2020 Saw 95% Rise in Communal Clashes, Arrests Down 14%; Budget Dumps Women, Will Promote Patriarchy
Tikait to ask UP, Uttarakhand voters to oppose BJP, Rahul sounds alarm in Lok Sabha, notice to Modi for wearing Army uniform, press faces unprecedented challenges, Tata Steel in Dutch pollution probe
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
February 3, 2022
The Hindu reports this afternoon that the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which feels cheated by the Union budget, will ask voters in UP and Uttarakhand not to vote for the “anti-farmer BJP”. And the Punjab & Haryana High Court has stayed the highly discriminatory provision of the Haryana government reserving 75% of private sector jobs for locals, which was to come into effect on January 15.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi launched a blistering attack on the BJP government: “The ‘AA’ (Ambani Adani) variant is spreading across the Indian economy. I don’t have a problem with big industries, focus on them but please, realise that they cannot produce jobs for you. Small and medium industries are the only ones which can produce jobs in the country.” He warned that “the single biggest strategic goal of India’s foreign policy is to keep Pakistan and China separate and you brought them together. Do not underestimate the force, the power that stands before us. This is the single biggest crime against the people of India.”
Foreign minister S. Jaishankar hit back with tweets pointing to the decades-long history of Pakistan-China collaboration. But he ignored the reality that Modi’s Kashmir policy has indeed brought two of India’s adversaries closer than ever before.
Gandhi also quoted Article 1 of the Indian Constitution ― which says that India is “a Union of States” ― and senior BJP leaders turned into garden-variety trolls. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has thanked Gandhi on behalf of all Tamils for having “supported the idea of the Indian Constitution” and having “voiced the long-standing arguments of Tamils in Parliament, which rest on the unique cultural and political roots that value Self-Respect.”
In an emotional part of his speech, Gandhi reminded: “My great-grandfather was jailed for 15 years. My grandmother was shot 32 times. My father was blown to bits. So I know what I am talking about. You are fiddling with something very, very dangerous. I am advising you to stop. If you don’t stop you will create a problem.” But as soon as the Congress leader spoke about Pegasus in the Lok Sabha yesterday, the BJP raised a point of order, claiming the matter is sub judice What’s there to hide?
The District Court of Prayagraj sent a notice to the PMO this morning on a plea against PM Modi for wearing an Indian Army uniform on his visit to Kashmir last year. Civilians donning military attire are punishable under Section 140 of the Indian Penal Code.
Long-time researchers on unemployment in India, Craig Jeffrey and Jane Dyson write for the BBC, on the “nowhere generation” created by the massive jobs crisis in India. “What is also remarkable is the extent of the community service performed by young people who are unemployed and under-employed. They have become the mainstay of India’s civil society,” they say.
In an interview, Pakistan NSA Moeed Yusuf said that his country realised from negotiations that led to the reiteration of the LoC ceasefire in February 2020 “that it was basically just a tactic to release the pressure that India was facing on Kashmir from the Western world.” Referring to the collusive military threat Pakistan can pose with China, Yusuf said that “if India is going to create a problem for Pakistan, we will respond the way a self-respecting nation does. The Indian Army chief is on record, saying Pakistan did not create tensions during your India-China thing.”
The budget has allocated funds for projects related to Afghanistan. The Ministry of External Affairs will have Rs 200 crore to spend on that country, though India does not have a diplomatic presence in Kabul. “India is going to deliver 50,000 tonnes of wheat in the next week or two, and the delivery will be completed in a month’s time,” Afghan ambassador Farid Mamundzay said yesterday.
In two separate incidents, at least 21 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy near Kodiyakarai on Monday night for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line. They are from Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai, Villupuram, and Puducherry’s Karaikal.
In a written response to a question from CPI(M) MP John Brittas, the government said that as on January 27, 2022, pending wage liabilities of MGNREGA stood at Rs 3,358.14 crore. The scheme’s financial statement on its website, however, shows that Rs 11,027 crore is due for material costs.
In the biggest-ever sale of electoral bonds before Assembly elections, instruments worth Rs 1,213 crore were sold by the State Bank of India last month. Most, worth Rs 784.84 crore, were encashed in the New Delhi branch, suggesting that national parties are beneficiaries, according to a