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Firstpost Editor's Picks: Citizenship Bill, reservation amid rising unemployment, jokers at Science Congress; today's must-read stories

LS passes Citizenship Amendment Bill: Assam poised to have two classes of citizens as religion becomes basis

The passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday by a voice vote is a crucial step closer to making religion the basis for identification of "illegal Bangladeshi migrants" in Assam, resulting in the creation of two classes of Indian citizens in the state. The cut-off date for the determination of Indian citizenship of one class will be 24 March, 1971 — in accordance with the Assam Accord — while for the other class — all post-1971 Hindu Bangladeshi and other non-Muslim minority migrants from the neighbouring country who came to Assam without valid travel documents — the cut-off date will be 31 December, 2014. If passed in the Rajya Sabha as well, the Bill will ensure that only the post-1971 Muslim Bangladeshi migrants will now be treated as illegal migrants in Assam.

BJP's 10 percent reservation for upper castes unlikely to be a winner even among members of the community

The BJP's sudden decision to provide reservation for the poor people among the forward castes in the backdrop of an impending Lok Sabha elections certainly sounds political, but what goes unnoticed is its fallacious nature and the potentially complicated aftermath it conceals. With unemployment having reportedly reached a 27-month high in December (according to the CMIE report), with around 50 crore people having no jobs, reserving 10 percent of jobs without any new addition doesn't mean anything. Instead, in a market without many new jobs and rising unemployment, taking away a sizable chunk of existing jobs will create anxiety and heartburn among the general category that this decision is purporting to please.

Indian Science Congress: What allusions to ancient aircraft, 'Krishnanian Physics' reveal about Hindutva insecurities

In many ways, jokers like Dr Kannan Jegathala Krishnan and G Nageshwar Rao are distractions. It is a disservice to Indian science to even mention them in the same breath as the Indian Science Congress, as Dr Manjul Bhargava, the first mathematician of Indian origin to win the Fields Medal, and one of the speakers at that convention, said back in 2015. Perhaps we should instead celebrate the driverless, solar-powered bus that Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode to attend the Congress, which was designed by students of Lovely Professional University. Or indeed the fact that the Indian Science Congress is an unbroken 106-year-old tradition. Figures like Rao and Krishnan are an insignificant blip in this rich history.

Rami Malek's portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody is far more truthful than the world it inhabits

Criticism towards Bohemian Rhapsody winning the top honour is valid, since it was widely accepted to be a historically inaccurate depiction of the singer's life, most crucially the journey of the band Queen. Timelines were twisted and characters were contorted so that the graph of Mercury could be moulded into a conventional biopic format. The only touch of maverick in the film that made its way past all the old hats was the central performance by Rami Malek. He brought truth to his deeply immersive performance, and to a film that only skimmed the surface of an extraordinary life. He dove deep into Mercury, never once letting Malek get the better of the iconic man he inhabited. From the gait to the speech to the quirky mannerisms, Malek read Mercury beyond what the script was capable of. He did "more for Freddie than the talented Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon-fame), who wrote the film."

Virat Kohli and Co finally learnt the virtue of patience and art of sustained intensity in historic series win

The relief and joy in the Indian camp as they celebrated under the overcast skies at the SCG was palpable; they even broke into a ‘Pujara dance’ at the Sydney Cricket Ground after the long wait was finally over. It was a series where India competed, and for a change, won. They were patient, ruthless, smart and relentless. It was a massive learning curve. One which might prompt the opposition bowlers into asking their batsmen, 'Aren't you bored yet?’ time and again.

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Updated Date: Jan 08, 2019 20:56:44 IST