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Amid the thousands of voices that condemned the dastardly killing of Gauri Lankesh was an unmistakable clamour justifying her end. Proud foot soldiers of the ultra-right took up arms against Lankesh, who vocally criticised their ilk. Some of these "trolls" happen to be followed by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter. On Thursday late evening, the BJP IT cell released a statement stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "has never blocked or unfollowed anyone on Twitter" and his following someone is "not a character certificate".
A bunch of people decided to take offense on behalf of the Bengalis who celebrate Durga Puja. And not surprisingly, those ranting against Jawed Habib's Durga Ad know nothing about Bengal's Puja traditions. The ad depicted goddess Durga with her entourage in a salon, getting facials and beauty treatments done like ordinary mortals. A lesson for those ranters: For several generations of Bengalis and residents of Bengal, the tradition of humanising deities for artwork, commercials, plays and suchlike is as old as their first memories of Durga Puja itself. Read about it here.
The Haryana Police is investigating claims that top Dera Sacha Sauda functionaries paid a 'supari' (contract) of ₹5 crore to criminal elements to instigate violence in Panchkula and other places after sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's conviction for rape.
In a show of solidarity with Myanmar, India refused to be a part of a declaration adopted at an international conference as it carried "inappropriate" reference to violence in Rakhine state from where 125,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh.
Train derailments are now becoming a norm. And that's tragic. Three trains jumped off the tracks and another derailment was averted on Thursday in Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi and Maharashtra within a span of nine hours, the latest in a string of such incidents which saw the exit of Suresh Prabhu as railway minister in the Cabinet reshuffle last Sunday. The Telegraph points out the problems with the Indian Railways: Unmanned level crossings and track defects.
Late senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh's sister, Kavitha Lankesh, on Thursday said that the hatred towards former's "extreme leftist ideology" has been a strong factor behind her death. "What has been vehement factor, whole hate has been towards her ideology of being extreme leftist that killed her," Kavitha told ANI. She said that Naxals cannot be behind Lankesh's death.
Off The Front Page
When the newly sworn-in Union tourism minister K J Alphons was asked whether cow vigilantism and restrictions on beef consumption in several states had affected India's hospitality sector, his response was: Eat beef in your own countries and then come to India.
After North Korea detonated a possible thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb last Sunday, it has raised security concerns in India. The security experts in the country feel that this will translate into concrete gains for Pakistan like it has in the past, with the help of China.
In an editorial for Indian Express, Shashi Deshpande writes about the killings of people who had a voice of dissent. "Once again, the government promises an investigation, a search for the killers, but can we believe them? Is Gauri's murder also going to remain an unsolved case?" He says that there was only one reason for which Gauri Lankesh was killed. It was to send out a message. "If you dissent, we are waiting for you. To kill some and instill fears in many is a way of silencing people."
Recently Singer Sona Mohapatra accused Kangana Ranaut of doing a "disservice" to feminism by washing her "dirty linen in public." In response to that, Sanjukta Basu writes a blog saying that Kangana is actually helping feminism. "Do you know what women who tried to break gender norms were told? They were told, 'Do not wash dirty linen in public.' You made this exact regressive retort to Kangana Ranaut in the 21st century."
In an editorial for Hindustan Times, Sunita Narain explains why floods are the new normal this monsoon. This year, even as the overall average rainfall in the country is below normal, large parts of the country have received much more than their share of rain and worse. She says there's no surprise here as models had predicted that the first impact of a changing climate would be extreme weather events. It will get more catastrophic, she warns.
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