Govt Updates List of UN & International Bodies Exempted from FCRA Restrictions; India’s Manufacturing Slowdown a Decadal Problem
30 years after Babri Masjid demolition, Oting court martial in suspended animation, IITs excluding SC, ST and OBC PhD candidates, faltering exports a drag on GDP growth, CJI was once AIR radio jockey
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 6, 2022
It is the 30th anniversary of the destruction of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya by Hindutva goons, in the name of Ram. In what ways does the demolition of the Babri Masjid dominate the Indian political psyche 30 years on? Seema Chishti, who reported that day from Ayodhya for Eyewitness (you can watch her video report of 1992 here) discusses the lessons it holds for co-existence in a plural society with Vishnu Sharma of The Caravan (in Hindi).
Shirish Koyal speaks of how the “Republic was besmirched” that day. BBC Hindi got three eyewitnesses to recall events. Naresh Fernandes’ testimony about Bombay in flames is very valuable, which he re-upped . Prof Zoya Hasan tracks what the demolition means today. It is equally important to remember the route of LK Advani’s Rath Yatra and the trail of blood he left behind. A study estimated that in the wake of Advani’s journey, in which he was accompanied by young RSS leader Narendra Modi, nearly 1,800 people died in April-December 1990. This year also marks 50 years since Modi joined the RSS as a full-time pracharak.
Parliament’s winter session will open on Wednesday and is likely to be contentious. The Gujarat police have arrested a Trinamool Congress spokesperson for tweeting fake news about the state government spending Rs 30 crore on Narendra Modi’s visit to Morbi, where a bridge collapse killed more than 100 people in October. “While curbing the menace of fake news is important, many have questioned the alacrity with which the Government prioritises going after people belonging to the opposition camps,” vibesofindia.com reports. The firm whose botched ‘repair’ of the historic bridge is blamed for the disaster has yet to face the music.
On India becoming a “standout” emerging market, the Financial Times says that “the current bout of optimism around “the New India” has a heavy whiff of “Brazil Takes Off” hype. The Bovespa has roughly halved since this infamous Economist cover. Morgan Stanley beware.”
The Morning Context reports Gautam Adani’s Dharavi redevelopment project has an elastic deadline and low penalties. It says that the BJP government cancelled a fairly won global tender on allegedly flimsy grounds. Adani “won the tender to redevelop the sprawling slum three-and-a-half years after losing to a consortium”.
More than six months after the Indian Army completed its Court of Inquiry into the killing of innocent civilians in Nagaland’s Oting in December 2021, it is yet to decide what action to take. “The Court of Inquiry is complete in all respects but the case is sub judice now. Unless the (Supreme) Court’s decision is finalised, we cannot proceed independently,” an Army official said, adding that the entire team involved in the incident, save one who has retired, remains on duty. The Army says that the ambush, in which six civilians were gunned down, was a case of “mistaken identity”. The day after, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the same in Parliament. In March, the Nagaland government’s SIT submitted its report and filed a chargesheet indicting all 30 Army personnel including the team commander of Major rank under IPC sections related to murder, attempt to murder and destruction of evidence, among others. However, the Department of Military Affairs has not given the Nagaland Police sanction to prosecute. Citing this, the team leader’s wife approached the Supreme Court in June seeking a stay. In July, the court stayed proceedings on the FIR and the report of the SIT, invoking immunity under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.
The Karnatka-Maharashtra border row is flaring up again; the BJP is part of government in both states.
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Gautam Navlakha’s partner Sahba Husain has surrendered her liquor bottles and cigarette packets to the police after the National Investigation Agency raised an objection about them being brought to the premises where the rights activist is under house arrest. Husain, who is staying with Navlakha, had brought two liquor bottles and cigarettes for personal consumption. She had declared them to NIA officials before Navlakha was brought there, and told them that they were for her consumption and not for Navlakha, who neither drinks nor smokes. Navlakha, who was in jail since April 2020 and permitted house arrest last month, is allowed to go out for a walk for 40 minutes a day, with security.
Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, prime accused in the mowing down of four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri district in UP in October last year, will face trial. Charges against Ashish Mishra and others may be framed today.
India’s sugar output is likely to fall 7% this year as erratic weather has cut cane yields. It could dampen exports from the world’s biggest producer ― and second biggest exporter ― of the sweetener.
The service sector continued to rebound in November, logging the fastest output growth in three months, with a cascade of fresh orders since August, as per the S&P Global India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which rose to 56.4 from 55.1 in October. However, input costs rose at the second fastest rate since July, and providers raised charges to consumers at the fastest rate in 64 months.
In 2019, Kerala’s Wayanad was referred to disparagingly by Narendra Modi as a constituency where “the minority is the majority”. It’s time he looked at other metrics: Wayanad has now been ranked first in Niti Aayog’s list of aspirational districts. The district has made rapid strides in health, nutrition, financial inclusion and skill development, said District Collector A Geeta. Wayanad was selected from 112 districts across the country.
It was bad enough for the Indian cricket team to lose to Bangladesh, but now they have also lost money. The International Cricket Council said yesterday that Rohit Sharma’s men have been fined 80% of their match fees due to the slow over rate. “India were ruled to be four overs short of their target. In accordance with Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, players are fined 20% of their match fees for every over fallen short,” said the ICC.
A petition to unearth the “correct history” and age of Taj Mahal was rejected by the Supreme Court, which said that the history of the world heritage mausoleum should remain what it has been for centuries. The petition said the “original” history of the Taj Mahal in Persian, one of the modern wonders of the world, has been lost. “Remove the wrong facts from the history books,” the petitioner said. “So you decide that the facts are wrong?” the court asked.
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has revealed