Elsewhere in India: news from around the country
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Here are some items that caught our attention in the Indian press in the past 24 hours:
- PTI, via the Times of India: “Hundreds of Muslims on Thursday held protests against an anti-Islam video and tried to march to the American Center [in Kolkata], which closed down for the second half of the day.” As an editor, I can’t help wondering if they missed the news cycle on this one. Even big outrage burns on a short candle.
- IANS, via the Assam Tribune: “Surface communication in landlocked Mizoram was cut off for the second day today as protesters continued to block the national highway against the alleged harassment of non-Mizos in the State.” This is National Highway 306. To make a long story short, it’s the only road connection to the rest of India, IANS reported. The All Barak Youth Students’ Association says that Mizo groups are causing trouble for non-Mizo people who work in the state. As these things go, there is a border dispute lurking within this story.
- UK High Commissioner Sir James Bevan tells Mint that the United Kingdom is safe for Indians, that it is not trying to keep more Indians out and that despite years of colonial rule, Britain sees India as an equal power. “I don’t think there is a colonial hangover. We regard India as an equal partner at the world stage and I believe India feels the same about the UK. My experience is that Indian and British people are both proud of their respective histories but they understand that what we should be focusing on is the future not the past.”
- More from the Wal-Mart in India files from Romita Dutta in Mint: “The West Bengal assembly on Thursday passed a resolution not to allow stores with foreign ownership in the state, becoming the first state legislature to do so after the Centre decided to allow overseas investment in multi-brand retail.”
- If your other neighbors are Pakistan and China, would you really waste your missiles on Sri Lanka? PTI, via Times of India: “India on Thursday dismissed reports that its missiles targeted strategic Sri Lankan locations, calling them “completely baseless and fabricated.” Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been making positive noises about India recently, even as his recent visit there “came against the backdrop of attacks on Sri Lankan pilgrims in Tamil Nadu, forcing the government here to issue a travel advisory warning against travel to the Indian state.”
- PTI via Times of India: “Delhi Transport Corporation on Thursday launched a bus service exclusively for women commuters on eleven major routes connecting major office and market complexes with residential colonies across the city. The ‘Ladies Special’ bus service was flagged off by chief minister Sheila Dikshit.” Delhi’s Metro trains already have cars reserved for women, which you might want too if you don’t want to be groped by passersby every time you try to get home from work.
- Indians, they’re eating more sophisticated foods! Here’s the article from the Hindu Business Line: Indians are getting more adept at choosing their “daily bread” from menus featuring exotic dishes and international cuisine, thanks to the increasing number of fine dining speciality restaurants such as Hakkasan, Le Cirque, Megu as well as Buddha Bar’s Indian version B Bar that are making a beeline for India. And they are lapping it all up with chopsticks and wine glasses.” Tip: sophisticated diners lap nothing. They sip. And here’s a quote from “image guru and foodie” Dileep Cherian, whose job I want: “There are two reasons for the mushrooming of speciality restaurants – the Punjabi has discovered that the staple food is no longer the smart food. He is becoming adventurous, experimenting with sushi and risotto, and this is leading to a market for speciality chefs. Eating in five-star hotels, as a result, is no longer considered chic. Also the hunt for the new gourmet has become a lifestyle choice with the people spending time on deciding, ‘Khana kahan khana hain?’(Where do we eat?).”
- Unintentional wordplay strikes the business world, as reported by the Hindu Business Line: “ICRA has downgraded the ratings on the term loans and long-term fund based limits of United Spirits Ltd (USL) to ‘D’ from ‘BB’ (Stable). … ICRA is in the process of reviewing the current liquidity position of the company and would take up a review of the ratings accordingly.” Liquidity… comedy.