SC Moved Against Forthcoming Himachal Dharam Sansad; Deep Inside the Onion of Lies, Dalit History Survives
Delhi Police say no hate speech at Hindu Yuva Vahini event, Oil India receives $7.5 million ransomware demand, FDA ‘holds’ Bharat Biotech’s US partner and in Brazil, Mahatma Gandhi is in the midfield
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
April 14, 2022
Delhi Police has told the Supreme Court that there was no hate speech at the Hindu Yuva Vahini event in Delhi where Hindutva goons attacked journalists: “…no hate was expressed at the events in Delhi… speech was about empowering one’s religion to prepare itself to face the evils which could endanger its existence…” The BBC asks if it is really that easy to get away with hate speech in India. Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, is disturbed. Judge for yourself:
At Scroll, Smitha Nair spoke with Meeran Borwankar and Josy Joseph about the role of the police in the Ram Navami violence.
Days after WHO suspended the use of Covaxin after Bharat Biotech’s Indian manufacturing site failed an inspection, the US FDA has followed up with a clinical hold on its US partner. On Tuesday morning, Ocugen reported US regulators had placed a hold on the shot’s Phase II/III study. Bharat Biotech had licensed it to Ocugen to co-develop it in the US and Canada. In the beginning of April, WHO suspended its supply of Covaxin, known in the US as BBV-152, through the UN, after inspectors found the manufacturing facilities of Bharat Biotech wanting. India is silent about the ban and continues to administer the vaccine to Indians.
The auto industry recorded a 4% decline in wholesale passenger vehicle sales in March, as dispatches to dealers fell to a six-year low, while two-wheelers plummeted by a staggering 20.88% to a decadal low. Even passenger cars declined by over 12% year on year to 1,38,031 units. Three-wheeler sales were stagnant ― 32,088 units in March 2022, compared to 32,310 units in the same month a year ago. Overall, the automobile industry contracted 6% in FY22.
After surging to 6.95% in March, India’s retail inflation is likely to cross 7% and stay above that mark till September, SBI’s economists estimate, raising their inflation forecast for 2022-23 to 6.5% from 5.8%, citing the possibility of an ‘extended’ food price shock. Even after September, consumer inflation is expected to moderate only slightly to 6.5-7%, SBI group chief economic adviser Soumya Kanti Ghosh said, adding that the ﬁrst half of the year is likely to see inflation above 7%, and the latter half clocking about 6.5%.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is likely to lower India’s GDP growth by 1.3% and cut income growth by 2.3%, said Hans Timmer, World Bank Chief Economist for South Asia. He emphasised that in the long term, India must reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by using renewable energy and increase women’s participation in the workforce, which is just 20%. Observing that India was faltering even before the pandemic, he said that not all the damage has been undone.
China’s hardline Global Times has pointed out that China’s foreign trade with India in the first quarter of 2022 totalled $31.96 billion, “an increase of 15.3% compared with the same period last year, Chinese customs data showed, reflecting that the two economies are highly complementary, experts say.” This is the highest ever volume on record, despite claims by the Modi government that bilateral ties with Beijing cannot be normal till the border crisis is resolved. Not only that, the trade deficit mounted to $22.23 billion as China’s exports to India reached $27.1 billion ― over five times the volume of its imports from India of $4.87 billion.
With rising power demand and coal shortages, the government is allowing state gencos to sell up to 25% of coal allocated to them to other power producers to avert a worse energy crisis. India is likely to face more power cuts this summer with utilities’ coal inventories at a nine-year pre-summer low while electricity demand will soar due to the heat wave. States like Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are already implementing compulsory power cuts.
Indraprastha Gas Ltd has hiked prices by Rs 2.50 per kg, effective today.
After the uncertainty about India being invited due to New Delhi’s position on the Ukraine issue, it seems that India, South Africa, Senegal and Indonesia are likely to be invited to the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps on June 26-28. Germany is chairing the grouping for the third time. Before the summit, PM Modi is expected to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz next month for the 6th Indo-German Inter-Governmental Consultations.
The sheer volume of Islamophobic campaigns being run on social media by right-wing extremist groups is alarming. Communal hashtags have become popular and there’s a new one trending every other day, venomously calling for violence against minorities. This furthers the divisive agenda of the ruling party, as influencers and trolls try their best to capture the imagination of ordinary people in a bid to recruit them as pawns in their game.
The demolition of homes and shops of alleged stone pelters during Ram Navami violence has no justification in law, writes Vakasha Sachdev. Umang Poddar says that arbitrarily razing houses to punish alleged crimes has no legal basis.
The government wants to spend Rs 19,300 crore on rejuvenating the Yamuna and 12 other rivers by plantation, but experts say it’s just old wine in a new bottle that doesn’t address the real reasons for the degradation of rivers.
PSU Oil India Ltd, which suffered a ransomware attack disrupting its Assam operations, has received a ransom demand of $7,5 million (over Rs 57 crore). A case has been registered under the IPC and the Information Technology Act, 2000. Oil India and the government exchequer have incurred a huge financial loss due to the attack, as business was seriously affected.
Renowned Indian-American surgeon Dr Anil Nanda has been removed from his post as head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Rutgers’ medical colleges in New Jersey, charged with performing ‘ghost surgeries’. Ghost surgeries are performed by a surgeon on another surgeon’s patients with mutual agreement and without the patients’ knowledge or consent, when they are under anaesthesia.