Monday, March 20, 2023
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A break-up that has the nation hooked, and India really needs more doctors

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BJP quits J&K alliance, Mehbooba resigns: J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti resigned Tuesday after the BJP announced it was pulling out of the alliance with her party, reports The Hindu.The PDP president said J&K could not be run with a “muscular policy”, even as governor N.N. Vohra forwarded his report to the President recommending the imposition of governor’s rule in the state. The BJP’s withdrawal is been seen as a strategic, pre-emptive strike by senior leaders.

Under governor’s rule, Centre plans return to a hardline security policy in J&K: New Delhi plans to embark on a hardline security-centric policy with the scaling-up of counter-insurgency operations, reports Hindustan Times. A union minister said the government will adopt a more aggressive approach not only inside Kashmir but also along the Line of Control and the International Border.

The Delhi strike saga officially ends: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has finally ended his nine-day sit-in at Raj Niwas. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said the sit-in was called off after bureaucrats started attending meetings at the secretariat, reports The Indian Express.

Patanjali gets ‘special exemption’: The UP government Tuesday permitted Patanjali to transfer its land to a subsidiary in Greater Noida for setting up a Rs 6,000 crore mega food park, reports PTI.

Baba Ramdev
A file image of Baba Ramdev showcasing his brand’s products | Facebook

Govt may allow victims to report child sexual abuse till they are 25: The ministry of women and child development (WCD) has sent a proposal to the home and law ministries, seeking amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), reports The Indian Express. Currently, the POCSO Act has strong provisions against child sexual abuse, but the reporting of offences by survivors later in life is a legal grey area.

Police, CRPF get clean chit in Mandsaur firing: The report, delayed by nine months, stated that police firing had become necessary for the purposes of self-preservation and mob dispersal during the “violent farmer agitation”, and that that personnel resorted to firing only after exhausting all other options, reports Hindustan Times.

One doctor serves 11,082 people in India: According to data released by union health minister J.P. Nadda Tuesday, an allopathic government doctor in India, on average, serves a population of 11,082, which is more than 10 times the recommended number, reports The Indian Express.

Business Class

Air India privatisation plan shelved: After failing to get any buyers for the debt-ridden flag carrier and exactly a year after the union Cabinet gave its nod for the disinvestment process, the government has shelved its plan to privatise Air India, reports The Economic Times.

File image of Air India Boeing 747-437 | Wikimedia Commons
File image of Air India Boeing 747-437 | Wikimedia Commons

RBI may get more powers to regulate state-run banks? The Centre is open to considering the RBI’s demand for more regulatory powers over state-run lenders, but believes the central bank has enough powers to perform its functions, finance minister Piyush Goyal said Monday, reports Livemint.

News it’s just kinda cool to know

Robots can argue now: It was man 1, machine 1 in the first public debate between an artificial intelligence system developed by IBM and two human debaters, reports The Guardian.

It may soon be illegal for Russians to criticise their football team: A controversial politician who sponsored Russia’s much-maligned “gay propaganda” law has now launched a bill that would make it a criminal offence to criticise the country’s national soccer team, reports USA Today.

Point of View

After the split in J&K coalition Tuesday, the BJP and the PDP can finally go back to being polar opposites, writes The Hindu in an editorial. “Neither party’s campaign rhetoric would have appealed to the other’s support base. The divorce was thus foretold from the beginning: What was left to be decided was the most opportune moment for separation,” it adds.

In light of the debate on Muslim personal law reform, AMU assistant professor Huma Hassan, in her column for The Indian Express, discusses how those “rescuing” Muslim women are also the ones undermining their agency. “Do Muslim women need saving? Through behen beti bacho and anti-Romeo squads, do Hindu women need protection from Muslim men?” she questions.

Representational image of a Muslim family | Wikimedia Commons
Representational image of a Muslim family | Wikimedia Commons

In his column for The TelegraphPrabhat Patnaik, a professor emeritus at JNU, talks about the dynamics of farmer agitations and their relationships with elections. “The BJP’s electoral losses are attributed by ‘experts’ to all sorts of factors, from ‘anti-incumbency’ to the mere pooling of opposition votes; the dynamics of peasant assertion scarcely gets mentioned. But it is this which really threatens the BJP in 2019,” he writes.

Media Watch

In protest against the killing of journalist and Rising Kashmir editor-in-chief Shujaat Bukhari, several leading newspapers of the Valley ran their editorial spaces blank Tuesday. A spokesman for the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) said the decision was taken at a meeting Monday afternoon “to lodge a strong protest against the killing of the scribe”, reports The Hindu.

Prime Time

Break-up in ‘national interest’

NDTV’s Ravish Kumar, while explaining the break-up of the BJP-PDP coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, noted that an alliance that was formed in “national interest” had now collapsed in “national interest”. Stressing the Centre’s role in administering J&K, Kumar said, “The state government is run from both Kashmir and Delhi.” Senior journalist Rahul Jalali said the government had been unable to do any worthwhile work in the state. “Even the coordination committee that was promised by the BJP was never formed,” Jalali added. Another senior journalist, Neerja Chowdhury, remarked that the BJP’s move to pull out of the coalition was aimed at the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Kashmir as a ‘laboratory’

On CNN News 18’s Epicentre, anchor Marya Shakil discussed the reasons behind the sudden termination of the BJP-PDP alliance. Saha Mohammad Tantre of the PDP claimed that the BJP had “backstabbed” its coalition partner, while Syed Zafar Islam of the BJP defended the decision. “It’s Congress party which is the architect of Kashmir problem,” he said. While asserting that the BJP-PDP alliance had polarised the entire region, political analyst Gowhar Geelani said, “BJP has always treated Kashmir as a laboratory for expanding Hindutva.”

‘Unnatural government’

India Today TV ran its prime-time show with the hashtag #BJPDumpsPDP, with the debate first moderated by Rajdeep Sardesai and then Rahul Kanwal moderated. Talking about the road ahead for J&K, the BJP’s Sambit Patra said he had full faith in the election process in the Valley and the people of the state, adding that “it is only a handful that threaten the democratic process”. Congress’ Manish Tewari mocked the ruling party by calling the BJP-PDP government “unnatural”.

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