Yamraj on duty
To educate train commuters on the perils of crossing railway tracks in an unauthorised manner, the Western Railway has pressed the Hindu god of death, Yamraj, into service. Last week, the Western Railway launched an awareness campaign warning people of the danger to their lives if they do not follow rules. Pictures shared by the Ministry of Railways depict a person dressed as Yamraj carrying passengers on his shoulders — those who attempted to cross the train tracks and perished. “Do not cross the train tracks in an unauthorised manner. It can be fatal...,” the Ministry of Railways said in its caption in Hindi.
War and peace
On Sunday, West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was full of praise for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her efforts to mitigate the impact of cyclone Bulbul. “Adverse impact has been contained, thanks to Hon'ble CM leading from the front...,” he tweeted. A welcome break from the ongoing war of words between the two. Last week, Dhankhar had alleged the people of the state were deprived of the benefits of the Centre’s flagship health scheme, Ayushman Bharat, because of the stand taken by the state government. The very next day, the state government released a comparison of the two schemes. “Swasthya Sathi is a comprehensive health protection scheme entirely funded by the state government whereas in Ayushman Bharat Yojana, the centre provides 60 per cent of the fund only,” Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya said in a statement. The state government pulled out of the central scheme in January this year, accusing the central government of making “tall claims”. Dhankhar said not everything should be politicised.
Master of the game
Speculation on whether Tamil cinema’s biggest star Rajinikanth would join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) never died down, not even after he announced plans to launch a political party and contest the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. Rumours started swirling again after his recent meeting with BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan, but the south star rubbished them alleging “some people, some media” were trying to falsely paint him with saffron. Critics immediately said he was playing safe after a recent episode when the BJP found itself facing brickbats for tweeting an image of the sixth-century poet sage Thiruvalluvar dressed in a saffron robe and wearing rudraksha rosaries. Images of Thiruvalluvar mostly show him in a white robe without any religious or caste indicator.