Renewable Energy Needs 400,000 Hectares of Land; The Rise of Oligarchic Capitalism in Modi’s India
Xi’s absence signals ties beyond repair, Mayawati makes India vs Bharat 3-cornered fight, Swaminarayan vs Sanatan in Gujarat, EV transition will slash jobs, it’s millets with everything on G20 menu
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 6, 2023
Raising concerns yet again about shrinking press freedoms in India, two FIRs have been registered by the Manipur police against Bharat Bhushan, Sanjay Kapoor and Seema Guha, who compiled a report on the ethnic violence in the state for the Editors’ Guild of India, and its President Seema Mustafa. The report had indicted Chief Minister N Biren Singh, the Meira Paibis and the Manipur press for being partisan. Singh has called the journalists’ body “anti-State” and “anti-national”. “Before coming, you people have to understand the background of the present crisis; how it happened, how it got created and who created it,” he said.
At the UN, India has reacted with supercilious scorn to comments on “serious human rights violations and abuses” in Manipur made in a news release by the Special Procedure Mandate Holders. On a technicality, India has called it “unwarranted, presumptive and misleading”. The rights violations in the news release were already widely known.
The New Indian Express reports that Home Minister Amit Shah had asked former president Ram Nath Kovind to study simultaneous polls months ago, on June 2. There is speculation that the agenda of the forthcoming special session is to table his report.
Cleared of suspicions of a Covid-19 infection, US President Joe Biden will attend the G20 summit in Delhi and will meet PM Modi bilaterally on Friday, the White House has confirmed.
The government has a passion for millets, and the traditional staple of the poor will be on the menu at all G20 venues. Hotel chefs have been told to find novel ways of including millets in modern cuisine. What’s wrong with an old-fashioned bajra roti, though?
It’s a caution to those who bank on prominent diaspora figures, without appreciating that nationality changes allegiances: UK PM Rishi Sunak has said that he will only support a trade deal which benefits all of the UK.
There is “essential messaging” behind Xi Jinping’s decision not to come to Delhi. In an interview with Karan Thapar, Ashok Kantha, former Indian ambassador to China, says that the message is that relations are in a downward spiral and there are no real prospects of improvement.
Teacher’s Day became an arena for the ongoing battle between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the governors whom the BJP-led Union government sends her way. Banerjee lit into Governor CV Ananda Bose for appointing officiating vice chancellors with no experience in education to universities in the state, without the concurrence of her government. As chancellor, he also issues directions to the campuses. Banerjee has threatened to block funding to universities which fall in with the governor’s wishes.
The rise of electric vehicles is inevitable, but it’s happening as India is in the midst of an unemployment crisis. The internal combustion engine offers employment to millions of unskilled and semi-skilled workers who learned on the job in ancillary industries, repair workshops and parts retail. EVs, on the contrary, can offer employment only to skilled workers, says the Earth Journalism Network.
Kerala lives on remittances from Malayalis living abroad but the Catholic church now wants to apply the brakes, because the exodus is leaving behind a palpable void. Dioceses are starting programmes to encourage young people to take up government jobs, reports Indian Express.
Voice of America looks at the ‘placement agencies’ which traffick very young tribal children from Jharkhand to the cities for domestic work.
Dr Kafeel Khan, who was hounded by the Adityanath government in UP for exposing the disaster in Gorakhpur Hospital, where 68 children died for want of oxygen, has been working in Tamil Nadu, where he has found respect as a doctor and is not marked out as a Muslim. In Chennai, he has released the Tamil translation of his book, The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy. He has finished work on his second book and says that his experience of two stints in jail has impressed upon him the importance of activism, and of speaking out.
Name-calling is the name of the BJP’s game, and it’s put Bharat on the G20 menu. Scroll traces the history of the complementary and now competing names of India and Bharat ― and Hindustan, whose echo survives in the name of Sirhind (the ‘head’ of Hindustan) and in a tongue, Hindustani.
It appears that if India surrenders its name in favour of Bharat, Pakistan may want to pick it up on the rebound, because India derives from ‘Indus’. Whereupon, ‘India zindabad’ would spell double jeopardy.
But seriously, Jinnah had objected to the neighbouring country calling itself ‘India’, which indicated the subcontinent before Partition. In Scroll, Shoiab Daniyal draws parallels with the tension between Greece and Macedonia ― the latter is also the name of a Greek province.
The government says that talk of changing the official name of India is a rumour. Who started it?
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