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Firstpost Editor's Picks: Media coverage of contentious events, Davis Cup 2019, BJP's strategy in West Bengal; today's must-read stories

Citizenship Bill, controlled aggression, attack on Mamata: Narendra Modi’s twin rallies reveal BJP’s Bengal strategy

In the next eight days, BJP's ‘star’ campaigners may hold more than 10 rallies in West Bengal, according to reports. Modi may address another rally in Jalpaiguri on Friday, Singh may visit Chinsurah while Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath may address four rallies in the next few days. Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan is also flying in to hold a couple of rallies. The controversy over Amit Shah’s recent rally is yet to die down. The BJP is clearly training all its guns on Bengal, and in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee it has an astute and fiery adversary.

Hindu Mahasabha recreates Mahatma Gandhi's assassination: Is media coverage of such events doing more harm than good?

It must be pointed out that both anchors and reporters of news channels did express their outrage at what was done, and demand the immediate arrest of those involved. But words are rarely as effective as images. Over the last four years, Nathuram Godse is being celebrated as a hero by more people and far more openly than earlier. The visual of the re-enactment of his deed could only have served as a vindication for these people.

On the other hand, it can also be said that the coarseness of the production, and the raw glorification of the political assassination of an unarmed old man, did succeed in exposing the mentality of the Mahasabha members, as well as of all admirers of Godse.

Davis Cup 2019: Despite all the doubts and criticism, tournament's new format takes off on a positive note

Over the years, few Indians have cared enough about Davis Cup to bother finding out where to check the live scores. The Davis Cup official website – was (and still is) one of those dysfunctional relics of the web world that look like they haven’t had a tech upgrade in years. However, despite the obsoleteness of the official website, there have been very few complaints. But now, with a brand new format and a compressed schedule, it’s suddenly a lot easier to track what’s happening in the tournament, especially with the new mobile app.

Budget 2019: Govt's scheme to provide Rs 6,000 direct cash transfer to small farmers is a result of rising unemployment

The idea that individuals cannot survive without direct cash transfers from the state is not limited to India. In fact, the origins of the idea are abroad. In the United Kingdom, unemployed couples get £114 per week (Rs 42,000 per month) from the government. Families that don’t have a house or are living in cramped conditions are given government housing in highly subsidised Council homes. Unemployment benefits and food stamps are offered in the United States also.

Firstpost at Sundance: Keira Knightley's Official Secrets is a cautionary tale high on righteous fury, low on drama

Official Secrets tells a timely story about how the world's biggest champions of democracy can just as easily undermine the democratic process if it serves their own selfish interests. While enough has been written, said, documented and filmed about the underhand tactics employed by the US and the UK to feed their appetite for war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's important we remember those who took a stand for their convictions even if it meant being imprisoned for what could be deemed unpatriotic. Before we got to the current Trump-May hell, it is important to remember the cripplingly dysfunctional administrations that got us here.


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Updated Date: Feb 03, 2019 19:00:47 IST