On hold in court
When there’s a tussle between two top officials in the Law and Justice Ministry, be sure that plans will be shelved. Which is what happened to the scheduled inauguration of the first gram nyayalaya (village court) on Gandhi Jayanti. One of the tusslers wanted Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily to convince any state government to at least start the project. But the other insisted that since the department concerned had failed to meet the deadline, there was no point in making a last-minute attempt. Finally, only a notification was issued and Moily attended the Gandhi Jayanti function — in London, where he had gone on an official trip.
Not missing a tweet
Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor will not give up his tweeting, oh no! The enfant terrible’s last tweet that got the twattering classes agog was about Gandhi Jayanti being made a working day. Understandably, this suggestion drew mixed reactions. A senior Congress leader remarked, “Mr Tharoor is fast becoming the Amar Singh of the Congress.” So, is that a good thing or bad?
Security from within
When the Home Ministry decided that two senior Delhi Police officers didn’t need security any longer, Delhi Police thought otherwise. The capital’s police force decided to provide the two officers — Special Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and Joint Commissioner S.N. Srivastava — security from its own resources by including them in the Delhi Police list of protectees. Security for the two officers was withdrawn recently by the ministry after a review, where security for over 100 protectees was scaled down or withdrawn. Now everyone’s happy.
Bahut zor se Marega
The government recently changed the name of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA). While it was easier for people to say NREGA as ‘Narega’, adding Gandhi’s name has made it somewhat tough to pronounce. So, Rural Development Ministry officials came up with a solution. “We will henceforth call it Marega,” said one spark.
A rooted response
A Malayali connection was taken note of at a reception to mark the 77th anniversary of the Indian Air Force hosted by Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik. A senior officer introduced Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese to Defence Minister A.K. Antony. Varghese traces his roots to Kerala. As Varghese and Antony exchanged pleasantries, the visibly excited officer told Antony, “Sir, Mr Varghese’s parents were born in Kerala!” Antony had little option after that but to give Varghese a heartfelt smile before moving on.
The force is with him
More on the brave Antony. At a recent military function, the defence minister was virtually ambushed by journalists. They wanted to know whether the Indian Air Force would be allowed to shoot down Naxals in self-defence. Antony had earlier made it clear that he would not take any questions. Realising that the journos were in no mood to give up, Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor came to his rescue. “Don’t worry. The Army is here to rescue you,” he joked. Antony was, reportedly, safe.