70% of Last Year’s Taxpayers now Below Taxable Limit; Unicorns have Lost the Numbers Game ― Time for Proficorns to Take the Stage
SC stretches ED director’s extension, no-confidence motion ahead, 5,000 quota students drop out of central univs and IITs every year, minorities join forces against UCC, RSS may surrender trusty lathi
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 | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
July 27, 2023
The Supreme Court has extended the tenure of SK Mishra, director of the Enforcement Directorate to September 15 from July 31, in the larger public interest. The Centre had sought an extension till October 15 in view of the ongoing Financial Action Task Force review. On July 11, it had held his earlier extension to be illegal. Incidentally, when Mishra’s last extension was challenged, the government had also argued that it was in the public interest. Meetu Jain explains why the FATF rationale is a bit of a stretch.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has admitted a no-confidence motion moved by Gaurav Gogoi of the Congress. The BJP-led government will not fall, but the Opposition is using the ploy to pressure PM Modi to speak on the crisis in Manipur.
Mallikarjun Kharge, who has noted bitterly that Modi is silent on Manipur in Parliament but playing gender politics in Sikar, responded to Home Minister Amit Shah’s plea for the cooperation of the Opposition: “There is a world of difference between the words and actions of the sentiments expressed in your letter. Contrary to the spirit of your letter, the attitude of the government has been insensitive and arbitrary in the House… The day Modi compares us with a terrorist organisation, the home minister writes a letter seeking cooperation from Opposition parties.” Yesterday, the speaker turned off Kharge’s microphone while he was speaking. Opposition members walked out of the Rajya Sabha after adjournment motions to discuss Manipur violence were disallowed.
Yesterday, Modi inaugurated the redeveloped India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) complex at Pragati Maidan, which has been named Bharat Mandapam. Raj Rewal’s Hall of Nations, a 1970s architectural classic, now exists only in photo archives and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It’s been replaced by standardised architecture fit for conferencing and seminaring, which will host the G20 summit in September. In campaign mode, Modi promised that India would be the world’s third largest economy in his third term as PM. He neglected to mention that were it not for rash interventions like demonetisation, a sudden lockdown and a hurriedly implemented GST, India would have got there years ago by sheer momentum. India is already the third largest economy in PPP terms and number five in real GDP terms, after the US, China, Japan and Germany.
Muslim, Christian and Sikh communities have joined the All India Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation and the Confederation of Dalit and Tribal Organisations to oppose the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) as part of a larger “Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan” project. They anticipate that while apparently seeking equality, the UCC will be used to dismantle reservations. “The one nation, one law view is a pernicious attempt to intervene in the social and religious affairs of various communities,” said SQR Ilyas, convenor of the Committee for Protection of Religious and Cultural Diversities.
State governments have deleted the names of 5.18 crore NREGA workers from the rolls in this financial year. That’s a 247% hike from the figure for FY 2021-22. The Hindu reports that state governments’ failure to reconcile workers’ Aadhaar details with their NREGA job cards could be a reason.
The IMF will “encourage” India to remove restrictions on the export of non-basmati rice, which were imposed a week ago. Since India is the world’s biggest exporter of rice, the ban would increase global food inflation. It can also invite retaliation, warned IMF Chief Economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas. There are unverified reports that South Asians in the US are panic-buying rice.
“Inside the war India hopes the world won’t see” ― The Independent reports on Manipur on the “brink of civil war”. In fact, disgraced Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh wants his neighbour Zoramthanga, Chief Minister of Mizoram, to unsee it, too. After marching in a protest in Aizawl, Zoramthanga had said of the ethnic violence in Manipur, “The wound is deep and it is very difficult to heal this with a pain-killer. It needs a thorough investigation.” Singh also lit into the European Parliament, far away in Strasbourg, whose members had said that Christian Kukis are being oppressed in his state. Meanwhile, two buses used to ferry security forces were stopped by people who searched them for members of the other community, and then set them on fire with complete impunity.
Women led by the North East Support Network gathered at the Indian High Commission in London and silently marched to Parliament Square and Gandhi’s statue to draw attention to the silent suffering of the three Kuki women assaulted in Manipur. Alian V, a cousin of a rape survivor, demanded action against the perpetrators.
In a 61-day dharna, landless farmers and Opposition parties in Greater Noida have stared down the bulldozer raj in UP and forced the authorities to form a committee to enforce the right to fair compensation for land acquired by the government. There have been disputes over land acquisition in the area since 1991, when Greater Noida was created.
Prem Panicker recalls the response of the police, the administration, the political establishment and the public to the infamous Delhi gang-rape of 2012. No one had to tell them what to do. The case offers a sharp contrast to the mess in Manipur, and indicates how far we have slid in just a decade. If Manipur was on fire for 6 weeks under UPA, asks Vir Sanghvi, would Manmohan Singh have kept quiet?
Gautam Adani called on Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and took away a project that will double his power business with Dhaka, reports Prothom Alo. Adani is already supplying 1,600 MW to Bangladesh from Godda in Jharkhand. Now, it will amp up the supply by another 1,600 MW, mostly from solar plants in India, plus 600 MW of hydropower from Nepal.
They swapped their shorts, or ‘nickkars’ for trousers a few years ago and now, Shyamlal Yadav reports in the Indian Express, the RSS plans to revamp its decades-old training system, shorten the duration of camps, and drop the trademark lathi in favour of a shorter, snappier baton.
In an open letter, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has asked Prime Video to take down Nitesh Tiwari’s Bawaal, which it calls a “banal trivialisation of the suffering and systematic murder of millions of victims of the Nazi Holocaust.” The film’s director has defended his use of the line, "every relationship goes through its Auschwitz.”
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