Opinion

BL Diary - CBI pulls a fast one

OUR BUREAUS | Updated on September 24, 2011

BL19TAGORE-DIARY

How were the powerful Reddy brothers (of the Bellary mining ill-fame) caught napping by the CBI when it was believed that almost everybody and anybody in the government was on their payrolls? (That is, if one goes by the long list of beneficiaries which a certain newspaper kept releasing for over a week.) According to CBI sources, the operation was planned meticulously with red herrings strewn all along the way. A month ahead of the raids, a team of CBI officials rented out houses in Bellary and went about gathering information. A week before the raid, the team deliberately leaked information that a raid was coming up. But on the day of the supposed raid on the mining lords, the CBI team went over, instead, to the homes of the Reddys' associates and seized documents, gold and silver that the brothers had transported there in anticipation of the raids. Based on the evidence collected from the minions, the CBI arrested one of the brothers and his close relative and mining company chief and quickly ferried them to Hyderabad for the next legal processes. As one CBI source revealed later, even a small slip-up would have meant a costly slip between the cup and the lip.

Unheroic, really

What does a set of Kannada film producers with clout do when a popular hero's wife lodges a police complaint that he bashed her up, and not for the first time? The lady was hospitalised for treatment; the hero was jailed; and the producers, self-styled moral keepers of Sandalwood (that is what the Kannada film industry calls itself) placed a three-year ban on one of his heroines who has also acted in other South Indian films. They had no word of censure on the hero's villainous assault. As an old local saying goes, the bull was ill but the buffalo got branded. Meanwhile, the murky family drama meandered through many twists. Sane voices rose as one and the producers quickly pulled back the ban on the hapless non-Kannada heroine. Now ‘namma' hero waits for bail and a happy end.

Wrong song

It is well-known that Rabindra Sangeet or ‘Tagore music' is the veritable cultural treasure of West Bengal. The songs are delicately nuanced and they are played as per the time, day, season or mood that the words project. Now, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government has decided to play the songs at traffic signals. One hot summer afternoon, a busy traffic post at the central business district was heard playing a song meant for a moonlit night.

Culture capers

More on culture. Desperate to prove herself as a woman of culture, the West Bengal Chief Minister is on a spree to observe the birth and death anniversaries of Bengali luminaries from different fields. Starting from declaring Rabindranath Tagore's death anniversary a holiday — an act that was received with more shock than glee — to the sudden celebration of Kishore Kumar's birthday, Ms Banerjee has celebrated nearly 18 such anniversaries in her three-month-young stint. She even reprimanded a Minister for wearing shoes to a podium where the photo of one such luminary was kept.

Published on September 19, 2011

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