Nitish Headlines Opposition Unity, Lalu & Tejashwi Build It; Law Commission’s Report On Sedition Is A Non Sequitur
Sindh & Gujarat prepare to meet Biparjoy, wheat holdings curbed to cool prices, Tripura seeks central help on malaria, women quit in larger numbers as remote working ends, the spirit of World Gin Day
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 | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
June 13, 2023
Dawn reports that 70 buildings in Karachi are to be evacuated, along with over 32,000 people in three districts. The city expects wind speeds of 60-80 kmph and rain today as Cyclone Biparjoy nears the Sindh coast. However, Gujarat in India will bear the brunt of the storm ― particularly Kutch, Dwarka and Jamnagar, and 21,000 people are being moved away from the coast as the rain heralds the storm.
In a recent interview, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey said, “During the farmer protests (of 2020-2021), the Indian government pressured us.” The Modi-led-BJP government threatened to “shut down Twitter, raid the homes of employees, which they did,” he added. “This is India, a democratic country.” He also speculated that India and China could have their way with Elon Musk, because his business interests like Tesla are vulnerabilities. Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar dismissed it as an “outright lie” ― “No one went to jail nor was Twitter ‘shutdown’.” Which is not the same as saying that the government did not lean on Twitter, as Dorsey alleged.
Farmers’ unions from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh have revived their demand for a law on guaranteed minimum support price (MSP) for their crops and gathered in huge numbers for the MSP Dilao, Kisan Bachao (Provide MSP to save farmers) Mahapanchayat at Pipli grain market in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district on Monday. The Mahapanchayat was convened by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) faction as part of their ongoing agitation to press state authorities for the procurement of sunflower seeds at MSP. On June 7, nine BKU leaders including faction president Gurnam Singh Charuni were arrested for blocking a national highway. Yesterday, Haryana farmers again blocked a national highway to Delhi. Traffic has been diverted from it, NDTV reported.
India Today reports that a Kuki militant group had agreed with Ram Madhav and Himanta Biswa Sarma to help BJP candidates win the Manipur Assembly polls in 2017. Meanwhile, The Print reports, the Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance, or TIPRA Motha, is in alliance talks with the Congress for the 2024 Lok Sabha election, signalling a trust deficit with the BJP.
Two documents related to sustainable development were hailed by the External Affairs Minister as the “biggest achievement” of India’s presidency of G20 so far. After the G20 development ministers’ meeting, India released an Outcome Document with Chair’s Summary, and an Action Plan for accelerating progress on Sustainable Development Goals and High-Level Principles on Lifestyles for Sustainable Development. Meanwhile, development ministers from the 20 nations meeting in Varanasi were once again unable to reach a consensus on the invasion of Ukraine.
Following a boom in the India-Russia oil trade, the Pakistani government has welcomed the arrival of the first cargo of discounted Russian petroleum on Monday. While Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb tweeted that it marked a “true service” for the people, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif praised it as a “fulfilment of promises” made to the country.
The hate campaign against Muslims in Uttarakhand is pointed, targeting small businesses and homes. The former are being referred to as ‘vyapar jihad’ ― literally ‘business jihad’, and anxieties about Muslim service providers like plumbers and electricians entering Hindu homes are being stoked. Meanwhile, the local press reports that Muslim homes are being marked out with an X, reports The Wire.
In Kolhapur, a city with progressive traditions and the home of the Govind Pansare, who was assassinated for promoting rationalism, an orchestrated attack by Hindutva groups has left visible scars, reports The Hindu.
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The Bombay High Court has sought the response of the National Investigation Agency to the bail plea of Gautam Navlakha, who is accused in the Elgar Parishad case. The matter will be heard on June 28.
An opposition meeting sought by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, which was originally to be held yesterday, has been rescheduled for June 23 with a significant caveat: it will be attended by party leaders themselves, not only their representatives. For instance, the Congress will be represented by Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi. The Hindu says that the upgrade owes much to the back-room work of Lalu Prasad Yadav and his son Tejashwi Yadav, who have managed to bring together parties which are otherwise in competition. Ahead of the meet, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s son Santosh Suman has quit the Bihar cabinet.
Tata Consultancy Services has put an end to remote working and faces unexpected collateral damage: a higher proportion of women workers have quit than men. Historically, attrition at the ITES giant has been gender-neutral, but working from home may have re-established traditional domestic responsibilities of women, preventing them from returning to the office.