AMID ALL the political developments in Bihar, JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi, who has been fighting hard to dismiss any suggestions of his party joining hands with the BJP, has been found offering a “secular mango” to his visitors. The mango, actually named Anwar Ratol, happens to be a favourite of the JD(U) leader. Along with the mangoes, Tyagi has also been providing a historical perspective on how Anwar Ratol is claimed by Pakistan as its own, and how the fruit grown in Uttar Pradesh has been supplied even to Pakistani leaders in the past as part of the Indian government’s mango diplomacy. Tyagi recently visited the Ratol village in Uttar Pradesh where this small, sweet mango comes from.
AMIDST ANTI-HINDI protests in southern states, a section of Hindi writers and university professors last week met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and urged him not to include Hindi dialects like Rajasthani and Bhojpuri into the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. Their argument — that an independent status to such dialects would weaken the base of Hindi — has divided the votaries of Hindi. The opposing group has countered that with this kind of “patronising” and “hegemonic” attitude towards Hindi dialects, efforts to convince the southern states to embrace Hindi would never succeed.
In mid-April, BJP’s Kerala unit had announced a mission to collect Rs 100 crore from mandal, block, panchayat and district levels for preparations for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Although the mission was supposed to complete by June 25, state leaders have not yet come out with the details of the fund-raising. It is being claimed that the audit process is still on. This has led to questions on the success of the fund-raising exercise.