Opinion

Below the line

| Updated on January 10, 2021

Oops!

The stock market was shut during the weekend, but the Twitter handle of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), @NSEIndia, was super active on Saturday. And here is why. Steamy pictures of television turned Bollywood actress Mouni Roy captioned ‘Soaring Saturday Temperature High @roymouni looks breathtaking’ and the hashtags used included ‘#beautifuldiva, #sexydiva, #hotgirl, #mouniroyhot, #Bollywood, #southasian, #urbanasian’.

This was enough to attract a large number of trolls and fans.

Hiding its embarrassment, the NSE clarified that the handle was “not hacked”, but “was a human error by the agency handling NSE account.” NSE apologised to its followers for the ‘inconvenience.’

Be my guest

With UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, last week, expressing his inability to attend the Republic Day function due to the Covid-19 situation in his country, the Ministry of External Affairs has very little time to invite another foreign dignitary to be the chief guest. Also, it is not yet clear whether India would opt for another guest or just give it a pass this year.

As the new strain of the corona virus has led to fresh lockdowns being imposed in several European countries and with almost all countries having increased their vigil, it may be that much more difficult to get leaders to travel.

So, will the government keep up its hunt for another chief guest for the celebrations or will it opt for low key celebrations given the pandemic situation?

Get Big B for maximum impact

At a recent webinar on investor protection, one of the participants had an interesting idea for the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) — to rope in Big B, Amitabh Bachchan.

IEPFA is on a drive to improve awareness among people on the risks involving the various financial products.

The suggestion is to get Bachchan to lend his voice to spread the message on TV and digital media on investor protection, which is bound to have considerable impact and reflect well on the the government body.

The idea seems interesting as most Indians relate to the Senior Bachchan, which will help them grasp the investment risks around equities, derivatives, bonds and mutual funds.

However, the flip side is a threat of legal challenge. A petitioner recently moved the Delhi High Court seeking removal of Bachchan’s message on corona awareness as caller tune of mobile calls.

Look East for growth

At a time when Malaysian palm oil producers are going out of their way to bolster palm oil’s image in the western media, an Indian businessman had a suggestion for them.

At the recent CEO Forum of ‘Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar 2021’, organsied by Malaysian Palm Oil Council on a digital platform, Atul Chaturvedi, President of the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India, said Malaysia worries too much about what is being said about palm oil in the western media.

Highlighting the fact that nearly 40 per cent of Malaysia’s palm oil market is next door in India and China, he asked the Malaysian companies to take care of these two countries for promoting the benefits of this oil.

His piece of advise to them was: “Instead of looking at West, look East.”

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Published on January 10, 2021

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