As the Union government prepares to present the Budget, industry, which is usually vocal before the Budget, is quiet. Facing subdued sales, the automobile industry is worried about recent government regulations such as shifting to electric vehicles. Unlike every year, most chief executive officers of auto companies have neither any wish-list, nor any suggestion. Why? Because "the government will do what it has to" and the companies do not wish to "waste time watching the Budget".
On Wednesday afternoon, in his reply in the Rajya Sabha to the motion of thanks on the President's address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured) quoted an Urdu couplet that he attributed to the 19th century poet Mirza Ghalib. Replying to Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad's charge that the promise of PM's sabka vishwas was blurred, Modi said it was Azad who suffered from a blurred vision and viewed everything from a political lens. Modi went on to recite the following couplet: "ta umr Ghalib ye bhool karta raha, dhool chehre par thi aur aaina saaf karta raha." Soon, several on social media, including poet Javed Akhtar pointed out that the couplet was not Ghalib's. "The sher (couplet) that the prime minister saheb has quoted in his Rajya Sabha speech is wrongly attributed to Ghalib in the social media. Actually, both the lines are not even in the proper meter," Akhtar said. That was, however, not the only "mistake" the PM made. At the beginning of his speech, as the PM took names of those members who participated in the discussion, he referred to Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien as Derek "Oberoi".
Much ado about voting
Late-night special hearing, polling amid tight security, allegations of bogus voting, attempts to influence the judges — these happened during the election to the South Indian Artistes Association aka Nadigar Sangam, which represents the Tamil film industry. Representatives of this industry such as M G Ramachandran, M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa have been chief minister of Tamil Nadu and, together, they have held the office for more than 30 years. A single-judge Bench of the Madras High Court once observed there was more noise over this election than the Lok Sabha or the assembly polls. More than 3,000 television and stage actors were there to elect the president, two vice-presidents, the general secretary, the treasurer and the 24-member executive committee of the 70-year-old association. Justice N Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court had to rush to Chennai from Vellore after the case on the election was put up for an urgent hearing. He also initiated contempt proceedings against some people for trying to influence him to delay the election. The election was held on June 23. However, the court directed the association not to announce the results until further orders.