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The Week That Was:

From: Vartaa Editorial Team on Dec 11, 2016

Jayalalitha passes away

Tamil Nadu iconic politician and Chief Minister J.Jayalalitha passed away in Apollo Hospital in Chennai this past week after a respiratory illness. Jayalalitha had been hospitalised since late September and her passing away came at a time when doctors were beginning to hope of an improvement in her condition. Her death led to a massive outpouring of grief from her supporters as well as from other political parties. O.Paneerselvam, who had also deputised for Jayalalitha when she temporarily vacated the CM's chair over corruption charges in 2014, will now be the new CM of Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK itself however is coming to terms with the absence of its core leader and looking at who will take the party forward from here.

Ex-Air Chief arrested by SBI

It was a day of infamy and embarrassment for the Indian Air Force as its former Chief of Staff, Air Marshal SP Tyagi was arrested by the CBI and sent to police custody for 4 days in relation with his role in the AugustaWestland Chopper scam. Tyagi is charged with receiving kickbacks in the Rs 3600 crore deal. Tyagi has asserted in his defence that the decision to go with AugustaWestland was taken in accordance with direction from the PMO. There are now reports that the CBI may question ex-PM Manmohan Singh to test Tyagi's claims. The BJP meanwhile jumped on the opportunity and called on the Congress to address Tyagi's claim against the then PM.

Ugly turn in Tata-Cyrus battle

The Cyrus Mistry-Ratan Tata battle intensified this past week as both sides washed dirty linen in public ahead of shareholder meetings in key Tata Group companies. Tata Sons has called on its group companies to hold extraordinary general meetings of shareholders to vote Cyrus Mistry out of the Boards of these entities. Tata Sons this past week alleged that Mistry misled the selection panel that chose him as the group CEO. Mistry on his part has alleged that Ratan Tata's conduct harmed corporate governance across companies and that one of the directors on Tata Sons was allegedly involved in the AugustaWestland scam.

Opinions you must read:

  • On the eve of Rajaji's 138th birth anniversary, the Mint looks back at India first true free market advocate and how his leadership is needed more than ever today.
  • The Economic Times compares the demonetization of 1946 with what has happened 70 years later.
  • What makes the people still stand behind PM Modi despite the demonetization mess? The Indian Express examines.

Chart of the Week

With over 1,000 films released each year, the Indian film industry is one of the most prolific film industries in the world. According to one estimate, the industry brings in $2 billion a year. This figure though is only a fifth of the revenues the US film industry brings in. This however is likely to change. $100 million in earnings is no longer an impossible bar for Indian movies.

We deciced to take a look at the highest grossing Indian movies of all time in this week's chart of the week. A word of caution- the earnings have not been adjusted for inflation. Earnings of blockbusters from years past such as Sholay, when adjusted for inflation easily touch the $50 million mark. The intent of this chart however is to simply highlight how movies in the recent past are touching new earning highs.

We were cetainly surprised by the movies that made it to the list. PK is the highest grossing movie of all time at $120 million. Bahubali, simulatenously made in Telugu, Hindi, and Tamil is at number 2 with earnings to date of close to $100 million. Salman Khan starrers Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan follow Bahubali and another Amir Khan starrer Dhoom 3 rounds out the top 5. Other entrants on the list are pretty surprising as well, most notably the universally panned Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. One takeaway from this week's chart is that earnings and quality do not necessarily go hand in hand.