Bluff And Bluster

Updated: Apr 27 2002, 05:30am hrs
While Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf and his charming ambassador to the United States, the journalist-turned-diplomat Ms Maleeha Lodhi, are tom-tomming in the US that Pakistan has won the battle of wits against India along the border, Indian officials are pleased to learn that the deployment of the forces along the border is costing Pakistan quite a bit. In this battle of wits, Pakistan thinks that India has got nothing out of the deployment, while Indian officials don’t want to advertise yet what they think they have got. A satisfied New Delhi plans to keep the troops on the the border, albeit on reduced alert status, for some time to come.

Better Safe Than Sorry
Discretion may be the better part of valour for the National Democratic Alliance government in these troublesome post-Gujarat times. Seemingly, the government would rather steer clear of charges related to discrimination against non-Hindus, even if that means putting aside an intended policy shift.

Previously, chairmen-and-managing directors of banks were appointed on the basis of seniority. But this time round, it was decided to go in for a merit-based selection procedure, ie, hold interviews. Now, two bank executive directors — one a Sikh and the other a Christian — didn’t clear their interviews (even though they were the senior-most), and others were shortlisted for the posts of CMD.

Since then, the government has decided that M S Kapur, at present ED of Syndicate Bank, and Michael Bastin, ED of Vijaya Bank, would be promoted, each to be posted to the other bank. That process had suffered a setback for some months now, with both holding charge at their respective banks ever since the news came out that their claims may be overlooked. Eavesdropper reliably learns that the files would be moving out of the Department of Personnel and Training and wending their way to the vigilance department very soon.

During the live telecast of the 2nd India-West Indies test match this week, commentators Harsha Bhogle, Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar publicised their fondness for crocodile, snakes and other exotic creatures of the edible delicacies! In fact, Mr Shastri was quite categorical in his assertion that “before they (crocodiles and snakes...) can get at you, you should get at them.” Bet a certain Ms Gandhi isn’t amused.