The Latest: Top stories of the day
1. A report not made public by the Khattar government blames the police leadership for their caste bias during the Haryana Jat reservation riots of February 2016.
2. Abdul Qayyum Qureshi and Ali Hassan Sheikh held for posting obscene images of Goddess Kali and Narendra Modi on social media may be tried under the National Security Act.
3. A new inquiry links arms dealer to a benami London home for Robert Vadra.
4. Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur applied for bail before a special National Investigation Agency court on Monday in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blasts.
5. Trouble erupted once again in the University of Hyderabad as a group of Dalit students tried to re-erect their protest tent on campus.
6. Alastair Cook becomes youngest batsman to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket.

The Big Story: Offense is the best defence

The principle of a democracy is simple. Elected leaders try and solve problems and, in return, the people re-elect them. India, a democracy, has some of the greatest problems known to humanity: we have a larger proportion of children underweight than Somalia, to take one.

Yet, in India, our elected leaders have spent time and effort working themselves into a lather against a spoof video created by Tanmay Bhat from the comedy collective All India Backchod. Posted on Monday, the skit takes digs at two Marathi icons: Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar.

The reaction to the video was so over the top, it turned out to be far funnier than the video. The Shiv Sena wrote to the Maharashtra chief minister asking for strict action to be taken. Mumbai Bharatiya Janata Party president Ashish Shelar asked the police commissioner to file a complaint against Bhat. A Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Ameya Kopekar also demanded police action but wanted Bhat to be “caught on the road and beaten up” too. Censor Board Chief Pahlaj Nihalani wanted Bhat to be arrested under the draconian Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, created to combat organised mafia crime and terror. The Mumbai Police tried to get the video banned and took the matter so seriously it even thought it worthwhile to address a press conference on the matter.

Even as Maharashtra’s politicians and the administration vigorously tackle a skit, the state is battered by an unusually harsh drought. Not only are the drought-affected areas overwhelmed but distressed migrants have even flooded the capital Mumbai looking for succour. Yet, this humanitarian crisis and emergency gathers little attention. Why does Maharashtra’s political system prioritise a flippant video over drought? This is a question Maharashtrians need to ask of their politicians and their political system.

The Big Scroll

Watch the original spoof by Tanmay Bhat before it gets banned. And it wasn’t only the politicians acting silly: the media did its bit too. After Bhat tweeted, jokingly, that Snapchat, which many more people are now talking about, should pay him for the publicity, the channel NewsX, missing the humour, outraged about how Bhat was even shamelessly demanding money for insulting two icons. Also: The Dummy's Guide to becoming a civil rights champion in India.

Politicking & Policying
1. The Communist Party of India (Marxists) Politburo okays a cabinet-rank post for Achuthanandan in the Kerala government.
2. Days after ordering his transfer, the Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party government asks an IAS officer to explain his “anti-Modi” post on Facebook.
3. After row in Uttar Pradesh, Bajrang Dal will hold self-defence camps in Rajasthan.

1. In the Hindustan Times, Renu Singh writes about how we can end the widespread evil of child marriage in India.
2. In the Indian Express, Pratap Bhanu Mehta explains why the credibility of the Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan is miles ahead of anyone in the Union government.
3. The Gandhi family’s is now removed from any actual achievement and lives only on memory, writes Santosh Desaa in the Times of India.
4. In the New York Times, Alain de Botton explains why everyone will end up marrying the wrong person.

Don’t Miss
As quota wars rage and Haryana’s Jats threaten another agitation on June 5, are upper caste interests deliberately blocking the release of the caste census data?

According to a story making the rounds, when the caste data was compiled a top official was so startled to see the upper caste numbers (because they were insignificantly low in comparison with the rest of the castes) that he immediately jumped into his vehicle and sped towards Raisina Hill to share the findings with his bosses. They too were convinced that the upper caste numbers are dangerously low to be revealed to the world.