Ignore Kashmir Terror To Make It Go Away, VK Singh Says; Aryan Khan Makes Bail Finally

Extreme weather costs India $87 billion a year, Hindutva violence continues in Tripura, liberalising green trade undermines developing world, India independent on 99 year lease, says BJP youth leader

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
October 28, 2021

Pratik Kanjilal

In response to an application the Modi government made three months ago, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the China-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are currently processing a $2 billion loan for India to purchase 667 million doses of only WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccines. The ADB is expected to finance $1.5 billion and AIIB is considering providing $500 million. What about PM CARES? And what about oil minister Hardeep Puri’s claim that high oil taxes were needed to pay for Covid vaccines?

Aryan Khan, the 23-year-old son of actor Shahrukh Khan finally got bail in a jumped up narcotics case that saw him spend over three weeks in prison. He will be released on Saturday after various formalities are completed. The Bombay high court’s written order is expected tomorrow.

OCI cards and long term visas of people of Indian origin supporting the year-old farmers’ protests in India have been cancelled by the Modi government, along with orders to deport Indian students abroad who have been participating in anti-India protests outside missions. Prominent Punjabi OCI Darshan Singh Dhaliwal was apparently deported from Delhi airport this week, with the authorities telling him he must stop financing the langar which feeds prominent farmers. 

The 2021 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index, which compared 43 retirement income systems around the world, reveals that the financial wellbeing of India’s future retirees is left to chance. The minimum pension of Indians (as a percentage of average wage) will be the lowest. 

The government has finally responded to China’s new law legitimising the PLA’s ingress across the LAC. India has said that Beijing’s unilateral decision to bring about a legislation which can affect existing bilateral arrangements on border management, as well as the boundary question, is “of concern”. There is no sign that PM Modi has amended the assertion he made last year, after India lost 20 soldiers in the Galwan valley in a bloody skirmish with the PLA, that “no one has entered our borders and there is nobody there.” Meanwhile, China’s Weibo users continue to post images of PLA soldiers, this time on Raki Nala in the strategic Depsang plains in Ladakh.

India’s longest range surface to surface ballistic missile Agni-V was test-launched from Odisha yesterday. This was “in line with India’s policy to have ‘credible minimum deterrence’ that underpins the commitment to ‘No First Use’.” The test was significant on two counts. One, it was the first “user launch” of the country’s first ICBM after its induction into the armed forces. Two, though the missile has been tested seven times, this was the first night launch.

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As India licks its wounds from a cricketing loss, UP Police have booked seven persons and taken four others into custody for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s victory in the T20 World Cup. A teacher in Rajasthan has lost her job for cheering the Pakistani side online, though a police complaint against her has just been dropped. Two more persons were detained by Jammu and Kashmir Police in Samba for raising pro-Pakistan slogans, taking the total to eight. 

To the delight of Bengalis, Bangladesh is sending 3,000 tonnes of hilsa as a Durga Puja gift. The dampener is that Indian Oil Corporation is retailing diesel at above Rs 100 per litre in Kolkata, for the first time. Diesel scored a century 113 days after petrol touched the Rs 100 mark. 

Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang would be “happy” to testify before Parliament. But the legislature of Facebook’s biggest market ― and the democracy backsliding the most rapidly ― remains blasé. 

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued an advisory to all media platforms — print, electronic and digital — requesting them to display the logo of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Independence. It’s like the advisory sent out in the early months of the Modi government, to run the PM’s ‘Mann ki Baat’. Though it’s a request, lots of channels and radio stations have complied.

Greetings for Navratri, Eid, Valmiki Jayanti and Karwa Chauth, posted by the National School of Drama (NSD) on its Instagram channel, have angered writers and artists, including veterans Rohini Hattangadi and Seema Biswas. “The dissemination of religious messages, imagery and iconography of any kind by public, state-run Institutions, goes against the remit of such institutions,” said a letter addressed to NSD Chairman Paresh Rawal and NSD Acting Director Dinesh Khanna. It was signed by more than 300 artists, writers, academics and former faculty. 

The Narcotics Control Bureau’s zonal officer Sameer Wankhede was questioned yesterday for four hours in connection with bribery allegations. But the agency said that Wankhede remains in charge of the cruise ship raids case, in which Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was arrested, until “substantial information” is found against him. A second witness, Shekhar Kamble, said that NCB officials made him sign blank pages that were later used to draw up a record of the search and seizures.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav yesterday returned to the Bihar stage six years after he last addressed an election meeting. Lalu vowed to never bow down to communal forces and tore into the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government. He said the Congress must move to gather the Opposition

Patanjali’s chairman Balakrishna has been summoned by a court after the company’s cow milk failed food safety tests. Companies selling breast milk products are popping up around the globe, including in India. They are marketed as safer, vegan, and better for the immune system and infant development. The unwell, bodybuilders and “clean eaters” use it. 

Ruchi Pathak, a spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the BJP’s youth wing, has bizarrely asserted at a panel discussion that India’s Independence is only a 99-year lease from Britain. That’s out-Shahing Amit Shah.

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