Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani’s marriage again in Rajasthan. Parineeti married Raghav, her colleague from the London School of Economics. She was earlier dating director Maneesh Sharma. Swara Bhasker, known for making controversial statements, married Samajwadi Party leader Fahad Ahmad. Now in motherhood, she was going steady with script writer Himanshu Sharma who dumped her for Kanika Dhillon. Unlike the earlier days when actors hid relationships, age as they were worried about their stardom getting affected today’s stars are quite open about it; walk hand-in-hand and pose for the paps. Recall Ranbir Kapoor had taken offense about paps following him and Katrina Kaif and the same man didn’t mind posing with Alia before marriage. Katrina was one oddball who didn’t let the paps get her and Vicky Kaushal together till the marriage was announced. In the end it shows those selling dreams to their fans actually want to lead a normal family life — have children, run their house, and don’t mind sacrificing their career. Neetu Singh did it. So did Madhuri Dixit, Meenakshi Seshadri. But, the younger lots like Karishma, Aliya, Anushka and Kiara are quite smart in managing both the worlds.

Is Siddaramaiah In A Hurry To Exit As Karnataka CM?

There is strong buzz in Karnataka’s Congress circles that chief minister Siddaramaiah would like to hand over the reins to one of his trusted cabinet colleagues and Dalit leader Dr G Parameshwar rather than fall into machinations of the JD(S) like HD Kumaraswamy which is trying to bring down his government along with the BJP. He is reportedly reluctant to hand over charge to PCC chief and deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar (DKS), who belongs to the dominant Vokkaligga community. The stories of multiple recoveries made by the I-T department have simply shocked those in the government. What kick-started the buzz about leadership change was the dinner hosted by Parameshwar for Siddaramaiah and his loyalists in the Cabinet like Dr HC Mahadevappa and Satish Jharkioli last week. The dinner assumed significance as DKS is apparently pushing for giving South Bengaluru status to Ramanagar district. JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy who made Ramanagar a separate district during his stint as CM feels DKS is perhaps playing into the hands of the builder lobby. The Congress leadership is hugely relying on DKS to manage the assembly elections across states. DKS has become the face of the Karnataka model of freebie governance in Telangana; he even said Telangana freebies are better than Karnataka. That means it is quite clear this deputy CM is no push over.

Free Water From BCCI, Cold Drinks & Popcorn From Mumbai Cricket Association Make For Happy Spectators

Water has always been a hot topic during an international cricket match in India with spectators not allowed to carry it to the stadium because of security reasons, mainly to act as a deterrent on the rowdy from throwing bottles in the stands and on the ground which can hurt spectators and players. Vendors pay a high sum to do business for profit at the venue making water and eatables a premium product for the spectator who has already shelled out good money for the match ticket. In these circumstances, the BCCI and Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) have done their bit to alleviate the cricket faithful’s distress by providing water for gratis at all World Cup venues. Jay Shah, secretary, BCCI used social media on October 5 to say: ” I am proud to announce that we’re providing free mineral and packaged drinking water for spectators at stadiums across India. Stay hydrated and enjoy the games!” After two World Cup matches the MCA secretary Ajinkya Naik made an announcement saying “MCA President Shri @Amolkk1976 the apex council members have decided to provide complimentary one-time servings of popcorn and a cold beverage to all fans attending World Cup matches at Wankhede.” In one stroke the BCCI made water easily available at the venues benefitting lakhs of spectators and the MCA added a cold beverage and the energy boosting popcorn for three matches at the Wankhede. Hope both extend the good practice during the bilateral series internationals for men and women!
Fadnavis _002

I Am Attacked Since I Am A Brahmin, Thunders Fadnavis

Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has adopted an aggressive stance towards his critics who have been attacking him on the basis of his caste. “I am a Brahmin and can’t change this. Those calling me names on this basis know that I am a soft target on this account,” he said in an interview to a TV channel. Fadnavis has been at the receiving end in view of the Maratha caste’s demand for reservations, the issue which has been holding fire for several decades. The deputy chief minister said as chief minister between 2014 and 2019, he had granted reservations for the Maratha caste and it was upheld by the  Apex Court. However, the later regime could not retain it in the Supreme Court for various reasons, known to everybody. He thundered, “Those talking for Marathas have not been able to do anything for the caste, except making allegations and demands. It was I who had given the reservations. Still, I am castigated on account of my caste.” The state is in turmoil because of the Maratha demand and its vehement opposition by different sections like the OBCs. As its side effects, some other castes like Dhangar (shepherd) have also began agitations to press their similar demand. Several villages have been declared out of bound for political leaders by the Maratha Kranti Morcha for ignoring their demand. The candid observation by Fadnavis has the backdrop of this situation.
Ram mandir

The Long Wait For Ram In Ayodhya Officially Ends

Nothing has disturbed the Congress more than Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust inviting PM Narendra Modi for the consecration ceremony of the grand Ram temple in Ayodhya on January 22. Why has the invitation been extended only to PM Modi? Opposition leaders wonder if it had become a party event just ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Congress leader Salman Khurshid, who had legally opposed the temple, wanted to know if the invitation was being sent to only one party. For the first time, the Congress feared Ram Mandir could become a factor in poll-bound elections in state assemblies in the Hindi heartland. Perhaps, what must have unsettled the Congress was the way PM Modi responded to the invite on X. “Jai Siya Ram. Today is a day full of emotions. I feel very blessed. It is my good fortune that in my lifetime I will witness this historic occasion.” In his Vijaya Dashami address, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat appealed to people to hold functions in nearby temples on January 22. Bhagwat said, “Our Lord Ram, whose picture also adorns the original copy of our Constitution, will enter his temple in Ayodhya on January 22. We won’t be able to attend the ceremony because of security reasons…” Meanwhile, the Deepotsav tradition in Ayodhya which began with the Yogi Adityanath government in 2017 has set a target of lighting 24 lakh ‘diyas’ (earthen lamps) this year. The VHP has planned to launch a nation-wide campaign of asking each household to light five earthen lamps during Diwali and dedicating it to the 500 year wait for the Ram temple.
Karukka rajbhavan

Is The DMK On The Backfoot After A Rowdy Lobs A Crude Country Bomb On The Raj Bhavan Gate?

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi has rewritten history by confrontations with DMK ever since he stepped into the Raj Bhavan. On October 25, a crude petrol bomb was lobbed across the main gate of the Raj Bhavan by an alleged rowdy, Karukka Vinod. The shocked reaction of the Raj Bhavan, to the extent of calling in the NIA seems exaggerated, according to DMK and its claim about law and order breakdown in TN is a political ploy. It is still hoping to rope in a Dravidian party. But the DMK government and the Chennai Police Commissioner are now berated in every medium for their perceived apathy to such “a grave attack”. Governor Ravi has taken on the task of politically hitting the DMK with missionary zeal…not signing bills, especially the NEET, planning and executing his own socio political agendas much to the irritation of chief minister MK Stalin. The most recent blowout was his take on Dravidian attitude to Freedom Fighters from TN. He says that even freedom fighters are bracketed into caste categories and not given their due respect or recognition. Is this a curtain raiser to woo the Thevar votes as their leader? Muthuramalinga Thevar was an iconic freedom fighter. This tug-of-war between the Governor and DMK is going only to escalate till 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Mamata Balu

Trinamool’s Tryst With ED, One More Didi’s Close Minister Arrested

With Durga puja revelry coming to an end, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress government received a jolt after one of its heavyweight ministers Jyotipriya Mallick was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with “ration distribution scam”.  Mallick, commonly called Balu, received Didi’s support when she addressed the media at her residence and accused the BJP of targeting TMC in West Bengal and termed the raid as ‘vendetta politics’ ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Interestingly, the arrest comes after Union Home Minister Amit Shah who visited Kolkata on the occasion of inauguration of one of the prestigious city puja pandals, claimed that the Central government will end corruption in Bengal. Incidentally, ED and CBI have arrested couple of arrests of TMC heavyweight leaders: Partha Chatterjee (Jul 2022), Anubrata Mondal (Aug 2022), Manik Battacharjee (Oct 2022), Jibonkrishna Saha (Apr 2023) and few more youth leaders in Teacher’s Recruitment Scam and Cattle Smuggling Scam. Recently, ED raided another Didi’s man and minister Firhad Hakim’s in the Municipal Recruitment Scam. There have been multiple summons to Didi’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira by the ED.  West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, CPI(M) state member Sujan Chakraborty, and BJP State President Sukanta Majumder squarely blamed the chief minister for the high level of corruption in the state.


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.