Only 5% of Government-Owned Solar Panels Work; SC Sees What Modi Won't: 'Complete Breakdown of Law and Order' in Manipur
EVM hacks not needed to hack elections, SC mulls non-partisan committee on Manipur, AIIMS research cap will destroy projects and careers, bizarre killer on Jaipur-Mumbai train invokes BJP stars
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
August 1, 2023
Shocked to learn that the Manipur police had taken a fortnight to register only a zero FIR in response to the incident on May 4 in which two Kuki women were paraded naked, the Supreme Court has described the response of the authorities in the state to the recent and ongoing ethnic violence as "lethargic" and noted that there is an "absolute breakdown of law and order and machinery of the State".
The Union government, which is constitutionally empowered to act in the face of such a breakdown, clearly does not concur with this assessment.
The court is now thinking of constituting a committee of former high court judges to learn directly of the reality in Manipur. “The highest court has a deep concern and will send such officers and judges, who are not politically aligned, to give us a dispassionate view of what is happening on the ground in Manipur… We have to rebuild lives in Manipur,” Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said. The court has directed the director general of police of Manipur to attend at its next hearing, on August 7.
A constable on a short fuse with the Railway Protection Force shot dead four people, starting with a senior colleague, on a train from Jaipur to Mumbai, and then three Muslim men, all bearded. His motives are unknown but the ad lib speech he made to his captive audience in a compartment, praising “Modi and Yogi”, is chilling. The government has ordered Twitter to take down the video but at the time of publication, this was still up:
A religious procession by the Bajrang Dal and the Vishva Hindu Parishad clashed with a group of unknown men on Monday in Haryana’s Nuh district. Three people died and 20 were injured in the ensuing violence. The district will have no internet till Wednesday, August 2.
Early on Tuesday, a mob torched a mosque in nearby Gurgaon. The naib imam suffered stab injuries and died in hospital.
The air forces of China and the UAE will train together for the first time next month in the Falcon Shield 2023 exercises in China’s Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. This is part of China’s post-pandemic push for more engagement in the region. “Although the United States still maintains a much larger footprint in the region, China’s anti-piracy operations, building of commercial ports and growing arms sales are proof of its intention to play a bigger role in regional geopolitics beyond energy trade,” says the South China Morning Post. At the first China-Arab States summit in December, where Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech, the 21 members of the Arab League and Beijing had agreed to more military cooperation.
‘Kim Haskip’, a British teacher with Kuki roots working in Manipur, recounts to The Times how she barely escaped being injured or killed in the first few days of the state’s violence, thanks to her Meitei friends.
For four months in 1944, southern Manipur was free of colonial rule, and under the Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind established by Subhash Chandra Bose. Sumantra Bose recalls the time when all the communities of Manipur victualled the Indian National Army and actually participated in the military resistance.
Harsh Mander and his colleagues from the peace group Karwan-e-Mohabbat recently returned from a visit to Manipur. In an interview for Article14, Mander recalls his group’s tense journey across the state’s embattled, de facto ethnic border, which is reminiscent of the 2002 Gujarat riots, and the irony of the fact that the safest identity to have in Manipur right now is Muslim. He also says the only group that is clearly culpable is the state.
Perhaps inspired by the world’s tallest statue, the Manipur government wants to erect the world’s tallest flagpole. Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy told Parliament that it has been asked to ‘revisit’ the proposal.
Parental Advisory: worried by incidents of ‘girls’ eloping, the Gujarat government will carry out a study of such incidents and legally mandate parental consent for love marriages.
The toll of the suicide bombing of a political meeting of the hardline group Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, near the Afghanistan border, has risen to 54. Police suspect that ISIS was behind the attack.
The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court had observed that “a fundamentalist Muslim cannot be equated with an extremist or a separatist.”
US outsourcing company CloudFactory, which has been expanding fast and advertises its commitment to creating meaningful employment in developing countries, has left former employees in Nepal feeling cheated after lightning rounds of job cuts ― following which it started hiring again. Firms which supply cheap workers from the Global South to companies in the North disadvantage them, paying less and offering lower protection, including against layoffs.
The Dalit student who was suspended by Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan for supporting Amartya Sen, whom Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty has accused of a land grab, plans to complain to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes about his ordeal. He believes that while many have accused the VC of doing petty politics with Sen’s family property, he was singled out for punishment because he is Dalit. He says that the VC is “dangerously racial in mindset”.
Dawn reveals that Benazir Bhutto herself chose the costume in which her wax statue in Madame Tussaud’s is clothed. In 1988, she was sworn in as the first woman head of government of a Muslim-majority nation in that outfit ― a white dupatta and green kameez, with shoulder pads, of course. The statue has just been moved from London for display in Dubai.
Pasoori’s Shae Gill tells the BBC about how her career began on Instagram, about overcoming impostor syndrome and stage fright, and dealing with the occasional weird male fan.
If you have read us till this point in the newsletter, please consider becoming a paid subscriber so you can access the rest of our content.