Some of the country's top politicians, including union ministers, were present at 10, Rajaji Marg, the official residence of former president Pranab Mukherjee (pictured), for the launch of the ‘Pranab Mukherjee Foundation’ on Thursday. The Foundation will primarily focus on rural development. Omita Paul, Mukherjee’s former secretary, will work as its director. Two of Mukherjee’s children are politicians. His son Abhijit is a Lok Sabha member, while daughter Sharmishtha heads the women’s wing of the Delhi unit of the Congress. Neither will be associated with the foundation. The foundation will also work in the fields of research and education. Mukherjee was a lecturer before joining politics.
Any event that points to the “mainstreaming” of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has become a cause for celebration. Four years ago, Parvez Rasool grabbed media headlines after becoming the first cricketer from the valley to play for India. On Thursday, Sarveshwar Foods became the first company from J&K to list on the small and medium enterprises platform of the National Stock Exchange (NSE). An NSE official called this an “important” milestone.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's unexpected defeat in the by-elections of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has triggered innumerable theories and great debate on social media. The party had moved to its new headquarters in the capital city last month. Some Twitter users tried to establish a link between the two. Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of J&K, wondered if anyone in the BJP was checking the vaastu or feng shui of the new headquarters since the defeat came within a month of the relocation. Another user tweeted, “They've sent someone out to buy a compass”, purportedly to figure out the best direction to follow. Some took a dig at the party's defiant stance on electronic voting machines (EVM) and tweeted, “Is someone checking the EVM machines now? Are they alright?”