Bharat Jodo Yatra Begins In Sriperumbudur; Hindus Lead In Missing Female Births, Ahead Of Sikhs
Students’ mental health falls in higher classes, 30,000 Myanmar refugees in Mizoram, no action on MP food scheme scam, woman fights tiger for son’s life, Mahabali leads ‘Onacarols’ in Kerala village
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
September 7, 2022
“I lost my father to the politics of hate and division, I will not lose my beloved country to it too,” said Rahul Gandhi as he began the Bharat Jodo Yatra of the Congress at Sriperumbudur, where Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by LTTE suicide bomber Dhanu in 1991.
The 150-day ‘Kanyakumari to Kashmir’ yatra is the party’s attempt to establish direct contact with the people. Coincidentally, today, a new web series was announced on the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. It will be directed by Nagesh Kukunoor and will draw on Anirudhya Mitra’s book Ninety Days: The True Story of the Hunt for Rajiv Gandhi’s Assassin.
Income tax raids are in progress at the premises of the Delhi think tank Centre for Policy Research, formerly headed by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a prominent critic of the Modi government who was believed to have quit under pressure. It is now chaired by Meenakshi Gopinath and its president is Yamini Aiyar. Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran is on the board. NDTV reports that the raids concern “funding of over 20 registered by un-recognised political parties”.
For the second day, a Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia is hearing the hijab case, in which the focus is currently on the Hobson’s choice between the right to expression and the right to education.
It’s official: Delhi’s Rajpath, the venue of the Republic Day parade, will be renamed ‘Kartavya Path’, reflecting the ruling party’s determination to make duties the fundamentals of the republic. Next, Raj Bhavans should please be renamed Kartavya Bhavans, to publicly acknowledge the hard work being done for the ruling party by governors in Opposition-run states.
India and Bangladesh had signed the Ganga Water Sharing Treaty in 1996, and it was good for 30 years. Yesterday, the deltaic neighbours signed an interim pact for the Kushiyara river. Bangladesh President Sheikh Hasina reminded that the Teesta pact remains vital unfinished business.
Hindustan Times reports that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has confirmed that PM Modi is likely to introduce five cheetahs from Windhoek in the Kuno National Park on September 17. He will do the introductions himself?
Top public sector banks like SBI and Bank of Baroda are working to operationalise the RBI’s latest mechanism for settling international payments in rupees, to boost trade with sanctions-hit Russia. Things began to move when the government allayed banks’ concerns about Western sanctions ― if they steer clear of sanctioned items, entities and banks, they won’t be affected.
Bloomberg has broken down the factors in the stupendous rise in Gautam Adani’s wealth. He is the third richest person in the world, as he “closes in on Jeff Bezos with a 1,000% stock surge.”
It’s been over 48 hours since the media reported on the Madhya Pradesh Accountant General finding large-scale fraud and irregularities in the ambitious free food scheme for girls and women, which is in the chief minister’s charge, and adorned with the PM’s photograph as specified, but nothing has moved. No double-engine drive to get to the bottom of the scam.
“Overall, the CAD is projected to widen to an all-time high of $120 billion (3.5% of GDP) in FY23 from $38.7 billion (1.2% of GDP) in FY22,” domestic ratings agency Icra said in a note. “The current account deficit is projected to widen to an all-time high of $41-43 billion in Q2 FY23 from the $30 billion expected in Q1 FY23. It is expected to widen to 5% of GDP in Q2 FY23, the second highest level since Q3FY12.” When the CAD widened last in 2013, the rupee had come under intense pressure.
Research house Nomura expects India’s CAD as a share of GDP to triple this fiscal year. A global economic slowdown will further skew India’s trade imbalances. In a note, the research house said it now expected CAD to rise to 3.5% of GDP in the current ﬁscal from 1.2% last year. It had previously forecast the deﬁcit to be 3.3% of GDP.
All manner of Opposition combos are in the works. INLD’s Abhay Chautala says that he has invited Nitish Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav, Sharad Pawar and Farooq Abdullah for a rally on September 25, the birth anniversary of Devi Lal.
A government survey of classes 6 to 12 found that the mental health of most students declined in secondary school. They “commonly experienced happiness and expressed satisfaction” with school life in lower classes, which declined later due to anxiety caused by exams, academics and results. The survey was conducted for students between classes 6 and 12 by NCERT. The latest National Crime Records Bureau report shows that over 13,000 students committed suicide last year.
Vishwanath S, a water expert who has also worked on the Karnataka Water Policy in 2019 and is a technical advisor to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, says that heavy rainfall is not the only reason for urban flooding: “It is bad infrastructural design.” In the brouhaha over posh areas being inundated, the plight of slums and other underprivileged areas in Bengaluru, where people have lost everything they owned ― “food, clothes, groceries, books” ― has been ignored.
Wular Lake in Kashmir’s Bandipora district is one of Asia’s largest freshwater lakes. But it is threatened by “growing pollution in the area, causing many varieties of fish to disappear.” The livelihoods of fisherwomen are threatened.
After three senior IAS officers sought voluntary retirement in UP, yet another IAS officer, Vidya Bhushan, has put in his papers. Bhushan, MD of Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL), has cited “personal reasons”. The 2008 batch officer’s request follows the suspension by the state government of his wife, IPS officer Alankrita Singh, for travelling abroad without prior information to the authorities. Action against Singh, also a 2008 batch officer, was initiated in April.
The Union government on Monday told the Supreme Court that petitions challenging extensions granted to the Enforcement Directorate chief, filed by leaders of the Congress and Trinamool Congress, are politically motivated. The court is hearing at least eight petitions filed by the Opposition leaders, who have sought to quash a November 2021 government order extending the tenure of ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra by a year. Senior Advocate KV Viswanathan as an amicus curiae appointed to assist the bench in the case, which will be heard on September 19.
Locals in Goalpara district, Assam, have taken the law into their own hands and razed a madrasa for “anti-national, jihadi” activities, say Assam Police. This is the fourth madrasa to be demolished in Assam in weeks. The first three were pulled down by government authorities.
In BJP-ruled UP, Lulu Mall of namaz row fame is back in the news. There was another attempt to kick up a controversy and breach the peace ― a burqa-clad woman surrounded by other women and children offered namaz after eluding security guards at its premises in Lucknow. Taking note of the video on social media, Inspector Shailendra Giri, Station House Officer of Sushant Golf City Police Station, scanned CCTV footage of the mall. He confirmed that a video had gone viral on Monday night, but its veracity ― or even the date and time ― was unconfirmed.
In the village of Valayanchirangara near Perumbavoor, Kerala, ‘Mahabali’ leads Onam carols. A large group of people visit homes and sing ‘Onacarols’ together. The practice, much like Christmas carols in Kerala, which are led by a child dressed as Santa, is decades old.
A woman in Madhya Pradesh suffered serious injuries while fighting off a tiger to save her 15-month-old baby. Archana Choudhary grappled with the tiger with her bare hands until villagers heard her cries for help and intervened. Mother and son are in hospital. The attack happened on Sunday on the outskirts of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. Animal attacks on people living around the tiger reserve aren’t uncommon.
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