Without Irony, Amit Shah Happy To Debate Manipur ― If Opposition will Please Allow It; Is Parliament Empowered To Legislate A Uniform Civil Code?
Sarva Seva Sangh taken over, Army to recruit hill tribals instead of Gorkhas, IB to be Muslim IPS-mukt in key posts, Rafale may be refitted for Indian arms, Barbie & Oppenheimer spook Pakistan & India
A newsletter from The Wire | Founded by MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sushant Singh, Sidharth Bhatia and Tanweer Alam | With inputs from Kalrav Joshi | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
July 24, 2023
The Supreme Court has stayed a search for Hindu artefacts at the Gyanvapi mosque by the Archaeological Survey of India until Wednesday evening, giving the administration of the mosque time to move the Allahabad High Court against the order of the Varanasi District Court.
The Manipur Police have detained about 13,000 people and identified more perpetrators associated with the May 4 incident in which Kuki women were paraded naked and assaulted, which forced the PM to speak. The Meiteis face a backlash in Mizoram, where the Peace Accord MNF Returnees, Association (PAMRA) is telling them that they are no longer welcome. Kham Khan Suan Hausing, who teaches political science at the University of Hyderabad, told the Guardian that the video had exposed the systematic sexual violence being used against minority tribal women in Manipur: “It wasn’t until this video went viral that this overzealous attempt by the state to control the narrative has finally been exposed.”
The US has expressed deep concern about the incident. Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned as the Opposition protested, demanding a statement from the Prime Minister on Manipur. Afterwards, without a hint of irony, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the government is ready for a discussion on Manipur ― and the Opposition should permit it.
(EP Unny’s pocket cartoon in Indian Express)
Praveen Jain and Ananya Bhardwaj see the Meira Paibis or ‘guardian mothers’ of Manipur in new roles ― manning checkposts that they have set up, inspecting traffic, preventing relief from reaching minority communities and daring the security forces to use force to arrest Meitei militia men. Today, The Hindu reports that abandoned homes and a school were burned down by armed men using women for human shields. The controversial volunteer group dates back to the early 20th century, and now includes women of all ages. Law and order officials in Manipur seek more women paramilitaries to tackle them.
Hundreds of zero FIRs have been registered in Manipur, like the one which was registered in the now-infamous May 4 case, and it’s a challenge for the law enforcement machinery. Zero FIRs were innovated after the ‘Nirbhaya’ case in Delhi, to make it possible for victims of sexual crimes to register cases irrespective of jurisdiction.
Regions of Gujarat with a significant tribal population shut down on Sunday in protest against the failure of the Modi government to contain ethnic violence against tribals in Manipur. The action was supported by the Opposition Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Tribal Party.
The Indian Air Force has asked Dassault Aviation to make the Rafale capable of carrying indigenous armaments like the Astra air-to-air missile and the Smart Anti Airfield Weapon. Apart from widening the armoury of Indian Rafales, it could also invite business from other countries which use Rafales.
“According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, an NGO based in America, [West Bengal] recorded 3,338 incidents of political violence, including political murders, between 2016 and July 2023, the highest number of any state except militancy-riven Jammu and Kashmir. This is despite the fact that West Bengal’s underlying crime rate is not especially high. It is much lower than in the vast and lawless nearby states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.” The Economist looks at the extraordinary phenomenon of political violence in West Bengal.
Following the suspension of Gorkha recruitment from Nepal due to the Agnipath scheme, the Indian Army is devising a plan to address declining numbers in the Gorkha Rifles (GR) by enlisting Indian tribals from the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Darjeeling who have similar physical attributes, The New Indian Express reports.
Arun Jaitley’s son Rohan, president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association, is fielding charges of using his office to seek sexual and financial favours.
Climate change and heatwaves are adding to the burden of rural Indian women, reports the New Humanitarian. They have to walk long distances to bring back water for their families, often in the hottest hours.
India’s G20 presidency features, for the first time, a Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group, whose third and final meeting begins today and will end on Wednesday. The meet signals India’s commitment to addressing global challenges posed by disasters and climate emergencies.
The Bureau of Immigration has issued a Look Out Circular (LOC) against Chinese national Guanhua Wang for funnelling hundreds of crores of rupees out of India using a ponzi scheme through shell companies and mule accounts, managed by Indians, who also ran messaging app groups and ad campaigns on his behalf.
Eight of the 20 cheetahs reintroduced from Africa in Kuno National Park to celebrate the PM’s birthday have died, and the most recent deaths were attributed to skin infections under radio collars. The collars of six were removed, of which two had serious infections.
The Economist reports on China’s new training app for journalists, one of whose lessons is: “Ensure that the politicians run the papers, the magazines, the TV stations and the news websites.” Meanwhile, as per Newslaundry’s latest episode on TV Newsance, there have been almost no debates on the Manipur crisis on pro-government television. We don’t need no training app here.
A plastic doll temporarily outraged the social, cultural and religious values of Pakistan and screenings of Barbie were briefly halted, pending emergency surgery. Across the border, in the land of the Kamasutra, a sex scene in Oppenheimer featuring Sanskrit verses raised the anxieties of the Information Commissioner, who wrote an open letter to Christopher Nolan on behalf of “a billion Hindus” to have the footage expunged globally.
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