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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
By Suyash Padate

They don’t really care at all
People from all walks of life came to pay their last tributes to Pandit Bhimsen Joshi in Pune on Monday. But two notables were conspicuous by their absence. Pune MP Suresh Kalmadi and the Guardian Minister of Pune, the Deputy CM Ajit Pawar. Kalmadi may have been too busy nursing his wounds after being booted out from the chairmanship of the Commonwealth Games organizing committee to show courtesy to the departed Kohinoor of the music world. Pawar was too busy with felicitation programmes at Kolhapur. Insensitive guys.

He will need his birthday gifts next year
At a first glance, it was a low key affair, but it was still a busy 84th birthday for Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. Cutting of cakes at different locations, distributing sugar from an elephant, a marathon rally, other tamashas, the bash continued. A host of party leaders, relatives and friends like Lata Mangeshkar called on him at Matoshree. Nevertheless, the Sena, which is losing ground in Mumbai to Raj Thackeray’s MNS and is constantly at loggerheads with its old alliance partner, the BJP, has its eyes on the forthcoming BMC elections scheduled January 2012. On this occasion the party began its full fledged attempts to consolidate its vote bank ahead of the civic polls. So there was more smiling and grinning than necessary.

Is he bigger than Maharashtra?
Why has Sachin Tendulkar not acknowledged the letter of the state government requesting him to become the brand ambassador of Maharashtra? Public Works and Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal who wrote the letter to the master blaster is somewhat upset over this indifference. Even some top ranking officials of the state have raised their eyebrows over Sachin’s silence. Amitabh Bachchan, Amir Khan and M.S. Dhoni, are stars who have taken up for Gujarat, the government of India and Jharkhand respectively. Since Maharashtra has declared 2011 as Tourism Year, the state is desperately looking for a brand ambassador to promote tourism. So they understandably knocked on the doors of the cricketing star. Now Bhujbal has decided to meet him personally. Let’ hope Sachin will nod and accept the government’s offer.

Builders and grease problem
Two consecutive oil spills have devastated the environment of the city, ruining about 1,273 hectares of mangroves which were found completely covered by oil, that means almost 60 to 65 per cent of the total mangrove cover in the Mumbai and its vicinity. On the one hand, the moneyed builder lobby is hacking away and killing the mangroves for constructions purposes, and now the oil spill has posed a further threat to ecology. Though, the clean up process has started, some parts still remain a cause of concern. Will the government do something, and fast?

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