12 Million Indian Kids, Mostly Hindu, Married Before They Turn 10; When Mahesh Bhatt Told Gulzar to Step Out Into the Light
Army seeks Mandarin speakers, Buddha relics loan to Mongolia raises concern, Abu Salem promise can't be broken, pigs, donkeys storm BJP MP’s office, first Indian woman to win Wimbledon match
A newsletter from The Wire & Galileo Ideas | Contributors: MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia, Sushant Singh and Tanweer Alam | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
July 11, 2022
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the plea filed by Telugu poet P Varavara Rao, accused in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case, challenging the order of the Bombay High Court rejecting his prayer for permanent medical bail. A special NIA court in Mumbai on Thursday rejected the plea of Gautam Navlakha and Sagar Gorkhe seeking permission to use mosquito nets in prison. They had moved court after their mosquito nets were taken away by prison officials.
The Supreme Court has accepted the petition on mob attacks on Christians filed by concerned citizens of the National Solidarity Forum and the Evangelical Fellowship of India, and Archbishop of Bangalore Diocese, Peter Machado. Though it rejected an urgent hearing, the court has listed the petition for today, immediately on reopening. Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna are hearing the matter.
Narendra Modi’s decision to personally unveil the national emblem atop the new parliament building (which is still being built) has been criticised for its constitutional impropriety. The ceremony was accompanied by Hindu prayers, a departure from the principle of sarva dharma sambhava but one that is fast becoming the norm.
The BBC profiles Mohammed Zubair. And as the police in Lakhimpur rake up an old, trumped up case from 2021 – the fact-checker now faces four separate charges in three cities – AltNews has a statement on the brazen and selective targeting of “our friend and colleague Mohammed Zubair”.
Militant groups recruited 700 Jammu and Kashmir youths in the last four years, and 141 militants, mostly foreigners, are currently active in the Union Territory. The number of youth recruited was 187 in 2018, 121 in 2019, 181 in 2020 and 142 in 2021. By the end of June, 69 youths had been recruited by militant groups. The police in Srinagar have said they will probe the death of a young man, Muslim Lone, who became unconscious during questioning at a police station. Shockingly, instead of rushing Lone to hospital, the police summoned his family and asked them to take him away. The family alleges Lone was tortured.
Following prolonged border tensions with China, the Army has issued a notification to fill vacancies in the Territorial Army for Mandarin experts, to empower military commanders to engage with PLA personnel. Five civilian candidates and one ex-service officer will be appointed as officers.
Cops busted two Bengaluru companies, Ethical Infotech Pvt Ltd and Gayathri Tech Park in Whitefield, for running a fake call centre that duped hundreds. Seventy-two employees including the kingpins were arrested. Callers mainly targeted victims in the US by pretending to be employees of banks or Amazon, claiming that a fraudulent or suspicious transaction or purchase had been noticed and they would resolve it.
India has successfully exported the exam proxy culture. A 29-year-old British-Indian woman has been sentenced to eight months in prison after admitting to impersonating at least 150 people to appear for driving tests on their behalf in the UK. Inderjeet Kaur admitted to having concluded 150 theory and practical driving tests on behalf of candidates in 2018-2020. She committed the offences throughout England and Wales, including at Swansea, Carmarthen, Birmingham and around London, and pleaded guilty at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday.
Nearly 12 million Indian children ― that’s roughly what the population of J&K is ― were married before the age of 10, reveals an analysis of census data by IndiaSpend. Some 84% were Hindus and 11% Muslims. As many of 7.84 million (65%) married children were girls, who are more disadvantaged; eight in 10 illiterate children who were married were also girls. Some 72% of all Hindu girls married before 10 lived in rural areas, compared to 58.5% Muslim girls. Jain women marry late at a median age of 20.8 years, followed by Christian women (20.6 years) and Sikh women (19.9 years). Hindu and Muslim women have the lowest median age at first marriage (16.7 years), according to a report by Nirantar, a Delhi-based advocacy group. Women from urban areas, on average, marry more than two years later than rural women.
The deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly has told the Supreme Court that he had refused to take on record a communication sent by the rebel group of Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde against his removal as none of the 39 MLAs had met him personally and he had no means to verify their signatures. Today, the Supreme Court refused an urgent hearing to the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena’s challenging the governor’s decision to invite Eknath Shinde to form the government. It said that an appropriate bench cannot be appointed immediately, and disqualification proceedings must be stayed until it decides the matter.
More trouble is brewing in Punjab over the alleged statement of AAP Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann asking for a separate high court for the state, thereby weakening the state’s claim over Chandigarh. Leader of the Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa asked Mann to clarify if he had asked for a separate high court in New Chandigarh, as Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has claimed. “Why should the High Court of Punjab leave the city of Chandigarh?” asked Bajwa. The Akali Dal has also threatened a full-blown agitation if the CM does not clarify.
The Karnataka state-appointed panel on the National Education Policy has recommended overhauling history textbooks and pitched for teaching Pythogoras’ theorem and Newton’s laws from an Indian perspective ― laying claim to them. It has termed their European provenance as “fake news”, drawing mirth as well as concern. Recently, under criticism, the Karnataka government had to roll back plans to edit textbooks.
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India’s decision to send four bone relics of the Buddha to Mongolia for 12 days has become a controversial issue within the government. Union minister Kiren Rijiju accompanied the relics to Mongolia with a delegation of Ministry of Culture officials, and a relic was displayed in Gandan Monastery, which PM Modi had visited. It is an AA category antiquity, which must be kept in controlled climate conditions, and ministry guidelines drafted by the NDA government in 2014 prohibit its transport, even within the country. India had earlier turned down requests from Sri Lanka, South Korea and Thailand for display of this relic, but now, it is being asked in South Block, can future requests be rejected? The Ministry of Culture wonders what use the AA rating is when it is being allowed to tour the world, at the request of the PMO. Now, both damage to the relic and diplomatic misunderstandings are possible.
The Supreme Court has said the government cannot tear up the assurances it gave Portugal in 2002 when it secured the extradition of gangster Abu Salem on condition that would not be sentenced to death.
Just three months into the current ﬁscal, foreign investors have pulled out more than Rs 1 lakh crore from Indian equities, or more than 75% of their selloff in all of FY22. As per depository data, FPIs have sold Indian equities worth Rs 1.07 lakh crore in the April-June quarter, as compared to the Rs 1.40 lakh crore of outflow in FY22. Foreign investors have been selling since October 2021. The selloff intensified in June as they pulled out Rs 50,203 crore from Indian equities, the highest monthly outflow after March 2020, when it was Rs 61,973 crore.
Former RBI Governor and economist Raghuram Rajan spoke last week at King’s College, London, on why liberal democracy is an imperative for India's economic development, and not a luxury.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court yesterday stayed construction of the 108-foot statue of Adi Shankaracharya, to be built on a 54-foot platform in Omkareshwar in Khandwa district. The court was hearing a petition by Indore-based NGO Lokhit Abhiyan Samiti, which opposed cutting trees and excavating a mountain for the construction.
The death toll in the June 30 landslide at a railway construction site in Manipur’s Noney district rose to 50 on Saturday, the tenth day of rescue operations, after one more body was recovered, officials said. Eleven persons are still missing, they added. The landslide also hit 107 Territorial Army (TA) camps protecting the railway construction work.
The National Eligibility Test (NET) of the UGC on Saturday was marred by technical glitches across several centres, leading to walk-outs and protests as tests were delayed or cancelled.
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