Is the top BJP leadership rattled by the renewed vigour with which Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is striking back, after returning from a sabbatical? Certain things point towards affirmation. If the grapevine is to be believed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, usually reticent to speak out, or interact with media-persons ever since he became PM, suddenly dropped in to attend a dinner being hosted by Information and Broadcasting Minister, Arun Jaitley at his official residence sometime last week. The dinner was exclusively meant for a dozen like-minded editors and journalists, and included at least three journalist couples.
If the list of the editors and journalists, doing rounds in the public domain, is an indication, all of them have commonality of views, either with the BJP-led government or the Minister. An interesting piece connected with the event is that the editor-in-chief of a leading English news channel also made it a point not to miss the dinner where Mr Modi "dropped by". The editor came along with a senior colleague of his channel to be duly represented before the Prime Minister.
Those who missed out on the invitation have a heart burn. At least one such editor is learnt to have even registered his protest with Mr Jaitley, as to why he was not invited for this possible "strategy" session.
It may sound unusual, but it is part of decorum when it comes to Indian Army. Do not clap when you are in uniform is the new diktat of the Army Chief, General Dalbir Singh Suhag. Although it has been a practice with the Army but General Suhag's pointer was possible on account of this rule being flouted over the years. But it did take many who were unaware that persons in olive clothing do not clap when in uniform.
"Here after we will maintain the decorum of not clapping in uniform," General Suhag commented while speaking at an Army event recently. He was instigated to issue these instructions after he found his colleagues in uniform clapping in the midst of their chief's speech.
Was the General in any way inspired by Defence Minister, Manoj Parrikar, to issue such instructions or it was his brainwave? The question arose as the Minister had also, during a commanders' conference held last month, said that he was under the impression that men in uniform do not clap after an address.
From "terminator" to "urinator"! Well while the former is related to the title of a famous Bollywood movie, the latter is, of late, being associated with a senior minister in the Narendra Modi government. The senior minister who was recently quoted as having discovered the rare qualities in human urine to act as manure, has also become a stock of "political gupshup" in Delhi's power corridors.
A former Union Minister in the UPA dispensation and a senior Congress leader is never short of coining such titles and phrases, and at times is unsparing to his own party colleagues. He fired the salvo while sitting amongst a small gathering of journalists.
"You know what this particular minister is now known as," he asked. What followed after that was the reply that no one had expected, but one that enlivened the atmosphere. Everyone present lauded the Congress leader's acumen in satirically hitting at his political adversaries and friends alike.