- 'Dad's home; he's very happy'
That's about Amitabh Bachchan walking out of hospital and going home, of course.
Banner headline across my Monday (December 19) paper:
- Splitting heirs: Raj walks out
And that's about Raj Thackeray walking out of the Shiv Sena.
Among other things that happened in this country over the last few days, there's the tragedy in Chennai in which 42 people were trampled to death. Crowds had gathered because flood relief was to be distributed: Rs 1000 in cash, 10 kg of rice, a litre of kerosene, one sari and one dhoti. As is always likely when crowds gather for such handouts, something triggered a stampede. Dozens died.
In April 2004, there was a similar stampede in Lucknow. This was at a "birthday celebration" for the BJP politician Lalji Tandon, where there was going to be a function to distribute saris to "poor" women. Witnesses said the organisers of this celebration "threw saris into the approximately 5000-strong crowd of poor women crammed into a small park" (AFP, April 14 2004).
Result: a stampede that killed 21 women.
21 dead in Lucknow last year, twice that many dead in Chennai yesterday. But the real news is that a film star leaves hospital, and that a nephew leaves his political party.