Rahul to Visit Manipur, Modi Can’t or Won’t; New Delhi Adopting Singapore Model For Military-Industrial Relations With US
Amit Malviya charged by Karnataka police, Punjab teachers’ salaries hiked sharply, multilingual India a natural for AI work, National Research Foundation approved, MGNEGA-Aadhaar link delayed
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 28, 2023
In Karnataka, the Congress has filed an FIR under IPC sections 153A, 120b, 505(2) and 34 against BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya for a tweet about Rahul Gandhi. The state BJP says it’s “politically motivated”. Cabinet minister Priyank M Kharge, who was recently targeted by a fake news campaign of the IT cell, which had selectively shown a video clip which seems to show him promoting cow slaughter, has defended the FIR, challenging reporters to show him which part of it is in bad faith.
The Telegraph wonders why the PM was so testy in his first party meeting after returning from the US via Egypt, in which he seemed to set the 2024 campaign rolling with an allusion to a uniform civil code, the unfinished business of his government. The Congress has responded that PM Modi is trying to deflect public attention from “burning issues” with “divisive politics”. Manipur has been literally burning for close to two months, and the PM remains tongue-tied about it.
Modi shows no inclination to visit the violence-torn state, either, though Rahul Gandhi’s visit tomorrow and the day after may serve as a goad. Gandhi will be in Imphal and Churachandpur, visiting civil society leaders and visiting camps. At the all-party meet called in Delhi by Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday ― an attempt to be seen to be doing something ― the Congress had demanded that an all-party delegation should be sent to Manipur.
Deeptiman Tiwary reports that both Kuki and Meitei insurgent groups are persisting in giving support to the mobs of their communities. The Kuki groups have signed a Suspension of Operations agreement with the government – a ceasefire-plus of sorts – which seems to have had no effect.
Union information minister Anurag Thakur has said that the Cabinet has approved the formation of a National Research Foundation, a new funding agency to bolster research competence, under the National Research Foundation Bill, which will be tabled in Parliament to replace the Science and Engineering Research Board Act, 2008.
Sharad Pawar is uncomfortable about Modi’s bristling criticism of Opposition leaders, including current and former chief ministers, at the Bhopal meeting. Sarcastically, he said, “The PM has set a new example of how to talk about people.” The PM had listed corruption allegations against the leaders of Opposition parties who met in Patna with the intention of forming a united front against the BJP in 2024.
The renaming game is hotting up again in Maharashtra. The Shinde government has renamed the Versova-Bandra Sea Link to Veer Savarkar Setu and the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, connecting Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, to Atal Bihari Vajpayee Smruti Shivdi Nhava Sheva Atal Setu. Now, that’s a mouthful.
Pakistan’s national assembly has passed legislation time-barring the disqualification of lawmakers from office. It is clear that exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif will return to politics. The Supreme Court of Pakistan had barred him from politics for life.
The Bhagwant Mann government in Punjab has hiked the salaries of 12,700 newly-confirmed schoolteachers by up to a factor of three, and made them eligible for annual hikes of 5%. For instance, education volunteers who are getting a salary of Rs 3,500 will be paid Rs 15,000 right away. It isn’t a king’s ransom, since they were poorly paid to begin with, but it signals that Punjab is willing to invest in education.
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Union Minister for Animal Husbandry Parshottam Rupala has said that the Union government is ready to move a Bill to deal with the feral stray dog menace which has been reported from various parts of the country, both in terms of real attacks and urban legends. Globally, neutering is seen as the solution, the kindest way to dwindle the stray population. It requires no legislation. Meanwhile, the Kerala Child Rights Commission has told the Supreme Court that dog attacks amount to a violation of child rights. It has sought a direction for euthanizing “suspected rabid dogs and extremely dangerous dogs”.
Indian pharma manufacturer Marion Biotech supplied cough syrups to Uzbekistan which are suspected to have caused the death of 19 children last year. Reuters reports that it bought the manufacturing input propylene glycol at industrial grade, which is not safe for pharmaceutical use.
Noting the White House’s strong backing of the Indian American reporter who was trolled by the Hindutva right for asking Modi about the state of minorities in India, The Telegraph avers that the Biden administration is saying the unsayable: that it leaned on the media-shy Modi to take a question in what it kindly described as a “joint press conference”. Rajdeep Sardesai, who has been pushed around by them ever since he reported from Ahmedabad during the 2002 ‘riots’, points out that the trolling that the US has stood up to has been normalised in India.
RestoftheWorld spoke with Bilva Chandra, global ambassador of Digital Peace Now, which focuses public attention on state-sponsored cyberattacks and cyberwarfare. Though it is projected as high technology espionage, in its effects, it is no less damaging than conventional warfare. Therefore, states using it should be tracked closely and censured in the same terms as states which make war by other means, he says.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has spoken witheringly of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for clearing controversial dialogues and scenes in Adipurush. It asked if the board understood its responsibilities. The bench, comprising Justices Rajesh Singh Chauhan and Shree Prakash Singh, also asked: “Hindus are tolerant but why are they tested every time? When Hindus are civilised, is it correct to suppress them?” The bench also told the filmmakers that if a short documentary on the Quran depicts “wrong things”, “then you will see what will happen”. It’s extraordinary, even for our extraordinary times.