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Sunday, 27 August

00:00

LIVE: HC Slams Modi; Clerical Error Blamed for Allowing Crowd; Death Toll 30 The Wire

Followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh turned violent following the verdict this afternoon where he was found guilty of rape.

Vehicles torched in Panchkula by supporters of Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (centre). Credit: ANI, PTI

A CBI court in Panchkula on Friday found Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of rape. The sentencing will take place on August 28.

The post LIVE: HC Slams Modi; Clerical Error Blamed for Allowing Crowd; Death Toll 30 appeared first on The Wire.

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Saturday, 26 August

23:20

Six Months After Ramjas College Violence, Things Are Only Getting Worse The Wire

An event scheduled in Delhi University to try and initiate conversations of various kinds was cancelled due to security concerns, only highlighting how free academic spaces have shrunk.

A protest against the ABVP violence at Ramjas College. Credit: PTI/FIles

A protest against the ABVP violence at Ramjas College. Credit: PTI/FIles

It has been five months since the the English Department of Ramjas College, Delhi University, and Wordcraft the colleges literary society held a seminar titled Cultures of Protest: A Seminar Exploring Representations of Dissent, for which I was one of the organising committee members. On the day planned for intellectual debates and academic altercations, however, the college became the site of intense violence involving students from the Delhi University Students Union and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the BJP. They violently attacked professors, students and other attendees of the event.

The conference was first disrupted by the members of the ABVP, who brought lathis with them. This was followed by stone pelting and more physical attacks on the attendees of the seminar. ABVP members and supporters objected to the seminar on the grounds that its line-up of speakers included Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid a PhD scholar who was arrested on charges of sedition in February 2016. (No chargesheet has been file...

23:00

Explainer: The Impact of GST on Medicine Prices The Wire

Have drug prices gone up or down? How will you know how much to pay? The Wire breaks it down.

A medical representative (C) talks to a chemist at a market in Pune August 27, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui/Files

A medical representative (C) talks to a chemist at a market in Pune August 27, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui/Files

Now that the goods and services tax (GST) has been in place for over a month, more aspects of it are becoming clear. One of the questions that have come up is what it means for the affordability of medicines. GST replaces a whole host of taxes and chiefly of relevance to medicines, the old value added tax and excise duty. All invoices of medicine manufacturers and traders only reflect a GST from July 1, 2017. But what does that mean in practice?

How will GST on medicines affect the consumer?

The GST rate on a commodity has been fixed such that the incidence due to the new rate is approximately equal to the earlier tax incidence due to VAT and excise duty. VAT was 5% and excise duty where applicable was 6% of 65% of the MRP. The MRP included the VAT and excise duty. No seller can sell at more than the the MRP.

The GST...

23:00

NE Dispatch: Centre Reduces MBBS Seats for Mizoram; Burial Controversy in Manipur The Wire

A round-up of whats happening in Indias Northeast.

Congress minister Buddha Dhan Chakma resigned from the ministry on the issue of denial of MBBS seats to Chakma studnets in Mizoram. Credit: FacebookCongress minister Buddha Dhan Chakma resigned from the ministry on the issue of denial of MBBS seats to Chakma studnets in Mizoram. Credit: Facebook

Congress minister Buddha Dhan Chakma resigned from the ministry on the issue of denial of MBBS seats to Chakma studnets in Mizoram. Credit: Facebook

Mizoram: Centre cuts the number of MBBS seats allotted annually to the state; decision comes after Congress government denies seats to Chakma students

The ongoing controversy over the denial of seats in medical colleges to four students belonging to the Chakma community of Mizoram by the state government from its quota in spite of meeting the eligibility criteria has become more complex with the central government, without stating any reason, reducing the number of medical seats it allotted to the state for the 2017-18 session.

Local media reports quoting state government sources on August 22 said the higher and technical education department received a notification from the Union health ministry on August 21 stating that it had decided to reduce the number of medical seats from the 2016-17 quota of 25 to 17 for 2017-18.

The department said the Union ministry had not gi...

22:30

Meet the Dalit Cook in Rural UP Whose Food Goes Untouched The Wire

Deep inside the heartland of India, where jati-dharm have ruled hearts and minds for aeons, divisions along caste lines are etched in stone.

Usha was appointed as a cook at the primary school in Madavra village. But since shes Dalit, nobody is willing to eat the food she makes. Credit: Khabar Lahariya

Do you remember how you were often asked, by way of introduction, that one-word question India loves so? Because nothing works better as an ice-breaker, as a swift game of us and them, than that one-word question. Surname?

And these are our cities.

The same places where we mark out specific cups for the domestic help to have chai in.

Deep inside the heartland of India, where jati-dharm have ruled hearts, minds and souls for aeons, divisions along caste lines are hardened, etched in stone. It becomes a fact of your life, something you never question, because it is your lot in life. So, whats there to question? Habituated to being manipulated and divided by those who see them as vote banks, not human beings, they have internalised entitlement, prejudice and the feelings of superiority and inferiority that come with the territory. Centuries of systemic oppression, as we know, can do that and more.

We recently reported on one such case of ugly discrimination in the badlands of Bundelkhand, at the primary school in Madavra village in the district...

21:45

The Pentagon is Poisoning Your Drinking Water Strategic Culture Foundation

The Department of Defense, under a 1980 EPA exemption, is still allowed to burn weapons waste, detonate toxic explosives, and in certain cases even radioactive waste. Every year the DoD churns out more than 750,000 tons of hazardous waste more than the top three chemical companies combined.

21:22

Tajikistan: What Festivities Can You Celebrate in Style? EurasiaNet.org - Inside the Cocoon

The upper house of parliament in Tajikistan this week adopted legislation intensifying restrictions on how people can celebrate holidays and special events.

A law initially imposing prohibitions on lavish parties was adopted a decade ago, but senators decided on August 23 that the time had come to tighten the screws. It remains unclear, however, what formal mechanisms are to be put in place to ensure the rules are upheld.

Celebrations to mark circumcisions must now be held within 20 day of the childs birth and can only involve the immediate family. Weddings have long been restricted to three hours, but it will now no longer be permitted to organize pre- and post-wedding parties. 

Asia-Plus news website noted that during discussions on the legislation there was also talk about adopting other changes to family law that would outline rules on dowries. The discussion of dowries and the division of wealth is traditionally a highly intimate and personal matter decided within the family. Typically, the husband-to-be is expected to provide the house while the wife should furnish it.

One member of parliament cited by Asia-Plus said the overhaul to the rules could reduce the need for so many to migrate since large numbers of Tajiks go to work abroad specifically to fund their weddings.

Returning to the changes to the law, the bereaved are no longer permitted to invite fellow mourners to eat after the funeral or to slay an animal for the occasion. Breaking this law can lead to dismissal for anybody working in state bodies and a $4,000 fine for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders face a $5,700 fine.

read more

21:15

Russia"s Asia-Pacific Pivot: South Korean President Confirms Visit to Russia Strategic Culture Foundation

It has been reported recently that a Russian-owned tanker, built to traverse the frozen waters of the Arctic, completed a journey from Europe to Asia this month, auguring the future of shipping as global warming melts sea ice. The specially-built ship completed the crossing in just six-and-a-half days setting a new record. The vessel was carrying gas from Norway to South Korea. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the crew and energy company officials gathered on the ship's bridge.

20:15

How Bashar al-Assad Won the War in Syria Strategic Culture Foundation

On August 21, 2013, the international community awoke to a scene of absolute terror. Broadcasted on television screens around the world were pictures and video of men, women, and even small babies sprawled on the floor, gasping for breath.

19:50

ICHR Blocks Manuscript on Freedom Struggle Because It Makes the Sangh Look Bad The Wire

Historian Arjun Dev, editor of the manuscript, has said the government institution is unhappy that the book details the counter-productive role Hindutva groups played in the freedom struggle.

The book in question includes original documents and speeches from the years preceding independence. Credit: PTI

The book in question includes original documents and speeches from the years preceding independence. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: While Hindu-right organisations, under the patronage of the Narendra Modi government, are claiming spaces within the spectrum of associations with instrumental roles to play in the Indias nationalist movement, the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) the primary government-sponsored institution for funding historical research and publications has found itself in the dock for allegedly trying to bury historical work that looks into the counter-productive role played by the Sangh parivar during the freedom struggle.

Renowned Indian historian Arjun Dev has alleged that the ICHR, probably under the influence of the Modi government, has been sitting on a manuscript that he submitted two years ago on August 1, 2015. The manuscript is part of the ICHRs Towards Freedom series, which was conceived as a project to compile records and documents from the last ten years of the freedom struggle (1938-1947).

The manuscript, edited by Dev, is a compilation of documents on political developments in the year 1941. Speaking to The Wire, Dev said that it is divided into three parts the nature of the na...

19:15

Gas Games in the Eastern Mediterranean are Threatening Europe Strategic Culture Foundation

The European Commission is offering European consumers the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, which provides for the supply, in particular, of Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas along the TurkeyGreeceItaly route. The projects potential participants have their own interests, however, and are divided by long-standing antagonisms that are turning the corridor into a military and political delayed-action mine.

18:46

For How Long Will Haryana Pay the Price for BJPs Political Experiments? The Wire

The party has been riding the Dera tiger in order to secure its vote bank and is today showing spectacular ineptitude in dealing with the consequences.

The police stand near bodies of two men killed in Panchkula following a violent riot by supporters of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Credit: Special Arrangement

The police stand near bodies of two men killed in Panchkula following a violent riot by supporters of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Credit: Special Arrangement

Presiding over the breakdown of  law and order, turning a blind eye to wilful arson by its support base and allowing goons to run amuck in the state seems to have become a routine occurrence with the Manohar Lal Khattar BJP government in Haryana. To have allowed the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda supporters to first lay siege and attack the VIP town of Panchkula is one of the worst displays of deliberate apathy and official complicity by a government in recent times. As a horrified nation watched,  at least 30 people died, scores of vehicles were burnt and government property worth crores destroyed  in the violence. Yet it is no skin off the nose of the Manohar Lal Khattar government. The blame for the mob growing to the size it did has been pinned on a clerical error...

18:31

The Parallel, Performative Governance of Groups Like Dera Sacha Sauda The Wire

The Deras support of the BJP brought the party to power. To talk now of a crackdown, when complicity and cooperation marked the relationship, seems hypocritical.

File photo of a poster of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, convicted of rape on Friday. Credit: PTI

File photo of a poster of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, convicted of rape on Friday. Credit: PTI

As violence spreads across Punjab and Haryana, as casualties rise and petrol pumps are destroyed, a spectator has to ask broader questions beyond Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singhs conviction for rape. Where are these movements? How do they grow so exponentially? Why is the state so illiterate or complicit about them? One has to place this event within a broader history.

A millennial prophet

The rise of new millennial sects is one of the most fascinating and disturbing phenomenon today. Like all millennial groups, they represent the downcast and the downtrodden. Millennialism brings to their lives a set of dreams, aspirations, dramas where the future is more enticing, and the present more pregnant with expectation. Millennialism is usually elliptical to the state and, unlike radical movements, expects change through the acts of an extraordinary prophet. It threatens the state and at yet at another level operat...

18:05

One BJP MP Supports Convicted Rapist, Others Muddy the Water The Wire

Who is right? Crores of people who see god in Ram Rahim or that girl who filed a complaint?

BJP leaders Sakshi Maharaj and Subramanian Swamy. Credit: PTI

BJP leaders Sakshi Maharaj and Subramanian Swamy. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: After Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of rape and his followers wrecked havoc in parts of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi leading to the death of at least 30 people several BJP leaders were left in an awkward position. Several Haryana BJP leaders had gone to pay their respects to the Sirsa-based Dera chief after the elections in 2014.

BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj invited intense backlash by openly supporting Singh and suggesting that the rape survivor should not be believed. Who is right? Crores of people who see god in Ram Rahim or that girl who filed a complaint? Accusing a noble soul like Ram Rahim, the Hindutva leader, who the Election Commission has pulled up before for making inflammatory comments. He had also said before that

There is so much of ruckus over it, law and order has been disturbed, people are dying Shouldnt this be a consideration, he added. Can the Supreme Court or High Court call the Shahi Imam (head) of Jama Masjid in this manner? He is also wanted in many cases Is he their relative? Ram Rahim is a simple man so he is being harassed, Maharaj said,...

17:17

Rohingya Insurgents Stage Major Attack, Kill At Least 71 The Wire

FILE PHOTO: A Myanmar border guard police officers stand guard in Buthidaung, northern Rakhine state, Myanmar, July 13, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Simon Lewis/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: A Myanmar border guard police officers stand guard in Buthidaung, northern Rakhine state, Myanmar, July 13, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Simon Lewis/File Photo

Yangon: Muslim militants in Myanmar staged a coordinated attack on 30 police posts and an army base in Rakhine state on Friday, and at least 59 of the insurgents and 12 members of the security forces were killed, the army and government said.

The fighting still going on in some areas marked a major escalation in a simmering conflict in the northwestern state since last October, when similar attacks prompted a big military sweep beset by allegations of serious human rights abuses.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a group previously known as Harakah al-Yaqin, which instigated the October attack...

17:17

Belgian Soldiers Kill Somali-Origin Knife Attacker in Brussels The Wire

Policemen react on the scene after Belgian soldiers shot a man who attacked them with a knife, in Brussels, Belgium, August 25, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Eric Vidal

Policemen react on the scene after Belgian soldiers shot a man who attacked them with a knife, in Brussels, Belgium, August 25, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Eric Vidal

Brussels: Belgian soldiers shot dead a man in the centre of Brussels on Friday evening after he came at them with a knife shouting Allahu Akbar (God is great), in a case authorities are treating as a terrorist attack.

The man, a 30-year-old Belgian of Somali origin, died after being rushed to hospital. The soldiers were not seriously hurt in the attack; one had a facial wound and the others hand was wounded.

Prosecutors said the man, who was not known for terrorist activities, had twice shouted Allahu Akbar during the attack, which occurred at around 8:15 pm local time (1815 GMT) just outs...

17:15

Trump Places Sanctions on Venezuela As Maduro Sees Effort to Force Default The Wire

The order is Washingtons biggest sanctions blow to date against Maduro, meant to punish his government for what Trump has called an erosion of democracy.

US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, US, to announce sanctions against Venezuela, August 25, 2017.Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, US, to announce sanctions against Venezuela, August 25, 2017.Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

Caracas/Washington: US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that prohibits dealings in new debt from the Venezuelan government or its state oil company on Friday in an effort to halt financing that the White House said fuels President Nicolas Maduros &...

17:13

Mob Attacks Villagers, Vandalises Property After Cow Carcass Found in UP Village Pond The Wire

After the attack, many frightened families have locked their houses and left for safer places fearing further attacks.

Representative image credit: PTI

Representative image credit: PTI

New Delhi: A mob reportedly attacked a village in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, after a cow carcass was found floating in a local pond on Friday morning.

Hundreds of men, Times of India quoted villagers in Adauli as saying, attacked every soul they spotted and vandalised scores of houses. According to the newspaper, houses and religious structures of a certain community were targeted. Many houses were looted, and two of our religious structures vandalised. After the attack, many frightened families have locked their houses and left for safer places fearing further attacks, a villager told Times of India.

According to a report in the Hindi daily Patrika, the mob consisted of members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a Hindutva group formerly led by UP chief minister Adityanath. The newspaper has also posted a video of the incident, after the police arrived at the scene:

...

16:40

Suicide Bomber in Kabul Shiite Mosque Claims At Least 30 Lives The Wire

ISIS, which has launched several attacks against minority Shiite targets in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Afghan policemen try to comfort a man whose relatives were stuck at the site of a suicide attack followed by a clash between Afghan forces and insurgents after an attack on a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 25, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Omar Sobhani

Afghan policemen try to comfort a man whose relatives were stuck at the site of...

14:11

The Sex Workers in Mozambique Who Are Fighting HIV The Wire

Despite facing political and financial challenges, sex workers in Mozambique are providing health support to those at the margins of society.

Billy Clark

Its late when we reach Inhamzua on the outskirts of the city.

Stalls sell crackling chicken feet and sizzling plantain. Scores of men and women are gathered by a makeshift bar topped with corrugated steel. Spirits are high. The sound of laughter rises above the rumble of trucks trundling by.

Light from the gas station across the road illuminates the scene. Some of the women sit on white plastic chairs, nursing infants. Its a nativity scene of sorts, set under coconut trees and soundtracked by Marrabenta-style dance music surging from a battered loudspeaker.

Luisa* and I walk behind the bar, through dried mud and over shards of glass and used condoms. Were at the huts now. Its 80 meticais for five minutes about a pound. A bottle of beer in this town, to put things in context, costs 55.

In Beira, like everywhere else, sex sells and theres a good chance that HIV will be part of the transaction. Truckers drive here along the trade corridor that stretches from Zimbabwes eastern border. The end of their journey is a Mozambican port city where life expectancy is less than 50 and HIV rates are among the highest in the world. When they leave, that legacy often follows them.

One in ten adults in Mozambique is HIV positive, making the countrys HIV prevalence the eighth highest globally. But while the government has made progress on controlling the epidemic in recent years, reaching the marginalised along the Beira corridor has remained difficult.

How do you reach a population that is pe...

14:00

Indian Muslims Are Not a Homogenous Community, so Who Is the Triple Talaq Verdict For? The Wire

We must address the diversity within the Muslim community and achieve representation, democratisation and accountability to truly fight for womens equality.

Triple talaq

Muslim women protest against triple talaq in Mumbai. Credit: PTI

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind (JUH), one of Indias oldest and largest groups of Muslim clerics, in an official statement after the Supreme Court hearing in the triple talaq case, expressed deep concern over the verdict as it is against the Islamic Shariat. Their view is that under the Indian constitution, the Muslim Personal Law should be a guaranteed fundamental right and hence be protected from further deliberations on matters such as halala, polygamy, right to inheritance. They further added that as a body, they would never compromise on religious rights guaranteed in the constitution as fundamental ones and would continue to fight any attempt to challenge this. Through this statement, it doesnt seem clear as to whose religious rights the JUH talking about. The statement seems to assume that these would mean the same for every Muslim irrespective of gender and sect. What authority does JUH have to decide what should be considered a religious right?

Historically, Islamic reform and revivalism h...

13:30

#PartitionAt70: Restorying Partition Realign The Wire

Hari Krishnan grew up in Delhi in a Tamil household in a locality of partition refugees from the Punjab on the other side. As he strolls in Karol Bagh with his childhood friend Amandeep Khurrana, they recollect how Partition shaped their lives.

The Wires #PartitionAt70 series brings a number of stories, through text and multimedia content, that will attempt at drawing a comprehensive picture of those weeks and months when entire geographies and histories changed forever.


Story Four: Realign
Restorying Partition with Vishwajyoti Ghosh a series of narratives that document the experiences of partitions grandchildren who have grown up with its everlasting effects and negotiated with this reality in their daily lives.
Watch Story Three: Finding Connections here.

One of the relics of Partition is ambition. When we saw them (the neighbourhood Punjabis), there was an urge to be like them Hari Krishnan

It gave us a sense of attitude. To be pragmatic. Amandeep Khurrana

The post #PartitionAt70: Restorying Partition Realign appeared first on The Wire.

13:15

Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan Fight Against Rapists Impunity The Wire

To punish a rape victim by making her marry the perpetrator of a horrible crime against her there is no place in todays world for such hideous laws.

The countries repealed laws that used to allow rapists to avoid criminal prosecution by marrying their victims. Credit: OHCHR

The countries repealed laws that used to allow rapists to avoid criminal prosecution by marrying their victims. Credit: OHCHR

Rome: The top UN human rights official hailed the repeal of laws in Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan that used to allow rapists to avoid criminal prosecution by marrying their victims.

To punish a rape victim by making her marry the perpetrator of a horrible crime against her there is no place in todays world for such hideous laws, said the UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein.

He welcomed the stand that lawmakers in Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan have taken towards eliminating violence against women and ensuring that perpetrators of such violence are held to account.

To punish a rape victim by making her marry the perpetrator of a horrible crime against her there is no place in todays world for such hideous laws, UN High Commissioner for Human...

13:00

Interview: Folk Artiste Prashanna Gogoi on His Relationship With Assams Bihu Dance The Wire

In conversation with ethnomusicologist Prashanna Gogoi on his experiments with the Bihu.

Artiste Prashanna Gogoi playing the juria pepa at his studio in Guwahati. Credit: Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty

Artiste Prashanna Gogoi playing the juria pepa at his studio in Guwahati. Credit: Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty

Guwahati (Assam): As I waited for the door to be answered, my gaze fell upon the several identical-sized coconut shells left to dry in the courtyard of Prashanna Gogois house in Guwahatis Maligaon railway colony. It is to make the base for the been, he told me.

An advisor to Sangeet Natak Akademi on tribal and folk arts, 47-year-old Gogoi is known across Assam not only for modernising the been (Assams traditional string instrument that is also considered as one of the oldest traditional kinds in the region), but also for ach...

13:00

Israeli-Palestine Conflict: Senior UN Official Asks Security Council For Two-State Solution The Wire

The view was unequivocally supported by the representatives of Bolivia and Uruguay, two of the ten non-permanent members of the Security Council in addition to five permanent members.

Miroslav Jenca (right), Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, addresses the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East. At his side is Ambassador Abdel Latif Aboulatta, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN and President of the Council for August. Credit: UN

United Nations (IDN): Despite the scepticism if not opposition of the veto-wielding United states to realising a two-state solution, a senior United Nations official has urged the parties to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict to recommit to that solution and to ending the occupation of Palestinian lands.

This view was unequivocally supported by the representatives of Bolivia and Uruguay, two of the ten non-permanent members of the Security Council in addition to five permanent members (P5): China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United states.

Against the backdrop of heightened tensions and multiple violent incidents in and around Jerusalem as well as a worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip Miroslav Jena, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said in his briefing to the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East on August 22: Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through...

12:37

When Democracy Backfires New Eastern Outlook

5624342342

You can salute your civil rights now that Trump is in power.

The US media focuses on the fact that President Trump failed to win the popular vote, although he did manage to rake up more delegates to the Democratic Convention than Hillary Clinton. Clinton believes a Russian intervention in some unspecified way, skewed the results of the election. (That intervention is the focus of an investigation by a Special Prosecutor. The last time such a person was employed in Washington was when Bill Clintons sex life was deemed an appropriate reason for impeachment. The Congress ultimately failed to gather enough votes to evict him from office.)

During the 2016 campaign, progressive journalists like myself warned that Trump would ultimately lead to fascism, but we didnt realize he would do so with the help of his voters.

We imagined a police state, but what we have (so far) is a demonstration of how democracy can be a God that fails. As with Hitler, enough poorly educated people voted for Trump to bring him to power democratically. That having been accomplished, its not so much that he is able to pursue policies that most educated Americans reject, its that he can work up huge crowds who dream of taking back their country . by any means.

Yesterday Trump spoke to one such crowd in Phoenix, Arizona, suggesting he might pardon a racist sheriff who forced his inmates to live in tents under 110 degree heat and was finally slapped with contempt of court charges. More importantly, but somewhat confusingly, the President threatened to shut down the government over the border wall, although its not clear what role the government would play in preventing it from being built, since he claims that Mexico would pay for it.

President Trump goes from one non-sequitur to another, but what is most alarming is that his based doesnt seem to hold against him his failure to deliver on key campaign promises, believing that the fault lies with Congress (which came up one vote short to pass so-called health care reform) or with the media, which ceaselessly criticizes him. Notwithstanding its failure to report any story that is inconvenient to the government, Americas fractured left wing has been unable to bust its lock on the American...

05:30

Kyrgyzstan: New PM Seen as Powerbroker of the Future EurasiaNet.org - Inside the Cocoon

The chief of staff in the administration of Kyrgyzstans President Almazbek Atambayev has been parachuted into the prime ministers seat ahead of a looming presidential election, sparking concerns he could try to influence the outcome of the vote.  
 
Baby-faced loyalist Sapar Isakov, 40, and an overhauled Cabinet received overwhelming approval from parliament on August 25.
 
Atambayevs former security council chief, Temir Jumakadyrov, bagged one of the deputy prime minister positions. Tolkun Abdygulov, the former head of the National Bank who made headlines earlier this year by suggesting that legalizing cannabis might be a good way to boost tourism revenues, got another deputy PM slot.
 
Since Atambayevs approval is but a formality, Isakov will become the seventh prime minister to take office in as many years.
 
In the build-up to Isakovs appearance in parliament, media dwelled on potential opposition from the Respublika/Ata-Jurt faction led by wealthy businessman Omurbek Babanov.
 
Babanov, like outgoing Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov, is viewed as a front-runner in the October 15 presidential vote. Atambayev is constitutionally limited to only one term in office.
 
Several MPs from the Respublika/Ata-Jurt faction grilled Isakov on whether he would be able to guarantee the integrity of the elections, given Atambayevs stated preference for Jeenbekov. Isakov said several times that he would do his best.
 
In the end, Babanov and Respublika/Ata-Jurt offered cautious support for Isakovs new government, but the party leader still felt compelled to issue a warning.
 

read more

03:58

Haryana Riots: Khattar Claims that Prior Evacuation Could Have Also Resulted in Violence The Wire

As the riots claimed 29 lives and  injured over 200 people, questions over excessive police firing and why Panchkula wasnt cleared of Dera followers before the court order are being asked.

Minutes before the national and local media personnel faced violent attacks in Panchkula. Credit: PTI

Minutes before the national and local media personnel faced violent attacks in Panchkula. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday night defended his adminstrations response to the Dera Sacha Sauda riots, saying that even early eviction of the followers and supporters of self-styled guru Ram Rahim Singh could have resulted in violence.

Thousands of Singhs supporters kicked off a round of violent riots across three states, the worst-hit being the city of Panchkula in Haryana, after the Dera head was convicted of rape on Friday.

As the death toll in the riots rose to 29 with 28 killed in Panchkula itself and one in Sirsa, and over 250 being treated for injuries in various hospitals Khattar spoke about how hundreds of of Dera supporters had also been rounded up.

He insisted that the Dera followers had started gathering five days ago. As to why they had not been dispersed earlier, he said the loss witnessed on F...

01:56

Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 107: Swine Flu Outbreak and Cabinet Reshuffle The Wire

Vinod Dua discusses a fresh round of swine flu outbreak that has claimed over a thousand lives and Modis cabinet reshuffle.

The post Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 107: Swine Flu Outbreak and Cabinet Reshuffle appeared first on The Wire.

01:29

Theres a Reason Why Washington and London Wont Quit the Business of Killing New Eastern Outlook

The god of war is a greedy beast all right.

The god of war is a greedy beast all right.

On August 23, a coalition of Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia, carried yet another barbaric bombardment in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, which resulted in the death of at least 35 people.

On July 18, at least 20 civilians fell victims of a Saudi air strike in the Yemeni Taiz Governorate, as its been reported by the Daily Mail with a special reference to the United Nations.

Since the beginning of the civil war in Yemen in 2014, more than 10,000 civilians perished in the poorest country of the Arabian Peninsula, while another 3 million were displaced. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia unleashed an armed aggression against this state without any sort of approval from the UN, but with an extensive amount of military and political support coming from the United States and Britain. Such acts of aggression have for a long time been a trademark of Washington, but now its allies seem to be willing to follow in its footsteps. The Saudi coalition carries on air strikes against targets of the Houthis resistance to this very day, which results in massive civilian casualties, with hundreds of victims being added regularly to the rising death toll.

As a result of continuous attacks carried out by Saudi armed forces schools, hospitals and other vital civil infrastructure are being routinely reduced to the ground, while electricity and drinking water supplies are getting increasingly scarce even in large cities. With the silent approval of Washington and London, the Saudi coalition is taking every effort to make sure that no Yemeni national survives this conflict, using the tactics that can only be described as genocidal.

And the list of war crimes committed by the Saudi coalition is getting large by the day largely due to the ever-growing flow of various weapons sold to Riyadh by the United States, Britain and other Western powers. Today, the British and American arms manufactures receive fabulous profits from their indirect participation in the Yemeni military campaign.

Saudi Arabia alone in recent years received over a hundred billion worth of arms from American military manufacturers, while Donald Trump pledged to carry on the business tactics pursued by his prede...

00:15

For the Many and the Few: What a Fundamental Right to Privacy Means for India The Wire

The last 24 hours have been witness to a fundamental shift in the way our legal regime considers our routine actions. But the battle has just begun.

The Indian judiciary has lived up to its role as the final guardian of liberty. Credit: Reuters

The Indian judiciary has lived up to its role as the final guardian of liberty. Credit: Reuters

Rarely does a Supreme Court judgment garner media traction akin to an ongoing cricket match. Even more rarely do Supreme Court judges acquire the fanfare commanded by cricketers. Yet, August 24 was an exception and for all the right reasons. In many ways, yesterdays Supreme Court verdict that upheld the right to privacy as a fundamental right was more than just a legal precedent. It was a moment in history when the soul of a people, long suppressed, found utterance.

The nine judges who formed the bench were undoubtedly aware of the significance of the verdict, particularly its implications for the Aadhaar project, the state-sponsored biometric repository of citizens data. The expectations from a cross section of civil society were high. While the verdict perhaps was predictable, the judgment exceeded all reasonable expectations. Through 547 pages of prose, poetry and impeccable constitutional reasoning, the nine judges attempted to directly tackle many ills tha...

00:00

How the Right to Privacy Verdict Impacts the Minuscule LGBT Community The Wire

The judgment in the way it defines privacy and dignity of an individual has far reaching implications on the rights of LGBTQI individuals.

The verdict defines dignity and how privacy of ones body entitles an individual to the integrity of the physical aspects of their personhood. Credit: Reuters

The verdict states how privacy of ones body entitles an individual to the integrity of the physical aspects of their personhood. Credit: Reuters

In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court on August 24 declared privacy a fundamental right. The nine-judge bench gave a unanimous verdict that the right to privacy is to be held as an inalienable fundamental right that protects individuals from arbitrary state interference and prevents the state from being totalitarian. The judgment takes note of how the states argument against privacy and the arm-twisting ways of getting personal data can lead to an Orwellian society.

The ruling, in a revolutionary move, has broadened the definition and scope of privacy beyond the physical confines of a room by stating that, Privacy attaches to the person and not to the place where it is associated.

Quoting John Stuart Mill, the judgment defines privacy as intrinsic and hence inalienable. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

The judgment observes that Privacy enables each indivi...

00:00

National Register of Citizens Told to Segregate Original Assam Inhabitants From Among 48 Lakh Applicants The Wire

The 48 lakh applicants submitted a panchayat certificate, which is only a supporting document, to prove their citizenship.

Gauhati high court

Gauhati high court. Credit: Gauhati high court website

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the office of the Assam state coordinator for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) presently updating the 1951 list under the supervision of the apex court to detect undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh to file a report within six weeks on how many of the 48 lakh applicants who had submitted only a panchayat certificate to prove their Indian citizenship, were original inhabitants of the state.

The apex court also directed the state coordinator for NRC, Prateek Hajela, present in the hearing on August 24, to ready a partial draft NRC by December 31 till the issue of these 48 lakh is decided.

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha, was hearing a bunch of special leave petitions, filed against the February 28 Gauhati high court order, which rejected the submission of panchayat secretary-issued residency certificates as link documents by 48 lakh applicants as unconstitutional as it had no statutory sanctity.

A link document is a piece of documentary evidence that proves the applicants residency in the state through the lineage of his/her parents or grandparents before March 24, 1971 the cut-off date...

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Friday, 25 August

23:37

Scholars Urge IIMs to Address Their Serious Diversity Problem The Wire

A faculty member and a fellow from IIM Bangalore have written to directors asking them to address the serious lack of diversity among both staff and students.

IIM Ahmedabad. Credit: PTI

IIM Ahmedabad. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: A faculty member and fellow from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore, who have been highlighting the serious lack of diversity at IIMs through their work and publications for months now, have written to the directors of all IIMs and the Ministry of Human Resource Development asking that the issue and possible action be discussed.

In their research, Deepak Malghan and Siddharth Joshi pointed out that of the 512 IIM faculty members they could gather information on, only two were from the SC category and there was not even a single ST. They trace this lack of diversity back to the post-graduate programmes at the IIMs most faculty members have done the postgraduate from an IIM.

Highlighting this in their letter to the directors, Malghan and Joshi have said:

As part of your packed agenda for the IIM Directors meeting on August 28th 2017, you are also slated to discuss the doctoral programmes at IIMs (currently called the Fellow Program in Management, or the FPM). We want to bring to your attention years of willful circumvention of constitutional mandates and statutory provisions governing admissions at public institutions such as IIMs. FPM admissions have for a number of years turned a blind eye to questions of diversity and social inclusion. One direct consequence of the IIM FPM programmes not making a concerted effort to recruit a socially diverse doctoral student body is the utter lack of diversity on the faculty b...

23:30

A Syrian Storyteller in Versailles The Wire

An extract from Paulo Lemos Hortas Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of the Arabian Nights, documenting how the Thousand and One Nights came to be.

A painting depicting a scene from Thousand and One Nights by Sani ol-Molk, 19th century. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A painting depicting a scene from Thousand and One Nights by Sani ol-Molk, 19th century. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Thousand and One Nights, or Alf Laila wa Laila, remains one of the most fascinating collection of tales in the world. Despite originally being titled Arabian Nights, the tales within the larger body of work have deep hallmarks of Persian and Indian storytelling as well. These stories, carried from word of mouth by soldiers, traders and fabulists across the vast landscape of Asia over centuries, changing as they came into contact with different cultures to the extent that, in India, the collection is referred to as Alif Laila, since the Arabic word for a thousand (Alf) makes no sense to Indian languages and Laila is merely a name, not night.

In a lovely new book, Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of the Arabian Nights, Paulo Lemos Horta documents a number of such conversations, between Europeans documenting the tales and their int...

23:30

Seventeen Years On, SC Notice on Pathribal Fake Encounter Brings Little Hope of Justice to Victims Families The Wire

When it comes to Kashmir, the institutions and justice system turns blind. Nobody can understand what we have gone through all these years.

A board with the names of the victims of the Pathribal fake encounter and J&K police personnel. Credit: Twitter/Reuters

A board with the names of the victims of the Pathribal fake encounter and J&K police personnel. Credit: Twitter/Reuters

Anantnag (J&K): Bed-ridden for the past two years, Raja Begum, 68, doesnt want to recall the tragedy that struck her family in the spring of 2000. At her home on the outskirts of Anantnag town, she is equally impassive to the news reports that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition on Pathribal fake encounter in which five civilians dubbed as Pakistani terrorists, responsible for the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chittisinghpora village were killed by the army.

Among those killed was Begums son Zahoor Ahmad Dalal, 23, who had settled into the family business. All these years, we have been witnessing how the justice system has failed us. Dont talk about it [the case] anymore, wrinkle-f...

23:00

Watch: #PartitionAt70 A Journey Across The Border The Wire

Three women who were forced to leave Pakistan for India with their families recall their journeys across the border.


Follow our #PartitionAt70 special series here.

The post Watch: #PartitionAt70 A Journey Across The Border appeared first on The Wire.

23:00

With Pneumococcal Vaccine Patent, Pfizer Wins on Many Counts The Wire

Not only was Pfizer given a subsidy to develop a drug that already existed, the profits they will make from the inefficient vaccine is much beyond what was originally stipulated.

A company logo is seen through branches at a Pfizer office in Dublin, Ireland November 24, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

A company logo is seen through branches at a Pfizer office in Dublin, Ireland November 24, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

22:46

Is AI Real or Is It All Hype? Convince Me. The Corbett Report

We've all seen the breathless stories about the latest sign of the coming Artificial Intelligence apocalypse, and we've all seen the fine print revealing those stories to be empty hype. So is there anything at all to the AI phenomenon, or is it all just another boogeyman designed to scare us into line? If you think you have the answer then marshal up the data and prove it to us one way or the other! I'm all ears.

22:37

Trump and Afghanistan: A Hidden Agenda New Eastern Outlook

If you not sad to see Bannon leave, you must answer yourself a question: Is there any reasonable people left on the team?

If you not sad to see Bannon leave, you must answer yourself a question: Is there any reasonable people left on the team?

On Monday 21 August 2017 US President Trump made his long awaited statement on future US policy in Afghanistan. There was considerable speculation beforehand that as to whether Trump might announce a US withdrawal. The basis for that speculation appeared to be various statements that Trump had made both before and during his candidacy for the presidency.

Even closer to the time of the speech there was further speculation that he would announce an increase of 4000 US troops. The basis for that speculation appeared to be leaks from unspecified sources.

In the event the speech was an anticlimax. Although Trump conceded that his views had changed, there was essentially no change to US policy. Any change would have been a surprise as there are long established continuities as to US foreign policy generally, and in this case to Afghanistan.

The only voice in the administration making a different case was Steve Bannon, and his departure the previous week confirmed not only that there would be no change in policy, but that the takeover of the administration by the generals was now complete. Trumps three closest advisers on national security matters, Kelly, McMaster and Mattis have never shown the least interest in a reduced American military footprint anywhere in the world, much less in Afghanistan.

The figure of 4000 extra troops, although not specified by Trump, nonetheless remains the favoured figure by most commentators. Quite why this number would make any significant difference has never been explained. It is significantly fewer troops than the more than 100,000 the Americans had at the height of their troop engagement, and that number was conspicuously unable to defeat the Taliban or even exercise effective control over more than a small percentage of the country.

Trumps statement and the mainstream commentaries that have followed have barely mentioned if at all the more than 100,000 mercenaries that are operating in Afghanistan. Perhaps because their role is unencumbered by the normal rules of engagement they enjoy a media silence that is i...

22:35

Violence Erupts After Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Convicted of Rape; HC Orders Seizure of All Dera Properties The Wire

The sentencing will take place on August 28. The sections under which the case has been registered entail a minimum punishment of seven years and a maximum of ten years.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been convicted of rape. Credit: PTI

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been convicted of rape. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: A CBI court in Panchkula on Friday (August 25) found Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of rape. The case he has been convicted in goes back to 1999, though charges were filed in 2002 after anonymous letters written by two female followers alleging rape became public.

Sentencing will take place on Monday (August 28). Singh has been taken into custody. The sections under which the case has been registered entail a minimum punishment of seven years and a maximum of ten years.

The Punjab and Haryana high court has also ordered the seizure of all of Singhs properties to compensate for the violence caused by his followers following his conviction.

His followers, who had brought parts of Punjab and Haryana close to a standstill for the last few days, turned violent after news of the conviction. More than one lakh people were reportedly gathered outside the Panchkula court. TV channels reported that OB vans were burnt and property destroyed as the crowd took to the streets with sticks and other weapons. NDTV reported that their OB van was attacked and van...

22:21

Watch: What Supreme Court Judgement on Privacy Means for Aadhaar and Surveillance The Wire

In conversation with Prasanna S., one of the lawyers who assisted a group of petitioners challenging the Aadhaar project.

The post Watch: What Supreme Court Judgement on Privacy Means for Aadhaar and Surveillance appeared first on The Wire.

21:41

Challenges Ahead as Nandan Nilekani Takes on His Second Innings at Infosys The Wire

The dramatic exit of Infosys chief executive Vishal Sikka late last week took uncertainty to new highs and prompted several days of falling shares.

Nandan Nilekani

Nandan Nilekani returns to Infosys. Credit: Reuters

Mumbai/Bangalore: The return of former boss Nandan Nilekani to Infosys is intended as a return to normality for investors and the tech companys 200,000 employees, drawing a line under the bitter public battle between board members and founders.

The dramatic exit of Infosys chief executive Vishal Sikka late last week took uncertainty to new highs and prompted several days of falling shares. A group of 12 major institutional investors wrote to ask for Nilekani one of Infosys seven co-founders, though largely absent from the spat to come back on the board.

He was appointed on Thursday.

But Nilekani, a respected, jovial figure familiar from Davos debates and television commentary, faces an unenviable challenge as he comes back to the Infosys fold, a decade since his departure.

He is returning as ch...

21:35

Three years after Protective Edge, Gaza is in free fall +972 Magazine

As internal Palestinian rifts take a heavy toll on Gazans and as shifting geopolitics in the Gulf affect quality of life in Deir al-Balah, Israel is again missing an opportunity to harness the future of its relationship with Gaza.

By Amir Rotem

Palestinian children fill jerrycans with drinking water in the Rafah Refugee Camp in the southern Gaza Strip, June 11, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Palestinian children fill jerrycans with drinking water in the Rafah Refugee Camp in the southern Gaza Strip, June 11, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The ceasefire agreement that ended Operation Protective Edge went into effect on August 26, 2014. The operation was the deadliest and most devastating in Gaza to date, taking the lives of 2,202 Gaza residents, including 1,391 people deemed to be civilians and 526 of whom were children. Sixty-six Israeli soldiers and six civilians, Israelis and foreign nationals, were also killed, including one child. Some 11,000 housing units in Gaza were entirely destroyed, and approximately 160,000 more damaged. Tens of thousands of people were made homeless. So much destruction and pain,...

21:15

President Trump Announces New Afghanistan Strategy Strategic Culture Foundation

Almost 16 years have passed since the US invaded Afghanistan. The threat coming from the Taliban has not subsided. The goal was to deny al-Qaida a base for its operations in Afghanistan. Today, Al Qaeda is operating in other places but the Talibans presence is strong and even increasing. Donald Trump has failed to keep his word and extricate America from a bloody conflict in the faraway country.

20:51

BJP, RSS to Oppose Mamata Banerjees Order Banning Durga Idol Immersion on Muharram The Wire

Several Hindu outfits have said that they will ignore the governments directives and ask the puja committees to do the same.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that there would not be any idol immersion on October 1, on the scheduled day of Muharram. Credit: PTI

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that there would not be any idol immersion on October 1, on the scheduled day of Muharram. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjees decision to not allow Durga idol immersion on October 1, the scheduled day of Muharram, hasnt been received well by Hindu outfits.

In a statement on Wednesday, Banerjee had asked the people of the state to cooperate with each other and to not fall prey to provocation leading to communal problems.

The same day, the BJP and the RSS said that they would oppose the decision. Other Hindu outfits have said that they will ignore the directives and will ask the puja committees to do the same.

We strongly oppose this decision. We will appeal to all puja committees to carry out immersion of idols as per Hindu rituals. We will tell them that there is no need to follow the state governments order. We are protesting against this arbitrary decision, Tapan Ghosh, president of the Hindu Samhati...

20:50

The Only Sensible Way Out of the North Korea Crisis Strategic Culture Foundation

On August 14, the Korean Central News Agency issued a surprising statement from North Koreas 33-year-old dictator, Kim Jong-un. The Respected Supreme Leader, KCNA said, had decided to watch a little more the conduct of the United States before proceeding on a vow to fire missiles near the Pacific island of Guam to create an enveloping fire.  

20:15

With a Little Help from His Friends, Trump Comes to Believe in a Military Victory in Afghanistan Strategic Culture Foundation

Never did I imagine that I would endorse anything said by former White House chief schemer Stephen Bannon who was dismissed by President Trump on 18 August. Bannon had advised the president to cease immersion in the hideous shambles in Afghanistan and refrain from committing more troops to a country that is terminally corrupt and whose war has cost the US taxpayer over a trillion dollars and killed 2,403 members of the US military. Over a thousand European and Canadian NATO soldiers were killed, too. For nothing...

19:45

10 Fatal Flaws in Donald Trump's Afghanistan Plan Strategic Culture Foundation

President Trumps speech on Monday to the soldiers at Fort Myer about his Afghan policy did contain a few good points. But it also raised questions about his overall policy and strategy. On the plus side, the president backed away from his campaign promise to precipitously withdraw from the conflict, and did not support using private contractors to fight the war, as some of his aides had urged.

19:15

How To Explain The "Two Trumps" Strategic Culture Foundation

US President Donald Trump appeared to adopt two very different public persona this week, when first he delivered a stern speech announcing a new military strategy toward Afghanistan; and then the next day he regaled supporters at a rally in Arizona with his characteristic blustering style.

19:00

We Must Not Forget Kandhamal, a Wound That Is Yet to Heal The Wire

It is true, if painful, that the hurt of Kandhamal is felt only by Christians. But the toxicity of this will surely infect and destroy Hindu souls.

A vehicle burns inside a church in Nuagoan village in the Kandhamal district of Orissa August 25, 2008. Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

A vehicle burns inside a church in Nuagoan village in the Kandhamal district of Orissa August 25, 2008. Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

Kandhamal is yet another wound on the body of Mother India. It was inflicted nine years ago; the cut is still wide open but the sensation is gone.

The mother, when reminded, can say that she has been cut at a hundred points and is confused about which wound is deeper, more grievous than the others. Which injury to attend to is her dilemma.

We desire to see our nation as a integrated body, but we know its constituents do not feel too connected to each other. They do not share each others joy and pain. It is only natural, therefore, that the task to remind our mother nation that the wound of Kandhamal, yet to be healed, falls on Christian communities. The rest of India would not like it to be acknowledged. Many say it is negative memory; and for the majority, the incident is fiction.

Yet, August 25, 2008, is a date India must remember. It was on this date that Sister AA, a nun working in the Dibyajyoti Pastoral Centre of Kandhamal, ran away from the centre with Father Thomas Chellam fearing attack from a violent mob, and was sheltered by Jasobanta Pradhan. But...

18:45

Supreme Court Sidesteps Privacy Definition Trap, but Eloquently Explains Why We Still Need It The Wire

While the judgement does not strictly defines the right to privacy or catalogue all of its parts, it has attempted to address the broad arguments that are used in justification of and in opposition to privacy.

Supreme Court of India. Credit: supremecourtofindia.nic.in

Supreme Court of India. Credit: supremecourtofindia.nic.in

The judgment by the nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court was an emphatic, if belated, avowal of the the right to privacy. A unanimous decision by a bench of this size is rare, but what is rarer is that in a matter of 547 pages, the judgment not only upholds the position of the debated right to privacy, it also does a great job in individually taking apart many different arguments used to question the fundamental nature of this right.

The judgment by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices R.K. Agrawal, D.Y. Chandrachud and S. Abdul Nazeer, while evaluating different theories of privacy, also takes a trip down various critiques of the concept of privacy. It includes arguments by the likes of...

18:35

After Right to Privacy Ruling, Focus Must Now Be on Creating Robust Data Protection Laws The Wire

Digital privacy is a subset of the right to privacy, which can be fully exercised only if a good data protection system is in place.

The right to privacy has been declared a fundamental right but to prevent financial losses or any other kind of misuse of data, further steps need to be taken. Credit: Reuters

The right to privacy has been declared a fundamental right but to prevent financial losses or any other kind of misuse of data, further steps need to be taken. Credit: Reuters

The Supreme Courts recognition of privacy as a basic fundamental right paves the way for discourse around informational privacy, as underscored by each of the judges in the...

18:17

Customs Agencys Case Against Adani Group Dealt Setback The Wire

The adjudicating authority of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has struck down all proceedings against the Adani Group. The order will now go through a review process before the decision can be challenged.

Billionaire Gautam Adani speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in Ahmedabad April 2, 2014. Credit: Amit Dave/Reuters/Files

New Delhi: A customs intelligence investigation against a group of Adani firms for allegedly over-invoicing the value of power and electricity goods has been dealt a setback, with the adjudicating authority of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) passing an order that has struck down all proceedings against the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate.

In 2014, it was ...

18:11

After Delhi Governments Show-Cause Notice, Schools Ask Parents to Collect Fee Refunds The Wire

The schools are among those identified as having overcharged parents in the name of implementing recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal with his deputy and finance minister Manish Sisodia. Credit: PTI

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal with his deputy and finance minister Manish Sisodia. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Days after the Delhi government issued a show-cause notice to 449 private schools in the city asking them to roll back unjustified fee hikes, many schools have started issuing public notices in newspapers, requesting parents to collect the refund.

The show-cause notice issued by the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government was in line with the Justice Anil Dev Singh committees order. The notice had also warned that the government will take over 449 schools if they do not refund the extra fees within two weeks.

According to a report in Outlook, many schools,...

18:04

From Aadhaar to the Closet: Impact of Supreme Courts Privacy Judgment on Section 377 Litigation The Wire

The judgment makes it clear that in a democracy, the rights of minorities, especially discrete and insular ones, are as sacred as those conferred on citizens to protect their freedoms and liberties.

The Supreme Court's right to privacy judgment could pave the way for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Credit: Reuters

The Supreme Courts right to privacy judgment could pave the way for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Credit: Reuters

Every once in a while, we are privileged to witness a legal decision that makes an impression that goes far beyond the confines of the courtroom. The Supreme Courts constitutional bench decision in the Justice J. S. Puttaswamy case, the reference to a nine-judge bench on the question of whether privacy is a fundamental right, is surely one such moment. The nine judges, between them, have covered an expansive terrain, tracing the development of privacy jurisprudence in the country and laying precedents for new cases, where privacy has now been indisputably recognised as a fundamental right.

The nine judges of the Supreme Court embarked on this enormous exercise (the judgment itself runs into 547 pages, with one judgment authored by Justice J.Y. Chandrachud and three others, and five other separate judgments) when a five-judge bench, deciding the constitutionality of the Aadhaar project, referred this matter to them. One...

17:20

Case on Murder of Journalist Probing Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Also Nears End The Wire

The Dera Sacha Sauda chief is accused in the murder of Ram Chander Chhatrapati and the case is being heard in the same CBI court as the rape case.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Credit: PTI

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: While a verdict is expected on the rape charges against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and his supporters in both Haryana and Punjab are coming out in protest this is not the only case against the cult leader that is nearing a climax. Final arguments are ongoing in the 2002 murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who exposed the rape accusations against Singh, at the same CBI court in Panchkula that will give its verdict on the rape case today (August 25).

Chhatrapati was shot at point blank range on October 24, 2002, months after his newspaper Poora Sachh published an anonymous letter from a sadhvi alleging she was raped by Singh. Singh was alive for 28 days after he was shot and reportedly named the Dera chief in his statement to the police, but the police did not include his name in the FIR. His son Anshul then only 21 years old took up the legal battle against the powerful religious leader.

I was 21 then, and did not know where to go for justice after the police did not include the name of the Dera chief in the FIR, Anshul...

16:26

Singapore is a terrible place. If you can, you should get out. Emigrate. Singapore Dissident

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To say Singapore is a terrible place is an understatement. The most important thing to be happy is not a million dollars. It is to be able to be who you are, think what you want, believe in what you want and most importantly the chance to be yourself.

In Singapore it is not possible to be yourself. Not possible to have common sense. Truth is what they tell you. And over a period of time, you slowly begin to believe the nonsense you are forced to believe. 2 and 2 is no longer 4. It may be 5 or 6 or anything they want you to believe.

Singapore is a dictatorship. And the laws and social conduct of the island is tailored to prop up the dictatorship of the Lee family. Laws in order to have any legitimacy have to be at least be based on common sense. Not in Singapore. In Singapore the laws generally have no basis under common sense. They are legislated by a Kangaroo Parliament in order to secure the island dictators, ie. the Lee family and their henchmen.

Let me give you an example. In any society, it would not be illegal to hold a peaceful protest anywhere. We are not harming anyone. After all we are human beings and being human beings, we have the right to criticize, as long as we do not harm anyone or break any laws. Not in Singapore. In Singapore, even though it is obviously legal to hold a sign up and say "Down Down the prime Minister" it is illegal under Singapore laws. You will be arrested even if that is all you did. The government argument is such activity will disrupt public order although there is no logical proof of this. But your common sense tells you that no disorder will occur if you just did this. So the reason why you have such a law is obvious. The dictator of the island does not want anyone to threaten his position.

Another example. If you call the Prime Minister corrupt, you will be arrested. But the truth is, he is corrupt. He is the highest paid politician in the world in a city state which is one third the size of New York City! By any reckoning this is obviously corruption. The man and his cronies are simply minting money. But if you did call him corrupt, you will be sued in his Kangaroo Courts, imprisoned and bankrupted. But common sense would tell you there is nothing wrong in calling a politician corrupt if he is indeed one. Not in Singapore. If you did you will be destroyed. His henchmen in the government and the courts would make sure of that.

The Singapore dictatorship has a set of laws designed to ensure you just obey, regardless of whether it makes any common sense or if it is good for the country.

Let me set out the nonsense in the island

1. You are told the Constitution is sacrosanct. The basis of all laws. The Constitution clearly allows free speech. But the state has abrogated this right. It is no longer true that the Constitution is sacrosanct. it is not. And you are required to believ...

16:24

Colombias FARC Rebels Include Boots, Kitchen Supplies in List of Assets The Wire

Leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) patrol a roadway near to San Vicente de Caguan, January 1999. Credit: Reuters/Jose Gomez

Bogota: Colombias Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group included footwear and orange juicers in thelist of assets it will hand over for victim reparations, drawing ire on Thursday from officials who maintain the guerrillas have extensive criminal wealth and sparking the government to announce a special verification commission.

The FARC agreed under a 2016 peace deal with the government to hand over all funds and property to pay reparations to victims of forced disappearance, rape, displacement, kidnapping and land mines.

The group has for decades extorted landowners and business people, earned ransoms from hostage takings and sold coca, the base ingredient in cocaine, to drug traffickers.

Officials said on Thursday that the list, which was originally given to the United Nations and has not been made public, included many items that have little or no monetary value and made a mockery of victims.

Pots, orange juicers, lemon juicers, plates, boots...

16:19

Turkey Purges Hundreds of Civil Servants in Latest Decrees The Wire

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during the re-opening of the Ottoman-era Yildiz Hamidiye mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, August 4, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Murad Sezer

Istanbul: Turkey dismissed hundreds of civil servants and boosted President Tayyip Erdogans powers over the national intelligence agency MIT in two decrees published on Friday under emergency rule imposed after an attempted coup last year.

Turkey has sacked or suspended more than 150,000 officials in purges since the failed putsch, while sending to jail pending trial some 50,000 people including soldiers, police, civil servants.

Under the latest decrees, published in the Official Gazette, more than 900 civil servants from various ministries, public institutions and...

16:17

Babumoshai Bandookbaaz Could Have Been a Quirky Crime Drama, but Ends up a Generic Vengeance Saga The Wire

Based on a familiar motif, the futility of crime, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz tries to rise above its limitations but is too inconsistent and jaded for its own good.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a still from the film. Courtesy: Instagram

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a still from the film. Courtesy: Instagram

Babumoshai Bandookbaaz introduces its protagonist, Babu Bihari (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), in a wonderful deceptive fashion. In his first scene, Babu is standing on a construction site amid blue-collar workers. Dressed in formals, Babu could be mistaken for their supervisor. And that is the implication too, for Babu, a contract killer, due to his appearance, can slip in and out of a setting unnoticed. At various points in the film, he disguises himself as a washerman, a constable and a wedding guest. A minute or so after Babu is introduced, he walks into an office adjoining the construction site and shoots the man in it. Its fitting that Babus chameleon-like persona is brought to screen by Siddiqui, an actor who has almost singlehandedly re-written the definition of the vicious everyman in Hindi cinema.

In the films opening segment, Babu is a man with no origin or destination. He murders with abandon, beds prostitutes and whiles away time by listening to old Bollywood songs. Babu is floating with no real joy or purpose, until he falls in love with a cobbler called Phulwa (B...

16:14

Trump Blames Fellow Party Leaders for Debt Ceiling Mess The Wire

US President Donald Trump waves as he walks from Air Force One as he arrives at Joint Base Andrews, Virginia, US, August 23, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

Washington: President Donald Trump picked a new fight on Thursday with his fellow Republicans, saying congressional leaders could have avoided a mess over raising the US debt ceiling if they had taken his advice.

In the latest in a stream of criticisms that could undermine his aims to cut taxes, pass a budget and rebuild infrastructure, Trump sought to blame party leaders if Congress fails to agree to raise the cap on how much the federal government may borrow.

The Treasury Department has said the ceiling must be raised by September 29. If not, t...

16:00

Right to Privacy Judgment Makes Section 377 Very Hard to Defend, Says Judge Who Read It Down The Wire

Justice A.P. Shah said, There is very little scope now for those wanting to support Section 377invading the bedroom cant be considered reasonable restriction [on the fundamental right to privacy].

A.P. Shah. Credit: Youtube

A.P. Shah. Credit: Youtube

New Delhi: Justice A.P. Shah, who had read down Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises unnatural consensual sex and has been used to target sexual minorities and homosexual couples, has said that after the Supreme Courts order on the fundamental right to privacy, there is very little scope to defend 377.

I personally feel that there is a strong possibility that the Constitution bench examining the curative petition is bound to go by what the Supreme Court said in course of its judgment on Thursday. There is very little scope now for those wanting to support Section 377. The only argument that can be advanced by them is that of reasonable restriction [on the fundamental rights]. But invading the bedroom cant be considered reasonable restriction, Justice Shah told the Indian Express.


Read:...

15:43

You Have to Be Blind Not to Read the Signs: Ex-Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed The Wire

Mohamed Nasheed spoke to The Wire about Indias quiet signals to the Maldives, why he doesnt want to push Yameen out forcefully and the new direction of the opposition campaign.

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed in Delhi on Thursday. Credit: By special arrangement

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed in Delhi on Thursday. Credit: By special arrangement

New Delhi: Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives first democratically elected president, is in India after three years and he believes that the timing of his invitation for a seminar sponsored by the Indian foreign ministry is a signal of New Delhis dissatisfaction towards the current regime in Mal.

Despite once being a frequent visitor to Delhi, Nasheed was last in the Indian capital in 2014 on a low-key private trip. A few months after his return home, he was arrested and convicted for 13 years in March 2015 on terrorism charges for ordering the arrest of a judge during his presidency. He was permitted to leave the Maldives for medical treatment in January 2016. Five months later, he was...

14:48

Post-ISIS Geo-political Spins in the Middle East New Eastern Outlook

While it's true that ISIS almost out of the door, there's new challenges for the region looming on the horizon.

While its true that ISIS is almost out of the door, still theres new challenges for the region looming on the horizon.

It had become quite obvious, even long before the end-game of ISIS had reached its culmination, that the post-Daesh era would see new geo-political alignments taking place on a scale that would necessitate burying earlier hostilities and forging new alliances. This is perhaps the most striking and defining element of power politics that dynamics of power-tussle are never static, but change across the time and space continuum. No surprises as such happen in power-politics when old enemies sit together and decide to confront the new enemies. As such, while Daesh has almost been defeated, the cardinal reasons that had led to the germination of Daesh and other groups have still not sunk. Saudi Arabia is as hostile to Iran as it ever was, and to counter Irans increasing influence in the post-Daesh scenario, the kingdom has now started to approach, trying to recruit, Shiite elements in its bid to counter-balance Iranian influence in Iraq (and Syria). Iran, on the other hand, is also in the middle of strengthening its relations with one of its historical rivals in the region: Turkey.

The House of Saud sowing its own seeds in Iraq

This is happening almost simultaneously with Saudi Arabias crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, meeting Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of Sadr movement who was on first ever visit to Saudia in last 11 years, in Jeddah few weeks ago. Lets not forget that it was only a year ago when Al-Sadr was involved in protests against the kingdoms embassy in Baghdad for the execution of a key Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia. At the same time, when Al-Sadr was protesting the execution, he was also calling for the resignation of Syrias Assad, indicating his willingness to tap into the Saudi block. It was, therefore, no surprise to see him travelling to UAE few days ago where he met UAEs crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyansomeone who is allegedly the main architect of Gulf crisis and Qatar blockade, and is also widely regarded as Muhammad Bin Salmans mentor and chief ally.

It is quite obvious that Saudi Arabia is cultivating Al-Sadr to penetrate in the post-war Iraq through post-war reconstruction funds. Sadrs office said in the post-meeting state...

13:30

Restored Farm Ponds Allow Sahariyas to Overcome Drought The Wire

Residents of a tribal village who were denied access to water have collectively restored farm ponds to harvest rainfall to fulfil their water needs.

Pooran Adivasi near his farm pond with some water, even as the rest of the landscape wears a parched look. Credit: Nachiket Sule

Pooran Adivasi near his farm pond with some water, even as the rest of the landscape wears a parched look. Credit: Nachiket Sule

The landscape of Shivpuri district in Madhya Pradesh is a clear indicator of how arid the region is. With below-average rainfall for successive years, Shivpuri has been in the list of drought-hit districts for quite a few years. Even under such dire drought conditions, the residents of Kalothra village have managed to conserve water through community efforts.

Pooran Adivasi, a Sahariya tribal living in Kalothra village in Shivpuri district, was happy that his farm pond had some water in spite of the scorching heat of May. He is contemplating two crops this year. Growing two crops a year may be routine in other parts of the country, but is an achievement for a Sahariya tribesman in a drought-hit area where only rain-fed agriculture is practiced.

Shivpuri district in Ma...

13:00

How Nepal and India Can Keep Their Relationship Special The Wire

China will emerge as an occasional irritant in Indo-Nepalese relations, tempting Nepal to play the Beijing card against India.

Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Dueba has chosen to come to India for his first foreign visit. Credit: Reuters

Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Dueba has chosen to come to India for his first foreign visit. Credit: Reuters

As China rises formidably across the Himalayas, and is for the first time able to match its supportive statements with actual resources to reduce Nepals reliance on India, Kathmandu will naturally be tempted to play off Delhi against Beijing. This changes the fundamental nature of India-Nepal relations and requires both sides to recalibrate their special relationship.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deubas visit to India this week marks the beginning of this process. To succeed in their endeavour to chart a mutually beneficial and sustainable partnership, both countries will have to take a deep look at history to avoid past mistakes. Bottom line, Kathmandu will have to avoid the temptation of overbalancing and, conversely, Delhi will have to resist its compulsion to control and micromanage.

History homework for Kathmandu

Nepalese non-alignment is far from new. Recalling Kathmandus attempts to diversify diplomatic relations in the late 1950s, Jagat Mehta recalled that we should not have been surprised when we were flattered by imitation and Nepal got tempted to adopt a sub-continental variant of non-alignment between two powerful contending neighbours.

The...

13:00

A Look at Some of Syrias Destroyed Historical Sites The Wire

A six-year civil war that has claimed well over 400,000 lives could deprive future Syrians, and the world at large, of this long-standing heritage.

Aleppo's Citadel in 2008. Courtesy of Jean-Baptiste Rabouan/Hemis.fr

Aleppos Citadel in 2008. Courtesy of Jean-Baptiste Rabouan/Hemis.fr

Syrias story is one that has been weaved through families from one millennium to the next. Subjugated as a Roman province under the command of Pompey the Great in 64 BC, and brought under Ottoman rule by Sultan Selim I 16 centuries later in 1516, the country has experienced its share of the worlds great military conquests. The empires that vied to establish dominance over the region left behind varied architectural and cultural legacies that were subsumed into the nations heritage. For Syrians, the experience of savoring the spices at the Souqs in Aleppo, or admiring the gem that is the Roman theatre in Bosra are birthrights.

Syrias historic sites have long attested to its riveting history. But their pulverization over the course of a six-year civil war that has claimed we...

10:32

RCI: Former currency dealer claims moved up to US$800m a day Hornbill Unleashed

A former currency dealer told a royal inquiry that he traded as much as US$800 million a day in the 1990s when Bank Negara Malaysia allegedly lost billions in the foreign exchange market. Fizaman Noor Mohammad also testified at the Royal Commission of Inquiry that he did so on the orders of Tan Sri Nor Mohamed []

10:32

Sarawak business groups Socso board nominee rejected Hornbill Unleashed

The Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) and Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) are disappointed that the Human Resources Ministry has not appointed their nominee to the board of the Social Security Organisation (Socso). SBF deputy president Philip Ting said over the past two decades or so, the ministry had always consulted the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) Sarawak, who []

10:31

Sarawak BN pow-wow on London findings before meeting PM Hornbill Unleashed

Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg said today the state Barisan Nasional (BN) will need to discuss indepth the legal teams London findings on the Malaysia Agreement before any meeting with Putrajaya for future talks on Sarawak rights. The Sarawak chief minister added that other state BN leaders have yet to know the full extent of []

10:31

Women to march against toxic and sexist politics on Sept 10 Hornbill Unleashed

Several of Malaysias most prominent women personalities are planning a city march on September 10 demanding an end to what they call a rising tide of toxic, violent and sexist politics in the country. The walk is scheduled to start from Maju Junction to the Sogo shopping centre 350m away on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman []

10:31

How education worsens racial divide Hornbill Unleashed

A think tank has warned of a widening of the racial divide that may be brought about by the proliferation of private universities in the country. In an interview with FMT, Abdul Razak Baginda, who heads the Centre for Global Affairs Malaysia (Icon), noted that students in private universities were mostly non-Malays and those in []

10:31

Intolerance rising in Malaysia, says report Hornbill Unleashed

Malaysia has shifted towards a more rigid, political Islam, resulting in greater intolerance in the country, according to a report in The Diplomat. The report quoted researchers and Muslims as saying that intolerance was becoming a part of Malaysian life Dr Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College in the US, was quoted []

Sarawak BN components to discuss London papers on autonomy Hornbill Unleashed

Component parties of the Sarawak Barisan Nasional will meet soon to discuss declassified documents obtained from London regarding the formation of Malaysia. The state government will then map out the direction it wants to take before pursuing the matter with the Federal Government, Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said. We have to discuss among ourselves []

Let me attend BNM forex RCI, Anwar says after accused of hiding information Hornbill Unleashed

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today he wanted to attend the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) 1990s forex scandal to prove his innocence, after he was implicated for hiding the banks losses. The jailed PKR leader denied BNM former deputy governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalids claim that Anwar, who []

10:31

Najib: BN still shortlisting candidates, but polls any time Hornbill Unleashed

The shortlisting of Barisan Nasional candidates is ongoing as the general election may be called any time, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today. It is part of an ongoing process, Najib said when asked about Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidis confirmation that most BN components have submitted their proposed candidates. []

10:31

Education Ministry says did not publish controversial textbook Hornbill Unleashed

The Education Ministry today dismissed an allegation that it has changed the facts of Malaysian history by not stating Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the fourth prime minister in a Form 3 book on civics education. It said the book that had gone viral on social media was not a ministry publication. Expressing regret over []

05:20

Over 1,000 Israelis call to release Palestinian arrested for her poetry +972 Magazine

Dareen Tatour is currently on trial for publishing a poem on Facebook. 

By +972 Magazine Staff

Daren Tatour is seen in her home in the town of Reineh, near Nazareth, August 23, 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Daren Tatour is seen in her home in the town of Reineh, near Nazareth, August 23, 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Over 1,000 Israelis have signed a petition calling for the release of Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian poet who has been under house arrest for publishing a poem on Facebook.

[tmwinpost]

Tatour, 34, from the village of Reineh near Nazareth, was arrested by Israeli police on October 11th, 2015 for a poem she had published on Facebook, along with a number of other Facebook statuses she posted at the height of the stabbing and vehicle ramming attacks in 2015-2016. She is currently facing trial after being charged with incitement to violence and identifying with a terrorist organization.

The main clause of her indictment was based on a poem she had posted on YouTube under the title: Qawem ya shaabi, qawemhum (Resist my people, resist them). Another main clause in the indictment relates to a news item, cited in a post on Tatours Facebook pa...

04:20

After Threats of Disruption, Delhi School of Economics Scraps Event on Indias Democracy The Wire

Students at DSE. Credit: Twitter

New Delhi: A group of Delhi University students and teachers from different disciplines, departments and colleges were on Thursday (August 24) denied permission to organise a cultural programme celebrating 70 years of Indian democracy due to security reasons.

DU Conversations under whose banner the event was planned began facing roadblocks on August 3 when the Delhi School of Economics (DSE) director Pami Dua refused permission to the sociology department to host the event on its lawns.

The program was to have included songs of the freedom movement by a member of the Ambedkar Univerity, Delhi  faculty, a performance of Dastan-e Amir Hamza by DU history students and music by a workers band. In between, say the organisers, there were to have been two 15 minutes slots for open conversation about DU concerns, including discrimination.

According to a press release issued by the organisers, they were informed a day before the event that it must be postponed. The DSE director informed the sociology department head that in the absence of written communication from the SHO of Maurice Nagar Police Station, no activity can be held on the campus.

When the students tried to arrange an alternative venue in the arts faculty, they were prevented from meeting the proctor by the chief security officer (CSO) of the University.

The CSO said that since a students party was holding its shakti pradarshan in the universitys south Delhi campus, no security could be spared in case of any attack...

03:34

Privacy an Essential Aspect of Human Dignity, Says Supreme Court in Historic Ruling The Wire

The nine-judge bench has now asked the government to come up with a data protection mechanism that balances the rights of individuals and the interests of state.

SC ruled that right to privacy is part of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: In a historical ruling, the Supreme Court on Thursday (August 24) held that the right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and is a part of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the constitution.

A nine-judge bench comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, J. Chelameswar, S.A. Bobde, R.K. Agrawal, Rohinton Nariman, A.M. Sapre, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, D.Y. Chandrachud and Abdul Nazeer in a 547-page verdict overruled the decisions in the 1954 M. P. Sharma case and 1963 Kharak Singh case.

The issue of privacy arose in light of the Centre pushing its agenda of making the Aadhaar card, with biometric, iris and other information, mandatory for availing several services, including for banking transactions and for the filing of income tax returns. A five-judge constitution bench had referred to the nine judges to adjudicate on this issue. In light of todays judgment, the validity of the Aadhaar legislation will be tested by a three-judge bench in due course.

Justice D.Y Chandrachud delivered the judgment on behalf of Chief Justice Khehar, and Justi...

03:27

India, Nepal Sign Eight Pacts, Call for Closer Security and Defence Ties The Wire

Nepal PM Sher Bahadur Deuba with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: Reuters

Nepal PM Sher Bahadur Deuba with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: Nepal today assured India it would not allow any activity against its friendly neighbour, as the two sides signed eight pacts, including on cooperation in countering drug trafficking and post-earthquake reconstruction in the Himalayan nation.

After comprehensive talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid emphasis on closer cooperation between the two countries security and defence forces to prevent the misuse of the open border between India and Nepal.

Defence ties and assistance in security is an important aspect of our partnership. Our defence interests are also dependent on and connected to each other, Modi said at a joint press briefing after the talks.

Deuba assured India of every support, every help and cooperation.

As you [Modi] mentioned that Nepal has an open border I would like to assure you that Nepal will never allow any activity against friendly neighbour India and there will be every support, every help and cooperation from our side, Deuba said.

Acknowledging that there were issues in the implementation of Nepals constitution, he expressed confidence that it would encompass views of the people from all sections and ethnicities.

Modi, too, exuded confidence that Nepal would take into consideration the aspirations of all its citizens during the implementation of the constitution.

...

02:50

Mobile, Internet Services Suspended in 3 States Ahead of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Rape Case Verdict The Wire

Supporters of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh rest as they gather near a stadium in Panchkula in Haryana, August 24, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Chandigarh: Mobile Internet services have been suspended for 72 hours in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh, ahead of the court verdict in the sexual exploitation case against the Dera Sacha Sauda scheduled for tomorrow.

The decision to suspend mobile Internet services was taken in a coordination committee meeting of Haryana, Punjab and Union Territory Chandigarh held under the chairmanship of Punjab governor and UT administrator, V P Singh Badnore here.

Mobile Internet and data services have been suspended for 72 hours in Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh with immediate effect, Haryana additional chief secretary (home) said here today.

He said notification to block mobile Internet services and data services is being issued.

Niwas said it has also been decided that the railways ministry would be requested to immediately stop all passenger trains coming to Chandigarh for two days.

We have requested the Ministry of Railways to stop the train movement towards Chandigarh for two days, he said.

Similarly, buses of Haryana Roadways coming to Chandigarh and Panchkula had already been stopped for two days, Niwas added.

He said a joint control room of Haryana and Punjab would be set up at...

02:06

What Labors new leader must do to resuscitate the Left +972 Magazine

Instead of creating an lifeboat for undesired political has-beens, new Labor leader Avi Gabbay should try to unite Israels center-left behind a defiant message in the face of an emboldened right-wing coalition.

By Abe Silberstein

Incoming Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon meets with outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak's at his office in Tel Aviv, March 19 2013 after the new defence minister was sworn in last night. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry/Flash90)

Incoming Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon meets with outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Baraks at his office in Tel Aviv, March 19 2013 after the new defence minister was sworn in last night. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry/Flash90)

There are more than enough reasons for Labor Party voters to be thoroughly skeptical of their recently-elected leader, Avi Gabbay. He has little to no political experience, and the little experience he does have comes from the center-right of Israels political spectrum: he helped co-found Kulanu with finance minister Moshe Kahlon, which continues to back the Netanyahu government despite a steady increase in undemocratic legislation and mounting evidence of the prime ministers corruption.

[tmwinpost]

But if his inexperience was a source of anxiety...

02:06

Nandan Nilekani Appointed Infosys Chairman After Seshasayee Quits The Wire

Nandan Nilekani. Credit: PTI

Nandan Nilekani. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Succumbing to pressure from co-founders and a clutch of investors, Infosys today (August 24) named former CEO and Aadhaar-architect Nandan Nilekani as its new chairman, replacing R. Seshasayee.

Ravi Venkatesan also resigned as co-chairman, but will continue as an independent director.

Vishal Sikka, who quit last week as CEO but was made vice-chairman till his successor was appointed, also quit the board with immediate effect, the company said in a statement after its board meeting.

The board shake-up meets a key demand of the founder group led by N. R. Narayana Murthy, who had demanded a clean-up at the countrys second largest software services firm.

Two independent directors Jeffrey S. Lehman and John Etchemendy also resigned from the Infosys board with immediate effect.

The crisis had been brewing at Infosys since Sikka abruptly resigned, blaming founders for slander.

The post Nandan Nilekani Appointed Infosys Chairman After Seshasayee Quits appeared first on The Wire.

01:52

Modi Govt Makes U-Turn on Right to Privacy, IT Minister Calls AGs Statement Court Banter The Wire

The arguments advanced by the Modi governments attorney generals over the last three years have consistently maintained that privacy cannot be viewed as a fundamental right.

IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Credit: PTI

IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Modi governments response to the right to privacy judgment has been puzzling.

In a series of tweets and then at a quickly organised press conference, information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad defended the governments stance on privacy and claimed that it had consistently been of the view that the right to privacy should be a fundamental right.

This statement is blatantly false.

If anything, the arguments advanced by the...

01:30

Is There an End to the Afghan Conflict? New Eastern Outlook

As US mercenaries flood in to replace regular American troops, one cannot help to wonder is there an end?

As US mercenaries flood in to replace regular American troops, one cannot help to wonder is there an end?

In recent months, Trumps hesitations about Washingtons strategy for Afghanistan governed by the skeptical attitude towards the Afghan conflict that Trump has been showing since the days of his election campaign have quite frankly disappointed the Pentagon, while provoking a massive confusion in Kabul that resulted in an internal struggle within the Ghani administration.

However, the absence of any desire to carry on the 16 years long conflict that resulted in the demise of 2,400 American servicemen and drained more than 1 trillion dollars of taxpayers money suddenly gone missing after the meeting Donald Trump held in mid-July with Michael Silver, the CEO of American Elements, that is engaged in high-tech production of metals and chemicals. Silver was able to affect the position that Trump occupied on the future of US military presence in Afghanistan by proving that by mining copper, iron and rare metal reserves in Afghanistan, the total estimated value of which exceeds 1 trillion dollars, Washington can achieve an incredible economic growth.

The adoption of the new strategy on Afghanistan has also been affected by the ideas that have been lobbied by Eric Prince, the founder of the notorious private security company Blackwater that bears a new name today Academi. Its not a secret that the Afghan war took an abrupt turn the moment American troops were replaced by mercenaries, that would carry out the majority of all missions. Princes plan states that Washington must deploy another 5,500 mercenaries to work directly with Afghan forces since, he argues, this will be cheaper and way more cost-efficient than using regular forces.

On August 21, President Trump revealed a revised concept of the American war in Afghanistan, although he did not go into much details about his new policies, without specifying how many additional troops would be deployed and what goals this increase was going to pursue. However, as members of Congress would note with a special reference to the Trump administration, in addition to the 8,500 US servicemen currently deployed in the region, another four thousand men are going to b...

01:26

Jan Gan Man Ki Baat Episode 106: Right To Privacy Verdict and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Case The Wire

Vinod Dua discusses the Supreme Court verdict on the right to privacy and the rape case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of Dera Sacha Sauda.

The post Jan Gan Man Ki Baat Episode 106: Right To Privacy Verdict and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Case appeared first on The Wire.

01:22

SC Verdict Might Alter Indias Privacy Landscape, But Right to Privacy Wont Be Absolute: Experts The Wire

The judgment will, however, allow citizens to legally challenge any government action deemed as a violation of privacy.

Supreme Court is pictured through a gate in New Delhi, India May 26, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee

Supreme Court is pictured through a gate in New Delhi, India May 26, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee

New Delhi: The legal fraternity and litigants who fought for right to privacy to be declared a fundamental right are of the view that while the August 24 Supreme Court ruling would fundamentally change the privacy landscape in India, the right like all others is not absolute and may result in government enacting more laws for security reasons. Every government action could, however, now be challenged in a court if it is seen as violating privacy.

Pavan Duggal, a cyber law expert and advocate, said the judgment would also pave the way for privacy protection by the corporate sector. The judgment is topical, connected to ground reality, aptly recognises the challenges the users face with respect to internet and has open...

00:50

Its Hard to Understand Privacy in India The Wire

A few hours after todays judgment, Union minister for information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad noted, Even a fundamental right to privacy has limitations. We are yet to see what these limitations will be.

Supreme Court of India. Credit: Reuters

Supreme Court. Credit: Reuters

In a society where personal choices mean little and members of a family live together in the same room, the concept of privacy has always been hard to comprehend. This is the reason people have often confused privacy with luxuries and associated security with the rich. There is also little understanding of what is personal and what is private.

Privacy, as a fundamental right or not, has in fact always been at the crossroads of cultural practices and constitutional rights. Culturally, India has been a country where much of its knowledge has been transferred from one generation to another orally. In such a community, where everything is not documented on paper or in audio-visual formats, there is little meaning of privacy.

And so, todays unanimous decision of the Supreme Courts nine-judge bench, upholding the right to privacy as a fundamental right, must be viewed as a historic decision that will not only determine the fate of Indias digital data and footprints but the countrys social and cultural landscape as well.

Privacy is not a verb for hiding something from someone. It is a noun that is defined as a state of being alo...

00:04

FAQ: What the Right to Privacy Judgment Means for Aadhaar and Mass Surveillance The Wire

Does the right to privacy becoming a fundamental right mean the Aadhaar programme is unconstitutional or will be shut down? The Wire explains.

What does the ruling mean for the Aadhaar case?

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday (August 24) ruled that all Indians enjoy a fundamental right to privacy, a right that is protected under Article 21 of the constitution.

But what does this mean for the governments Aadhaar programme? Is it going to be shut down? How does the government view the fundamental right to privacy? What does it mean for mass surveillance? The Wire breaks it down.

Does the right to privacy becoming a fundamental right mean the Aadhaar programme is unconstitutional or will be shut down?

In one word, no. While the right to privacy case stemmed from a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the identification scheme, Aadha...

Thursday, 24 August

23:59

Interview 1294 James Corbett on Declare Your Independence The Corbett Report

[audio mp3="http://www.corbettreport.com/mp3/2017-08-23%20James%20Corbett.mp3"][/audio]James joins Ernest Hancock on "Declare Your Independence" for their bi-monthly round-up of stories from across The Corbett Report universe. This time they discuss how everything old is new again as all the things James has been documenting for years finally starts to reach the public consciousness.

23:30

How the Right to Privacy Judgement Will and Wont Impact Indias Data Protection Regime The Wire

The judgment will need to reinvigorate a conversation on how todays data protection models need to be reconsidered in light of the changing dynamics of information privacy.

Data has come to represent the single most valuable commodity. Credit: Reuters

Data has come to represent the single most valuable commodity. Credit: Reuters

As we celebrate the Supreme Courts unanimous verdict on privacy being a fundamental right, it is worth exploring the changing technological landscape within which this right will play out.

While a constitutional right to privacy will undoubtedly limit the states intrusive power over individuals, the full potential of this right will only be realised by data protection laws that will govern how private companies collect and use data.

Today, the commodification of data and new manipulative technologies used by companies will exacerbate the challenges to privacy. However, existing information privacy laws are currently unsuitable to tackle this challenge. The judgment will need to reinvigorate a conversation on how todays data protection models will need to be reconsidered in light of the changing dynamics of information privacy.

Data is a commodity

Since the widespread adoption of the internet, data has come to represent the single most valuable commodity evidenced by...

23:05

Wall Street Primitivism: Nicaragua, China, The Middle East & Charlottesville New Eastern Outlook

If you have natural resources, chances are Washington is going to try to push "democracy" down your throat.

If you have natural resources chances are Washington is going to try to push democracy down your throat.

Wall Street, London, and the Bretton Woods institutions like the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund claim to support development and the eradication of poverty around the world. They also claim to support scientific progress and raising the global standard of living. However, often they seem to make friends and allies with very different goals. As Nicaragua proceeds with a huge construction project that has dynamic global implications, one can see a certain international pattern repeating itself, with quite dangerous implications.

Native Activists Fighting To Preserve US Maritime Dominance

Control of the Panama Canal by the United States has been vital in asserting control over the world economy. The US military has intervened militarily in Panama on many occasions to secure its control of this vital global shipping and transportation hub.

While the USA currently allows vessels to pass through, this could easily change in the case of a military confrontation. With so much of the worlds industrial shipping passing through this vital point, control of the canal gives the USA a level of unchecked power in the global economy. At any point they could veto a countrys economy by stopping ships.

However, a construction project currently in the works in Nicaragua could change that. The Chinese government and corporations based in China are cooperating with the socialist government of Nicaragua to construct a new canal, parallel to the Panama Canal. This canal will not be under US dominion, but under the dominion of the Sandinista government and the Peoples Republic of China.

The announcement of the project was followed by all kinds of reports in western media claiming it would be an ecological disaster and contribute to global warming. Now, as the project proceeds, voices of the establishment are crying crocodile tears for the indigenous people who will be forced to move by the project. The Guardian has run stories bemoaning their plight. Amnesty International is warning Nicaragua not to interfere with their protests.

The USA is in the process of putting sanctions on Nicaragua, for their support of Venezuela. A bill...

23:00

In Jharkhand, BJP Makes Thinly-Veiled Attempts to Shift Spotlight From Changes in Land Laws The Wire

The changes in land laws continue to agitate the tribal community. Credit: Reuters

History of  CNT and SPT Acts

Originally authored by Catholic...

23:00

When the Bullin Shrieked: How Aboriginals Recorded Volcanic Activity The Wire

Indigenous peoples records can help us date natural events in the past and are legitimate sources of scientific information.

Mount Gambiers Blue Lake is in a volcanic crater. Credit: Pierre Roudier/flickr

Mount Gambiers Blue Lake is in a volcanic crater. Credit: Pierre Roudier/flickr

Other than it had a fearful shriek, guaranteed to put the fear of God into anyone who heard it, history appears silent about the nature of the bird that aboriginal Australians once named bullin. Yet its shriek portended danger, apparently the approach of the evil spirit Tennateona, but more plausibly an imminent eruption of one of the young volcanoes in the Newer Volcanics Province of southern Australia.

Compared to similar-sized Europe or the continuous US, Australia is remarkably benign volcanically. Volcanism has generally not occurred in Australia since it was first inhabited, perhaps 65,000 years ago, but there are two exceptions. In southern Australia and northern Queensland, volcanic activity likely happened within the past 10,000 years.

More remarkably still, the precise cause(s) of the volcanic activity in these areas remains somewhat elusive. For all that, there is no doubt that volcanic activity occurred here.

...

21:15

This Could Be the Way to Diffuse Sino-Indian Border Tensions Strategic Culture Foundation

There is but one way to diffuse the tension along the 4,056-kilometer Sino-Indian border. The neutrality of the current buffer states of Nepal and Bhutan must be recognized in full by Beijing and Delhi. 

21:12

Right to Privacy Is Inalienable: Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman The Wire

Full text of the judgment by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman declaring privacy to be a fundamental right.

Justice Nariman. Credit: Youtube

Justice Nariman. Credit: Youtube

New Delhi: A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court has ruled that Indians enjoy a fundamental right to privacy, that it is intrinsic to life and liberty and thus comes under Article 21 of the Indian constitution.

The judgment includes within it five separate judgments from different judges, though the conclusion is unanimous. The Wire is reproducing here full text of the judgment by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman.

Justice Narimans judgment by The Wire on Scribd

The post...

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