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Slap Aamir Khan, get a lakh: What next, Shiv Sena?

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Hindu right-wing party Shiv Sena is at it again. After smearing ink on innocuous Sudhendra Kulkarni in Mumbai, the Punjab unit of the outfit announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh per slap for anyone slapping actor Aamir Khan over his remarks on “growing intolerance” in India.

Aamir is currently in Ludhiana for the shooting of his upcoming movie, Dangal.

Rajeev Tandon, Punjab chairman, Shiv Sena, while inveighing on Khan said that “any person who will slap Aamir Khan will get Rs 1 lakh for each slap from the Shiv Sena”, adding, “We give an opportunity to the manager and employees of the hotel and also the team of his film to slap Aamir and get Rs 1 lakh from us. The courageous and patriotic persons who will slap Aamir Khan in Ludhiana will get Rs 1 lakh reward per slap from us.”

Shiv Sena is no stranger to controversies. It has, in the past, dug up cricket pitches, beaten up north and south Indians in Mumbai, thrashed couples in public parks on Valentine’s Day and smeared ink on people holding contrarian point of views. Its mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ does not mince words in excoriating its political opponents and a particular community, namely Muslims, in its daily harangue. To the extent that late Bal Thackeray once called upon people to form ‘Hindu suicide squads’ to counter ‘Islamic extremism’.

But as they say, barking dogs seldom bite. The bellicose Shiv Sena has weird, dangerous ideas but apparently nobody capable enough in its rank and file to carry them out. For instance, it has been over 14 years since 2002 when Thackeray issued a call for Hindu suicide squads, yet no one from his own ranks paid heed to him and stepped up to the plate. The Shiv Sena men apparently do not themselves have the gumption to ‘slap’ Aamir Khan, hence this public appeal.

But this time Shiv Sena seems to have crossed the ‘red-line’ by inciting violence against a person whose only crime was to express his point of view over an important issue plaguing the country. Shiv Sena knows India being a poor country where around 60 per cent people live below the poverty line and have to work hard to make both ends meet, Rs one lakh is no small amount to take the law into one’s own hands.

Consider a man who has to arrange for his sister’s dowry, who has to finance his children’s studies, who has to meet expenses of his father’s medical treatment, or the debt-ridden farmer who has to pay off his loans. Wouldn’t he consider Shiv Sena’s offer and slap Aamir Khan despite having no grudges against the latter.

Suppose he slaps Aamir for Rs one lakh and gets caught in flagrante delicto. He might be sent to jail for a few months and fined as well. But wouldn’t it be worth taking a risk for him? Shiv Sena, fully aware of a poor Indian’s insecurities and compulsions, has issued a call for inflicting violence upon Aamir Khan knowing that someone would eventually fall into its trap.

With this, the Marathi chauvinist party cuts a sorry figure and has stooped to a new low but nothing seems out of bounds for Shiv Sena. I mean what next? If this continues, that day is not far when Shiv Sena and its ilk, like ignoramus Mullahs, would offer bounties on people’s heads. Such venom in public discourse by those who are supposed to lead us is what perchance Aamir was referring to in his remarks, for holding a contrarian point of view does not make one ‘traitor’.

This ‘intolerance’ is scary and sends shivers down one’s spine. At the same time, we must not paint everybody with the same brush, for crude, uncouth Shiv Sena is not India.

How we deal with the likes of Shiv Sena will define us as a nation.

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Xiaomi Focusing on Rural Retail in India

But the eight-year-old company wants to be recognised not as just another smartphone company and it began working towards this mission in 2014

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Xiaomi
Xiaomi wants to change rural retail in India with new business.

Chinese electronics major Xiaomi, which is focusing on amplifying its product portfolio beyond smartphones, is all set to launch on Tuesday a new business which, according to the company, will “change rural retail in India”.

“Excited about a new business that we are launching. We’ll announce it tomorrow,” Manu Kumar Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi Global and Managing Director, Xiaomi India, revealed in a tweet on Monday.

“This new business will forever change rural retail in India,” he stressed.

Started with the online-only strategy, Xiaomi is fast expanding its presence in offline retail as well.

In September, the company launched its fourth flagship “Mi Home” experience store in the country, in Bengaluru, along with a new office.

“With the launch of a new ‘Mi Home’ experience store, we aim to bring maximum international products to the Indian markets,” Jain said at the time of the launch.

The complaint alleged that Xiaomi had used the patents without any license from Yulong.
Started with the online-only strategy, Xiaomi is fast expanding its presence in offline retail as well, wikimedia commons

With the purpose of strengthening its offline network further, Xiaomi said in September it wanted to open 100 “Mi Home” stores in 2018 itself.

Known for its low-cost phones, the company shipped 11.7 million units and became the top brand in the Indian market with 27.3 per cent share in the third quarter this year, with Samsung at second spot, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report last week.

The company grew to a new high on the back of its successful Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5 Pro series and refreshed Redmi 6/A/Pro portfolio, said the report.

Also Read- Apple Makes a Deal with Amazon, Which is Win-Win Game For Both

But the eight-year-old company wants to be recognised not as just another smartphone company and it began working towards this mission in 2014.

Along with its products in the smart home portfolio, its is also venturing into non-technology related segments like luggage, shoes, apparel and more. (IANS)