Nirmala Sitharaman has done the best possible thing under the circumstances because all pointers were raising the prospect of a vicious circle: low growth, low tax collections, low corporate mood, higher fiscal deficit, lower public spending, lower growth, lower jobs, etc. Now, with a steep corporate tax cut and a ceiling on the minimum alternate tax burden, she has definitely taken a step that smacks of a possible gamble. But nitpicking on the deficit of the world's fastest-growing major economy in the backdrop of a six-year-low in quarterly GDP growth with a demographic transition to manage is like asking a batsman chasing a victory target in a limited-overs cricket match not to play a lofted shot in the slog overs.
The heckling and manhandling of Union minister Babul Supriyo and assault on BJP leader Agnimitra Paul at Jadavpur University campus points to a deeper malaise that goes beyond mere ideological turf war and TMC-BJP rivalry. The Left's attempt to sanctify this goonish and violent behaviour as an 'organic expression' of 'righteous anger' against 'fascism' is a stark example of how conceited and narcissistic liberalism has become.
A 'promise' Donald Trump made to a foreign leader infuriated an intelligence official so much that he went out and put up a formal complaint on 12 August. According to CNN, the leaders to whom the president spoke in the five weeks leading up to 12 August included Russian president Vladimir Putin. As the scandal echoes across the excitable Washington media, the White House may just have been saved by a country that has been in its crosshairs over the past few decades: Iran. On 14 September, Iran appears to have had the temerity to attack Saudi oil fields, using of all things, an explosive drone.
There are several matches this year that have the potential to bring the house down, aside from the one featuring the mother of all doubles partnerships. Day 1 kicks off with Dominic Thiem vs Denis Shapovalov, a shot-making spectacle even at the worst of times. There will likely be a Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios showdown at some point too, and also possibly a Jack Sock vs Fabio Fognini trick-shot battle. But the doubles matchups are just as intriguing, if not more. Roger Federer and Nadal are likely to team up on Saturday, and if we are lucky they will face off against Kyrgios and Sock.
The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan worked because it used a giddy romance and an intentionally over-the-top tale of superstition to place the spotlight on the ridiculousness that is Indian cricket fandom, the latter ultimately becoming a metaphor for so much that is wrong with India as a whole. If you are among those inclined to consider the story improbable and exaggerated, just look around you at the mumbo jumbo pervading our lives and espoused even by public figures, ranging from fear of mirrors breaking and cats crossing our paths to the insistence on entering an important venue with this foot first and not that. The film adds to the nuttiness with an understated layer of dismay at the hyper-deshbhakti now dominating the Indian public discourse that was not yet our reality when the book was released back about a decade back.