The selected cartoons appeared first in other publications, either in print or online, or on social media, and are credited appropriately.
In today’s featured cartoon, Satish Acharya takes a swipe at the Narendra Modi government’s reaction to mass protests over the Agnipath scheme for armed forces recruitment. The government has responded with some modifications to the scheme — including a relaxation of the upper age limit from 21 to 23 for this year — but has maintained that Agnipath is here to stay. Acharya alludes to earlier policies that came in for criticism, including the three controversial farm laws, on which the government offered several concessions to protesting farmers before withdrawing them altogether.
Sandeep Adhwaryu also refers to the protests across the country against the Agnipath scheme, many of which have turned violent. With military aspirants anxious about the future job prospects of ‘Agniveers’ recruited under the scheme — 75 per cent of whom will be discharged after four years of service — the government has announced measures including reservations for ex-Agniveers in the Coast Guard and defence public sector undertakings (PSUs). Public sector banks and other institutions are also to explore opportunities for ex-Agniveers.
E.P. Unny also draws on the violent protests against the Agnipath scheme driven by worries over career prospects. Governments have responded by arresting more than 1,000 people, while the top military officer in charge of the scheme has said that applicants must pledge that they didn’t take part in the protests,
Manjul comments on the role of Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi — the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) lone Muslim face in cabinet, who is set to retire from the Rajya Sabha. The name “Abbas” trended on social media this week after the prime minister shared a blog post talking about a childhood friend of that name.
Taking a jibe at Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s comment that there’s no “large-scale terrorism” now in Kashmir, R. Prasad refers to the targeted killings of individuals in the Valley.