From Gauri Lankesh murder case to cabinet reshuffle, from Swachh Bharat to terror tale from Pilibhit, here is your weekend reading list
GN Bureau | September 9, 2017
There are many surmises: was she killed because she was anti-establishment? Was she killed because of the rise of that right-wing that disliked her anti-Hindutva stance? Was she killed because she had upset Naxalites as she had recently mainstreamed some of them working in tandem with the Karnataka government? Is this not an irony that of late there has been a tendency to intellectualise the crime which is a remedy worse than disease?
Read: Don’t jump to conclusions on Gauri Lankesh murder
All her life, she had been used to having a toilet at home. But when she came to Hirmathla, 25 years ago as a child bride, she was shocked to see that her new home did not have a toilet. “I had no idea how I would live my entire life here,” she recalls. In fact, back then, none of the 140 households in Hirmathla had toilets. As a coy bride, she often wondered how different life in her village and Hirmathla was despite the two not being located too far. Everyone in Hirmathla defecated out in the open, in the fields; women went out before sunrise or after sunset. The 14-year-old Vijay Laxmi found it repulsive; she didn’t want to live through the shameful experience every day of her life.
Read: Heroine of Hirmathla
Political observers have consistently painted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s actions as being borne out of a dogmatic ideology. But the reshuffle-cum-expansion of the Union Cabinet on Sunday is the latest event that suggests exactly the opposite. Modi, an erstwhile Rashtriya Swayansevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak (full-time worker), has shown that as far as the interests of good governance are served, dogma and ideology can wait.
Read: Welcome to the new age of Indian politics
Pilibhit has about 800 sq km forest area, which is nearly 23 percent of the district’s total area. Located close to Nepal, the Pilibhit tiger reserve (PTR), where tigers have killed at least 18 persons – seven inside its Mala range and 11 in the different villages – in the last 11 months, has become the epicentre of man-animal conflict. One among India’s 41 tiger reserves, PTR is spread across 602 sq km and is home to a large number of rare and threatened wildlife species including Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, swamp deer, hispid (brown) hare and Bengal floricans (a kind of bustard). PTR has around 55 tigers, including females and cubs. Their population has been on the rise since 2014, when it stood at 24.
Read: Living and dying with tigers
Sitting in his office on the fifth floor of the Mantralaya building in Mumbai, Sudhir Mungantiwar is all smiles. The minister of finance and planning, Maharashtra, has achieved something which other ministers don’t even aim for. His office is the first administrative unit in the country to have an ISO certification – 9001:2015.
Read: Why this should not be an ISOlated case
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