At the inauguration of an exhibition titled “Cultural Continuity from Rigveda to Robotics” at the Lalit Kala Akademi on Thursday, Odissi dancer Sonal Mansingh was one of the chief guests. During her speech, mobile phones of the audience kept ringing, disturbing her. After one such instance, she decided to speak up about it. “This is what modern society has given us. Please switch off your phones. We’re talking about the rigvedic times and there were no mobile phones then,” said a visibly irritated Mansingh.
A late night meeting at the Delhi Secretariat on dengue last week was interrupted by a ‘crisis’ on the seventh floor. A pigeon had died outside one of the window panes. Many orderlies, bearers and sweepers debated on who would remove the body. ‘Frantic’ calls were made to a missing orderly who had dealt with a similar ‘crisis’ in the past. “It was found that the orderly had been transferred. The arguments among those present grew so loud that a meeting on dengue was interrupted. Finally, a reluctant sweeper had to clear the remains,” said a source.
A Delhi court, which is hearing arguments on framing of charges against suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives — including Pakistani national Arshad Khan — in a criminal conspiracy case, had to fix the matter for another day. The reason is that Arshad, who is presently lodged in Kolkata’s Alipore Jail, could not be produced before the court via video conferencing due to a “technical error”.
An engineer visited his friend, a senior police officer, and told him that he had been promoted to the post of senior chief engineer. The police officer immediately quipped, “But what will you be called when you are promoted further? We are grappling with a similar situation. New posts of ‘senior special commissioners’ have been created for the senior-most officers of DG rank, to elevate them above those at the same post but from a junior batch. One year down the line, when a junior batch officer is promoted to the post of senior special commissioner, those who currently hold this post could become ‘very senior special commissioners’.”
When the rape case against a Saudi diplomat in Gurgaon first broke, a journalist from a leading English daily went to the office of the Gurgaon Commissioner of Police and asked him for something ‘big’ in the case. The commissioner, on a piece of paper, wrote ‘big news’ and gave it to the journalist.
Keeping the press happy
On Saturday night, the Gurgaon police came out in force on the city’s popular MG Road, asking people to disperse after midnight. This involved shooing away auto-rickshaws and cars parked on the side of the road. Constables at the scene, however, were wary of any harm coming to vehicles belonging to one particular ilk — journalists. “The media often does stories that we are not working well, and our jobs then come under scrutiny. So we try and keep them happy,” said a policeman. Minutes later, he took the keys of a journalist’s car himself and parked it at a safe distance where it would come to no harm if they decided to tow away vehicles. “Whatever happens to us, nothing should happen to you,” he said.
A United Congress
At the Congress’ Kisan Samman rally at Ramlila grounds on Sunday, several Pradesh Congress chiefs and party leaders were called to the dais to address farmers ahead of the party president Sonia Gandhi’s speech. Youth Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Brar’s speech went on for longer than the allotted time. When advised to cut his speech short, Brar said he would not stop and went on to point out shortfalls of the party. “I will take some more time. What is lacking in the Congress is that we keep fighting with each other. We have to stop this. We have to be united.”