Shinde Bares All, Scares All: MoSha Backed His Play, Fadnavis Was Bandmaster; Piecemeal Interventions Won't Allay Anxiety About Trade Deficit
On Hindi imposition DMK's Raja recalls East Pakistan, Karnataka HC judge threatened for opposing corruption, ED and NIA as political weapons, Muslim man jailed for packing meat in holy newsprint
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Snapshot of the day
July 5, 2022
Judges have been making grand speeches of late ― at a safe distance from the courts. But yesterday, Justice HP Sandesh of the Karnataka High Court made an extraordinary remark in court, revealing that he was threatened with a transfer for raising questions about the Anti-Corruption Bureau in the state. He said he was threatened for calling it a “centre of corruption” and a “collection centre … headed by a tainted ADGP”. Only collegiums have the power to transfer, so who threatened him?
Five years after the murder of Gauri Lankesh by Hindutva activists, the trial has begun with the defence trying to draw attention away from Hindutva groups by using aggressive cross-examination and allegations that she had links to Naxalites.
On a complaint by the Hindu Jagran Manch, the Muslim owner of an eatery in Sambhal, UP, has been arrested for packing meat dishes in newspapers with the images of Hindu deities printed on them. Newsprint is commonly recycled as packaging material and the restaurant had bought it in bulk. No one looks at its contents.
PM Narendra Modi, who visited Germany on June 26-28 for the 48th G7 summit, made several claims regarding India’s developmental achievements in the past seven years. FactChecker shortlisted four quantifiable claims which could be verified from data available in the public domain. Three were false and one misleading.
In June, employment fell by a massive 13 million from 404 million in May ― the biggest fall during a non-lockdown month, reports Mahesh Vyas of CMIE. Employment in June was the lowest in the last 12 months as labour markets shrank. The count of the officially unemployed increased by only 3 million. The rest exited labour markets. This mass exit shows up in the labour force participation rate, which shrank to its lowest level, 38.8%. June also showed that salaried jobs are also unprotected ― 2.5 million were lost. Government policy cut demand for armed personnel and opportunities in private equity-funded jobs dwindled.
FMCG sales were lower in June than in May, with urban sales declining steeply by 3.1%, much higher than the rural rate of 0.2%. Sales of goods from shampoos to biscuits were depressed by inflation, which forced consumer companies to continue hiking prices.
The Financial Times reports that foreign investors have dumped a record $33bn of Indian shares since October last year, according to Goldman Sachs. “The sell-off has ended India’s outperformance against Asian markets during the coronavirus pandemic, when investors fleeing China hunted for other options in the region.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that even the new windfall tax isn’t enough to end bumper profits of Reliance’s energy wing, thanks to cheap Russian oil (see The Long Cable below for the big picture).
Significant social media intermediaries with over 5 million users say they are financially overwhelmed by the timeline for the takedown of harmful content under the modified IT rules of the Modi government. It reduces the ease of doing business and enforcing traceability is “technically impossible” without breaking encryption, says a joint report by The Dialogue and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the first study of the impact of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, enforced in February 2021 in the name of making intermediaries more accountable to users and Indian laws. There are reports that Twitter is planning a major legal challenge to the government’s growing takedown demands.
Congress leaders released black balloons in Vijayawada as PM Modi visited Andhra Pradesh without fulfilling pre-poll assurances. Four were arrested. BJP workers were seen physically assaulting Dalit protesters of the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi at the public meeting at Parade Ground in Hyderabad which PM Modi addressed. They sought the promised sub-categorisation of Scheduled Castes, which the Madigas and other SC communities have demanded for 20 years.
The PM sang the praises of his government’s policies and the BJP lauded Agnipath, the short-term contractual service scheme for the military. Sushant Singh (a contributor to The India Cable) explains (in Hindi) why it is a serious misstep.
Eight Muslim men who were seen on video being brutally assaulted in custody by uniformed police following protests in UP’s Saharanpur last month have been cleared of all charges. The protests against remarks on the Prophet Muhammad by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma ― since suspended ― and expelled party leader Naveen Jindal had turned violent and led to over 80 FIRs. Release orders came from a magistrate’s court nearly a month after the arrests.
Twenty-three youngsters who have passed the physical examination for selection to the Indian Army yesterday moved the Kerala High Court against the Centre’s Agnipath recruitment scheme, seeking a directive against implementing it. However, a Division Bench of Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice Mohmmed Nias CP declared it was not maintainable, because the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is the appropriate forum. However, a vacation bench of the Supreme Court has also agreed to list next week, subject to the approval of the Chief Justice of India, a plea challenging the Agnipath recruitment scheme.
The Opposition-backed challenger to Droupadi Murmu for the presidency is pushing the envelope. “I have affirmed that India needs a Rashtrapati who serves as the impartial custodian of the Constitution ― and not a silent or a rubber stamp Rashtrapati. Please make a similar affirmation,” said Yashwant Sinha, trying to make it a contest between what the two candidates stand for.
The Kerala government has sanctioned Rs 23.34 lakh to help Adam Harry, 20, become India’s first transgender airline pilot. The DGCA had earlier nixed their dream and said Adam had gender dysphoria ― a mismatch between biological gender and gender identity ― making them “temporarily unfit” for a licence. Adam was compelled to take a delivery job with Zomato.
The Foreign Service will have new faces in key capitals this month as several senior ambassadors retire. Ambassador to Bhutan Ruchira Khamboj is taking over as Permanent Representative to the UN, and High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami is likely to be the next High Commissioner to the UK. Ambassador to Japan Sanjay Kumar Verma is likely to be the next High Commissioner to Canada, where Ajay Bisaria has retired. Two senior officers, including one who has been dealing with Quad negotiations, and an ambassador in West Asia, are being considered for Ambassador to Tokyo. Virendra Kumar Paul, High Commissioner to Kenya, is the next Ambassador to Turkiye (Turkey), and Vishvas Vidu Sapkal, Joint Secretary (South) will be the next Ambassador to Peru.
Veteran leftist filmmaker Tarun Majumdar, who died in Kolkata yesterday, had four National Awards, five Filmfare Awards and seven awards from the Bengal Film Journalists’ Association. An FIR has been filed against Leena Maniekalai for her depiction of the goddess Kali in her latest film.
Zee News anchor Rohit Ranjan was arrested by the Noida police in Uttar Pradesh as a means of preventing the Chhattisgarh Police from taking him into custody for having aired a ‘doctored' video clip of Rahul Gandhi. The clip suggested Congress leader had called the Udaipur killers mere “boys”. The anchor and channel, at best, could be accused of defaming Gandhi but the police booked him for hate speech under Section 153A of the IPC.
Five people of Indian origin are among America’s richest self-made women, according to Forbes’ eighth annual list, which includes Jayshree V Ullal, president and CEO of IT firm Arista Networks. With a net worth of $2.1 billion in 2022, Forbes had named her one of America’s richest self-made women. Her current net worth is $1.7 billion.
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