Wednesday, October 25, 2017


These are my responses to some of the news bytes that have grabbed the headlines.

 (a) The Agony of a Swiss Couple.

       Quentin Jeremy Clerc and his girl friend, Marie Droz, both aged 24 and hailing from the city
       of Lausanne, Switzerland were chased, assaulted and humiliated by a group of youth bringing
       an end to their nightmarish end their dream visit to India. The couple were strolling near the
       railway station at Fatehpur Sikri after a day, spent in visiting the Taj Mahal.

       The youth started following them, passed comments - though they're lost on the couple as they
       didn't understand the language - and forced them to stop, so that they could take 'selfies' with
       Marie. When the couple resisted, the youth seem to have carried out the savage attack on the
       couple. Quentin was left with a broken skull, a clot in the brain and hearing impairment while
       Marie was left with a broken arm and multiple bruises.

       My query. 

          (i) Where were the cops? The places of sight seeing are supposed to have them in adequate
               numbers. So, where were they?
         (ii) Why didn't the other people who're in that area, then, react and restrain the youth? 

       Incidents, such as these, bring a bad name to the country!

  (b) Taj Mahal Off the Tourist Map? 

         Taj Mahal has been removed from the list of tourist destinations in Uttar Pradesh. When the
         Chief Minister was questioned about it, he'd answered that the monument is under renovation
         and hence, has been taken off temporarily from the list. (Probably, it's the handiwork of a
         bureaucratic minion who took off The Taj's name from the list of tourist destinations to gain
         favour with the political masters!)

         He'd better be right because a monument that's one of the seven wonders of the world and
         widely popular the world over, as an architectural wonder in tribute to eternal love cannot be
         sidelined. Hope it's not because of a story making the rounds that it has been built on the
         ruins of a Hindu temple - implying that the mausoleum has been built in the place of an
         ancient Siva temple, the 'Tejo Mahalaya'!

         My query.

         Is the shutting down of a monument, when it's under renovation, a common thing?

         The Taj Mahal has to continue as a tourist destination for generations to come. Period!

  (c) Xi Jinping, Another Eternal Leader in the Making?

        At the conclusion of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist party, President Xi Jinping
        has consolidated power as the country's President and is now placed at the same level as Mao
        Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.  His intention of ruling beyond his present term has been signaled
        with no younger party man having been identified as his successor.

        My query.

        Is he gonna take a pragmatic stand on the border issue with India just as the quiet settling of
        the Dokhlam Issue? 

        His 'One Belt One Road' initiative and the 'South China Sea' expansions seem to be the  
        priority as of now. Though peaceful co-existence with its neighbours has been highlighted,
        his approach towards India needs to be watched. We must, however, continue to enhance
        our infrastructure all along the LAC. 



Why is Kerala's transport minister, Thomas Chandy, being given a long rope for his alleged violations of filling up paddy land and encroaching government land adjacent to his lake resort at Alappuzha?


Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's visit to the Taj Mahal has removed all doubts about the faux pas!

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