Myanmar Jets Bomb Mizoram Strip, BRO Failed to Build Strategic Road There; Accept Geological Realities or Get ‘Joshimathed’ Across Himalayas
20-20 vision deepening corporate and market inequality, Kharge invites 21 parties to BJY closing in Srinagar, Navy to fall back on older sub model, J&J baby powder to be back on shelves
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
January 12, 2023
The Myanmar military launched an airstrike on a prominent training camp for pro-democracy forces close to the Indian border, and jets dropped at least two bombs inside Indian territory, reports The Guardian. The Myanmar junta began bombing Camp Victoria in Myanmar’s Chin state on Tuesday afternoon. It is the HQ of the pro-democracy Chin National Army (CNA), which is fighting alongside other rebel groups in Myanmar, under the banner of the People’s Defence Force (PDF). The training camp is a few kilometres from the border with Mizoram. The rebels said jets crossed the Tiau river, which marks the India-Myanmar border. Locals in Farkawan village, Mizoram, said that two bombs were dropped on the India side but no one was hurt.
The Mizoram government has written to the Centre that a strategic road project, planned as a counter to a Chinese government-funded double lane road in neighbouring Myanmar, which runs parallel to the border, faces cancellation as the funds have lapsed. The Border Roads Organisation, which was awarded the contract “has not yet completed construction of even one metre” of road in the past 26 months, following which Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has written to the Centre that the project may be handed over to the state Public Works Department.
Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande in a press conference has said that “deployment from the adversary side on the northern border continues in the same manner. We've an equal number of troops on our side. There is a slight increase in the number of troops (by China) opposite our eastern command but we are keeping a close watch.”
WHO has said that toxins have been found in two Indian cough syrups, linked to the death of children in Uzbekistan. The UN body has asked regulators across the world to remove them from markets. The product alert is against Ambronol cough syrup and Dox-1 Max syrup, both manufactured by Marion Biotech in Noida. The company has not responded to the WHO alert. Its website is offline, reports The Wire.
India's economic growth rate will slow to 6.6% in the next financial year from an expected 6.9% in 2022-23, the World Bank said in its latest economic update. The growth rate of 6.9% in the current fiscal year (April 2022 to March 2023) compares with 8.7% in the previous year. Growth of 6.1% is projected for 2024-25.
Rising inequality is a feature of India, and its corporate and stock market growth, too. Only a handful of Indian companies — no more than 20 — collect 80% of the profits generated by the Indian economy. And 20 companies account for 80% of the $1.4 trillion of wealth created on the Nifty over the past decade.
Scroll reports on one year of Karnataka’s war on Muslim women’s right to learn. Young Muslim women in Karnataka say that a court order legitimised Hindutva prejudice and locked them out of education. Enrolment by minority girl students at government-run pre-university institutions has dropped 50%, reports Indian Express.
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The war between the government (alternately fronted by the Law Minister and Vice President) and the Supreme Court over the Collegium system continues. Virtually censuring the judiciary, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar yesterday said "one-upmanship and public posturing" from judicial platforms is not good and "these institutions must know how to conduct themselves", while pointing to the Supreme court's remarks on the issue. He said striking down laws passed by legislatures, “is not good for democracy”. As presiding officers of legislatures, "we cannot have an ostrich-like stance" on judiciary-legislature relations. "Parliamentary sovereignty cannot be permitted to be diluted or compromised by the executive or the judiciary," he said, addressing the 83rd All India Presiding Officers Conference.
Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder will be back in business. The Bombay High Court quashed two orders passed by the Maharashtra government revoking the licence to manufacture, sell and distribute its baby powder products, terming them as “stringent, unreasonable and unfair”... The executive cannot use a hammer to kill an ant. Is it always inevitable that when there is a single case of deviation or non-compliance by a product, the only option left with the regulatory authority is to cancel or revoke the licence of the manufacturing company? … This seems to us as an extreme approach.” An aside: In North America, J&J stopped manufacturing its trademark talcum powder following lawsuits filed by women users who developed ovarian cancer.
After sporting only a T-shirt in biting cold for weeks during the Bharat Jodo Yatra (and the BJP’s amateurish controversy about thermals that lie beneath) Rahul Gandhi was yesterday seen walking barefoot. After Gandhi visited Rauza Sharif or the Shaikh Ahmad al-Faruqī al-Sirhindī Dargah on the Sirhind-Bassi Pathana road, he walked barefoot while others were shod. It was 4° Celsius.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has invited leaders of 21 like-minded parties to join the concluding function of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar on January 30, saying their presence would strengthen the Yatra's message of truth, compassion and nonviolence. AAP, JD(S), BRS, BJD, and Akali Dal have not been invited. "I now invite you to personally join the concluding function of the Bharat Jodo Yatra to be held in Srinagar on January 30 at noon. The function is dedicated to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, who lost his life on this day in his tireless struggle against the ideology of hatred and violence," Kharge wrote.
Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi rejoined the BJP after a long spell. Now, he is trying hard to topple Hemant Soren’s government in Jharkhand with the hope that he might once again become chief minister. This was made public by Home Minister Amit Shah. At a rally in Chaibasa, Jharkhand, Shah said that Marandi wanted him to topple Soren’s government.
Deutsche Welle has a sobering piece on why interfaith marriage in India is getting dangerous.
Indian-origin cabinet minister Ranj Pillai will on Saturday take the oath as the tenth premier of Yukon, Canada, becoming the second politician of Indian heritage to head a region. Pillai, whose roots are in Kerala, was the only candidate in the running.
Restofworld.org reports on the bizarre story of Trilogy Media, part of the online “scambaiting” community — an increasingly popular internet subculture that involves hacking, pranking, and generally taking revenge on people they believe are making scam phone calls. Many of the YouTube creators who make scambaiting videos are from North America and Europe, and their most frequent targets are in India.
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