House Panel Can Discuss Silicon Valley Bank Collapse But Not Adani Scandal; NCERT Furtively Deletes Facts Inconvenient to Hindutva
Milk prices soaring, cases pending per judge rising, a Chinese visa ‘freeze’, from Yale to Mysore village to jail, why Modi degree verdict is flawed, Australia's forgotten 1936 cricket tour of India
A newsletter from The Wire | Founded by MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sushant Singh, Sidharth Bhatia, Tanweer Alam and Pratik Kanjilal | With inputs from Kalrav Joshi | Editor: Vinay Pandey
Snapshot of the day
April 5, 2023
The RSS was never banned and there were no communal riots in Gujarat in 2002. Flights of fancy? No, this is what the students reading the recently released NCERT textbooks – “rationalised” on the orders of the Modi government – will grow up believing. While the much talked about ‘Covid-driven’ deletion of the chapter on the Mughals was among the changes announced by the NCERT in a booklet circulated last year, some deletions seem to have been made surreptitiously, the Indian Express reports.
One deleted paragraph read: “Gandhiji’s death had an almost magical effect on the communal situation in the country … The Government of India cracked down on organisations that were spreading communal hatred. Organisations like the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh were banned for some time …”
The deletions include Nathuram Godse’s Hindutva affiliation. How long before children start learning “no one killed Gandhi”?
Here’s a thread describing some of the quiet deletions:
Milk is getting more and more expensive in India and the price could soon hit a record high, forcing the world's biggest producer to step up imports to boost supplies and ease inflation, reports Reuters. The price of milk has already jumped more than 15% to ₹56 a litre over the past year – the fastest rise in a decade. The crisis has been brought about mainly by two factors – a lethal condition called lumpy skin disease in cows and a drawdown in market-ready cattle stock after the coronavirus pandemic slowed breeding.
Ananth Krishnan of the Hindu and Anshuman Mishra of Prasar Bharati – both Beijing correspondents for their respective organisations and currently on leave in India – were notified on Tuesday by a Chinese foreign ministry official that they should not travel back to China as their journalistic visas had been "frozen". There are reports that additional "countermeasures" against other Indian journalists may follow unless New Delhi grants reciprocal visa and tenure terms to Chinese journalists in India. New Delhi denies it has been unfair to Chinese journalists.
India is to carry out the maiden firing of its Russian-origin S-400 air defence system soon, according to the Modi government’s favourite news agency ANI. Quoting an unnamed defence official, the agency said: “The firing will take place very soon using one of the small- or medium-range missiles against a fast-moving aerial target.”
A meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on finance, headed by the BJP’s Jayant Sinha, was called on Monday in the aftermath of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. The Hindu reports that Congress MPs Pramod Tiwari and Gaurav Gogoi vehemently argued that if an Indian parliamentary panel can investigate the fallout of the collapse of a private bank whose headquarters are in Silicon Valley, it should not shy away from investigating an episode of market turbulence at home, which has affected several domestic investors and those who have put their hard-earned savings in SBI and LIC, which in turn have made huge investments in Adani Group. But who listens to the opposition, especially on a matter related to Adani?
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The Pakistani Supreme Court held on Tuesday that the decision of the country’s poll panel to delay assembly elections in two states was “unconstitutional”, ordering the election commission to hold elections in Punjab on May 14. The decision came after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the party led by former prime minister Imran Khan, filed a petition challenging the election commission’s decision to delay the Punjab polls from April 30 to October 8.
The Indian Supreme Court said it could not hear a petition filed by 14 opposition parties alleging misuse of the investigative agencies by the Narendra Modi government. “In the absence of specific facts,” the bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud said, it would be “dangerous” for “the court to lay down a general principle of law.”
Served with a notice to vacate his government bungalow following his controversial disqualification from the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been “offered” a stay on the premises of the Hanumangarhi temple in Ayodhya by a mahant as a gesture of solidarity and support.
The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea to instruct the authorities to create a standard operating method for granting permission to conduct religious processions. The petition filed in December 2022 on behalf of Citizens for Justice and Peace said religious processions were being "weaponised" with participants frequently displaying weapons in public and wreaking havoc during Ram Navami celebrations, months before violence broke out.
V. Venkatesan analyses how the Gujarat high court’s reasoning in the Modi MA degree case is flawed. He writes: “By considering the information pertaining to one’s degree or a prime minister’s qualification as non-disclosable under the RTI Act, the Gujarat high court has conferred class immunity from disclosure on such information. This is a setback to the implementation of the RTI Act.”
The BBC reports that the recent order of a trial court in Uttar Pradesh, acquitting 41 Hindu men accused of communal violence against Muslims 36 years ago, has plunged the survivors and families of victims into despair.
The Election Commission of Bangladesh has chosen not to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, which are expected to be held in January 2024. This decision is significant and is likely to spark a debate in other countries of South Asia. Will India ever say goodbye to EVMs?
Of late, Manipur has been increasingly doing well in sports of various kinds, the latest being the mark it made at the recent National Badminton Championships in Pune.
The recent attack on a cattle trader in Karnataka’s Ramanagara district shows how BJP wants hardline Hindutva in Old Mysore. The News Minute looks at a new kind of politics shaping the state.
Artisanal fishermen in Rameswaram are fighting against contaminating shrimp farms. Farmers claim the groundwater has been contaminated and their land has been invaded by the shrimp farms that are located behind their town, Scroll reports.
The Delhi high court has ordered a trading and consultancy firm named Google Enterprises to pay ₹10 lakh in damages to Google LLC for “misusing” the US tech behemoth’s mark and misrepresenting its association with the search giant. The court noted that the defendants misrepresented to the public that they were partners of Google India, on the basis of which they also announced a fictitious Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) unit.
The New York Times has annotated the Donald Trump indictment here.
You can't create literature in India without caste, says Tamil writer Perumal Murugan, whose novel “Pyre” – an English translation of the original “Pukkuli” – has been longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023.
For most Indians, a life trajectory taking them from a Mysore village to Yale and eventual US citizenship would constitute the very definition of success. But Chetan Kumar Ahimsa’s life took the opposite path. Born and brought up in the US, he graduated from Yale to become a village schoolteacher in Mysore. He then rose to stardom in the Kannada film industry only to risk losing it all by challenging the powerful on behalf of the oppressed and the minorities. This week, that trajectory led the 40-year-old to jail custody – for the second time in just over a year.
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