The Week That Was:

From: Vartaa Editorial Team on Nov 15, 2015

PM Modi's UK Visit

PM Modi began his tour of UK this week in the aftermath of BJP's electoral loss in Bihar last week. The PM t to Jammu & Kashmir. The package comes on the back of another one announced for Bihar (1.35 lakh crore) in August. met the Queen as well as British PM David Cameron. The PM also addressed the UK Parliament and in a joint press conference with the British PM stressed that his government was firmly committed towards maintaining the tolerant values of India's constitution. The business end of the PM's visit resulted in India and the UK signing a civilian nuclear deal and promises of investment by British firms in the Indian economy.

Paris Attacks

The dastardly terror attacks last night in Paris that resulted in over 150 innocent people being killed have shocked citizens across India as well. PM Modi issued a strong condemnation of the attack while the External Affairs Ministry confirmed that no Indian nationals were harmed during the night of horror in Paris.

Bihar Election Aftermath

The defeat in the Bihar elections has led to internal rumblings within the BJP. The old gaurd of Advani, Joshi and Yashwant Sinha, sidelined since the 2014 election campaign, came back into the spotlight issuing a statement that offered an indirect criticism of current party leadership. The government meanwhile is showing signs of flexibility and meeting the opposition half way to save the winter session of Parliament. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu stated that the government was willing to have a discussion on the issue of 'intolerance' when Parliament resumes.


This was the week when Indians all around the world celebrated the festival of Diwali. While the cheer of the festival fills the heart of every Indian with joy, an unpleasant by product every year is the pollution caused by crackers burst all over the country. This year as well, the Central Pollution Control Board, had distressing statistics to report for all of India's metros where noise pollution was well over the safe limit. Delhi was a major culprit, with 63 of the 70 locations recording pollution levels above the safe limit. We urge our readers to celebrate Diwali in all earnest but to be mindful of their impact on the environment as well as the other citizenry around them.

Opinions you must read:

  • One of India's neighbours, Myanmar, held a historic election this past week and Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a major victory. Read here as to what challenges the victor in a fragile democracy on India's borders now faces
  • Surjit Bhalla takes pollsters to task for ignoring ground realities in Bihar and hiding behind procedural excuses to cover their mistakes from last week
  • The banality of cricket commentary in the recent years has led to a lot of grumbling from die hard cricket fans. Nirmal Shekhar examines here the reasons behind the compromises that TV networks make and why we no longer have the likes of Richie Benaud and Geoff Arlott commenting on the game.