Off the record: December 21, 2020

Off the record: December 21, 2020

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

Alternative route

Farmers protesting at the Delhi borders are a bit upset with the mainstream media. They feel the media--both print and electronic--has a slant towards the government and do not highlight or put their perspective accurately. Now they have found a way out. A Punjabi bi-weekly newsletter--Trolley Time and a YouTube channel Kisan Ekta Morcha Live. The first edition of the Trolley Times, published in Punjabi with a section in Hindi for non-Punjabi speakers, hit the protest site on Friday. The YouTube channel streams live the proceedings at the protest site and have now set a target of acquiring 10 million subscribers by Christmas. “We want to show and challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi that we can get 10 million subscribers by December 25,” the protesters say.

Shemin Joy, New Delhi

Weekly top-up 

The high-speed internet ban continues in 18 of 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir since last August, when the Center revoked the special status of the erstwhile state. The low-speed or 2G internet service on mobile phones was restored on January 25 on the directions of the Supreme Court. In recent months, after every fortnight, J&K administration issues a new order to extend the ban on high-speed internet. Every fortnight the newspapers carry the small report informing the readers about the continuation of the ban. Rather than ‘recharging’ this high-speed internet ban every 15 days, would it be better for the administration to ‘recharge’ it like a lifetime SIM to spare people the agony of going through a template news item, with merely a difference of date, every fortnight?

Zulfikar Majid, Srinagar

Money matters

One reason being cited by the Congress leaders in Kerala for the poor performance of the party in the just concluded local body elections was a fund crunch. During the election campaigns, many candidates were struggling for adequate funds. The shrinking popularity of the grand old party is said to be the main reason for the shrinking of fund sources. The bargaining power of the Congress in Kerala is suffering a major challenge as they are not in power either in the state or at the centre. However, sources within the Congress said that a major drawback of the Congress is that a major chunk of the fund that is received goes into their pockets and the rest reaches the party. 

Arjun Raghunath, Thiruvananthapuram 

Guiding force

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra appears to be the guiding force in the latest attempts at bringing peace between the warring factions in the Congress. Priyanka is learnt to have laid the ground for Saturday’s meeting with G-23, as the ginger group within the party is called. Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath stepped in, later on, beginning with a visit to Jaipur to attend a wedding, that set the ball rolling for the big meeting. Nath met Gehlot in Jaipur and the two then thrashed out the details about the meeting in consultation with Priyanka.

Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi 

Big B for vocabulary

When it comes to explaining things, superstar Amitabh Bachchan has a unique way to spread the message. Recently, he took to Twitter and spoke of vocabulary.  “Most adults have a vocabulary of plus or minus 60,000 words. To build this, children must learn 10 to 20 words a day from when they are 18 months to 18 years,” he said. The septuagenarian actor and TV presenter, however, went on to add: “Most frequent 100 words account for 60 % of conversations. The most common 4,000 words account for 98%. Why know extra 5,600 words?.”

Mrityunjay Bose, Mumbai