Wednesday, September 29 2021

Dive In

Young people are being hit by climate crisis but are not in a position to make decisions. While the people who can make the change happen will not face the consequences.

That’s the lead author of a new study that exposes the vast “intergenerational inequality” between children and their grandparents. If the planet continues on its current trajectory, the average 6-year-old will live through roughly three times as many climate disasters as their grandparents. They will see twice as many wildfires,1.7 times as many tropical cyclones, 3.4 times more river floods, 2.5 times more crop failures and 2.3 times as many droughts. Washington Post has more.

Big Story

Navjot Singh Sidhu’s vadda bombshell

The TLDR: The Congress party’s problems almost inevitably achieve the level of farce. And it’s no different in Punjab—where state party chief Sidhu has suddenly quit, making the Gandhis look like fools. The context for the current tamasha is in our explainer on ex-CM Amarinder Singh’s recent departure. Consider this installment #2 of this ongoing soap opera.


The convoluted plot so far…

Here’s what you missed if you skipped the previous explainer:


  • Former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu quit the BJP and joined the Congress just before the 2017 state elections.
  • Since then, he has been a thorn in the side of then Chief Minister Amarinder Singh—and they eventually began openly feuding against one another.
  • The Gandhi family—especially Rahul—had a soft spot for Sidhu—and recently made him head of the state party over Singh’s fierce objections. 
  • Singh quit his job last week, saying he couldn’t bear the “humiliation”—and the Gandhis picked Charanjit Singh Channi as his replacement, making him the first Dalit CM of Punjab. 
  • There was lots of talk about how Channi was just a temporary pick—to get the Dalit vote in the upcoming state elections in February. And Sidhu was going to be the CM if he led Congress to victory.
  • Then Channi picked his first cabinet on Sunday—and all hell broke loose.


First, remind me about Sidhu…

Here’s a brief timeline of his trajectory:


  • The 57-year old’s main claim to fame is a cricketing career that began in 1981/82—characterised by an affection for the big shots which earned him the name ‘Sixer Sidhu’. 
  • Sidhu then built a highly successful post-retirement career as a cricket commentator and reality TV show host. 
  • Somewhere in the midst of this, he was charged with homicide in a road rage case—where he hit an old man during a dispute over parking—but was later acquitted
  • He then chucked it all to join the BJP in 2004—which isn’t all that surprising since his father too was a politician, albeit a local Congress leader.
  • Sidhu won three Lok Sabha elections between 2004 and 2009—but was passed over in favour of Arun Jaitley who scored the Amritsar ticket in 2014. 
  • Jaitley lost, Sidhu was shunted up to the Rajya Sabha—and finally quit and later joined Congress. 


A pattern of petulance: Sidhu has a reputation for quitting when he doesn’t get exactly what he wants—and not just in politics. Back in 1996, he quit and flew home in the middle of an England tour—challenging the already shaky captaincy of Mohammed Azharuddin. The reason turned out to be Azhar’s affection for colourful language—which Sidhu took as a personal offence. And all through his career, Sidhu has often been accused of being selfish and entitled—a batsman who would conveniently claim injury at his convenience.


Ok, why did he quit this time?


In today’s edition

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