Geetanjali Shree Complainants Told to Challenge Scriptures in Court; Irani’s Soap Operatics Parry the Question, But Her Footing Is Shaky
Chakma, Hajong residency certs ‘suspended’, Bajrang Muni may go scot free, Nigeria bike taxi ban to hit Bajaj Auto, caste alive in medical colleges, Indians are 'alive only because of Modiji'
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Snapshot of the day
August 1, 2022
A sessions court in Ahmedabad on Saturday denied bail to activist Teesta Setalvad and former DGP R B Sreekumar, saying that it would “impliedly encourage to the wrongdoers that in spite of doing such type of accusations against the then CM and others, the court has lightly enlarged the accused on bail (sic).” Pronounced by the court of Additional Sessions Judge DD Thakkar on the day of his retirement and a few hours before his farewell ceremony, the verdict concluded: “In (the) case on hand, the applicants-accused (Setalvad and Sreekumar) have in conspiracy with others with a view to defame the then CM (Modi) and others made accusations against government that post-Godhra riots were sponsored by the (Gujarat) government and thereby defamed the state not only in country but in world also and with ulterior motive thereby obtained personal goal and monetary benefit from one political faction as well as other countries…”.
Attempting to defame Narendra Modi is obviously a serious offence considering we are all alive thanks only because of him and his ‘aavishkar’ (invention) of Covid vaccines, according to BJP MLA Ram Surat Rai.
To cripple bandits, Nigeria is moving towards a blanket ban on ‘Okada’ or motorcycle taxis. This could spell trouble for Bajaj Auto, which depends on the west African country, one of the world’s biggest two-wheeler markets, for nearly a quarter of its exports. The Nigeria Economic Security Agenda has warned the government about repercussions.
An event in Agra, UP, on Saturday to felicitate International Booker Prize winner Geetanjali Shree was called off because of a complaint filed against her novel Ret Samadhi. The complainant from Hathras alleged that it contains “objectionable comments” about Shiva and Parvati. Shree was hurt and does not wish to attend any public events. Her novel is deliberately being dragged into a political controversy, the organisers said. In a brief statement, they added that the references made in the novel – which the complainant found offensive – “are an integral part of Indian mythology. Those who have objections to these descriptions should challenge the Hindu mythological texts in the court.”
Bajrang Muni, who threatened Muslim women with rape, is likely to go unpunished. Though the police filed a case against him, they chose to register an FIR filed by Muni’s own devotee and driver – and not any of the Muslim women who came forward to complain – and the driver now says it is best if the matter is brought to a close through a ‘samjhauta’, or compromise. Over three months since the complaint, the police are yet to file a chargesheet even though investigations are reportedly near completion because the UP government has not yet accorded sanction – a must for cases registered under hate speech provisions of the IPC.
The charges that Meghalaya BJP vice-president Bernard Marak was running a brothel in which children were forced into prostitution have prompted the Congress to bring up several shameful incidents involving exploitation of women that reflect poorly on the ruling party. Charges against Marak under the Pocso Act were filed after one of the minor girls rescued from the farmhouse was found to have suffered multiple sexual assaults. In a fresh scandal involving the BJP, Gujarat Rural Development Minister Arjunsinh Chauhan has been accused of keeping a woman in confinement and raping her.
Fearing unrest, Arunachal Pradesh is forming a committee to probe the issuance of residential proof certificates to the Chakma and Hajong people in Changlang district. It will “suspend” certificates issued to these refugee communities for now. The decision followed a call for a statewide bandh on August 3 by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), which wants the Chakma and Hajong ejected from the state. Displaced by religious persecution and a dam in erstwhile East Pakistan, the Buddhist Chakmas and Hindu Hajongs were settled in Arunachal Pradesh by the Indian government in the 1960s.
Saturday marked three years of the criminalisation of Triple Talaq. The controversial law has given rise to a new problem: many Muslim men are no longer divorcing their wives for fear of jail, but simply abandoning them. The law criminalises the attempt to divorce a wife using instantaneous triple talaq; ejecting wives without those magic words attracts no penalty.
The CJI continues to deliver monologues, but action does not follow, as with the chief of the executive. “Access to justice is a tool for social emancipation,” CJI Ramana said in his address at the All India District Legal Services Authorities Meet.
Justice DY Chandrachud has said that in order to “not lose the game”, the judiciary needs to adopt modern means of communication “like Twitter” to connect with the people and earn their respect. Keeping people behind bars cannot be the response to a flawed and weak prosecution, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Supreme Court said yesterday, urging trial judges to decide bail pleas exclusively on merit.
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Yesterday, on Sardar Udham Singh’s Day of Martyrdom, farmers held nationwide protests, demonstrations and a chakka jam against what they termed “the betrayal of the farmers by the Union government”. At its national meet, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha had said: “It should be noted that the Union government has not fulfilled any of the promises made to the in its letter dated December 9, 2021, on the basis of which the farm movement was suspended… Nor have the false cases registered against the farmers been withdrawn. Ajay Mishra Teni remains in the Union Council of Ministers even today.” Farmer leader Naresh Tikait warned of an imminent movement.
Comparing the MNREGA budget and corporate tax breaks as percentages of GDP shows that the former, which benefits millions, is consistently decreasing while the latter, which benefit very few, remain a priority.
With Project Tiger in its 50th year, environmental historian Mahesh Rangarajan notes that it marked a turning point in 1973 from a “big game-centred view of nature” to a more inclusive approach to conservation, and a contrast to the days of the British Raj, when 1,500-1,600 tigers were killed every year for bounty alone. South Asia and Russia are hitting tiger population targets, but Southeast Asia is lagging.
A 49-year-old US man has been charged with felony stalking, weeks after he was arrested for standing with a pistol outside Pramila Jayapal’s home and yelling “Go back to India”. Jayapal, 56, was the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives in 2016. She has been re-elected for the third consecutive term.
Manisha Ropeta stands out not only because she is among the few women officers in positions of authority in Pakistan’s Sindh Police but also because the 26-year-old is the first woman from the minority Hindu community in Pakistan to become a deputy superintendent of police.
Young people are getting high on flavoured condoms in West Bengal’s Durgapur region. Soaked in hot water, they release enough polyurethane for a high that lasts 10-12 hours, Vice reports. Dheeman Mandal of Durgapur Divisional Hospital, told News18 that condoms have an aromatic compound in common with Dendrite glue, which is also abused by addicts.
Ila Popat (66) was born in Uganda in 1955 and came to India by ship on her mother’s passport as a 10-year-old. She has lived her life here and votes, but she can’t travel abroad because she doesn’t have a passport, which effectively makes her stateless. She has now approached the Bombay High Court.
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