‘Narrative Terrorism’ Picks Up Thread of Fictitious Jihads; In Succession Planning, Modi Govt Has No Plan or Success
Hungry India rejects hunger index, 2nd Khalistan ‘referendum’ ahead, no mainstream media headed by Dalit or Adivasi, translation gives second life to Indian lit, Charanjit Singh father of acid house?
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 17, 2022
This afternoon, PM Narendra Modi assured India that the future is ‘One Nation, One Fertiliser’ ― brand name Bharat. The problem of choice will be abolished.
The Congress will vote today to elect the first non-Gandhi president in 24 years, in the fifth major election in its history of 137 years, and the first in 20 years. It’s a direct contest between Karnataka veteran Mallikarjun Kharge, 80, and former UN diplomat and politician Shashi Tharoor, 66. The result will be declared on Wednesday. The last election for the post was held in 2000, when Sonia Gandhi defeated Jitendra Prasad, winning 7,448 votes against the latter’s 94.
The BJP will not contest the forthcoming Andheri East Assembly bypoll, and has withdrawn its candidate.
Gambian authorities have revised the number of Gambian children’s deaths due to Indian cough syrups to 70. President Adama Barrow has set up a commission of inquiry. India’s regulator has been slow in addressing the issue, which has seriously dented India’s reputation as the world’s pharmacy, but is prickly about it. Sonepat-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals had exported 50,000 units of four cough syrups to Gambia, of which 41,000 have been recalled. Over 8,000 units are still unaccounted for.
The acquittal of GN Saibaba in the Maoist links case was suspended on the basis of a petition filed at 3.59 PM on Friday, which was listed for hearing before a special bench on a non-working day. The court made it clear that it owed to a technical lapse within the judiciary, not any fault of Saibaba. The buck stops with the Chief Justice of India as the Master of the Roster. Extraordinary sessions are held when pressing issues of personal liberty are involved, or to avert grave constitutional crisis, says Live Law. In this case, it was used to deny liberty granted by a High Court. To use a phrase now popular in courtrooms, “would heavens have fallen” if the matter was heard by a regular court today?
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement in the US that it isn’t about the rupee weakening but the dollar strengthening has birthed a million memes.
In 1981-2021, only three IMF members — China, Vietnam and South Korea — performed significantly better than India. The Indian economy grew to 3.7 times its size in the 2001-11 decade, but only 1.7 times in 2011-21, writes TN Ninan.
India’s merchandise exports grew at the slowest pace in 19 months, taking the trade deficit to a three-month high in September. Exports of engineering, readymade garments, cotton yarn, plastics and linoleum declined in September from a year earlier as demand in major markets slowed.
India-UK free trade agreement discussions may spill over to mid-next year, due to political uncertainty in the UK and fears of recession.
In UK’s Leicester, a Labour stronghold, Rajul Tejura faced accusations of being a Narendra Modi supporter. The Labour candidate, who had a huge cutout of herself with Modi, has lost the Council byelection in North Evington, Leicester.
An ad placed in the Wall Street Journal by a right-wing NGO called for sanctions against Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Supreme Court judges, the Enforcement Directorate and other officials in the AntrixDevas case under the Magnitsky Act. New Delhi called it an “attack on Indian sovereignty”. The ad was timed with Sitharaman’s visit to Washington, to draw attention to the case on behalf of Devas co-founder and US citizen Ramachandra Vishwanathan. Vishwanathan and NGO Frontiers of Freedom had appealed to the US State Department to apply Magnitsky Act sanctions on 11 Indian government officials for “unfairly” moving to deprive him of his “liberty and security”. An Indian government adviser called it a “shockingly vile” ad.
The FBI training Tahir Ashraf Bhatti, an Indian police official with a history of alleged human rights abuse in Kashmir, raises uncomfortable questions about the India-US security relationship. It may run afoul of the ‘Leahy laws’ that prevent the US government from assisting foreign security forces known to commit human rights abuses, reports The Intercept.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday described India and China as “close allies and partners” and said that the two Asian giants always talked about the need to resolve the Ukraine conflict peacefully. “We know their position. These are our close allies and partners and we respect their position,” Putin said in Kazakhstan.
India has opposed efforts of a group of 10 developed and developing countries, which has called for group consultations on food subsidies at the WTO, rather than bilaterally. Speaking at the WTO General Council meeting on October 7, India’s ambassador and permanent representative to the WTO Brajendra Navnit said he doesn’t understand their “hesitancy” to consult bilaterally. The issue is WTO rules which limit public procurement through MSP of foodgrains to within 10% of the value of the crop.
Discoms’ aggregate losses increased 66% to Rs 50,281 crore in 2020-21 over the previous year, the Power Finance Corporation said. Losses on tariff subsidy, excluding regulatory income and revenue grant under Uday (discoms revival scheme) for loan takeover increased from Rs 63,949 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 88,500 crore in 2020-21.
About 90% of leadership positions in Indian media are occupied by upper caste groups with not a single Dalit or Adivasi heading Indian mainstream media, according to a new report.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Saturday displayed a portrait of slain Sikh militant Balwinder Singh Jatana of the Babbar Khalsa International, who killed two government officials working on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal in 1990, at the Central Sikh Museum in the Golden Temple complex. It was the day after Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar discussed the canal issue. Remembering slain militant Jatana, SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami said, “This struggling warrior, the protector of the waters, fiercely opposed the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal, without caring for his life.”
Delivery executives face reduced payouts, poor working conditions and unexplained terminations as Blinkit, Dunzo and Swiggy finally seek profitability. In September, Blinkit delivery partners protested in Kolkata over reduced pay. A week earlier, Swiggy delivery partners in Chennai complained about declining income. Quick commerce is at odds with societal wellbeing, reports The Morning Context.
Aadhaar enrolment for newborns along with birth certificates is expected to be available in all states in months. At present, 16 states have Aadhaar Linked Birth Registration.
Netﬂix, which had opposed ads, will introduce in November ad-backed plans in 12 countries, including the US, Germany, Japan and South Korea. It has excluded cost-conscious India, in which it has not prospered, from this low cost ‘Basic with Ads’ plan, perhaps because low revenue per user leaves no room for cuts.
Dilip Mahalanabis, who pioneered oral rehydration therapy in our region during a cholera outbreak in a refugee camp near Kolkata during the 1971 Bangladesh War, has passed away at 87. Cheap ORS packs remain the first line of defence in several communicable diseases.
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