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Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government's plan of currency demonetisation, reactions have been divided among Indians. While the political class insist the inconvenience caused by the move is a minor one, a large section of the population continues to panic over the fate of their cash. Across the country, the poor fell victim to the black market (this is probably as ironic as it gets in the context of the removal of black money), while others stood in serpentine queues at ATMs or banks for hours on end. There were reports of misery and suffering, caused by ignorance and unpreparedness, even involving the death of a woman of shock on learning the cash she had got from the sale of her land was useless. India's privileged classes, though less affected by the move, whined and complained, making an exhibition of their elitism.
HuffPost had been predicted Donald Trump's defeat long since the man started campaigning. How did it get the forecast so wrong? What did not work for the model used to make the prediction? All your questions are answered here. With Trump finally in power, Sandip Roy compares what the American elections meant to him eight years ago, when Barack Obama was elected to office, with the return of the Republicans to the White House. "America has not just turned bigoted or racist en masse. And all votes for Trump were not born out of racism either," he writes. "Nevertheless it feels like the end of a certain kind of leader."
India's best-known badminton duo Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa have split up, though this is not the first time the two have parted ways. TS Sudhir explains what the implications of their separation means to Indian badminton: Will this moment be an opportunity for a new pair to rise in Indian sports? What would it mean for the careers of Gutta and Ponnappa?
The political temperature in election-bound Punjab just got a few notches higher with the Supreme Court declaring a law enacted by the Punjab government in 2004 as unconstitutional. Thanks to this legal move, the state had managed to opt out of its liability of constructing the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal and share the Ravi-Beas waters with its neighbours. In protest against the judgment, Congress MLAs resigned en masse and state party president Amarinder Singh also quit as member of parliament. A press conference has been called today.
Following the recent ouster of Cyrus Mistry, Tata Sons took even more severe steps by removing the former chairman from the board of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). However, the independent directors of Tata Chemicals supported Mistry, the second Tata company to do so after Indian Hotels. Tata Sons finally also elaborated on the reasons behind Mistry's sacking, citing betrayal of trust as the reason behind its decision to remove him.
The income tax department carried out searches in Delhi, Mumbai and Punjab, acting on information that old currency notes were being exchanged for a price and even used to purchase gold. Officials refused to call these surveys raids, saying these were regular checks to stem fiscal malpractices. More such searches will be undertaken in the coming few weeks.
Off The Front Page
Instead of metal pellets, chilli balls will be fired in case of exigencies in Kashmir by the paramilitary forces. Since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani in July this year, the Valley has been on the boil. Hundreds have demonstrated against the use of force by the Indian army, which has retaliated by firing from pellet guns. The injuries caused by pellets, especially when fired at the faces of the protestors, have led to partial or permanent damage to the eyesight of many. While the current order authorises the use of chill balls, it allows the provision of resorting to pellets in the "rarest of rare cases".
A Congress minister in the government of Karnataka was caught watching porn on his mobile on a day the rest of the state was busy celebrating Tipu Jayanti. With the opposition raising a stink over the pictures, the minister's defence has fallen on deaf ears so far.
The general secretary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's women's wing, Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, is a woman who does not believe in marital rape. "There is nothing called marital rape. Marriage is a sacred bond. Coexistence should lead to bliss," Seetha Annadnam said, "If we are able to understand the concept of this bliss, then everything runs smooth." We don't understand her concept at all, that's for sure.
In the Hindustan Times, Ramesh Vinayak revisits the "uncanny history" the issue of water has in inflaming passions in Punjab. In the light of the verdict by a five-member constitutional bench of Supreme Court rejecting the validity of the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, he examines the knotty politics and history behind the law. "The legal tangle has since then been a ticking time bomb," he concludes. "Its eruption has not only uncorked a torrent of political reactions, but also added fire and brimstone to the parties' competitive pro-Punjab pitch."
An editorial in Mint critically looks at PM Modi's latest move to drive out black money and points out few immediate issues. First, the Reserve Bank of India should "reconsider the extent as well as the composition of its currency printing". Second, "most of the increase in cash in recent years comes from notes with high denominations", so introducing new Rs 2,000 currency notes may not be the best idea. Unless new ways of creating black money are effectively anticipated and addressed, the editorial says, the menace will continue to haunt Indian economy.
In The Telegraph, Ruchir Joshi points out the electoral victories of Modi, Putin and Trump are not isolated instances, but their ascendance owes to an overall move towards conservatism across the world. "There is Erdogan, there is Netanyahu and there is Duterte, and there behind them comes the next batch of European fascists." But even the darkest cloud has a silver lining and so does the current geopolitical scenario, he says.
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