Happy New Year every month
The change in government holds the key to when Tamil New Year is celebrated. DMK chief M Karunanidhi had shifted the date of the New Year from the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai (mid-April) to the birth of Thai (mid-January) during his regime in 2008. Now, as chief minister, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa has reversed the date and ordered
celebrations on April 13. Last August, her government repealed the Tamil New Year (Declaration) Act as part of her poll promise. Jayalalithaa herself will lead the proceedings, with poetry sessions by Tamil scholars who will be honoured. Here's a date no one will want to miss.
Tea for two or maybe not
The Congress party's in-charge of Punjab affairs Gulchain Singh Charak is considered a lightweight by his colleagues. Charak, who lost the 2008 assembly elections from Bishnah constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, was inducted into the Congress Working Committee, the party's highest decision-making body, last year and given charge of Punjab and Bihar. Following a stunning defeat in the Punjab polls, Charak had called a meeting of warring leaders in Delhi on April 4 to stem the factional feud in the state unit. But the interaction was cancelled at the last minute as Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh too had called a meeting of defeated candidates on the same day and at the same time. Objections from the top central leadership forced Amarinder to convert his meeting into a tea party. No meeting of minds it would seem.
No photo finish here
Union minister for science and technology Vilasrao Deshmukh's nexus with Bollywood seems to be the source of all his political troubles. The Supreme Court has attacked him for giving away 20 acres of land to his close friend and film director Subash Ghai when he was Maharashtra CM. In 2003, Amitabh Bachchan was the chief guest at the release of son Ritesh Deshmukh's film Tujhe Meri Kasam, which didn't then go well down with the party high command. In 2008, after 26/11, TV grabs of Ritesh, accompanied by film director Ram Gopal Varma, walking out of the terror-hit Taj Hotel created a furore. Is there any lesson in all this for the 'Maratha strongman'? Let's see what's beyond the screen.
Real dancers for diplomacy
The peacocks that make their presence felt on the lawns of 7, Race Course Road, the residence of the PM, are quite a sight when distinguished visitors come calling. On Sunday, when the PM and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari ended their one-on-one, both leaders came out to make statements before the TV cameras. As the PM finished his remarks and Zardari began to speak, a peacock made a bit of a noise. Zardari hesitated for a moment. In 2005, moments before the PM was to leave on a four-day summit meeting with US President George W Bush, a peacock broke into a dance. This was the perfect setting for cameramen. Quite a foreign policy asset, don't you think?