NDTV Reporter Ordered to Disrupt Rahul’s Adani Press Conference Quits; In Combating Drug Trafficking, Knowing the Enemy is the First Step
Nagaland Assembly rejects UCC and forest law, Met returning Indian artefacts, Gilles Verniers ousted by Ashoka, media curbs at G20 draw attention, Indian football teams selected by Delhi astrologer
A newsletter from The Wire | Founded by MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sushant Singh, Sidharth Bhatia and Tanweer Alam | With inputs from Kalrav Joshi and Anirudh SK | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
September 12, 2023
Referring to reports that the lotus, the BJP’s election symbol, is being printed on new uniforms for Parliament staff, the Congress has asked why it’s not the tiger or the peacock, which represent India.
Prof Gilles Verniers, one of the most important scholars of Indian politics and democracy, has been “forced to leave” Ashoka University due to a ‘miscommunication’ which the institution did not correct. He is founder and director of the Trivedi Centre for Political Data at Ashoka University, the scientific board of which has now dissolved itself. It is not clear if the datasets it curated will remain available to scholars. Verniers is now a visiting fellow at Amherst College, Massachusetts.
Sohit Mishra, Mumbai bureau chief of NDTV, has quit after being told to disrupt Rahul Gandhi’s press conference in Mumbai on the latest round of allegations of share price manipulation against the Adanis. Newslaundry reports that Editor-in-Chief Sanjay Pugalia instructed him to “create a ruckus” and “change the narrative”. Pugalia was inducted and appointed head of NDTV after Adani’s AMG Media Network took over the channel, triggering an exodus of journalists. The
Indian national football team coach Igor Stimac selected players for important matches for the Asian Cup last year by their horoscopes for the day, reports Mihir Vasavda in Indian Express. They were cast by a Delhi astrologer. The revelation casts serious doubt on the team’s selection process, and there are obvious concerns if sensitive team data is being shared with an external party. Kushal Das, who was secretary general of the All India Football Federation at the time, introduced the astrologer to Stimac.
Well-connected cow vigilante Monu Manesar was arrested today by a special investigation team probing the Nuh violence, and a senior officer said he acknowledged his role in inciting the unrest. His transfer to the Rajasthan Police, who booked him in February in relation to the murder of two Muslim men, will depend on court orders, the Indian Express reported.
“We did not volunteer to go there. It is the Army that requested us … They wanted us to make an objective assessment of what is happening on the ground,” the Editors’ Guild of India has told the Supreme Court. Its report on the Manipur violence has attracted FIRs from the state police, and the top court will consider whether a plea to quash them can be heard by the Delhi High Court, The Hindu reports.
The government wants to consider private sector leaders for regulatory posts. The TRAI Act is being amended to enable the chairperson to be from the private sector, and will spell out the qualifications that candidates must possess. The Indian Express reports that the key requirement is 30 years of experience at the helm of a private enterprise. The current rules state that a TRAI member must have been a secretary or additional secretary to the Union government, or held an equivalent post in the central or a state government, for at least three years. However, no rules are specified for the post of chairperson.
The proposed rail and sea corridor connecting India to the Arabian peninsula and points west, unveiled at the G20 summit, will have rail connections to New Delhi. Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al Falih has said that the corridor will be “the equivalent of the Silk Route and Spice Road”, reports Reuters. A secretary in the Saudi Foreign Ministry said that the new corridor will include ports, railways, better roads and also power, gas grids and optical fibre network. Settling trades in local currencies was also discussed in talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit. India and Saudi Arabia have also revived a stalled $50 billion refinery project and formed two working groups to channel Saudi investments. Saudi Arabia will also establish a sovereign wealth fund in GIFT City.
India is riding high on the success of building consensus at the G20 summit in Delhi for the New Delhi Declaration, but there are other contenders too for the title of ‘voice of the global south,’ says Nirupama Subramanian.
After a lieutenant colonel was shot in the hand in a face-off with a crowd in Manipur, central security agencies say that members of banned groups United National Liberation Front and People’s Liberation Army were part of the mob.
The Nagaland Assembly has opposed the application of a Universal Civil Code and the Forest Conservation (Amendment) Act, and reaffirmed its protections under the 16-Point Agreement and Article 371A of the Indian Constitution, which lays down special provisions for Nagaland. “Article 371A clearly states that no act of Parliament shall apply to the State of Nagaland in respect of the religious or social practices of the Nagas, its customary laws and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary laws and ownership and transfer of land and its resources unless the state assembly so decides,” said Kuzholuzo Nienu of the Naga People’s Front.
The Delhi High Court has directed the Centre to respond to a plea filed by academician Ashok Swain, challenging the cancellation of his Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card. Justice Subramonium Prasad has given the Centre four weeks to reply, scheduling the next hearing for November 9. “Although it is the alleged case of the respondent [Centre] that the petitioner [Swain] was blacklisted for anti-India activities for allegedly spreading detrimental propaganda through his writings and speeches in various public forums; the impugned order is bereft of any particular incidence/ tweet/ writing or reason which remotely demonstrates the contention…” the plea stated.
Right wing Hindutva ‘scholars’ are claiming that the Dravidian movement is opposed to Sanatana Dharma because it was influenced by Christianity and foreign ideologies. That’s rich. Read this interview with Marzia Casolari, who decodes Hindutva’s fascist inspirations, specifically from Mussolini’s Italy.
Communal clashes over Instagram posts in Maharashtra’s Satara district on Sunday night have left one dead and 10 injured. Following arson, internet services were stopped and 23 were arrested.
The ban on purse seine fishing in Tamil Nadu has affected about 1.5 million fishers across nine of the 14 coastal districts of the state, as well as the town of Karaikal in Puducherry, reports Himal Southasia.
Hundreds of artefacts stolen from India are being returned by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. A large number are from eastern India, particularly Chandraketugarh, which has been systematically looted for decades, on the watch of the Archeological Survey of India.
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