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Facing the music

It’ll be interesting to see how the event unfolds.

Written by Express News Service |
May 26, 2011 3:52:31 am

Facing the music

After kicking off a huge and heated debate with his disparaging remarks on the IITs earlier this week,Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh will come face to face with IIT students and staff on Friday. Ramesh is scheduled to address the convocation at IIT Guwahati. The invitation for this function was extended before the minister’s recent statement which drew widespread criticism from IIT faculty. It’ll be interesting to see how the event unfolds.


The members of a delegation of Indian MPs on a visit to Vietnam were given a surprising taste of India during the visit. At one event,which they had presumed would be a typical interaction with differently abled children at Ho Chi Minh City,a visually challenged young girl started playing the piano. The moment the Vietnamese girl struck the chord,they were dumbstruck,as much by the finesse of her finger-work as the familiarity of the notes. It was an old Alisha Chenoy number she was playing: ‘Made in India,Made in India,Ek dil chahiye bas made in India.’ By the time she had finished,she had captivated all made-in-India hearts.

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The Congress party’s crisis managers are somewhat taken aback by the charge of the old brigade. Former Union Minister C K Jaffer Sharief on Wednesday endorsed his party colleague Vasant Sathe’s view that Priyanka Vadra should join active politics. Sharief said that Priyanka should take the “centrestage” in party affairs because she has “greater mass appeal”. Last week,R K Dhawan had said that Rahul Gandhi should not repeat his father Rajiv Gandhi’s mistake of surrounding himself with “relatives and friends”. All the three leaders were Indira Gandhi loyalists and have been on the sidelines in the party,of late.


The BJP central leadership had managed to quell a rebellion of sorts against Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokriyal Nishank being waged by his predecessors B C Khanduri and Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. But now there is another irritant. Party leaders say a perception is gaining ground among a sizeable section of the masses that the state government was responsible for the price rise. With elections just a year away,the party cannot afford to allow such a perception to take root and one gets to hear that it is now planning to hold a series of rallies in the state to put the blame for rising prices on the Centre.


While US officials are quick to point to their rules if any foreign VIP objects to being frisked or patted down at a US airport,US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano,who is visiting India these days,and her entourage did not face the same embarrassment. Before Napolitano and her accompanying delegation left Mumbai for Delhi on Wednesday,they were expected to undergo the mandatory frisking. While Napolitano was exempted,others in the delegation raised objections. In the end,the US side said it was their own aircraft and so,it was their choice to undergo embarkation procedures or not. At that point,Indian officials also backed off and let the US have its way.

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