Swati Chandra | June 13, 2015
About a fortnight ago, I spotted a friend nibbling muffins and cakes with two foreign women. They were engrossed in animated conversation at a coffee shop outside my office. The women were from France.
He saw me exiting from my office and waved me to join them. I joined. They were planning an adventure. I call it adventure as the French women (students from France), along with two others, were planning to take an auto ride from Noida to various parts of Uttar Pradesh. The idea was to visit different cities of the state and show how ‘safe’ the state is. My friend was helping them with their itinerary and other things.
I was surprised not because these women would ride the auto rickshaw alone traversing most of the Uttar Pradesh. I was actually surprised about the interest of these girls in promoting ‘safe’ tag of a state, which is notorious in all ways. Coming from Uttar Pradesh, and specially working there as a struggling journalist, I know how safe the state is.
We warmly welcomed a group of French students, who are on a three week auto trip of UP. They will see the state,... http://t.co/FjmbdMv0DI— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) June 8, 2015
As the coffee shop group worked on the details of the auto ride, memories of my reporting days started rewinding in my mind but stayed put there. My encounters, my experiences and the concept of safety are mine, did not feel like burdening the French women with these thoughts. However, I was miffed with their idea and conversation, and left the place after wishing them good luck.
As the French group began their trip, I started following them through Facebook and Tumblr. The auto they rode on had a big poster of state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav hung on the back. May be this is the reason the girls landed safely in Lucknow. They were received by Akhilesh and his wife Dimple (member of parliament) on their arrival in Lucknow. Local media covered the event like a festival. The story that comes along with colour pictures of ‘firangs’ has more selling price than that carrying local women, my colleague in a leading English newspaper once told me. Young Akhilesh and other SP leaders shared their pictures with these French students praising them for their idea. UP is safe and it’s proved.
But only around that time a journalist was burnt alive in the same state. I believe this spoiled the image built by the French women’s auto trip certifying the safety in the state. The journalist, identified as Jagendra Singh, was allegedly burnt alive by police officers after they raided his house on June 1. The scribe passed away during treatment on June 9.
According to his family members, Jagendra had posted messages on Facebook against Uttar Pradesh Minister Ram Murti Singh Verma and regarding his alleged involvement in illegal mining and land grabbing.
The FIR has been lodged under IPC 302 (murder), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation). But no arrest has been made so far. Video clip of the last words of the scribe, blaming the minister for his death, is viral on the web. This has come as one of the worst indictments of the UP government and the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.
UP might be safe for the French students, but not for its very own people.
The government has sanctioned 111 posts of cyber security professionals for the Indian computer emergency response team (ICERT) under the ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY), according to a ministry official, who added that the posts were sanctioned earlier this year.
In many ways the story of Gross National Happiness in a country is the story of Bhutan and its modern history. There are two major transition points in Bhutan’s recent history, the beginning of the monarchy in 1907, and the transition to a Constitutional monarchy in 2008, and the pursuit of happine
Do you agree with the ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter through animal markets?
Prime minister Narendra Modi celebrated three-year of his government on May 26 by inaugurating Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Tinsukia district. It is the longest bridge in India, which runs 9.15 km from end to end and connects Assam with Arunachal Pradesh.
IndianOil posted a net profit of Rs 19,106 crore for 2016-17 fiscal as compared to a profit of Rs 11,242 crore in the last fiscal. The income from operations for the financial year 2016-17 was Rs 4,45,373 crore as compared to Rs 4,06,828 crore in the previous fiscal. IndianOil`s income from
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) carried out first flight of light utility helicopter (LUH)-PT-2 on May 22 at its Bengaluru-based facility. The flight duration was about 22 minutes and pilots reported nil snag, HAL said. “These maiden flights of indig