Firstpost Editor's Picks: Mamata Banerjee and 'cut money' row, India-China's NSG deadlock, Federer wins Halle Open; today's must-read stories

Firstpost Editor's Picks: Amid BJP's rise in West Bengal, controversies like cut money row could cost Mamata Banerjee, China continues to block India's NSG bid, Federer wins 10th Halle Open title, 44th anniversary of the 1975-76 Emergency; today's must-read stories

FP Staff June 24, 2019 20:07:21 IST
Firstpost Editor's Picks: Mamata Banerjee and 'cut money' row, India-China's NSG deadlock, Federer wins Halle Open; today's must-read stories

Cut money row: Mamata Banerjee's intemperate statements may jeopardise TMC's prospects in civic body, West Bengal Assembly polls

Beleaguered West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's latest indiscretion is the raging ‘cut money’ row, which she raised publicly on 18 June while addressing Kolkata’s civic body leaders. The chief minister’s intemperate public utterances are bound to have an adverse impact on the civic body polls scheduled next year, and is likely to brighten the BJP’s prospects for a serious shot at power in the 2021 Assembly polls. Perhaps, public is private for Banerjee in these trying times.

'Wuhan spirit' fails to break NSG deadlock as China continues to play hardball over India's entry into elite club

India’s entry into the NSG has become a major bone of contention between India and China. It was wishful thinking on India’s part if it had hoped that China would change its position – given the projected bonhomie between Modi and Xi. However, despite the so-called ‘Wuhan spirit’ permeating India’s current engagement with China, the Modi government will have to invest significant diplomatic energy to win the required consensus for NSG membership. It remains to be seen whether Modi will raise this issue with Xi for their second ‘informal summit’ in October.

44th anniversary of Emergency: How letters of love between Madhu and Pramila Dandavate in jail defied odds of authoritarian rule

While remembering horror of the 1975-76 Emergency, we seldom realise that a shallow commitment to freedom is what ultimately renders democracy vulnerable. This danger was recognised by socialist leaders, Madhu Dandavate and Pramila Dandavate, the husband and wife who were incarcerated for 18 months during the Emergency. Lodged in separate jails, they wrote nearly 200 letters to each other. Through these letters, in which they discussed music, books, poetry and philosophy, they sought to tackle the central riddle of modern life: Is love possible without freedom?

Halle Open 2019: Roger Federer’s 10th title a reminder of how deeply he cares about grasscourt tournaments of all sizes

We’ve heard the term ‘Vintage Federer’ quite a lot over the years, but Roger Federer, for all the bragging rights he has accumulated in his career, has never been much of a signature style guy. On grass, and especially at Halle, Roger Federer’s matches over the years have had a certain idiosyncratic quality to them. There’s a common thread that binds his Halle wins into a pool of Federer-ness that is equal parts flexible and familiar. And that flexible familiarity was in evidence once again this week, as the Swiss completed his record-breaking 10th Halle title with a win over David Goffin in the Noventi Open final.

Big Little Lies season 2 episode 3 review: What's the deal with Meryl Streep's character, Mary Louise?

There's no dearth of powerful women in Big Little Lies. This is established right in the first season. But the second season has (so far) been about deconstructing where that power comes from and the impact it has on these women's personal lives. The only character driving the plot of season 2 is Mary Louise, played by Meryl Streep, and there has been no deconstruction of her yet. So, what is it about the women of Big Little Lies that draw us back into their lives every week?

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