Xi Takes on Modi’s Central Asia Meet; What a Dropped Hymn Says About We, the People
Big money rules electoral bonds, Niti Aayog boss cancels seminar on UP election, India a huge unregulated gambling market, Captain ‘spent cartridge’ and Flipkart purchase clue to murder
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
January 25, 2022
Sino-Indian rivalry over Central Asia has heated up with Beijing announcing a virtual summit with the five presidents of Central Asia on Tuesday, two days before PM Narendra Modi holds his interaction with them. Beijing said that during its summit, Xi and the five Central Asian presidents would release a leaders’ joint statement. India has proposed a summit every two years and is willing to finance a secretariat in Delhi.
Big money rules electoral bonds, which await the attention of the Supreme Court. An RTI request reveals that 92% of bonds sold have been of the Rs 1 crore denomination.
In Kashmir, a fourth DDC is considering a motion of no-confidence against its chairperson, while three other such notices gather dust. Members of the Shopian District Development Council plan to bring a no-confidence motion against Bilquis Jan of the J&K Apni Party, who has not convened a meeting since the inaugural meet in March 2021. Months ago, three central Kashmir DDCs — Budgam, Ganderbal and Srinagar — moved no-confidence motions against their chairpersons. They remain unaddressed since the councils have not met. The Srinagar Council is chaired by Apni Party’s Malik Aftab, while Ganderbal is chaired by the National Conference’s Nuzhat Ishfaq and Budgam by independent member Nazir Ahmad Khan.
Business Standard’s Recovery Tracker reveals that “weekly indicators of economic activity showed signs of a further slowdown.” This tracks vehicle registrations, recreation and retail visits, passengers on flights ― all of which are down. Power demand is also weak. These are markers for the upmarket segment ― even that is down now.
The Union government has told the Delhi High Court that criminalisation of marital rape involves “family issues” and women’s dignity and a “microscopic” view can’t be taken. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought “reasonable time” to share the position of the government after consultation with stakeholders. An irate court wants a written response in 10 day time.
Chief Justice of India NV Ramana informed a lawyer that 13 judges of the Supreme court had Covid-19 and a number of officers were positive, but the court was still functioning. There are 33 judges in the apex court.
Former Zimbabwe cricket captain Brendan Taylor revealed yesterday that he took cocaine and a $15,000 bribe from an Indian businessman to fix matches. “The ICC (International Cricket Council) are taking the decision to impose a multi-year ban on my international cricketing career,” he tweeted, adding that he did not fix a match. The identity of the Indian businessman who paid him is unknown.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious cause for concern, particularly for India, a study in The Lancet reiterates. Deaths per thousand associated with the phenomenon in central Europe, eastern Europe and central Asia (283), Latin America and the Caribbean (338), North Africa and the Middle East (256) combined, is less than South Asia’s toll (1,390).
The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year has gone to India’s Smriti Mandhana. She has 855 runs in 22 internationals at an average of 38.86 with one century and five half-centuries.
Farmers in Karnataka’s Tumakuru wanted to buy a pickup truck, but the salesman mocked that people dressed like them couldn’t afford it. To make the point that farmers should be treated well, they were back with Rs 10 lakh in half an hour.
Jindagi jhand ba, phir bhi ghamand ba, is emerging as a tagline for UP’s Neha Singh Rathore in her second part of UP Mein Ka Ba, released this morning. The mowing down of farmers in Lakhimpur by a central minister’s scion finds prominent mention.
The Asian Football Confederation has formally announced India’s ouster from the ongoing Asian Cup for women, saying that all its matches stand “null and void” after India’s withdrawal from the clash with Chinese Taipei owing to a massive Covid-19 outbreak in their camp.
A bride in Tamil Nadu cancelled after the groom allegedly slapped her at a wedding function. Hours later, she married his cousin.
Artwork inspired by Indian and other Asian mythologies will be available as NFTs with a floor price close to $400, via MetaMasters on the Binance platform. The 3,564 items created by