BJP In Kill Bill Season; How To Bring Back The 'Citizen’s Agenda'
Aviation hits Omicron air pocket, UN office slams UAPA, Char Dham board nixed, 68% of food & beverage unhealthy, Kamra’s Bengaluru show cancelled, case against Zuckerberg for ‘Bua Babua’ Facebook page
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
December 2, 2021
Pakodanomics margins keep shrinking ― the price of cooking gas has been hiked again. The price of the 19 kg commercial cylinder has been increased by Rs 100 to Rs 2,101 in Delhi. The last hike was on November 1.
Of the 43,797 manual scavengers identified by caste, Parliament has been told, 42,594 are Dalits, 421 are scheduled tribes and 431 are other backward castes. The numbers tell the story of caste and reservation in modern India.
The government’s behaviour in Kashmir continues to draw censure. Expressing concern at the arrest of Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez, The UN Office of Human Rights also commented sharply on the UAPA, which “raises serious concerns relating to the right of presumption of innocence along with other due process and fair trial rights. The Act is also increasingly being used to stifle the work of human rights defenders, journalists and other critics.” It went on to “reiterate our calls for the UAPA to be amended to bring it into line with international human rights law and standards.” UP, Jammu & Kashmir and Manipur reported the maximum number of UAPA arrests in 2020: 70%. UP had the maximum number, 361.
November recorded the highest ever monthly trade deficit of $23.27 bn, as exports fell to a nine-month low. Imports have been above $50 bn and the trade deficit over $20 bn for three consecutive months.
Since 2014, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has budgeted Rs 830.32 crore for litigation alone, with Rs 330.32 crore “earmarked” in 2014 and a “provision” of Rs 500 crore made later, confidential documents reveal. The amount is neither mentioned in the BCCI’s balance sheet of 2016-17 — the latest accounts on its website — nor in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 balance sheets. According to its 2018-19 balance sheet, the BCCI was worth a massive Rs 14,489 crore.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy claimed that on the plea of the national interest, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has disallowed his question on whether the Chinese have crossed the LAC in Ladakh. The Secretariat has said it acts on the recommendation of the “ministry concerned” on sensitive issues. PM Narendra Modi has been severely criticised for telling an all-party meeting on the issue last year that “no one has entered India, nor has anyone occupied its territory.”
Friction between the Opposition and the government over the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs has worsened. The government wants “errant” MPs to unconditionally apologise on the floor of the House. The MPs said the government should apologise for undermining parliamentary democracy. Strangely, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla waved to MPs sitting in protest outside the House.
The Union government may be in a lose-lose situation after repeal of the farm laws, as it refuses to truly concede. Saying that the BJP government should stop trying to divide farmers, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha condemned its statement that it does not have data about farmers who died. “SKM reiterates its demand for compensation and rehabilitation of the kin of more than 689 martyrs,” it said. It also criticised the PM for not restarting formal dialogue or responding to pending demands.
Taslim Ali, the bangle salesman from Indore and who became the face of the economic boycott of Muslims, completed 100 days in jail yesterday. One of his attackers had accused him of child molestation.
The Kerala High Court has said it is not content with the Centre’s reasons for keeping petrol and diesel out of GST, and that the pandemic was a poor excuse. “It is well known that even during the pandemic period, several decisions were taken involving revenue, after deliberations.”
After fellow artist Munawar Faruqui, the show of standup comic Kunal Kamra in Bengaluru, spread over 20 days, has been cancelled. Kamra tweeted: “For those on Twitter that have been wondering how ‘a Kamra goes on to perform while a Farooqui has had to quit comedy’ we can find solace in the fact that the ruling class is at least trying to oppress with equality.”
The tiger population in small isolated forests like Ranthambore risk being wiped out due to inbreeding, unlike in inter-connected landscapes in central India and the Western Ghats, biologists in Bengaluru reported. Read the study in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Swiggy delivery workers in Guwahati are on strike, demanding better pay and curtailing hiring via third parties.
The claim of Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia and Anurag Thakur doesn’t fly: Noida’s Jewar airport won’t be Asia’s largest. Seven Asian airports already host more passengers than the upcoming one in UP.
CBSE got the answer right but the question wrong, and had to apologise.