About –the stories of the world this week, 16 October to 22 October 2022: dangerous Pakistan, schooling the Taliban, dressing-up Iran, taxing cow burps, a lettuce outlasts a Prime Minister, grand-old party elections, jungle raj, and the science of the most beautiful woman in the world.
United States President Joe Biden seemed to suddenly wake up from a deep slumber and come alive to say that ‘Pakistan may be one of the most dangerous nations in the World, which holds nuclear weapons without any cohesion’. Ask any grown-up, and he would have said that without blinking an eye or stumbling over the stairs.
In Afghanistan, it’s near about 400 days since the Taliban banned teenage girls from school. Afghan girls have been forced to contemplate a life without formal education, locked out of their classrooms only because of their gender – being female. The World is still unable to collar the Taliban on education. And we have to work harder to find a way to open schools to girls.
Meanwhile, in Iran, protests against the Islamic Dress Code continues unabated and last week yet another young girl, with dreams in her eyes, was killed. This was when Iranian Security Services raided the Shahed Girls High School in Ardabil, on 13 October, and demanded a group of girls sing a pro-regime song: 16 years old Asra Panahi was beaten to death in her classroom for refusing to sing.
School girls have emerged as a powerful force, in the current protests across the country, to bring the regime in Iran to understand their freedom concerns.
If you thought Australia is funny, New Zealand is getting there, when last week New Zealand’s Prime Minister (PM), Jacinda Arden unveiled plans for the world’s first levy on agricultural gases and biogenic methane, which mainly comes from burps produced by the country’s estimated 6 million cows and 26 million sheep. Tax on burping? What next, tax on breathing?
Close behind New Zealand’s creative taxing, is the United Kingdom with British politics trying to emulate Australia’s style of politics. Following a disastrous economic policy roll-out, unfunded tax cuts, and energy price guarantees, the 45 days old, new Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned this week as Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. Earlier, the PM had sacked the Chancellor of the Exchequer over the controversial economic plan. A new PM is expected to fill the space by next week and figure out how to take Britain forward.
Counting her ‘net days’ as PM, a lettuce on the shelf outlasted her – as many went about predicting her downfall. The dice was loaded against her from the start!
The British Government is in shambles and rolled us to a ‘deja-vu’ of the Boris Johnson times. A day earlier, a ‘brave’ Home Secretary quit over a ‘security mistake’ – the second fall after the Finance Minister. And before others could even stir, the PM found the door out of 10 Downing Street wide open.
Liz Truss’ is the shortest serving period of Prime Ministership in the history of the UK. And if I were a four months old baby I would have lived through four Chancellors, three Home Secretaries, two Prime Ministers and two Monarchs. The UK will now see its fifth PM since the divisive 2016 Brexit Referendum, intensifying calls for an early general election.
Maybe a dose of ‘reverse colonisation’ would do Britain enormous good. Last heard, India’s Prime Minister is expanding his 56 inch war chest!
Grand Old Party, Grand Old Elections
This week, after 24 years, India’s Congress Party finally held an election to the top post of President: the acting President was Mom Sonia Gandhi after son Rahul Gandhi resigned taking responsibility for a string of Election defeats, which have since only got worser. Conveniently, only two Congressmen contested: one, the stylish Shashi Tharoor, who has a way with words, and two, old warhorse Mallikarjun Kharge. The latter entered the fray after the Congress’ Rajasthan Chief Minister (CM) tried to whack the Presidency and also keep the Chief Ministership of his State. But then, in walked a rule which said one-person-one post, enforced by the now Bharat Jodo Yatra walking Rahul Gandhi, and the CM decided to stay-put in Rajasthan. The Election was tacitly sealed with the Gandhi family backed Kharge invisibly declared elected. But then, the hand of Elections must be visible to show ‘democracy at work’: enter Sashi Tharoor, who played his role to perfection – to the little finger in the hand.
The Election results were announced on Wednesday this week, and as widely predicted Mallikarjun Kharge won. He polled 7897 votes (84.14%) against Shashi Tharoor’s 1072 votes (11.42%). And the 137 years old Congress Party finally has a 80 years old President as it 98th President. If only age means wisdom, in the true sense, we can see fireworks in the coming months and years!
Kharge is a senior Congress Party politician from the State of Karnataka. He had contested the 2019 General Elections (which kept the ruling BJP in the Government at the Centre) in Karnataka’s Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency and lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate by over 95,000 votes. Later in the year 2020, Kharge was elected to the Rajya Sabha, from Karnataka. And in February 2021 was appointed Leader of Opposition in India’s Parliament’s Upper House, the Rajya Sabha, which position he held until his election as Congress President.
Will an old hand be able to revive the nose-diving fortunes of the Congress. My only wish is he tries to do a Narashima Rao to the Congress Presidency!
P V Narashima Rao (PVNR) was a die-hard Congress loyalist who lost almost all his hair and most of his teeth ( I can still recall that rare toothless smile) ploughing along with the various leaders of the Congress Party. When in his sunset years and into retirement, he was called to fill-in as PM at the age of 70, on the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. He went on to become one of the best PMs, the Congress Party could offer India. His path-breaking economic reforms of 1991, with Dr Manmohan Singh as his Finance Minister, dismantled India’s strangulating Licence Raj, broke the shackles of the Indian Economy, and unleashed a never-before seen growth in India. I do not know whether this helped, but PVNR could speak 17 languages – 9 Indian and 8 foreign.
In my opinion, the Gandhi Family and the Congress Party failed to give PVNR the respect he deserved – having done better than anyone of them!
Return of the Jungle Raj: wanted a Tarzan
The state of Bihar was once known for its lawlessness had earned the epithet, ‘Jungle Raj’ (law of the jungle) under former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav who was subsequently found guilty of stealing fodder meant for cattle, convicted and sent to prison. The present Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Yadav was ruling with the support of the BJP and in a Tarzan style vine swing, jumped away from the BJP tree, resigned as Chief Minister, joined hands with Lalu’s Party tree, and swung back as Chief Minister. Tarzan would have been proud. Well, that smelt of the forest, and armed robbers and thieves who had became trees in the jungles of Bihar retuned to normal life and like America’s Wild-Wild-West stopped a train – the Delhi -Kolkata Duronto Express- near the Capital Patna and looted the passengers off their valuables, at gun-point – leaving only the life inside them. This is a swinging return to the bad old times in Bihar!
The Science of Beauty
Long ago, Greek Philosopher Plato said, ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’, which made beauty subjective. Then English Poet John Keats came along and said ‘A thing of beauty is a joy for ever’. We all agreed. But what if ‘(any) lies told by the eyes’ are pinned down and there is an objective science to beauty? Scientists have been working on finding the magic ever since.
British Actress, Jodie Comer, has been declared the most beautiful woman in the world, according to Science – scientifically. Singer Beyonce and reality-show star Kim Kardashian also made it to the top ten. Actor and model Deepika Padukone is the only Indian on the list of the 10 most beautiful women in the world.
The list has been declared by a scientist, who used the latest computerised mapping strategy to apply an ancient Greek technique called ‘Golden Ratio of Beauty’ to decide the world’s most beautiful women.
The Golden Ratio of Beauty, also called Phi, is a mathematical method, in which formulas are applied to determine physical perfection. According to the ancient Greeks, beauty can be measured by specific ratios on one’s face and body, and in the numerical form, the closer the ratios are to 1.618, which equals Phi, the more desirable a person is said to be.
Jodie Comer is the world’s most beautiful woman as her facial elements equaled the perfect ratio. Other contenders, such as actor Zendaya and model Bella Hadid, met the physical qualifications and were placed on the second and third spot, respectively.
Jodie Comer was a clear winner when all elements of the face were measured for physical perfection. She had the highest overall reading for the positioning of her nose and lips, with a score of 98.70%, which is only 1.30% away from being the perfect shape. Jodie also had the highest score for her nose width and length and she was near the top for the shape of her lips and the position of her eyes. Apart from Jodie, the Golden Ratio scores of other celebs on the list are: Zendaya – 94.37%, Bella Hadid -94.35%, Beyonce – 92.44%, Ariana Grande 91.81%, Taylor Swift 91.64%, Jourdan Dunn 91.39%, Kim Kardashian 91.28%, Deepika Padukone-91.22%, and HoYeon Jung – 89.63%. Go ahead and google to learn more about their shapes and sizes.
Jodie Marie Comer is an English actress, born and raised in Liverpool.
In addition to this ‘beauty award’, she has received two British Academy Television Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award; nominations for two Golden Globe Awards, two Critics Choice Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
More scientifically beautiful stories coming up in the weeks ahead. Make friends with Tarzan and stay alive with World Inthavaaram.
Happy Diwali: light-up your life with the goodness of humanity, we are all beautiful in our own way.