The message of cleanliness is not out of place even during some pre-examination pep talk. At the Pariksha pe Charcha 2.0 on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated Swachh Bharat Mission while counselling students on how to handle depression. He said, “Go out, write down everything that is bothering you in a diary. Never read it again. Tear up the pages. Then put them in your pocket. Don’t litter, because Swachh Bharat…”
Of Write & ‘Wrongs’
As several Bahujan Samaj activists and politicians such as Tejashwi Yadav and Jignesh Mevani spoke against the 10-per cent reservation for EWS category and the UGC roster system at a meet in a packed Constitution Club hall on Tuesday, listening quietly in the audience was novelist-activist Arundhati Roy. Roy never took to the podium and sat through the entire three-hour-plus session. Speaking to this columnist afterward, Roy said she agreed with the speakers that the BJP-led Central government is trying to change the basic structure of the Constitution. “This is just a way of undoing all forms of social justice that we tried to achieve. They are also undoing it in their land grab, in privatisation of education and health, creating spheres in which no social justice laws can be formulated…. Reservation is not a poverty alleviation scheme,” she said.
If Congress spokespersons were not seen on TV on the Ram Mandir debate on Tuesday, it was not accidental. The party had taken a conscious decision and avoided sending its leaders for debates on the issue, which it feels is a double-edged sword. The BJP, it believes, not just wants to set the narrative but wants to project the Congress as the villain in the Ram temple story. Congress leaders argue that many top BJP leaders, including UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has already alleged that the Congress is coming in the way of the temple’s construction. It is not the first time, however — the Congress these days avoids sending its spokespersons to TV debates that have a potential to arouse passions and polarise people, the last instance being the event at Bhima Koregaon, near Pune, which had taken centrestage this time after the violence last year.