A Face-off between the media and officials in Kerala House has been brewing for the past few days and it reached a high point Saturday when the media boycotted a press conference called by the state social welfare minister. It all began after the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had expressed his displeasure over television channels recording the visuals of his meeting with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in Kerala House. The media was invited by the information wing to cover Doval’s meeting. Since then the authorities have removed the facilities for TV media to keep the microphones, shut down the toilet near the media room and barred journalists from the guest house dining room. The matter has now gone to the Chief Minister.
Shaban Bukhari, the 19-year-old youngest son of Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, is all set to be anointed as the Vice-Imam of the 350-year-old mosque. Shaban, who is an undergraduate student of Amity University, is the 14th generation of his family to hold the post. Syed Ahmed Bukhari became Vice-Imam in 1973 and Shahi Imam in 2000.
POSER FOR HEMA
A day after BJP Mathura MP Hema Malini voiced her concern over “love jihad” and vowed to raise it in Parliament, the Congress posed an interesting question. Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed took to Twitter and talked about Hema Malini and her husband Dharmendra’s conversion to Islam at the time of their marriage. “Present BJP MP Hema Malini & Dharmendra (14th LS) were converted to Islam at the time of their marriage. Was it “Love Jihad”? Only BJP can say,” he said. Interestingly, two of the most visible Muslim faces of the BJP — Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain — are both married to Hindus.
Two of the Congress’s legal eagles as well as its well known media faces seem to be at war with each other. And the communication department has found itself in the cross-fire. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address, one of them went on Twitter with a series of comments saying the PM has struck the right notes and no one should criticise his speech per se, but arguing that the question is all about delivery. He said it is to be seen whether his words will be matched by deeds. It so happened that his comments, interpreted as charitable by some, was put to the Congress spokesperson for a reaction the very next day. And one gets to hear that the leader who went on Twitter is suspecting the other of having instigated media personnel to raise this question. Not just that, he has written to the media department questioning the presence of a close aide of the other leader at the press conference to back his charge.