Q@9: ‘Enforcing’ Patriotism, 7th Pay Panel, Rise of Islamophobia

Here are today’s top stories from The Quint

3 min read
File photo of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani at an event. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Smriti Irani)

1. Schools That Rigidly ‘Enforce’ Patriotism Violate SC Ruling

In a democracy, only demagogues would demand that patriotism and ‘nationalist values’ be enforced, rather than inculcated, or best left to individuals to choose according to their ideologies. And in India, not singing the national anthem is increasingly being taken as treachery or seditious. There have been incidents in the recent-past of people being heckled and even arrested and jailed for not standing up while the anthem was being sung.

2. 7th Pay Panel Dole: What About the Ageing, Shrinking Government?

The government spends a humongous amount – nearly half its tax revenue – as pay and pensions to its employees. That is a lot of money just to keep a small group of central government employees happy. This exclusive group, which added slightly more than one lakh members every year from 2006 to 2014, would understandbly be delighted following the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations. Salary and allowances to be offered to government servants at the higher echelons now are comparable with the best in the world.


3. Coming Soon: 39 Indians, ISIS, and Harjit Masih’s Great Escape

40 Indians were abducted by ISIS from Mosul, Iraq in June 2014. Over a month later, only one returned to India – Harjit Masih – bringing with him a horrific story. He said that while he survived, his 39 fellow captives were killed. But, this isn’t what the Indian government or the families of the other 39 believe. They call Masih a liar and insist that the others are alive, and still held hostage by the ISIS.


4. Dear Smriti Irani, You Are Painfully Wrong About Women in India

Union Minister of Human Resources Development, Smriti Irani, during an interview, said, “In India, I don’t think any woman here is dictated what to wear, how to wear, whom to meet, when to meet. I am of the opinion, I don’t think anybody is dictated here, you are not told,” – to which she was booed at by the audience.


5. The Rise of Islamophobia in the Aftermath of Paris Attacks

Increasingly, Islamophobia has become a popular social response among the angry masses of people, and after the Paris Attacks of 13 November, Muslims in Europe have felt the repercussions of the unprecedented attack. They find themselves cornered and victimised for views they may not have subscribed to and attacks they never participated in, simply because they are Muslims.


6. Is Lying Down As Unhealthy As Sitting?

We’ve told you before that vegging out in front of the TV, watching a marathon Netflix session of your favourite show, might be all that you need after a hard day’s work, but it is actually killing you. It also makes us wonder, is the sitting posture the culprit or is it the inactivity that matters when it comes to your health?


7. As Bengaluru Marches for LGBT Pride, Demand for Equal Rights Grows

1,2,3,4! Open up your closet door! 5,6,7,8! Don’t assume your kids are straight.

Slogans in English and Kannada – such as the one above – in support of the LGBTQ community filled the air, as scores of people from the community, along with those supporting their cause, took part in the Bengaluru Pride March and Karnataka Queer Habba – 2015 on Sunday afternoon. Organised by Campaign for sexual Minorities and Sex workers Rights (CSMR), the march from Tulasi Park to Town Hall was as much a celebration of their identities, as was it a demand to end violence and oppression based on gender identity and sexual orientation.


8. Pan Nalin on Angry Indian Goddesses, Censorship & What Women Want

Filmmaker Nalin Kumar Pandya or Pan Nalin, as he is now popularly known, grew up selling chai at a railway station in Gujarat. Nalin, the son of a tea-stall owner, used to help his father sell chai and farsan, but soon decided that making movies was his true calling.

Today, Nalin shuttles between Paris and Mumbai, after making it as a filmmaker and receiving global recognition with films like Samsara and Valley of Flowers. The 55-year-old is now ready with Angry Indian Goddesses, which is his first Hindi film. I spoke to Nalin about the film, his views on censorship, the Paris attacks and if he finally figured out what women want.


9. Remembering Geeta Dutt, the Soul and Sound Of Hindi Film Music

When I came back home after watching Tanu Weds Manu Returns, the only song I found myself humming was Ja Ja Ja Bewafa. Springing a beautiful surprise, director Anand L Rai brought back one of the forgotten melodies of the past into our mint fresh present. Like Nin’s curation of music in her prose, Geeta Dutt had the voice that can still pursue us through heaps of time, writes Ranjib Mazumdar.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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