Opposition MPs’ Suspension Unprecedented; With Faruqui Silenced, The Joke Is On Us
Bihar has ‘trouble engine’ govt, rapid fall of Tripura, Parliament still off limits to press, 65% employers adopting WFH, Choksi fears another kidnap, Perumal Murugan face of BJP’s ‘slum pride’ poster
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
November 30, 2021
Indian consumers are opting for lower-priced packs and unbranded food, grocery and daily necessities as rising prices squeeze household budgets. In nearly half a dozen categories including soaps, milk food drinks, edible oils and home cleaning products, consumers mostly bought unbranded products during the quarter which ended in September, according to research firm Kantar, which tracks household consumption in rural India and covers unbranded goods.
Far from seeing the repeal of farm laws as closure, farm unions have pushed back strongly on the reasons and objects of the repeal bill, refuting the government’s claims on farmers’ choices, electronic trading, prior consultations and the scope of protests. Union leaders also asked why the repeal bill was pushed through without any discussion in Parliament of their other demands, including minimum support prices (MSP).
Twelve Opposition Rajya Sabha MPs have been suspended for the entire Winter Session for “unprecedented acts of misconduct”, “unruly and violent behaviour” and “intentional attacks on security personnel” on August 11, the last day of the Monsoon Session. This is the first instance of suspension for misconduct during the previous session. Opposition parties described the move as “authoritarian”, “unwarranted” and “undemocratic”. It could sow the seeds of far more serious dysfunction in Parliament, reducing the legitimacy of parliamentary democracy.
Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter Inc., has quit, making way for Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal, an IIT Bombay alumnus. Dorsey will remain on the board of the social media company until his term expires in 2022. “I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said. “My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead.”
Days after a Niti Aayog report showed that Bihar is the poorest state, Tejashwi Yadav, leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, launched a scathing attack on the JD(U)-led NDA government. He said the “double engine government” is actually a “trouble engine”.
In a book published in mid-November by the People’s Publishing House, China, military commentator Zhong Xin is quoted as saying that the PLA has been “optimising” its personnel structure by deploying more troops to combat roles while slashing 3 lakh positions. South China Morning Post was told that “units that gained personnel came under the air force, the rocket force, and the strategic supporting force, among others”, as part of President Xi’s ongoing reform of the armed forces.
A handbook compiled by researchers from Tibet over the last two years, to help the world decipher China’s policies, has insights relevant to India’s border situation. It says that a year before China’s People’s Liberation Army attempted to unilaterally alter the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, Chinese authorities were putting in place measures to use border villages to buttress territorial claims and keep an eye on the Indian side, reports Hindustan Times.
A survey reveals that six out of 10 organisations have adopted a work from home policy despite post-Covid relaxations. Over 65% of employers have either made work from home standard or are evaluating the possibility, according to a survey by Grant Thornton Bharat.
The Supreme Court yesterday sought the response of the Union to the allegation that the Central Vista Redevelopment Project is a major source of air pollution in Delhi. It asked if work is continuing despite a construction ban.
Looking visibly weak, fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi said that he fears he could be kidnapped again: “I am presently confined to the limits of my house in Antigua. My health deteriorated further due to the traumatising experience I had. I feel very unsafe, I may be kidnapped again and taken to Guyana. Guyana has a strong Indian presence, this may be utilised to spirit me away illegally.”
Two bodies have been discovered in an old mortuary building in a central government-run hospital in Bangalore, 500 days after they died of Covid-19.
Dramatic visuals surfaced of the Kolaghat bridge over the Ramganga river suddenly collapsing in Shahjahanpur, UP.
The BJP has used award-winning Tamil writer Perumal Murugan’s photograph in its “slum pride” poster in Delhi. ஏன்? What gives?