Indian Hackers Give Clients Edge In Global Lawsuits; BJP’s Real Endgame in Maharashtra
2023 G20 meet evacuated from J&K to Delhi, tribals demand recognition of their religious identity, meat delivery startups challenging Brahminical taboos, Pawar gets ‘love letter’ from taxman
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
July 1, 2022
Thousands of email records uncovered by Reuters reveals that Indian cyber mercenaries hacked parties involved in lawsuits around the world to give their opponents an edge. Their report draws on a database of more than 80,000 emails “sent by Indian hackers to 13,000 targets over a seven-year period. The database is effectively the hackers’ hit list, and it reveals a down-to-the-second look at whom the cyber mercenaries sent phishing emails to between 2013 and 2020.”
Endorsing Pakistan’s stand, China has voiced its strong opposition to India’s plan to hold next year’s G20 meet in Jammu and Kashmir, because parties involved should avoid “politicising” the issue. “China’s position on Kashmir is consistent and clear cut. It is a legacy issue between India and Pakistan. It should be properly resolved in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and bilateral agreements,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in Beijing. He said the “relevant parties should avoid complicating the situation with the unilateral move. We need to address the disputes through dialogue and consultation and jointly uphold peace and stability.” The Hindu reported yesterday that the venue has been shifted to Delhi.
“The Supreme Court used to have a reputation for holding the government to account,” writes the Economist on the arrest of Teesta Setalvad and Mohammad Zubair. “But in recent years it has refused to say boo to Mr Modi and his lieutenants. For dissidents and critics, the message is clear. If you bring a sensitive case against the government, you may be persecuted for bringing it. This sounds like a formula for official impunity.”
Delhi High Court issued notice on Zubair’s plea against the lower court’s remand order and will hear the matter again on July 27. The Supreme Court heard a plea by disgraced BJP leader Nupur Sharma for the clubbing of several FIRs filed against her in different states but refused to give her relief. The vacation bench, headed by Justice Surya Kant, noted that Sharma had not yet been arrested, said this suggested she had clout, and that she should have apologised to the nation for “single-handedly” causing strife across India. Many on social media applauded the judge’s strong words but others noted the fact that the relief she sought was reasonable and that the court could easily have found a way to club the cases against her and ensure her clout did not come in the way of the investigation.
After cheap Russian crude doubled profits of refiners, the Union government has imposed taxes of Rs 13 and Rs 6 per litre of diesel and petrol exported. Reliance Petroleum, which exports 90% of its production capacity, is the biggest loser. Today, PM Modi spoke to Russian President Putin and discussed “global issues, including the state of the international energy and food markets.”
The Union government kept interest rates on small savings schemes, such as the Public Provident Fund (PPF) and National Savings Certificate (NSC), unchanged for the July-September quarter of FY23 amid high inflation and rising interest rate. This is the ninth quarter in a row in which rates have held. They are unrevised since the first quarter of 2020-21.
The India Cable is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
The brazen misuse of central agencies by the present dispensation in Delhi continues. Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar yesterday disclosed that he has suffered the attentions of the taxman. “I have received a love letter, a love letter from the income tax relating to poll affidavits filed in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2020.’’ He was served an income tax notice regarding 2004 this morning.
Uddhav Thackeray, who resigned as Maharashtra chief minister day before yesterday, reminded BJP leader Amit Shah of the broken promise he had made in 2019 of letting the Shiv Sena have its chief minister for two and half years in a coalition government with the BJP. “Had they done this , there would’ve been no Maha Vikas Aghadi, and the BJP would have its own CM now.”
India faces the “collapse of the nation”, and preaching tolerance is no longer sufficient, said Amartya Sen in Kolkata. Recovery would require communities to work together.
With the acquisition of Addverb Technologies, a homegrown intralogistics automation solution-based company, Reliance has taken a serious stake in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) market, challenging multinationals like Amazon and Google. Jio, now led by Akash Ambani, had showed a strong interest in AI in 2019, and this acquisition, says The Bastion, spells serious implications for India’s AI market.
Tribal communities from five states, including Jharkhand, Odisha and Assam, protested in New Delhi yesterday, demanding that the Union recognise their religion as ‘Sarna’ in the forthcoming census. The agitation marked the anniversary of the beginning of the Santhal Rebellion against the British on June 30, 1855. “We Adivasis are neither Hindus nor Christians. We have our own way of life, religious practices, customs, culture and religious thought, different from any other religion. We worship nature and not idols. There is neither Varna system in our society nor any sort of inequality,” said Salkhan Murmu, a prominent tribal leader. The BJP and RSS call the tribals vanvasis, forest dwellers, instead of Adivasi or indigenous communities of the land, and categorise them as Hindu.
Without naming names, the Ramakrishna Math and Mission has slammed TMC big shot Nirmal Maji for equating Saradha Devi with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Addressing the media, Ramkrishna Mission and the Math’s general secretary Swami Subirananda said that his story, that Saradha Devi days before her demise had said that she would come back and reside in the Kalighat area of south Kolkata ― where TMC chief and West Bengal CM Banerjee lives ― is unsubstantiated. Too many avatars on the loose, anyway.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear, on July 11, the plea of 83-year-old Telugu poet and Bhima-Koregaon accused P Varavara Rao challenging the Bombay High Court order rejecting his prayer for permanent medical bail.
Perhaps next week, former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh will formally join the BJP on his return from London, where he is recovering from lower back surgery. The main challenge before the BJP is how to accommodate Singh’s wife Preneet Kaur, a former Union minister and sitting Congress MP from Patiala. Preneet Kaur is reportedly keen on hanging up her boots and wants the BJP to promise the Patiala Lok Sabha ticket to their daughter Jai Inder Kaur. Singh suffered a humiliating loss in Patiala in the Assembly election earlier this year, despite BJP support.
More than 70% of India’s population eats meat, but vegetarianism is commonly associated with ideas of ritual purity and is often used as a marker by upper-caste Hindus to distance themselves from historically marginalised castes. Restofworld.org reports that new meat delivery startups are challenging India’s Brahminically imposed food taboos.
Golden Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has achieved a new personal best and established a national record with his first throw of the evening at Stockholm.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to The India Cable to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.