Hindu Kids in Jahangirpuri ‘Taught’ to Hate Muslims at Shakha; Markets Reluctant, Other PSU Sales Postponed, But Top Brand LIC Must Play on Losing Wicket
Uttarakhand finally stops hate assemblies, Assocham seeks duty-free coal import, Mevani sent to police remand, two Assam districts on holiday for PM’s visit and animal feed prices not chicken feed
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
April 27, 2022
If you are reading this in the jurisdiction of Dibrugarh and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam, we are envious of the holiday declared in your districts tomorrow. Yes, we know that the BJP state government has declared a local holiday tomorrow in these districts on account of PM Narendra Modi’s visit. Here’s the order. Can the whole country, particularly Hindutva mobs, please knock off work when Modi is in India? After all, he is the PM of the whole country.
In the Supreme Court, the Centre today sought two more days to file its reply to petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with sedition. The apex court has listed the matter on May 5 for final hearing, saying it sit the whole day if needed. The cases come against the backdrop of prominent judges, both retired and sitting, questioning the need for a sedition law.
Over Rs 11 crore worth of electoral bonds were cancelled from the inventory of the SBI transaction banking unit in Mumbai, the Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Finance disclosed via a Right to Information Act application. We’ll never know why because electoral bonds are a secret matter and the Supreme Court is yet to hear arguments in the petition challenging their constitutionality filed in 2017.
The Reporters’ Collective reports that government agencies confirm that the Union government’s Rs 4,600 crore scheme to provide pulses to the poor featured rigged auctions which allowed some millers to corner the stock and sell it directly, for profit.
Two-wheelers sales in India have hit a decade’s low, but German sports car manufacturer Porsche has said that its sales in India grew 22% to 188 units in the first quarter of the current calendar year, recording its best Q1 performance since 2013.
After 11 industry bodies asked the PM to intervene to solve the coal crisis, Assocham has demanded duty-free import of coal, greater availability of railway rakes and a different price for diesel for captive generators to bridge the power shortage. “We would urge states and discoms not to differentiate against commercial consumers in power supply. This is critical because growth in industrial production remains muted despite the overall economic recovery,”' Assocham Secretary General Deepak Sood said.
The IMF has urged India to prioritise food security and expand transfers to the vulnerable. Deputy Director Paulo Mauro said that inflation in India is elevated a bit above the comfort zone of the central bank.
Charged with sedition, Maharashtra MP-MLA couple Amravati MP Navneet Rana and MLA Ravi Rana, who support the BJP, did not get relief from a Mumbai court yesterday, three days after their arrest for allegedly inciting the public. Rana complained of “inhuman treatment” in police custody. In rebuttal, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey tweeted a video clip from the CCTV camera at Khar police station showing policemen serving tea to them. Rana is in Byculla Women’s Prison while her husband is at the Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai.
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani yesterday was sent to five days’ police remand by an Assam court. The Dalit leader had sought bail but the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Barpeta, rejected it. The police had sought 12 days’ custody. Mevani was on Monday granted bail by the CJM court, Kokrajhar, in connection with a case lodged by Arup Kumar Dey, a BJP executive member in the autonomous Bodoland Territorial Council, for a tweet criticising PM Narendra Modi. The new case is based on a police constable’s claim that Mevani assaulted her. Meanwhile, some Assam Congress leaders were briefly detained by the Barpeta police on Tuesday for taking out a march demanding Mevani’s release.
Instead of compiling and publishing credible data, the Modi government is busy fire-fighting available credible data. After battling embarrassing data on hunger, poverty and Covid-19 deaths, it has opened a front on unemployment data. Responding to a recent report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the Labour and Employment Ministry has said that it is “factually incorrect” to infer that half the working age population had dropped out of the labour force, as a large proportion is pursuing education or is engaged in unpaid activities such as caregiving.
In his first public meeting in Jammu on April 24, PM Narendra Modi claimed investment in the private sector, which had stagnated earlier, was now touching Rs 38,000 crore. Things were looking up for the youth in J&K, he promised. Unemployment figures tell a different story ― 25%, a record.
The Print’s Tanushree Pandey spoke to kids as young as 12, many of them Bengali Hindus, who had participated in the Jahangirpuri rally with sticks and swords. They said it wasn’t their decision. She reports: “Kids were ‘taught’ to hate Muslims and work for ‘Hindutva’ in an RSS shakha run by one of the main accused, Suken Sarkar.”
Indians moving to Australia were the largest overseas migrant cohort there in the past decade and have supplanted China as the second-biggest diaspora living Down Under.
It is Al Jazeera’s turn to ask: “Is politics fuelling attacks on Muslims?”
Uttarakhand yesterday banned public assemblies in parts of Roorkee where a dharam sansad was scheduled for Wednesday. Swami Dineshanand, a key organiser, was taken into police custody earlier in the day. “Programmes of all kinds are fully prohibited. I also want to clarify that for this programme no permission was taken from the authorities, and after the imposition of Section 144, any such event is illegal. The event cannot be arranged tomorrow, the situation is clear,” Haridwar District Magistrate Vinay Shankar Pande said. The announcement came after the Supreme Court directed the Uttarakhand government to prevent hate speech at the event, warning the chief secretary and other officials that they would be held responsible, according to LiveLaw. “We direct the chief secretary of Uttarakhand to place the above position on record and apprise us about the corrective measures,” a three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said.
In the last seven weeks, four members of Panchayati Raj institutions – three sarpanches and a panch – were killed in J&K in militant attacks. The most recent was the killing of Manzoor Ahmad Bangroo, sarpanch of Goshbugh in Baramulla district in north Kashmir. Last month, two sarpanches were killed in Kulgam district and another on the outskirts of Srinagar. In the absence of an elected government in the Union Territory, these grassroots political workers were heralded as the Valley’s new leaders, but there’s now a renewed militant onslaught on panchayats. They say the government is unconcerned about them, whether it is about providing security or paying honoraria on time.
Bloomberg reports that animal feed prices are no longer chicken feed ― they’re up 30%, adding to India’s economic worries. “They are pushing up inflation in categories where producers have pricing power, while straining incomes of those who can’t pass on the higher costs.”
In the first year of the abrupt Covid lockdown, helplines run by the Ministry of Home Affairs received over 13,000 distress calls ― 11,000 of which were for food and shelter, according to the Ministry’s annual 2020-21 report.
Minister Nitin Gadkari has invited Elon Musk to come to India and manufacture electric vehicles, but the company must not import cars from China to sell in India.
French police have raided the Paris offices of India-born Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance and a metalworks it formerly owned, in an escalation of a criminal probe into the metals magnate’s empire. The Paris Prosecutor’s Office last year launched an investigation into Gupta’s French operations over allegations of “misuse of corporate assets” and “money laundering”, mirroring a separate probe by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO). Once feted by politicians around the world as the “saviour of steel” for his rescue of faltering factories and foundries, Gupta’s group has faced suspicions of fraudulent trading after his main lender Greensill Capital collapsed a year ago. On Tuesday, another businessman under a cloud over allegations of fraud, Ravi Parthasarathy of IL&FS, died following an illness,
A Myanmar court has sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to five years for corruption, in the first of several corruption cases. She has already been sentenced to six years. Critics say the proceedings are designed to keep her out of politics.
Nature reports that a network of canals feeding the Punjab plain, across India and Pakistan, could be the world’s biggest artificial aquifer recharge system. In 1900-1960, before intensive irrigation depleted aquifers, the volume of groundwater in the region grew even during spells of poor rainfall.