The FICCI, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, on Monday organised an interaction with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (pictured). The interaction was titled “Stories that matter: journey of India’s first full-time defence minister”. It led many on social media to ask whether Sitharaman’s predecessors were not “full-time” defence ministers. As it turned out, it was a printing error. The event was organised by the FICCI Ladies Organisation, or FLO, and it had meant to honour India’s “first full-time woman defence minister”. The only previous instance of a woman holding the defence portfolio was that of Indira Gandhi in the early 1970s, but she was also the Prime Minister of the country at that time.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a press conference in Bengaluru on Monday. Over lunch after the press conference, he told the gathered journalists that when he played hockey in Lahore in 1945, he actually hit a ball that struck Mohammed Ali Jinnah who was visiting the city. “Fortunately, he was not injured. Jinnah was standing outside his house watching us play when my shot hit him,” Singh said. Singh and a bunch of youngsters used to play close to Jinnah’s house on a regular basis.
Day of bloopers
Monday was the day of bloopers. Bharatiya Janata Party social media chief Amit Malviya tweeted this: “Prime Minister Modi is tearing into Congress’s fake love for Dalits. He mentioned how Nehru-Gandhi parivaar treated tall Dalit leaders like Dr Ambedkar and Shri Ninjalingappa. How NDA made Ramnath Kovindji (pictured), from a poor Dalit family, the President of India.” Soon, Kannadigas on social media pointed out that Malviya needed to first get a crash course in contemporary Kannada political history, and spellings of Kannada names. People pointed out that it isn’t “Ninjalingappa”, but Nijalingappa.
S Nijalingappa served as the chief minister of Karnataka for two terms in the 1950s and 1960s and he wasn’t a Dalit but a Lingayat.