India Today November 8, 2021

India Today is the leading news magazine and most widely read publication in India. The magazine’s leadership is unquestioned, so much so that India Today is what Indian journalism is judged by, for its integrity and ability to bring unbiased and incisive perspective to arguably the most dynamic, yet perplexing, region in the world. Breaking news and shaping opinion, it is now a household name and the flagship brand of India’s leading multidimensional media group. Additionally, the weekly brings with it a range supplements like Women, Home, Aspire, Spice and Simply which focus on style, health, education, fashion, etc. and Indian cities.

Living Media India Limited
52 Issues

in this issue

4 min
from the editor-in-chief

The basic rule may perhaps be tersely put as bail, not jail,” Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer said in a 1977 judgment, one of many landmark verdicts to his name. He was interpreting Article 21 of the Constitution, which guarantees an individual’s right to liberty, to explain why detention should not be the norm. Undertrials—those hauled off to jail for suspected violation of the law but innocent until proven guilty—bear the brunt of our dysfunctional criminal justice system. India currently has 330,487 undertrials in jails across the country—more than the population of Ladakh. That these undertrials, whose guilt has yet to be established, make up 69 per cent of Indian prison inmates exposes another truism. In India, the wheels of justice often turn so slowly that the process itself becomes the punishment.…

5 min
long arm of the centre

The Union home ministry’s unilateral decision, notified on October 11, to expand the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in three states has raised angry protests and accusations of misuse of Central powers. While BJP-ruled Assam has kept mum about the move, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal and the Congress government in Punjab have objected, saying the notification is unconstitutional since it violates state rights in matters of law and order. Many have accused the ruling BJP of trying to use the BSF to gain police powers in states it does not govern, with both West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi making their opposition abundantly clear over the past fortnight. The Centre says the MHA notification only ‘standardises’ the BSF’s jurisdiction…

1 min
rage of the ignored

Maharashtra opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray were the best of friends when the BJP-Shiv Sena were in alliance. The parting was bitter when the Sena leader broke up with the BJP and formed a government with the Congress and NCP in 2019. Fadnavis has written 231 official letters to Thackeray in the past 22 months, taking on the government on issues ranging from the farmers’ agitation to Covid management; he has reportedly not received a response to even one. BJP leaders now voice their woes to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, who, we hear, is more than happy to lend a sympathetic ear.…

1 min
pawar play?

NCP chief Sharad Pawar recently won 29 of the 31 votes polled in the first-ever election for president of the Mumbai Marathi Granth Sangrahalaya. Pawar, who defeated his only rival Dhananjay Shinde, has headed the 123-year-old library for 45 years. The three-storeyed library is up for redevelopment—it stands on 2.5 acres of land in upscale Dadar, worth hundreds of crores. Pawar’s election has caused heartburn as an effort to amend the club’s constitution to allow all 6,000 members, not just 34, to vote was rejected. —Sandeep Unnithan with Kiran D. Tare, Romita Datta, Amitabh Srivastava and Amarnath K. Menon…

5 min
jashn-e-aitraaz outrage on tap

Given the title of his 2009 book—Making India Work—William Nanda Bissell, one would think, knows a thing or two about what makes us tick. The Fabindia chairman might not be overly profit-minded—companies, he says, need to have a “good purpose” to last long—but that integrity does not take away from his hard-nosed business sense. Speaking to a broadsheet in 2016, Bissell said he wasn’t surprised by the rise in Patanjali product sales: “If it had come 10 years ago, it may not have enjoyed the same success. People are hungry for symbols of their own culture.” Bissell had read the writing on our walls. The recent ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ controversy suggests a dissonance. The clear-sightedness of Bissell seems to be at stark odds with the intentions of his company’s marketing arm. By employing…

1 min
fire and fury

BROOKE BOND In 2018, Brooke Bond released an ad that in the end proved more divisive than rousing. Seeing a man overcome his hesitation and buy a Ganesh idol from a Muslim artisan wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. #BoycottRedLabel would soon become a template for “Hindus to unite and protest against such acts”. JAWED HABIB In 2017, Jawed Habib courted trouble after Kolkata newspapers carried an ad that showed goddess Durga and her divine retinue being pampered in one of his salons. Though Habib apologised for the ad and its tagline—“Gods too visit JH salon”—he couldn’t avert a mob attack on his Motinagar branch. MANYAVAR In its effort to replace the wedding ritual of kanyadaan with a trendier, more progressive hashtag—#KanyaMaan—Manyavar hired Alia Bhatt and gave her two full minutes to explain why women aren’t…