Resident Docs Detained, Threaten Resignation; Akhadas Form Core Committee For Armed Struggle Against Muslims
UP press-gangs audiences for PM, CM, AI takeover delayed, Omar says J&K up for sale, BJP appeasing UP Brahmins as rally blitz begins and Modi’s vaccination certificate photo in ‘public interest’
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
December 28, 2021
Omicron is in the offing, but the days of showering doctors with flowers is over. Resident doctors were picked up by the police and prevented from protesting in Delhi. About 2,500 were detained at the Sarojini Nagar police station. Protests against delays in NEET-PG counseling continue, and residents across the country threaten mass resignation, says the Federation of Resident Doctors Association.
An Indian Army inquiry team probing the killing of 13 civilians by a Special Forces unit in Oting, Nagaland, will visit the site of the incident in Mon district tomorrow. That’s three whole weeks after the massacre. A court of inquiry was constituted following public outrage across Nagaland and protests by Naga organisations. The BJP’s prospects in the state are turning bleak as the killings have alienated the majority Konyak group. The party unit is in disarray and workers say that senior leaders are indifferent.
The Union Home Ministry is mum on the constitution of a committee on the withdrawal of AFSPA in Nagaland, which is not a good omen. The terms of reference of the panel, to be headed by Registrar General of India Vivek Joshi and comprising state oﬃcials, are yet to be notiﬁed. Joshi’s day job, incidentally, is to run the Census of India. A meeting of the Manipur Cabinet is likely to be convened to discuss the growing demand for AFSPA’s repeal in the state. The Disturbed Areas Act will cease to apply on January 1. Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has said there was no need to set up a panel to review AFSPA in the Union Territory.
Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity has asked its centres across India not to operate foreign contribution accounts after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) gave it a Christmas present ― a refusal to renew permission to receive foreign funds. This directive was reported by many, including the West Bengal chief minister, as the “freezing” of its accounts, which the MHA has denied. Of course, how the Catholic organisation – which runs over 240 homes for orphans, the destitute and AIDS patients – will finance its work is unclear. The most prominent story on the front page of the New York Times’ international edition reports on the persecution of Indian Christians.
BJP Bengaluru MP and President of the Yuva Morcha Tejasvi Surya has routinely targeted minorities. But a constellation of factors, including the Goa polls ahead, has forced him to “withdraw” his statements. The RSS brings clarity: Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat has said conversion back to Hinduism is “our main goal”. Addressing RSS activists at Palakol in West Godavari district, he said, “We have to take it as a challenge.”
Three members of the All India Professional Congress have filed a police complaint against Suresh Chavhanke of Sudarshan TV and others for hate speech in Delhi. The Delhi CPI(M) has asked the Ghaziabad District Magistrate to not permit Yati Narsinghanand to organise a Haridwar-style hate parliament in Dasna, Ghaziabad on January 1-2, “to turn Hindu youth into terrorists”.
The BJP is trying to “douse” Brahmin anger ahead of the forthcoming polls in UP, but senior Brahmin leaders who were sidelined have demanded greater representation in the distribution of tickets, or could consider “other options”. A meeting in Kanpur included former minister Ravindra Shukla, former BJP MLA Neeraj Chaturvedi and Kanpur district women’s wing president Radha Duney.
Covaxin will be administered to 15-18 year olds from January 3. It is the only Covid-19 vaccine granted emergency use authorisation for the age group. The guidelines do not clarify which vaccine would be used for the third dose, but officials said that it would be whichever was administered earlier.
The Northeast has reported its first Omicron case, in Manipur and the ridiculous ‘night curfew’ is on in many states, but the ruling party continues full-fledged campaigning with mass rallies. Thousands will be herded together for the PM (see item below) in UP today. Amit Shah will also hold three rallies there today.
The BJP suffered a setback in Punjab ― its old stronghold: the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was lost to AAP. However, this may not be an omen for the Assembly polls. In the last Chandigarh municipal elections in 2016, the BJP won 20 of 26 seats, while the Congress won four, and the SAD, then allied with the BJP, took one. But in the Punjab Assembly elections the next year, the BJP managed to win just two of 23 seats it contested in alliance with SAD. SAD itself won only 15 of 94 seats contested.
The Centre has sought recall of the Supreme Court’s December 17 order making empirical data a must for the quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in local bodies. It has requested the court to suspend local body elections in Madhya Pradesh, where the reserved OBC seats were de-notified by the order, for four months. In that time, the state’s backward classes commission will submit a report in line with the court’s previous orders. The December 17 order was passed in the context of local body elections notified in Madhya Pradesh on December 4. Earlier, the court passed a similar order for Maharashtra, where the triple test was applied and OBC seats were re-notified under the general category.
Recently retired Indian envoy to Beijing Vikram Misri has been appointed a deputy national security adviser in the National Security Council secretariat. Misri has worked earlier in the PMO. The other two deputy NSAs are former RAW chief Rajender Khanna and former Mumbai police commissioner Datta Padsalgikar.
The International Press Institute has written about TheNewsMinute, a newsroom with mostly women leaders, and with a feminist perspective.