Respect Arrest Norms Says SC But UP Police Follows Its Own Law; Ancient Past, Selectively Mined, Can't Be Inspiration for Future
Baalu rubbishes Ravi on Dravida heritage, cautious courts granting bail for sedition, ‘Flood Jihad’ campaign drowned out, Russian punters duped by fake IPL and what James Bond inherited from Mr Biswas
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Snapshot of the day
July 12, 2022
The blustery aspect of the new lion pillar at the new Parliament House is inviting comparison with the Ashokan original from Sarnath. The opposition has raised the shift in leonine mien, and other improprieties.
The Washington Post has an editorial outlining the importance of defeating the censorship rules being lined up via the Indian government’s IT Rules. The case filed by Twitter is crucial for the internet and the world, says the daily. Other influential voices monitoring freedoms online have also weighed in. “India’s overbroad content takedown powers threaten internet freedom,” believe Article19 and Access Now.
A Delhi court has adjourned the bail hearing of fact-checker Mohammed Zubair in the ‘Hanuman-Honeymoon’ and FCRA case till July 14, noting that the Supreme Court is hearing another matter concerning him. Meanwhile, the apex court extended the interim bail that it had given Zubair in a case filed by the UP Police in Sitapur until further orders. The matter is now listed for final disposal on September 7. But there is a third case too, in Lakhimpur, where a local court sent Zubair to 14 days judicial custody. Assuming this is not stayed or extended, the earliest he can be released is July 25 – provided the Delhi court grants bail.
Yesterday, while emphasising the need to enforce provisions relating to arrest and trial in a different matter, the Supreme Court said that ordinary bail pleas should be decided within two weeks, failing which bail should be awarded. It also spoke of the need for a special bail law and expressed its concern at violations of protections against arrest granted by Section 41 and 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Of course, such concerns are falling on deaf years, especially in Uttar Pradesh. On Monday the Kannauj police arrested a schoolboy for posting a photograph of Adityanath with a shoe on his head and a milk bottle in his mouth. And in Colonelganj, the police have arrested five persons for a hoarding that was critical of Modi.
A bench led by the Chief Justice of India heard the plea of the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Karnataka, challenging an order passed by Justice HP Sandesh of Karnataka High Court on July 7 while hearing a bail petition last week. In his order, Justice Sandesh enumerated the circumstances ― a call from Delhi, the threat of a transfer, talk of a powerful north Indian. The CJI ordered the high court to hold its horses for three days while he considers the matter.
A National Education Policy position paper by an expert committee headed by John Vijay Sagar, head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS, says that serving eggs in school midday meals would lead to discrimination and lifestyle disorders, reports The Hindu. For stunting and anaemia, it recommends “satvik food” such as “groundnuts and sesame laddu/chikki with jaggery”.
India may achieve the dubious distinction of being more populous than China much earlier than expected ― next year, in fact, according to a UN estimate. China’s population growth has dipped while India is among eight countries expected to continue surging in the coming decades.
Until 2021-22, of the 30,716 investigations initiated under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by the Enforcement Directorate, only half (15,495) were disposed of. Show cause notices, which mark the end of an investigation, were issued only in a quarter. A show cause notice is issued at the end of an investigation. As ED cases under FEMA have risen, so has pendency. While 5,100 cases were pending investigation by the start of 2016, the count had almost tripled by 2021-22.
Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum may post a combined loss of Rs 10,700 crore in the June quarter by selling petrol and diesel below cost price, ICICI Securities says. The three state-owned oil marketing firms control 90% of retail fuel sales.
India’s deep discounted oil imports from Russia surged to a record of about 9,50,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June, accounting for almost a fifth of overall imports by the world’s third largest oil consumer, reports Reuters. Oil imports from Russia rose 15.5% in June over May, while those from Iraq and Saudi Arabia dropped by 10.5% and 13.5%, respectively, dragging the share of West Asia down to 56.5% from 59.3%.
Just three months into the current fiscal, foreign investors have pulled out more than Rs 1 lakh crore from Indian equities, or more than 75% of their sell-off in all of FY22. FPIs have sold Indian equities worth Rs 1.07 lakh crore between April-June quarter as compared to the Rs 1.40 lakh crore of outflow in FY22.
After the seamless reappearance of compromised TV news anchor Sudhir Chaudhry in the India Today group after a long stay in Zee TV, some recount that the decision to eject Chaudhry from the Broadcast Editors’ Association was taken in the India Today offices, where a video of Chaudhry asking for Rs 100 crore was aired to fellow editors. Chaudhry, also referred to as ‘Tihadi’, alluding to his stay in Tihar jail after the bribery and blackmail scandal, faced ignominy and infamy before Zee TV rehabilitated him. Read the details here.
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MGNREGA wages of unskilled workers are to be paid within 15 days or compensations are triggered. That’s clear enough, but mates, the frontline supervisors of programmes, are listed as semi-skilled workers. For them, a leg up has tragically become a complication. Their wages come from the “material component”, 60% of which is paid by the Union government. This component is now being released erratically, as the fund crunch becomes chronic. Women mates are particularly badly hurt.
Despite Covid and inflation, the multiplex industry is seeing a major resurgence. In contrast, broadcasters are feeling the pinch. In the first quarter of ﬁscal 2023, multiplexes and broadcasters are expected to report contrasting results.
A Delhi court has summoned filmmaker Leena Manimekalai on a plea seeking injunction against her upcoming movie Kaali, based on the depiction of the goddess in its posters and promotional videos. Judge Abhishek Kumar, who wants to hear her before passing an order, directed Manimekalai to appear on August 6.
Residents of Varanasi who have lived around the Kashi Vishwanath temple believe the claim of finding Shiva in the Gyanvapi mosque goes against the ethos of the city: “Kashi mein kankad kankad Shiv hai (In Kashi, Shiva is in every pebble).” Many of them are still resentful about the houses, temples and idols that the corridor displaced. However, there are no vocal protests for fear of the “Hindutva party”. Many locals feel that the invaders of the past have been replaced by domestic leaders.
Power engineers and farmers have hinted at nationwide protests against the Electricity Law amendment. Last month, Union Power Minister RK Singh claimed that all stakeholders were on board, but the All India Power Engineers’ Federation and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha say that there have been no discussions with them.
The churn in regional parties continues. In Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK, while figurehead O Paneerselvam (OPS) has been ousted by Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS), there are still pockets of support for OPS and he cannot be written off. All other parties sense opportunity here, no doubt.
DMK treasurer TR Baalu dismissed as baseless Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi’s statement that Dravidam was a divide created by the British. “There are several books written by historians regarding the origin of words like Ariyar and Dravidar. If the governor at least skims through the pages of some of these, he will see the truth,” Baalu said. Accusing the governor of attention-seeking behaviour, he recalled his statements about Sanatan Dharma a few weeks ago. “Is the Governor trying to say that the word Dravidar did not exist before the 1600s, when the British came to India? The word Drivadam is in Manu Sastra, Mahabharatham and Kanchi Puranam. Thayumanavar has used the word. Even Ambedkar has said that Dravidars have been made Sudras. To say that the British used Dravidam to create divide is either a statement by those who don’t know the history or those who want to hide it,” he said. Stating that the governor should read the Vedic texts to learn who the fathers of division are, he added that it can be argued that the British used pre-existing divisions on the basis of caste, religion, race and language.
Bhadas4Media is a watchdog which began as a discussion forum where Hindi journalists, traditionally treated as second class, could vent their frustrations. It remains the cheeky voice of mofussil journalists but now, its founder Yashwant Singh has a mole in every Hindi newsroom in India, and publishes the inside story.
Nagaland minister Temjen Imna Along, who recently made headlines with his excellent speech on the “benefits of having small eyes”, has now grabbed eyeballs with his solution to the population problem: staying single! On World Population Day, he urged Twitterati to join his “singles movement” for a sustainable future.
A group of farm labourers dressed up in IPL jerseys, a person from Meerut who mimics commentator Harsha Bhogle, crowd noises sampled from the internet ― residents of a village in Gujarat duped Russian punters with a fake IPL, after the real thing had ended.
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