Author: 140 Wordz

News is sacred, comment is free! In a country where anyone and everyone has a view on anything and everything, opinion counts. Highly opinionated but a firm believer in diversity of perspectives, 140 Wordz will plot a distilled opinion daily on an issue that impacts you and me ! Stay tuned and count on opinion!


Pic Courtesy: Indian Express

It is important to ask tough questions of the government of the day. But when we will learn that as elected representatives of the people the responsibility does not end with merely asking questions and running away scoring a few brownie points. Indian politicians lack the culture of offering solutions in larger interest and rarely are able to rise above petty predictable party lines. Post 9/11, the US was able to stitch a formidable national response to the terror curse. This happened primarily because the response did not become a victim of narrow politicking. It is incumbent upon the government of the day to be able to evolve a unified strategy to thwart terror from raising its ugly head again and again. All party meeting business is at best a photo-op. Mitigating a terror threat calls for some serious and sincere behind-the-scene work.  Any takers?

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Pic Courtesy: Rediff

The department of personnel and training (DoPT) has asked all central government ministries and their public sector undertakings (PSUs) to dispense with the requirement of interviews for selections at junior level posts. This means Prime Minister has kept his promise he made on Independence Day. The decision has to be celebrated for it does away with the discretionary powers vested in interviewee. In cricket, this is an equivalent of a quick single. To its credit, Modi government has several such quickies to its credit. India, however, wants big hits from Modi. But are big hits not meant for slog overs? Also, the big hits materialize best only when there is a solid foundation through some good sustained running across the wickets. Modi government must decode positive impact of its decisions relevant to vast population. Meanwhile, it is time to celebrate singles while India awaits some big hits.



Social media signs

Finally, @MumbaiPolice is a reality! Mumbai Police has made its long overdue Twitter debut. Better late than never. Led by Twitter, social media is changing the ways India is being governed. Leading from the front is @narendramodi with 16.9m followers. His use of Twitter to conduct swift and potent diplomacy has generated global headlines. Senior Union Cabinet ministers like @sureshpprabhu & @SushmaSwaraj have earned accolades for being available to ordinary citizens in times of distress. This is pretty encouraging. Social media use has some side effects too. It has become an effective tool to conduct at times (dirty) politics. This trend has come in for some sharp criticism given the advent of trolls and premium on nuisance. This, however, should not be used as an excuse by those in power who are yet to log on to the e-governance story unfolding in India.

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Pic Courtesy: IBN

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has suspended its Dabangah Parliamentarian Kirti Azad for anti-party activities. Incensed over his public diatribe against finance minister over alleged cricket corruption, BJP has shown it is no longer a party with a difference. Unlike Congress, BJP had so far shown deep restraint when dealing with dissidents, especially in Bihar. Earlier, BJP had suspended Uma Bharti to take her back soon after while Jaswant Singh moved out on his own when denied a ticket in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The new entrant on political scene in Aaam Aadmi Party (AAP) soon after sweeping power in Delhi Assembly showed the door to its founders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. Congress has a history of showing the door to those who do not find favour with the high command. That leaves the voter searching for the party with a difference.

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Pic Courtesy: Business Insider

The initial public offering of Naryana Hrudayalaya promoted by cardiac surgeon Devi Prasad Shetty attracted bids for 8.63 times the shares on sale. This is little lower than the over subscription levels achieved in recent healthcare Initial Public Offers (IPOs) but most importantly sustains the bullish trend observed for the healthcare sector. Drug maker Alkem Laboratories and health care firms Dr Lal Pathlabs (both listed earlier in December) and Narayana Hrudayalaya collectively aim to raise over Rs.2,500 crore. The buying led by institutional investors shows the faith in health care companies that have made a strong consumer connect. Given that there aren’t many health care companies listed on stock markets in India, there is room for more genuine operators to try their luck at the bourses. You need to be yourself healthy to nurse others to good health!

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Did you miss Captain Cool at 2016 India T20 World Cup campaign launch attended by top global cricket administrators? Well he might have been busy chiselling his football skills somewhere else. But if you look at M S Dhoni’s latest Twitter bio there is a story waiting to unfold. The verified account bio says “Member Team India…” Is it an innocent typo or is he simply telling us something that we do not yet know officially? The T20 Campaign launch though did have its fair bit of Dhoni. India XI Test Captain Virat Kohli used the opportunity to heap praise on his predecessor. He proclaimed that Dhoni had nothing left to achieve in the career. To complete the Dhoni worship, Ajinyake Rahane described him as his most favourite batsman in short format.  Mind you all the laudatory references were in the past tense!

Pic Courtesy: The Hindu



Pic Courtesy: Indian Express

A young Kerala girl has done what millions like her want to do but fail to do so due to societal pressure. This young girl cancelled her wedding due to dowry demand. This calls for unprecedented courage. Credit goes to her parents for giving her the space to decide for herself even as the move would bring a ‘bad name’ to the family. What is remarkable is the way this brave girl used the social media to tell her story. She did not fight shy of presenting her side of the story thus bringing to light a malaise that plagues our society. Her Facebook post putting her decision to cancel the wedding in context has rightly gone viral. That is a good beginning but the core message has to get viral too. Say no to dowry, marriage or no marriage.



True to tradition, latest talk of India-Pak dialogue has met with mixed response. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has earned the reputation of blowing hot and cold on Pakistan. He created history when he invited Nawaz Sharief to his swearing-in-ceremony. Thereafter, Modi has been inconsistent even as his supporters claim he has a clear plan up his sleeve. Clearly the verdict on his Pakistan policy isn’t out yet given no perceptible change in the ground situation. There, however, is an interesting difference this time: External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj will take direct charge when she visits Pakistan tomorrow. Swaraj has done pretty well in her role given that the Prime Minister has hogged the limelight on foreign policy issue. Swaraj would of course go by the overall brief but here is her big moment to tell Pakistan that India means business as never before.


IndiaÕs captain Kohli celebrates after their win over South Africa on the third day of their third test cricket match in Nagpur
Pic Courtesy: Indian Express

Test cricket has been under pressure for a variety of reasons, primarily its inability to keep pace with its younger siblings that underwrite excitement and entertainment. 2015 has been somewhat of a turnaround year for Test Cricket with more wins than draws. That should silence critics who find a draw an unexciting proposition. But a verdict does not always guarantee top fare leave alone excitement for milling fans. Many Test match victories this year have been one-sided taking the sting out of competitive cricket. Home advantage has helped yield results but not without earning wide spread criticism over pitch standards. India has already clinched the ongoing series S.Africa. Captain Virat Kohli must remember India’s draw against host Sri Lanka in August would rank better than the latest home stretch triumph. A three day outcome is definite bad news for Test cricket.

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Pic Courtesy: NDTV

About a year ago, we were witness to similar scenes of devastation, misery, and hunger, caused by unforeseen flood. The common link between tragedy of #Srinagar and #Chennai is the stellar role played by Army, Navy and Air Force in mitigating the unprecedented crisis. Our unsung heroes are out there every time the nation needs them. The selflessness is unrivaled as is their unconditional commitment. From the day Army dug out five year old Prince to safety after 48-hours of relentless rigor to the big #Chennai rescue now, the service benchmark has only got better by the day. Each life rescued is a badge of honor for these foot soldiers for whom leading the rescue and relief operations risking their own lives is a way of life. An ever grateful nation salutes you and your never say die attitude!  Kudos!

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