A wall with posters of Modi in Mandir Marg
A wall with posters of Modi spotted in Mandir Marg, Delhi | By special arrangement

‘Post-truth’, a gift of the Trump campaign, means a situation in which people are most likely to accept an argument based on what they want to believe, never mind the facts.

But journalists should inhabit the realm of ‘pre-truth’. By virtue of their access to places, events, people, and curious eyes, noses and ears, they find exclusive, juicy, information that may still be closed-circuit chatter before becoming open fact.

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It deserves to be out there, before it hits the news cycle and crams the networks.

Pre-Truth, our new feature, will bring you snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government, from the national capital and the states. So stay tuned Wednesdays and Fridays, to begin with.

Dress code for women lawyers

Justice Indu Malhotra, the newest Supreme Court judge, has triggered murmurs among women lawyers with her advice to adhere to “professional attire”. At a lunch hosted in her honour Thursday, Malhotra also shared her dislike for palazzo pants and 3/4th trousers in particular.

She is not the first judge to raise the issue of dress code in court rooms. Way back in 1986, then Chief Justice of India Y.V. Chandrachud, father of sitting SC judge D.Y. Chandrachud, had stirred a controversy by turning out of the court an advocate’s woman assistant who was wearing tight jeans. In an interview to Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of ThePrint, who was then a principal correspondent with India Today magazine, Y.V. Chandrachud had maintained that he had no problem with her jeans.

“What I objected to was the way she was strutting up and down the court with a comb peeping out of her hip-pocket. It was as if she wanted her jeans to be felt in the court,” added the then CJI.

Imagine a judge, or anyone for that matter, saying that today!

Revenue secretary ‘faces heat’ for summer break

Union finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia is in the crosshairs in this election season for taking a summer vacation. While Modi-baiters in social media were taking potshots at him for taking a break, they were joined Tuesday by Rahul Gandhi, who himself has faced barbs from political adversaries for vacationing abroad.

In a tweet targeted at the Prime Minister and the finance minister, the Congress president dragged in Adhia for being “on vacation with his Guru on a quest for inner peace”. The 1981-batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer, who has a PhD in Yoga, can’t respond though. He is doing Vipassana at a meditation centre in Mysuru and is expected to be back on 20 May.

Kotkhai case returns to haunt BJP in Himachal

The rape and murder of a minor in Kotkhai near Shimla in July last year was a major poll plank of the BJP in the Himachal Pradesh elections. Now that the party is in power and the CBI has arrested the accused, the Kotkhai case has come back to haunt BJP. After getting the reins of the state, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur replaced director general of police Somesh Goyal with S.R. Mardi, a 1986 batch Himachal cadre IPS officer.

The appointment drew smiles in the corridors of power as Mardi and his wife are Kannadigas; Thakur’s wife, Dr Sadhna, also hails from Karnataka. What came as an embarrassment to the BJP government was Mardi’s visit to Kaithu jail where he met an inmate, D.W. Negi. Former superintendent of police, Negi is an accused in the custodial death case of one of the six suspects arrested by the local police in connection with Kotkhai rape case earlier.

Mardi’s predecessor Somesh Goyal, now DG (prisons), complained to the government about the DGP’s meeting with Negi. An audio-video recording of that meeting reveals damaging contents, say state police sources.

Congress ‘fully aware’ of Rahul’s PM ambition

Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s declaration that he would become Prime Minister if the Congress has enough numbers in 2019 may have come as a surprise to many given his past reluctance to take charge. But for his aides and close associates, there was never much uncertainty over this question.

When an associate of Rahul was recently asked whether the Congress president would be PM, he expressed surprise that there should be any doubt over the issue at all. He added that Rahul was clear that the “dual power arrangement” in the UPA government had weakened the party, and if he was in a position to do so, he would be PM. A few weeks later, Rahul made his ambition public.

Now, Wiki page says drone existed during the times of Mahabharata

After Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb’s insistence that internet existed during the age of the Mahabharata, now a page on Wikipedia is crediting modern drone technology to the same era. The Wikipedia page for the Dronacharya Awards reads: “The award is named after modern day Drone technology, which existed during the times of epic Mahabharata of ancient India. Warriors during those times were masters of drone technology based advanced military warfare.”

The page not only tries to justify the presence of the technology during mythological times, but also seems to have an insight into how it functioned. The inventor of drone technology was appointed as the royal preceptor to the Kaurava and the Pandava princes for their training in drone-based military arts and astras (divine weapons), states the Wikipedia page.

Case registered after posters mocking Modi came up on Mandir Marg walls

The Delhi Police went into a tizzy Friday after posters showing an image of PM Narendra Modi along with the tagline, “The Lie Lama”, mysteriously came up on walls across Mandir Marg area of New Delhi and some parts of west Delhi. As the posters “The Lie Lama” were noticed, frantic calls were exchanged between senior police officers and orders were given to identify locations and immediately remove them.

Since the posters do not even have name or address of the printer, the police have now mobilised teams to identify the culprits. CCTV footage of the area is being analysed. Even watchmen, nigh security guards, rickshaw pullers are being questioned in this regard. The police registered a case of defacement in the matter.

(Contributors: D.K. Singh, Ruhi Tewari, Sharanya Munsi & Ananya Bhardwaj)

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