Firstpost Editor's Picks: Monsoon Session of Parliament, Jharkhand mob lynching, Nirmala Sitharaman's maiden budget, today's must-read stories

Mahua Moitra's speech, Owaisi's oath taking, Speaker Suresh's benign chastising: Why this week in Parliament left me feeling empty

First-time Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra in her maiden speech in Lok Sabha compared the BJP's self-satisfaction and performance to a kaala bhoot you scare children with or the rapidly rising numbers of a start-up. During Moitra's speech, Kerala Congress MP Suresh Kodikunnil was in the Speaker's Chair looking benign, smiling and occasionally saying things like 'you already took three minutes'. Watching Moitra power on despite the heckling, saying things like she deserves to finish her maiden speech, telling Suresh to put the house in order, drove the thought that perhaps her too-neat speech with its distinct lack of poetry doesn't matter.

Jharkhand mob lynching: Social media, TV news and lack of faith in institutions eroding individual identities, morality

Practically no one trusts the country’s justice system. There is no real faith in almost any institution. Meanwhile, technology has enabled the daily brainwashing of individuals into permanent mobs primed to turn at any moment into physical “flash mobs”. This combination of absent trust, dysfunctional or severely compromised institutions, and ever-present mobs with their own ideas of justice and morality, is leading us to a very dangerous situation from which the country will be fortunate to emerge unscathed.

Union Budget 2019: As Nirmala Sitharaman readies for her maiden budget, answers to some long-forgotten promises are awaited

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s first Union Budget is set to be presented in Parliament in the backdrop of an unpleasant phase in the economy. The unemployment rate is at a 45-year high, economic growth is slowing, banks’ non-performing assets (NPAs) are near Rs 10 lakh crore and there is a demand slowdown to deal with. In that sense, Sitharaman has a tougher task at hand than her predecessor Arun Jaitley.

Wimbledon 2019: Why Rafael Nadal's gripe with organisers' special seeding formula over ATP Rankings makes sense

The seeding system agreement was struck between ATP and Wimbledon in 2002. Things have changed significantly since. The idea behind a different seeding system then was to keep distinction between clay court and grass court specialists. It meant players who were better on grass would not be given a tougher draw while clay court specialists such as the 2002 Roland Garros winner Albert Costa would be better in comparison. Many of the French Open winners would either skip the grass court major completely or not go the distance to further justify the point.

All Black Mirror episodes ranked: From Bandersnatch, San Junipero to Hang The DJ, The National Anthem

Following its move from a British free-to-air TV network to a global streaming giant, Black Mirror has evolved from a cult favourite to a show which keeps watercooler conversations a little juicy. Netflix has turned Charlie Brooker into a cash cow milking his chilling “what if”s about our technological tomorrow and the day after for ready-to-binge bite-sized stories. British TV's auteur-in-chief had initially conceptualised the series, hoping to caution society on its current technological trajectory. But now, it has grown into an assembly line of techno-dystopian cautionary tales, commodified and Americanised, for mass consumption.

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Updated Date: Jun 26, 2019 19:58:58 IST