Firstpost Editor's Picks: Rafale row, mood of first-time voter, MeToo's moment of reckoning; today's must-read stories

  • The then defence secretary G Mohan Kumar protested the PMO’s parallel negotiations

  • BJP government's indecision contravenes Narendra Modi's pre-poll promise

  • Alita: Battle Angel never quite settles down

The Hindu report proves Narendra Modi govt abruptly altered modalities of Rafale negotiations; Manohar Parrikar ignored objections

The fundamental issue flagged by the report was that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) began a parallel stream of negotiation which ‘undermined’ the bargaining position of the ministry of defence team that had thus far been conducting the negotiations. The report shows that the then defence secretary, G Mohan Kumar, protested the PMO’s parallel negotiations strenuously, noting: "It is desirable that such discussions be avoided by the PMO as it undermines our negotiating position seriously."

Mood of First-Time Voter: 66% of college graduates say will vote in LS polls; only 51% of high school grads set to cast ballot

While 45 percent of respondents who had completed high school claimed to be interested in politics, the percentage of respondents who had graduated from college or university and claimed to be interested in politics was 60 percent. Meanwhile, 51 percent of high school graduates said they would definitely vote in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. This figure rose to 66 percent among college graduates.

BJP criticises triple talaq, nikah halala but hasn’t yet clarified its stance; experts say tacit politicisation of personal law at heart of issue

The BJP government's indecision regarding the nikah halala is in direct contravention of Narendra Modi's pre-2014 poll promise of ensuring safety for women. Vacillation on the part of such a decidedly Hindu-leaning government which censures a Muslim divorce practice but not a direct offshoot of it begs the question if the party considers the issue as going into a territory which will not translate into any election-time dividends. For that, just the triple talaq ban seems to have been considered enough.

#MeTooIndia's moment of reckoning: Movement's torchbearers must reflect on responsibility towards anonymous survivors

There has been criticism (in the media and elsewhere) about the credibility of anonymous accounts and whether they might potentially derail the #MeToo movement. That’s a discussion for another day. A survivor may choose to stay anonymous for any number of reasons — fear of personal and professional retribution, the accused’s status and social capital, fear of losing employment or opportunities, the overwhelmingly anti-women nature of the Indian legal system.

Alita: Battle Angel movie review — Sci-fi? Young Adult? Robert Rodriguez's film doesn't know what it wants to be

Alita: Battle Angel tries very hard to pull off that balance but never quite settles down to achieve what it wants. Even in the hands of Robert Rodriguez, this is very much a disappointment for anyone who has followed the development of this project ever since James Cameron got involved. It’s got all the technical expertise and a cyberpunk setting meant to wow you, but it just fails at every turn to do so.

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Updated Date: Feb 08, 2019 19:48:05 IST