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Sheila Dikshit's three-day bus tour of Uttar Pradesh, marking the launch of the Congress campaign in the state, was very unusual for the party, and has the imprint of Prashant Kishor, its strategist who heads the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC). By far the most consequential change Kishor is bringing about — with a lot of resistance, especially in Punjab — is changing the method of ticket distribution. By instituting an objective criteria for ticket distribution, Kishor is eliminating the role of sycophancy and corruption in ticket distribution.
Best known for his geometric shapes, SH Raza (1922-2016) was probably one of the greatest colourists in the history of modern Indian art. His signature style involved the use of the bindu, or dot, which signifies The One as well as the Infinite in Hindu philosophy. As a result Raza's paintings would always mean something special to people of all sorts: Indians, Europeans, spiritualists, traditionalists and even hedonists, who may very well enjoy the trippiness of his colours.
Rizwan Khan and Arshi Qureshi, who were arrested earlier this week, had allegedly helped convert around 800 people to Islam, reports have revealed. Khan and Qureshi, who were held from Kalyan and Navi Mumbai respectively, are believed to be linked with televangelist Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).
A 27-year-old Syrian man who had been denied asylum in Germany a year ago died on Sunday when a bomb he was carrying exploded outside a music festival in Ansbach, Germany. Bavaria Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the man had tried to commit suicide twice before. It was unclear if he had planned to commit suicide or "take others with him into death". 12 people were wounded in the attack.
Captain Virat Kohli lauded a "complete performance" by his team after India thrashed West Indies by an innings and 92 runs within four days in the first test in Antigua on Sunday.
Following the news that India had cancelled the visa for three Chinese journalists, China's state-run media on Monday threatened India with 'serious consequences' if it does anything to take 'revenge due to the NSG membership issue'.
Off The Front Page
A 14-year-old Dalit girl who was raped, tortured, and forced to drink an 'acid-like substance' by a man who had allegedly raped her earlier, died on Sunday in Delhi. The girl's family submitted videos of the victim to the police, in which she stated that there was a woman among the people who held her captive in a room, assaulted her and tied her down.
A Mumbai man was arrested on Sunday for assaulting his minor 'wife' that he "bought" for ₹6.3 lakh. The girl, who had finally gone to the police after being 'sold' to several men from the age she was 13, by relatives and finally 'marrying' the accused, has now been rescued by the police.
According to new data, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar are leading the country in the number of cases registered of crimes against the Scheduled Castes. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) counts these States among those deserving special attention.
India is capable of growing in double digits, but even today, it continues to set limits on its growth, writes Mihir Sharma in Mint. "No government since has fully committed to the reform process that Singh began. No Indian leader—not even Singh during his tenure as Prime Minister—has really tried to convey to Indian voters exactly why the economic freedom that seemed within grasp back then was important, and more of the same would transform their lives. Thus the reform process remains woefully incomplete," he says.
The events of 1991 highlight the resilience of the political process despite all its flaws and warts, writes Deepak Nayyar in The Hindu. "At this juncture, 25 years later, it must be stressed that reforms are means, not ends... In this quest, markets and governments are complements, not substitutes. There are many things that only markets can and should do. However, there are some things that only governments can and must do. If governments perform these tasks badly, it is not possible to dispense with governments and replace them with markets. Governments must be made to perform better. Indeed, efficient markets need effective governments," he says.
The recent violence against Dalits in Gujarat is a fallout of the Sangh Parivar's diktats on food, writes Ghanshyam Shah in The Indian Express. This time, the central issue was a willy-nilly resistance of the Dalits to follow the neo-Brahminical nationalist cultural practices conceived by Hindutva champions. Various outfits of the Sangh Parivar tell people what to eat, drink, dress and monitor their behaviour. The self-styled gaurakshaks keep a watch on cow slaughter. Four months ago, they organised a demonstration in Rajkot and gave a memorandum to the collector demanding that the cow be declared rashtramata. They also demanded a complete ban on the sale of beef in the country. As a part of this campaign, they have been asking tanners to give up their occupation.
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