Firstpost Editor's Picks: Bihar encephalitis deaths, Kabir Singh review, UN report on Taliban; today's must-read stories

Encephalitis deaths in Bihar: Clinical ambiguity, delayed access to medical care raise questions about steps taken to prevent disease

While the Bihar government claims that it has been organising door-to-door campaign in remote areas in view of acute encephalitis syndrome, one may ask if the effort matched the gravity of the situation, or it was too little too late. Communities in far-flung areas are not aware of what they need to immediately after the onset of symptoms. Widespread misconceptions and superstitions are adding to the confusion.

Even as it talks peace, Taliban provides safe haven to Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, says new UN report

A recent UN report says the Taliban "cooperate and retain strong links with Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, the Haqqani network, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, as well as nearly 20 other regionally and globally-focussed groups." The grim findings come even as US negotiators have arrived at an understanding with Taliban leaders that Western forces in Afghanistan will be withdrawn in return for counter-terrorism guarantees.

Deficit need not be a dirty word; Modi 2.0 should ease up on fiscal fetish to put economy back on the runway

There is no doubt that the Narendra Modi government controlled the fiscal deficit that went up during Manmohan Singh's UPA government. However, in trying to be a good-boy government that tried to fix everything from coal and spectrum actions to a 10-trillion-rupee non-performing assets (NPAs) burden in the banking system, the NDA has failed to see the demographic reality in which about 50 percent of the population is aged between 20 and 59 and therefore concerned about jobs and incomes.

Kabir Singh movie review: Shahid Kapoor's intensity is mined for a horrific, harrowing ode to misogyny

From the 1990s, Hindi cinema gradually bade goodbye to the portrayal of violence, molestation and stalking as legitimate forms of courtship. It never went away entirely, but for the most part, if a leading man was a stalker, he was categorically slotted as the villain of the piece as he was in Yash Chopra's Darr. The romanticisation of stalking and the mistreatment of women while wooing them made a big comeback this decade, epitomised by Raanjhanaa (2013) and various Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar starrers. Kabir Singh is in the same league: dangerous to the core because it is such a slick production.

India and the Indian: I hope my daughter inherits a country unbound by caste, linguistic strictures, writes Pa Ranjith

There was once a time when everyone would feel ‘Indian’, irrespective of what their religion or caste was, or what language they spoke. Today, speaking Hindi has become an inseparable part of being Indian. Ambedkar called South India progressive, and warned of civil war in case of a language imposition. What we are witnessing now in terms of the proposed Hindi imposition is an infringement on the federal rights of the South.

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2019 20:05:41 IST