Mohan Bhagwat Digresses On Garibaldi; Don’t Expect Much From Union Budget ― Where’s The Money For It?
PE investment plunges 42%, Prachanda sweeps floor test, Nepal will revive territory dispute, village militia raised in Jammu, Umran Malik breaks own record, RN Ravi is governor of Ooty guest house?
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Snapshot of the day
January 11, 2023
RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat has rationalised and almost justified the sharp rise in communal sentiment and strife, and the impunity of Hindutva mobs, in an interview to the house journal, Organiser:
“Hindu society has been at war for over 1,000 years ― this fight has been going on against foreign aggressions, foreign influence and foreign conspiracies. The Sangh has offered its support to this cause, so have others. There are many who have spoken about it. And it is because of all these that Hindu society has awakened. It is but natural for people at war to be aggressive.”
Pointedly, he also referred to Italy and its 19th century general, Guisseppe Garibaldi, also long-revered by the Sangh for his role in the Italian unification: “Garibaldi led the war, but once fighting stopped, he wanted others to lead. At the end, when they had to choose a monarch, Garibaldi refused the mantle and said it should go to someone else. Of the three leaders who rose to prominence during Italy’s rise, it was Garibaldi who led on the battlefield. However, at the end, he distanced himself, saying, this is not my job.” The buzz that PM Modi is dominant in the sangh parivar, and not the Sarsanghchalak, could have urged Bhagwat to address this to his camp, which is increasingly swayed by Modi’s personality. Read in The Caravan from November: ‘Bhagwat eclipsed’. On “LGBT people” Bhagwat said “they had the right to live, without much hullabaloo”, and had “always been accommodated in society”. There was no need for a fuss about them.
A woman and her son died yesterday when a Metro pillar under construction collapsed in Bengaluru. Congress’ DK Shivakumar said this was the result of the “40% commission” government, alluding to hefty bribes the BJP government is alleged to be taking from contractors. Chief Minister Bommai has ordered a “detailed probe”.
The Pegasus scandal is still in the air, and Israeli newspaper Haaretz now reports that “Israeli spy tech has been sold to Bangladesh, the world’s third-largest Muslim country, despite a dismal human rights record.” Advanced cyber tools to intercept mobile and internet traffic were sold to the interior ministry, internal security agency and armed forces via Cyprus. Significantly, Israel and Bangladesh do not have diplomatic relations, according to the report.
Nepal PM Prachanda passed the floor test with all major political parties voting for him. Prachanda received a record 268 votes in the 275-member chamber. His former alliance partner, the Nepali Congress, decided at a last-minute meeting to back the Maoist leader.
Nepal’s ruling alliance has promised “to play an effective role to bring back territories encroached upon by India.” This is a priority for the new government. According to the ruling coalition’s common minimum programme unveiled on Monday, the government will try to bring back the territories of Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulek, which are now in India. The document is silent on boundary issues with China, though, reports The Kathmandu Post.
On Monday, the Supreme Court gave the Centre time till March 15 to comply with its judgment last year, upholding One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the armed forces after the government told the court that it has already tabulated pensions for 25 lakh ex-service personnel.
Private equity investments have plunged sharply by 42%, year on year, and are at the lowest since 2019, according to an industry report.
Days after the Rajouri terror attack, the Jammu & Kashmir administration has begun raising a militia and providing arms training for containing the surge of militancy in the Jammu region under a new scheme approved by the Union Home Ministry last year. The administration is holding special camps in Rajouri district, where militia members ― known as Village Defence Guards ― are being provided with arms and training to act as the “first line of defence”. The situation in J&K is not under the Centre’s control despite the BJP’s claims, former CM Omar Abdullah has said. The Centre’s move to arm village defence groups is “admission” of a deteriorating security situation.
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In Gujarat, usury is leading to suicides. Economic distress has forced the poor and middle class to turn to private money lenders for paltry amounts, and then usurers seize their properties or drive them to suicide. Usurers are in every village of Gujarat, reports The Hindu. The Gujarat Police are set to launch a crackdown.
The Supreme Court yesterday refused urgent hearing of a plea seeking the court’s intervention to declare the crisis in Uttarakhand’s Joshimath a national disaster, saying there are “democratically elected institutions” to deal with the situation and all important matters should not come to it. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha listed the plea of Shankaracharya Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati of Joshimath for hearing next week, on January 16. “Everything important need not come to us. There are democratically elected institutions to look into it. We will list it on January 16,” the Chief Justice said.
But the Joshimath crisis is anything but local, thanks to the government’s enthusiasm for ill-considered projects right down the Himalayan chain. It is an ominous sign of further crises. Down to Earth hopes that it will force a rethink about callous development.
Indian Railways have over 3.12 lakh posts vacant, according to government data.
An acute staff shortage has forced many employees to work overtime, putting the system under pressure.
When a journalist asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi how the Bharat Jodo Yatra had changed his image, he replied, “Rahul Gandhi is in your mind. I’ve killed him. He’s gone.” The Yatra has entered Punjab, where Gandhi paid his respects at the gurudwara of Fatehgarh Sahib, where Guru Gobind Singh’s two youngest sons, aged nine and seven, were immured alive by the Mughal commander of Sirhind. The BJP had proposed to celebrate their martyrdom as Veer Bal Divas, but it displeased several Sikh bodies, who feel the word ‘bal’ disrespects the magnitude of their sacrifice.
Mooknayak reports on Ramila and Jaswant, the first tribal couple to be appointed assistant professors together. [in Hindi]
Tomb of Sand translator Daisy Rockwell gets the 2023 Vani Foundation Distinguished Translator Award. The award recognises her contribution towards making Hindi and Urdu visible on the global literary landscape.
Eminent Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki expressed his frustration with the Bangladesh Film Censor Board for restricting the release of his film Shonibar Bikel (Saturday Afternoon, 2019) ― which is based on true events during the 2016 terrorist attack in Dhaka ― after the announcement of the release of Faraaz, an Indian film based on the same incident. Faraaz, directed by Hansal Mehta stars Zahan Kapoor, Aamir Ali and Aditya Rawal, will release on February 3.
‘Naatu Naatu’ from RRR has won the Best Original Song at the Golden Globe Awards this morning.
Supreme Court demurs on reopening Bhopal settlement case
The Supreme Court yesterday