Until Feb 5, Making College Uniforms Mandatory Was Illegal In Karnataka; The Case Of The ‘Everyday Seditionist’
Move to replace Hippocratic Oath with Charak Shapath revived, Budget lowers health spends despite pandemic, Merle Oberon biography coming, I&B minister fears choosing one’s clothes harms sovereignty
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
February 11, 2022
Despite its lack of numbers in the Lok Sabha, the Opposition has its moments. Baramati MP Supriya Sule took down BJP’s fire-spitting MP Tejaswi Surya with elan (watch 3:07-5:15) about ‘dynasties’ that the BJP harbours while criticising other parties. She also took down attempts to say that there was no wealth creation and no business success before 2014. In the Rajya Sabha, BJP MP KJ Alphons said “Ambani, Adani” should be “worshipped”, in reaction to the Opposition’s criticism that the Budget had left out the poor and only benefited the rich.
The Reserve Bank of India’s consumer confidence index has risen marginally to 63.7 from 62.3 in November. A value below 100 represents pessimism. Consumer confidence on employment deteriorated, dropping to -49 from -46.4. Even future expectations on employment dipped sharply to 1.8 in January, as against 15.4 in November. While perceptions and expectations for overall spending improved to 49 from 47.1, future expectations moderated to 56.4 from 58.2. Spending on non-essentials fell significantly from 48.2 in November to 41.3 in January. Future expectations of the economic situation slipped into the red ― -2.6 from 5.2 in the previous survey.
A Hindu girl from Udupi, 16, is standing up for the right of fellow Muslim students to don the headscarf. Samhitha Shetty told The Quint, “The students who are protesting against hijab started wearing the kesari shawls only recently, just a few days ago. The Muslim students, including my Muslim friends, have been wearing the hijab for several years. I won’t support the saffron shawl protests.” Shetty said, “I support the Muslim girls’ right to wear hijab.”
Two days after the Reuters Institute at Oxford University published her research on hate crime in India, Article-14 reports that Forbes Middle East — based in Dubai, part of UAE, a monarchy with deep links to the Modi government — terminated the services of its India correspondent, Rachel Chitra. Two hate crime databases revealing a spike in such crimes since Narendra Modi took office were previously shut down. Here is her paper.
In confusing remarks, Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L Murugan says action will be taken about Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s tweet on women’s freedom to choose their attire. BJP’s Arun Singh alleged during Question Hour that a senior Congress leader had said students could go to schools in bikinis, which had hurt the sentiments of many. Murugan responded censoriously, albeit with a non sequitur, “In the Digital Ethics Code, we have a three-tier mechanic system. In this three-tier mechanism, there is the self-regulatory body and an Inter-Departmental Committee. In that Inter-Departmental Committee, we are taking action against that. So, as per the norms, we will initiate action against fake news and we will take action against those who write against the sovereignty of the nation.”
Muskan Khan, 19, a commerce student who dreams of becoming a lawyer, lived an ordinary life in Mandya, south Karnataka before an extraordinary moment of courage and resistance brought her national fame. She spoke about her hijab, her values and everyone’s freedom to choose.
A leading political philosopher at a top Ivy league University, Jason Stanley, author of How Fascism Works and How Propaganda Works, says that the situation in India keeps him awake “at 4 am”, due to rising calls for genocide. Predictably, Hindutva trolls tried to trash the credentials of this child of Holocaust survivors. In reply, he shared some of his impressive work.
The Undergraduate Board of the National Medical Commission wants the Hippocratic Oath to be replaced by Charak Shapath, named for the father of ayurveda. The matter was discussed at a board meeting with medical colleges on Monday. An indigenous oath is a long-standing demand of the RSS. It has organised programmes to administer the oath to medical students. A cursory reading tells you what is wrong with it ― it forbids a doctor from treating a woman without her husband or father present. Vows mentioning Dwijas are equally regressive.
In its leader entitled ‘India’s democracy is not as healthy as this month’s elections make it seem’, The Economist concludes that “India is the planet’s most populous democracy. By upholding political freedoms for 75 years, bar a two-year hiatus under the Congress in the 1970s, it has set a heartening precedent for the developing world. But these days it is looking less and less like a model. In a world where authoritarian China seems to grow stronger by the day, it has never been more important for India not just to hold elections, but to repair the underpinnings of its democracy, too.”
Eye-catching plans for repairing a pandemic-scarred economy have cheered the stock market, but analysts say those who need help the most will be left wanting. “While PM Modi goes big on infrastructure, he has cut outlays to the rural poor even as elections loom. Meanwhile, rising oil prices make his target look ‘optimistic’ at best”, concludes the South China Morning Post.
The Committee Against Assault on Journalists estimates that in the past five years in UP, there have been at least 138 attacks on journalists in the state, and 12 murders. Of 66 cases against journalists, 78% were in 2020 and 2021, during the pandemic. The amount committed for advertisements by the government through print and electronic media from 2017-18 till now is Rs 2601.98 crore.
Nearly a year after the much-touted disengagement between Indian and Chinese soldiers on Pangong lake in Ladakh, recent satellite imagery shows that the Chinese have undertaken fresh deployment and infrastructure construction, just outside the buffer zone created as part of disengagement.
The Allahabad High Court yesterday granted bail to Ashish Mishra, main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident in which four farmers were mowed down by a car in which he was allegedly travelling. Justice Rajeev Singh noted the possibility that the driver may have sped up to save himself and that the deceased suffered no gunshot injuries. Mishra was accused of firing at them. Justice Singh also said the court “could not shut its eyes to the killing of three persons in the Thar SUV, including the driver…” and that photographs “clearly revealed the brutality of the protesters.”
A brief history of the FCRA amendments and their consequences — Ingrid Srinath on everything you need to know about FCRA in 2022.
Goa has been coopted into an acronym. But it’s spelled GAO.
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