It is expected people of the world will have a vaccine to fight the coronavirus pandemic faster than superstar Rajinikanth’s promised political plunge, which we were told was delayed because of the pandemic. Elections in Tamil Nadu are due around May-June 2021 and a vaccine, we still don’t know which one, would have likely reached crores of Indians by then.
On Monday, however, Rajinikanth met members of the Rajnikanth Makkal Mandaram, the political outfit he had announced years ago, to decide on his political course, which also he promised years ago. You can’t blame Rajini if years decide to pass, but you can blame him for not being able to decide on his politics as years pass by.
BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya has, meanwhile, blamed ‘the Khalistanis and Maoists’ for opposing Farm Laws in the face of protests that have reached from Punjab and Haryana to Delhi’s borders, threatening to gherao Delhi. Even as farmers have decided to stay at the borders, more are joining them from Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah yesterday told farmers that the government was ready to hold talks once they move to the Nirankari Samagam Ground in Burari.
Some farmers reached there and began the protest, but most stayed away saying they will accept no conditions for talks. They have laid out what they want and will have no less. What do the farmers want? What the farmers want is that the government withdraw the three laws or guarantee them the minimum support price (MSP) by bringing in a new law. The government has said the MSP will not be taken away but the farmers say, “Say that in writing.”
They want to protest either at Ramlila Ground or Jantar Mantar, but not the Burari ground. They are not alone in saying no — a complete sentence — to the Burari ground. In 2011, social activist Anna Hazare also said the same thing, because if you are protesting at the Nirankari Samagam Ground you can’t disrupt traffic or anything else. Who cares about a protest that disrupts nothing? Let’s be real about it — no one.
Farmers have refused to call off the protests. (Photo: PTI)
But it ain’t completely true that protest at the Nirankari Ground won’t disrupt anything. On a non-rainy Sunday, like the one we had yesterday, it can disrupt about 15 cricket matches and a lot of kiting enthusiasts, along with cyclists and walking enthusiasts. Also, those who show no enthusiasm towards any physical activity, but have to undertake them out of compulsion.
What we are trying to convey is just how big the ground is. The ground is spread over 2,30,000 square metres or the size of around 15 cricket fields. It has so far been used only to play and not protest.
Since farmers are not moving to the designated ground, the Centre is not meeting them. And just in case that makes you wonder what the Union Agriculture Minister is doing amid the crisis, well, Narendra Singh Tomar met Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed the issue. What came out of the discussion wasn’t communicated after the duo came out of the meeting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wasn’t part of the meeting, reached out to the farmers at the Delhi border from Varanasi — a distance of about 870 kms. The distance is not important, the message is. Modi said the new laws have given farmers new options and legal protection.
But what is Modi doing in Varanasi?
PM Modi travelled to Varanasi to inaugurate the six-lane widening project of the Handia (Prayagraj)-Rajatalab (Varanasi) section of National Highway 19. If you are in Varanasi on Kartik Poornima, you can’t afford to miss Dev Deepawali. What is the cost of missing it? A huge amount of post-return regret.
All ghats are lighted with diyas during Dev Deepawali. (Photo for representation)
The PM has no such regret because he did attend Dev Deepawali, celebrated 15 days after Deepawali or Diwali, whatever you call it.
If the PM celebrated Dev Deepawali in the evening, in the morning, he wished everyone on Parkash Purab, which is celebrated by Sikhs in India, Pakistan and Britain, also wherever else they are, on Guru Nanak Jayanti.
You may do a lot of things on Parkash Purab but you haven’t really done it all if you haven’t had kada prasad. How to make it? Keep oodles of ghee handy and the rest is easy and greasy - also yummy on the tongue and filling for the tummy. Protesting farmers treated police officers deployed to stop them from moving ahead with kada prasad.
Protesting farmers treated police officers deployed to stop them from moving ahead with kada prasad. (Photo: ANI)
We told you the festival is celebrated mostly by Sikhs, but have you ever wondered where does the word Sikh come from? Sikh, the Word Of The Day, comes from the Sanskrit word shishya, which means ‘disciple’ or ‘student’. So Sikhism has 10 gurus, and those who follow the gurus, the guru’s shishya.
Urmila Matondkar, however, could well be on her way to becoming a Shiv Sainik after a stint with Congress that lasted about five-six months and a political sanyas that lasted close to a year.
Shiv Sena loudmouth Sanjay Raut made the announcement. Raut said Matondkar is likely to join tomorrow. Matondkar herself has said no such thing. So we will know more about it when tomorrow comes tomorrow.
In more news from Mumbai, where Matondkar is likely to join Shiv Sena tomorrow, 75 per cent people in slums have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, which would mean they have crossed the herd immunity mark of 50 per cent by a margin of 25 per cent. The megapolis has offered the most mega seroprevalence rate in the country.
Urmila Matondkar may join the Shiv Sena tomorrow. (Photo: PTI)
In the five slums of the Cuffe Parade area, 605 patients out of 806 tested positive for antibodies. But the interesting thing is that only eight out of 806 patients who were tested, reported having tested positive for Covid in the past. So most recovered without knowing what they were recovering from or that they were recovering at all. Such examples may make you think the coronavirus is not as deadly as you thought. When such thoughts cross your mind, jog your memory through all cases where the virus won and people died. The first step to being stronger than the virus is being smarter than it. Avoid a meeting at all costs.
Skipper Virat Kohli, however, met with criticism from most corners even as he received support from some quarters. After two successive huge losses against Australia, former cricketer and current BJP MP Gautam Gambhir blamed Kohli’s captaincy for the loss, while ‘Turbanator’ Harbhajan Singh said one man alone can’t do it all.
Amid this blame and no-blame contest, India will enter the third ODI contest against Australia on Wednesday.
But we will meet you again on Tuesday.
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