Firstpost Editor's Picks: Priyanka Gandhi enters politics, India's spin twins deliver, budget expectations; today's must-read stories

  • For Priyanka Gandhi, Uttar Pradesh is both a challenge and opportunity

  • Uttar Pradesh has reported the largest number of hate crimes since 2009, as per Hate Crime Watch

  • The Sundance Institute has unveiled a particularly diverse lineup of films this year

Priyanka's entry to Congress shows party not embarrassed of being dynastic, reaffirms value of Gandhi brand

The timing of Priyanka Gandhi's political entry is significant. Unlike Rajiv or Sonia who had to step in after a family tragedy, in the case of Rahul and Priyanka it was a time of their own or the family's choice. Rahul made several false starts. But his elevation to party president was well choreographed and carefully synchronised with the Gujarat Assembly election. However, for Priyanka, Uttar Pradesh is both a challenge and opportunity. If Congress' tally goes up significantly (anything over two seats would be an improvement) the party will, of course, hail her. But if she fares poorly, she will try to take a share of credit from Mayawati and Akhilesh.

Pattern emerges across hate crimes in UP as 'outsiders' communalise disputes, police act against Muslims

Uttar Pradesh has reported the largest number of hate crimes since 2009, as per Hate Crime Watch, a database of religious identity-based hate crimes across India from 2009 to 2018. In our reporting from the site of many of these crimes, witnesses and victims veered towards a consensus: there is a pattern to these incidents, which is nearly formulaic in its reiteration. In Bulandshahr’s Soi village, where an elderly Muslim man was lynched, allegedly by a mob of Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) activists, locals said the activists intervened in a dispute between two families over the elopement of an interfaith couple.

Budget 2019: Govt should impose levy on super rich to fund welfare schemes

What we have is a regressive regime: Close to 50 percent tax on petroleum products results in the poor paying tax through their noses and subsidising the rich! The interim budget 2019 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley can correct this skew with some path-breaking reforms that might appear to be a just reversal of past policies. Today, a company pays DDT of 15 percent plus on dividend and the shareholders are completely exempt from tax, except they have to pay a 10 percent tax on dividend if it exceeds Rs 10 lakh in aggregate. This is not at all satisfactory.

India vs New Zealand: Spin twins underline their wicket-taking credentials in mid overs, deliver victory

It was Yuzvendra Chahal who started the rot. Ross Taylor survived the early onslaught and was looking to attack the leg-spinner. Chahal sensed the moment perfectly. The leggie gave the ball more air and slowed it up a touch. Looking to drive, Taylor's hands pushed in front of his body and it resulted in a simple return catch. Tom Latham fell in a similar manner as New Zealand slumped to 76-4. Chahal had done his job. He had built up the pressure and taken wickets.

Sundance Film Festival 2019: From Velvet Buzzsaw to Photograph, a look at the films set to premiere

The Sundance Institute has unveiled a particularly diverse lineup of films this year. But it is (sadly) physically impossible — unless you can somehow borrow Hermione's Time-Turner — to watch all 112 feature-length films, experimental short films, well-timed documentaries and independently produced TV series. So, we have tried to narrow down the must-see list to the starry and buzzy films: and those that get lost in the hype in such an intimidating lineup.

Updated Date: Jan 23, 2019 19:01:45 IST