BJP MLA Commits Fresh Partition Horror in Haryana; What the MEA Told Parliament about the Indian Diaspora
India-China talks dud, Manipur CM sees mysterious ‘foreign plot’, Vishwakarma scheme cleared, Chandrayaan lander separates tomorrow, in Bollywood, ‘you suck up or shut up’, Akshay Kumar is shuddh desi
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
August 16, 2023
This morning, ISRO put Chandrayaan-3 into its final lunar orbit. The lander will separate from the propulsion module tomorrow. The moon landing is planned for 5:47 pm IST on August 23, following extended braking manoeuvres.
There has been no substantive progress in the 19th round of the corps commander-level talks between India and China. Both sides have agreed to carry the process forward expeditiously. An approximation of status quo ante is necessary for a resolution ― patrolling rights, not only buffer zones.
A US bipartisan delegation of US members of Congress led by Ro Khanna wants to meet Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi in private, but the government appears to be standing in the way. “Does the MEA represent only one party,” asks Suhasini Haidar of The Hindu. Meanwhile, Khanna has kept himself meeting hard-right social media activists.
The investigation into the incident in which Railway Protection Force Constable Chetansinh Chaudhary shot dead his superior and three Muslims on the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Superfast Express on July 31 reveals that he also forced a burqa-clad woman to say ‘Jai Mata Di’ at gunpoint, and to repeat it louder, report the Indian Express.
The Union cabinet has approved the Rs 13,000 crore Vishwakarma scheme which PM Modi had announced in his Independence Day speech, to benefit 30 lakh traditional artisans and craftsmen, including weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, and barbers with support for training and capital investment.
On August 11, the Election Commission of India published the final delimitation order for Assam’s parliamentary and Assembly constituencies, which will change for the first time since 1976, but complaints are still pouring in, from minority communities to sitting legislators who find their constituencies are gone. When the draft delimitation report was published in June, it drew 1,222 suggestions and objections, of which only 45% were addressed by the Election Commission.
Mizoram MP K Vanlalvena of the Mizo National Front, an NDA member, disputes Home Minister Amit Shah’s claim that the influx of Kukis from Myanmar contributed to Manipur’s ethnic tension. Mizoram has been sheltering more than 40,000 “refugees” from the neighbouring country since 2021, he says, and “they (Kukis) had never created any problems.” Following the military coup in Myanmar in February 2021, Mizoram took in 40,000 refugees, while 4,000 sought shelter in Manipur.
After a two-decade hiatus, the Hmar Students Association (HSA) – a group of tribal students in Manipur – screened four Bollywood films, including Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Uri: The Surgical Strike, to mark India’s Independence day, says India Today NE. “This is to show our defiance and opposition to Meitei terror groups and pro-Meitei Manipur state government, which have subjugated the tribals for decades,” the HSA statement stated.
Manipur’s controversial CM N Biren Singh doesn’t give up. He now blames the ethnic violence, which neither his government nor Modi’s could control, on a “foreign plot”. “Certain misunderstandings, actions of vested interests and a foreign plot to destabilise the country has led to the loss of precious lives and properties and many are living in relief camps,” he said.
Yesterday, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud announced an “overhaul” plan to expand the Supreme Court in two phases with a new building to house 27 additional courts, 51 judges’ chambers, four registrars’ court rooms and 16 registrars’ chambers, along with facilities for lawyers and litigants. Chandrachud seeks an infrastructure upgrade to make courts more accessible and inclusive. The Supreme Court has 17 courtrooms and two registrar’s courts. Its judicial strength is now 32.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio yesterday said that Home Minister Amit Shah assured him that the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) would not be applicable for Scheduled Tribes of Nagaland and the rest of the Northeast.
A new funding mechanism for research adopted by the Union government last year has slowed down work in hundreds of Indian laboratories. Most principal investigators have not received their sanctioned funds in time due to a set of “crippling procedures”, reports Deccan Herald.
Sachin Pilot has taken to task Amit Malviya, head of the BJP’s disinformation cell, for saying that his father Rajesh Pilot and Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi had flown the aircraft which bombed Mizoram in 1966, on the orders of PM Indira Gandhi. His father’s letter of commission as a pilot officer is dated October 29, 1966. IAF aircraft machine-gunned and bombed Aizawl on March 4-5, 1966. The story that Pilot was involved in the raids is an urban legend popular in the region.
In Bengaluru, deep in Digital India, an autorickshaw driver has become a social media phenomenon because he has saved his UPI QR code as the screensaver of his smartwatch. He flips his wrist to get paid for a ride.