How YouTube is Weaponised to Spread Hate; At WTO, India Abandoned Its Own TRIPS Covid Waiver Proposal
Adani suffers Streisand effect in Lanka, LIC loses Rs 1.2 lakh crore m-cap, 8,000+ rich Indians to emigrate this year, SIPRI says India’s nuclear stockpile growing, Nitish rubbishes rewriting history
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
June 14, 2022
Twelve judicial luminaries, including six retired judges, have written a petition, “an urgent appeal to the Supreme Court of India to take suo motu cognizance of recent incidents of violence and repression by state authorities on citizens in Uttar Pradesh” ― the arrests, police brutality and demolitions deployed against people protesting against BJP spokespersons’ remarks on the Prophet. It cites precedence: “The mettle of the judiciary is tested in such critical times. On many occasions, including in the recent past, the judiciary has faced such challenges and emerged with distinction as the custodian of the rights of the people… in its role as custodian of the Constitution, we therefore urge the Hon’ble Supreme Court” not to let the Constitution down.
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind moved the Supreme Court against demolitions of homes of the so-called “accused” in UP and of 333 arrested for events on Friday. The plea is that extra-legal measures violate natural justice, and undermine the apex court, which is hearing the matter.
China, which faces serious allegations of a mass crackdown on Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang, has waded into the international furore over remarks by now-suspended BJP functionaries against the Prophet Mohammed. China “believes that different civilisations, different religions should respect each other and coexist on an equal footing… We have noted relevant reports. We hope that the relevant incident can be properly managed,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told official Chinese media. “It is important to abandon arrogance and prejudice, and important to deepen recognition and understanding of one’s own civilisation and differences from other civilisations and promote dialogue and harmonious co-existence.” Al Jazeera’s Listening Post prominently features India’s diplomatic embarrassment.
PTI reports that China and Pakistan have agreed to step up defence and counter-terrorism cooperation kin their all-weather strategic partnership amidst “challenging times”. On Sunday, Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and top Pakistani defence officials held wide-ranging talks with the Chinese military led by Vice Chairman Central Military Commission General Zhang Youxia in China.
This week, India will host delegations from Pakistan and China, comprising military and security officials, for a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on border management. All SCO member states, including Russia, are expected to participate in the discussion starting on June 15 and culminating in a meeting of delegation leaders on June 17. India has not allowed the border issue with China and the chill with Pakistan to come in the way of SCO cooperation.
The opposition will meet in Delhi this week to identify a common candidate for the upcoming elections for the post of President of India. Mamata Banerjee called the meeting and an initially hesitant Congress will also attend but with numbers favouring the BJP, Sharad Pawar of the NCP has declared he will not serve as sacrificial lamb.
The New York Times asks why India “can’t produce enough jobs,” and finds a disconnect between “rosy headline numbers” and ground reality. A worried prime minister on Tuesday has called for “recruitment of 10 lakh people be done by the Government in mission mode in next 1.5 years.” The military has also been tasked to do its bit. The controversial ‘Agnipath’ scheme, under which the army will recruit thousands of under-21s for four years before turning them loose, was launched today.
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The Guv strikes again. Meghalaya Governor Satyapal Malik has spoken on the travesty of “Adani getting all ports and airports”. He advised farmers and others at a meeting in Rajasthan to attack Adani and Ambani, who are being enriched while others are systematically impoverished. He advised attacks (“hamlaa”) on Ambani and Adani. He added that they should not even be termed “Seth”. With four months left in Raj Bhavan, he said he would “go to jail in solidarity” with those who attack Adani’s large godown. (See Reportedly below)
India’s nuclear stockpile increased from 156 warheads in January 2021 to 160 in January 2022, while Pakistan’s stockpile remained at 165 in January 2021 and January 2022, Stockholm-based defence think tank SIPRI has claimed: “India and Pakistan appear to be expanding their nuclear arsenals, and both countries introduced and continued to develop new types of delivery systems in 2021.” China had 350 warheads in January 2021 as well as January 2022. India does not share official data on its arsenal.
A fact check has demolished UP Chief Minister Adityanath’s claims about employment. UP’s unemployment rate never touched double digits in 2017 and instead of a drop, data show a 29% rise in the rate since Adityanath became CM.
Mint finds that India’s net FDI inflows were the lowest since 2018-19. Considerably less is coming into manufacturing while capital moves out of India.
Delay in appointing a Chief of Defence Staff and the sudden change of rules determining the pool of candidates can prove to be very costly, says Gen VP Malik, who served as Army Chief during the Kargil War. “The CDS selection process should be credible, it should consider experience, exposure to politico-military affairs and the functioning of the armed forces. If these parameters are met, it should be all right. But I feel that in these new rules, these parameters have not been convincingly met.”
Assam’s Class 10 results, declared on June 7, show that about 56.49% of candidates have passed, a sharp drop from last year, when over 93% were successful ― and you can’t blame it all on Covid-19.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that nobody can change history. “I don’t understand how one can change history… History is history… language is a different issue,” he said on the sidelines of his weekly janata durbar (public interaction), when a journalist brought up Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent remark about revisiting history books. Senior BJP leader and Deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad was beside Kumar at the time, while BJP leader and state Labour Resource Minister Jibesh Kumar Mishra stood behind him, smiling.
Disney has won the TV broadcast rights to IPL for the next five years in a deal worth about $3 billion, reports the Financial Times. However, streaming rights went to Viacom18, a joint venture between Reliance Industries, Paramount, and a James Murdoch investor group, for about $2.6bn. IPL has been a key driver of subscriptions to Disney Plus, which operates Hotstar in India. Hotstar customers in India make up more than a third of total Disney Plus subscribers, and helped Disney to quickly become a streaming rival to Netflix.
At least 8,000 super rich Indians are expected to emigrate this year, according to the latest Henley Global Citizens Report, which tracks private wealth and investment migrations globally.