68% of Missing People in India are Women; Government in Bad Faith, Women Protectors Turned Partisan in Manipur
President of Bharat sparks controversy, India lags 16.5 years behind China, FIRs in UP for ‘negative news’, Hasina capturing institutions for one-party rule, and the Serpent is back to his old tricks
A newsletter from The Wire | Founded by MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sushant Singh, Sidharth Bhatia and Tanweer Alam | With inputs from Kalrav Joshi and Anirudh SK | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
September 5, 2023
Today, the Supreme Court reserved its judgement on petitions challenging the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. Arguments have been heard for 16 days, after a long hiatus since March 2020.
The INDIA consortium’s googly seems to have hit where it hurts. The President of India is now President of Bharat, at least on G20 dinner invitations. The invite, shared by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, has riled the Opposition, which feels that the Modi government is taking liberties with the nation. MK Stalin said that the BJP had promised to transform India, but we got only name changes. Sharad Pawar asked why the ruling party is perturbed by the internationally accepted name of the country. And here’s a great cartoon from PenPencilDraw.
On the weekend ahead, G20 national leaders will be meeting in New Delhi, which was recently inundated by extreme weather. So far, the ministerial meetings have addressed issues like green hydrogen, energy efficiency, finance for the energy transition and energy access, but there is little progress on proposals to cap global emissions of carbon dioxide by 2025, set up a carbon border tax, scale up renewable energy, phase down all fossil fuels and increase aid to nations hit hardest by climate change. National leaders are expected to step up and bridge the gaps? Meanwhile, India remains committed to coal, never mind the government’s protestations. Amidst supply chain disruptions due to the Ukraine conflict The Economic Times reports that India’s dependency on coal is not going to end anytime soon, despite the government’s protestations. The coal minister has said that some 50 coal mines will go on the block this month.
Among sundry inconveniences visited upon the citizens of Delhi by the G20 summit, all online delivery services, except medicines, will be barred in the New Delhi district. No Swiggy, not even an itsy-bitsy idli.
Not so long ago, the exit of teachers Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Arvind Subramanian had occasioned town hall meetings and general dissatisfaction at Ashoka University. Now, the obviously forced resignation of Sabyasachi Das, whose work had exposed the possibility of chicanery in the BJP’s re-election in 2019, and the sympathetic resignation of the much more senior Palupre Balakrishnan, are par for the course as the student body reconvenes for a semester, says Newslaundry.
The UK government is in talks with the nation’s biggest steelmaker, the Tatas, about transiting to cleaner technology with aid of £500mn. Tata Steel runs two blast furnaces in south Wales, a very old coal and steel district. British Steel, which is owned by China’s Jingye, was also offered a £300mn support package by ministers in January and remains in talks with the government.
In Tamil Nadu, the BJP may be tying itself in knots with the brouhaha it has raised over by reading Udhayanidhi Stalin’s speech against sanatan dharma as a call for the genocide of Hindus, writes Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta in The Wire. It may trigger exactly the anti-caste sentiment that has kept the BJP out of Tamil Nadu for ever.
Two FIRs in UP in August against “negative news” have yet again raised concerns about the freedom of the press in India, which has been rappelling down the indices.
The Indian government’s response to urban food inflation is to squeeze the margins of farmers, says Shoaiab Daniyal in Scroll. In effect, the countryside is being forced to subsidise the lifestyle of the cities.
Harvard economist Raj Chetty is using big datasets from non-traditional sources in the private sector, like credit card companies, to show that for Americans, the American dream is becoming a bit iffy, though the US remains a land of opportunity for immigrants.
An old Charles Sobhraj hand says that out of jail, the Serpent is back to his old ways, sending journalists pictures of his cheesy breakfast in a Paris hotel, announcing grand plans to sue for wrongful imprisonment, and reviving his eternal Plan B ― to sell his story to the entertainment industry and make a killing, seriously.