Splainer

Monday, July 27 2020


Dive In

We found garbage outside her flat. Once, a used face mask was thrown. We first thought these were children playing pranks. A few weeks ago we found a semen-like substance outside the door. Around the same time, my aunt would get calls on the [building] intercom from a man saying he would bring chicken to her house. She is a vegetarian and was upset by this.

That’s the nephew of 62-year-old Chandra Sampath, the alleged target of a frightening campaign of harassment. The perpetrator is her neighbour Subbiah Shanmugam—a surgeon who is also (believe it or not!) the national president of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the RSS. The reason for this vile bullying: Subbiah wanted Sampath to turn over her assigned parking spot in their building. He first claimed the complaint was “fabricated”—but has since “accepted his act and promised peace.” Illustration: Parth Savla.

Big Story

Story of a Bollywood death retold

The TLDR: Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film ‘Dil Bechara’ hit Disney+ Hotstar this weekend with a bang—in the midst of a toxic blame game unleashed by his death. The spectacle of sleaze includes wild conspiracy theories, self-serving debates over nepotism and the role of film criticism and—inevitably—a politicised police investigation. We wade through the muck to un/recover Rajput the actor and his very real legacy of work.

 

The nepotism debate

Having spent just a nano-second on the real issue of mental health, the Twitter elite pivoted quickly to the more pressing problem at hand: Bollywood nepotism—which has now been blamed (without proof) for Rajput’s death. Leading the charge: Kangana Ranaut. A surprise recent entry: AR Rahman.

 

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In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • Latin America now leads the world in the total number of cases
  • WFH is hurting your mental health
  • Rapid antibody tests are proving to be very unreliable
  • The link between menstruation and menopause
  • PubG on government's new list of Chinese apps to ban

 

Smart And Curious

  • How WFH is ripping apart work friendships
  • The mystery of the ‘boredom divide'
  • Why namaste emoji 'is the perfect symbol for our morally bankrupt privileged classes'
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