Gujarat Confidential: Notebandi Mute

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani recently visited Mohandas Gandhi Vidyalaya, the alma mater of the Father of the Nation which is being converted into a museum.

Two years after demonetisation, central bankers still choose to remain tight-lipped on the subject. On Saturday, when Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India N Vishwanathan was asked about demonetisation by mediapersons on the sidelines of Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) meet, he chose to walk mid-way through the session, saying, “Nothing about demo. That’s all”. Data presented in the Rajya Sabha on July 31 by Minister of State (Finance) P Radhakrishnan show that the highest number of violations and discrepancies were noticed post-demonetisation among the UCBs in Gujarat. Though Vishwanathan did not touch upon demonetisation or the role of the UCBs post-demonetisation, he praised the UCBs for “emerging strongly” out of the dangers posed by the Madhavpura Mercantile Cooperative Bank (MMCB) scam of 2001 where brokers like Ketan Parekh were involved.

Recreating History

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani recently visited Mohandas Gandhi Vidyalaya, the alma mater of the Father of the Nation which is being converted into a museum. After spending around an hour surveying various installations and articles related to the life and work of Gandhi, the Chief Minister suggested that Gandhi’s train journey in South Africa, during which he was thrown off the first class coach, should be recreated in the museum. The suggestion sent consultants and officers of Rajkot Municipal Corporation into a tizzy. “It’s impossible do it here. How to install a railway coach here?” complained a consultant. But eventually, they decided that they would put some benches and recreate a railway platform.

Out-Smart

A recent seminar on Smart Cities Mission in Rajkot turned embarrassing for host Rajkot Municipal Corporation which had announced that it has invited representatives of all the 100 cities shortlisted for the urban development project. However, only a handful of representatives turned up at the event. Adding to it, the auditorium where the event was held became empty moments after Chief Minister Vijay Rupani left the venue after inaugural session. The organisers found it difficult to get the seats filled leaving Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani red-faced. He made his displeasure public over students not attending the seminars. The important factor, however, was that unlike school students who are taken to a number of government events, the students who had filled up the auditorium were college students

Buzz Business

While the newly appointed Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra was at the receiving end of vendors’ ire due to the ongoing encroachment-free drive across the city, he also received appreciation from several quarters, especially netizens, thanking him for “transforming the city’s streets”. While many residents seized the opportunity to complain about issues in their neighbourhood and workplace directly to Nehra through his Twitter handle, others did not hesitate to call him up on his official mobile number. Inundated by complaints and praises, Nehra on Monday took to Twitter to urge people “to not call me on my mobile phone to express your support”, reminding them that continuous buzzing of his cellphone created hindrance in his work. He tweeted the AMC WhatsApp and complaint cell numbers “for suggestions/feedback/messages to me”. Nehra also tweeted that “the (anti-encroachment) work is being done under the directions of the state government and has the full support of CMO and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani”. This amid buzz that he and Ahmedabad Police Commissioner A K Singh could be transferred because of the drive.

Book Blooper

The Urdu-Gujarati dictionary, a voluminous publication recently published by Urdu Sahitya Akademi, is attracting both commendation and criticism. As the dictionary was out of print for quite sometime, its fresh publication has been welcomed by one and all as a reliable source of knowledge of Urdu language. But a small typo in the very name of the book has earned the publisher a volley of criticism. The name of the book is “Urdu Gujarati Lughat” (Urdu-Gujarati Dictionary). But the word “Urdu” has been printed as “Uzdu” in the Arabic script.

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