In the months leading up to the assembly elections in West Bengal, I began to realise that there was every chance that the state where I live, once a left stronghold, would soon be under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). The realisation came from talking to ordinary, working-class Bengalis. K, a man in his late 30s who had come to work for us, said tersely but firmly that he’d be voting BJP. The reason? “You need to throw out parties in power from time to time. It’s good for them.” He was invoking the Kerala model – in Kerala, voters periodically alternate between putting one of the two main parties in power. Electorates in all states – in fact, the whole country – would probably go Kerala’s way if they had a viable opposition to turn to.
Source: A surprise defeat in one of India’s biggest states shows that Modi is not invincible | Amit Chaudhuri | The Guardian
When the Federal Government, brandishing its latest dog whistle, announced on Friday (30 April) that any Australian citizens attempting to flee India’s raging pandemic outbreak would face $66,000 fines and five-year gaol terms, both Australians and the international community reacted with disbelief.
Source: India latest front in Morrison Government’s war on Australians
Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, an infectious diseases expert at the University of New South Wales and member of the WHO’s COVID-19 team, said a Guardian analysis of data showed India had fewer cases per capita than either the United States or the United Kingdom during their COVID-19 peaks. She said the data suggested the ban for India was likely an “act out of fear” and said it should be reversed “to ensure there is no misconception the ban is in any way racist”. While other countries have suffered horrific virus surges, Australia’s response hasn’t been to put up an impenetrable wall. Here’s a quick look at what we’ve done instead.
Source: India travel ban: Australia hasn’t banned flights from any other country
The horrific COVID crisis in India isn’t just the result of rich countries’ criminal hoarding of vaccines and intellectual property — it’s the fault of Narendra Modi’s far-right government, which has prioritized private profits over public health.
Source: India Is In a Horrendous COVID Crisis. It’s Modi’s Fault.
Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised India’s handling of the second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. These tweets, which are now inaccessible to Indian users of the social media website, include posts by Revanth Reddy, a sitting Member of Parliament; Moloy Ghatak, a West Bengal state minister; actor Vineet Kumar Singh; and two filmmakers, Vinod Kapri and Avinash Das.
Source: ‘Not a Surprise, But Terrifying’: At India’s Request, Twitter Blocks Posts Critical of Modi Covid Response | Common Dreams News
Overwhelmed hospitals in India are begging for oxygen supplies as the country’s coronavirus infections soars again in a “tsunami” of disease, setting a world record for cases for the third consecutive day.
Source: In Delhi alone, COVID kills another Indian every 4 minutes
Other comparisons relate to the World Bank’s definition of poverty as the pronounced deprivation of well-being:
- Homicides: Numerous sources report a higher homicide rate in the U.S. than in India.
- Suicides: Numerous sources report a higher suicide rate in India than in the U.S. (although WHO shows a higher male suicide rate in the U.S. than in India).
- Alcohol Abuse: All sources report a higher alcohol-related death rate in the U.S. than in India.
- Homelessness: Based on the best available data, the U.S. has a slightly higher rate of homelessness than India. The numbers may be understated for both countries.
via Comparing Poverty in India and America May Surprise You | The Smirking Chimp
The Corona virus certainly doesn’t understand discrimination, but oppressive social and political structures governed by caste biases certainly add on to the multiple vulnerabilities of the marginalized communities in India. Caste is allotted at birth, it defines the role of a Hindu at birth, defining their social position irrespective of their acquired economic status. Caste is rigid to the extent that it can never be changed, even if a Hindu choses to convert to Islam or Christianity or any other religion, the Caste identity remains. Be it in choosing life partners, jobs or now in dealing with a global ‘pandemic’, where we cannot even spare the First Citizen of our country, Caste discrimination and atrocities seem like they are here to stay, irrespective of Corona.
via The Curse of Casteism in a Plague Year: Rightwing Indian Gov’t AWOL as Lockdown devastates Poor, Dalits
Sky New’s Peta Credlin was paid by Adani to do an advertorial on coal entrely ignoring the real facts of what is occurring in India and why Adani is divesting away from coal and to Solar energy. The total avoidance of mentioning the reality of what is occurring renders that Sky News as Fake (ODT)
India is now for the first time in history investing more in solar energy than in coal.
There is a simple reason for this. Coal costs roughly 5 cents a kilowatt hour to generate electricity. India just let a bid for 1.2 gigawatts of solar energy and four companies scooped it up at 3.6 cents a kilowatt hour. The only advantage coal and gas had is that the sunk costs of plant construction have already been written off. But in India today, it is actually cheaper to build a new solar park than to go on operating a coal plant.
Over-all, India is now the lowest-cost producer of solar electricity, at about 8.5 cents a kilowatt hour. Solar photovoltaic has been declining annually by about 23% year on year since 2010.
Asia hosts over 3 million photovoltaic power jobs, nearly 90% of the global total.
India has grown from 3 gigawatts of installed capacity in 2014 to over 30 GW in 2019!
India might not be able to triple that amount but it will at least double it to 60 gigawatts. From the beginning of time till now, the US has only put in 63 gigawatts of solar, total, and Japan has done 60. For India to catch up to those two countries (#2 and #3 for solar panels) in only two years will be almost a miracle.
via Solar Growing by leaps and Bounds in India, fueling Irrigation and Jobs
Nirav Modi’s rise from a $70-a-month trainee to the biggest player in India’s multibillion-dollar diamond industry was swift. But now he’s in prison, accused of fraud on a truly massive scale.
Adani rose out of the same Industry with the same dark background.
via From India’s ‘Diamond King’ to jail: Nirav Modi’s fall from grace
India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, on Monday did not mince words in delivering a sharp rebuke to US plans for sanctions on trade with Iran, including National Security Adviser John Bolton’s threats against third parties like India. She said, according to The Hindu,
“Our foreign policy is not made under pressure from other countries . . . We recognise UN sanctions and not country-specific sanctions. We didn’t follow U.S. sanctions on previous occasions either.”
via India stands with Iran against Trump Sanctions
NEW DELHI — “Tear off her clothes!” the policewoman shouted as several pairs of hands ripped at Sheena Thakur’s blue-and-white cotton shirt. Another officer yanked her bra, and Thakur went into shock as she tried to shield her body from being grabbed, punched, and groped.
Around her, students, professors, and journalists were drenched with dirty water from a police water cannon, before a group of male and female officers rained down blows with fists and truncheons.
via A Woman Who Went Viral For Being Assaulted During A Protest Is Now Facing Arrest
In her suicide note she wrote: “Wherever I go, there are men everywhere. I am tired. They won’t let me live.”
By removing herself, she wrote, her parents would no longer have to face eviction.
via India’s #MeToo moment is still about the struggle to survive
Professor Hamilton’s book has been flippantly dismissed as nonsense by those he named as agents of influence for China, but none of them have produced any proof that what he has said is untrue. The proof that Professor Hamilton has provided, however, is quite overwhelming, and other western countries have now begun to follow Australia’s lead in resisting Chinese subversion of our political and social systems.
What a load of alarmist rubbish. Demographically China has an aging problem where some 25% of it’s youth and energy will be devoted to the singular purpose of supporting a non-productive population. Australia in fact most of the world is faced with this problem other than India which is not only moving towards a productive youth-age but is being brain drained by the global corporate world to run the world’s biggest corporations. India is positioned to be the productive power house and management on the planet via simple demographics and a necessary revolution in it’s Education systems. It’s easier today for Indians to get fully paid scholarships to Harvard than to get into its own ITTs Indian Technical Teaching Services . 50% of India’s population was under 25 five years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcW4ABcY3zI
Is China really out to rule the world? The Greentown ‘Ruling Class’
What makes her so special?
Hailing from Ernakulam district of Kerala, P.G Sudha is a potential beat forest officer by trait. She deserves a certificate of excellence for coming up with an initiative of building as many as 497 toilets in the tribal colonies of the Kuttampuzha forest in a bid to get rid of defecation. She chose this activity as her personal interest because she always wanted to make the environment neat and clean.
via Salute this Forest Officer who built 497 Toilets in Kerala’s Tribal Colonies- let’s appreciate her – The Youth
It’s about propping up “besieged majorities” in multiethnic countries.
Washington and New Delhi are having a mutual lovefest these days.
Donald Trump is popular in India — where only 17 percent of the population considers the president “intolerant,” compared to a global average of 65 percent — and he has warmly welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House. Both leaders are eager to bump up bilateral security cooperation to the next level.
Even Donald Trump, Jr. is getting in on the act. He’s visiting India this week as part of the Trump organization’s myriad economic connections to the subcontinent. Indians, treating the president’s son as a representative of the White House, are paying a lot of rupees to gain access to his ear.
Who can blame them? It’s virtually impossible to disaggregate the different components of the Trump megaplex.
via Grievance Politics for Insecure Majorities: Trumpism Worldwide | Informed Comment
World Bank. | (Video Report) | – – “With a sweeping commitment to solar power, innovative solutions and energy efficiency …
Source: India: With 370% increase in Solar, aims at Electricity for all by 2030 | Informed Comment
An Indian politician has called for Britain to pay reparations to India and other former colonies for its decades of imperial rule, in a speech at the Oxford Union.
Source: Dr Shashi Tharoor tells the Oxford Union why Britain owes reparations for colonising India in viral speech | The Independent
Millions in the Indian subcontinent celebrate the Hindu festival with fervour.
Source: A feast of spectacular colour as Hindus celebrate Holi | | Al Jazeera
Poor air quality causes nearly 1.1 million people to die prematurely in India each year, the study says.
Source: India’s Air Pollution Is Out Of Control, Report Finds | The Huffington Post
Withdrawal from ATM will be restricted to Rs 2,000 per day per card in the first few days, which will later be raised to Rs 4,000.
Source: Demonetisation: Long queues at banks to exchange old notes | The Indian Express
I almost bought The Australian today, but I stopped myself and figured that I could either look it up on-line and if that failed, simply go back to the supermarket where I saw the headline about anti-coal activists driving India away and take a photo of the article with my phone. I mean, it was…
Source: Old King Coal And Adani! – » The Australian Independent Media Network
India’s on-going heat wave, which set a new record for the country’s highest-ever recorded temperature last week, is melting tarmac on the roads of some of India’s busiest cities. Residents in the city of Valsad, Gujarat, had to fight melting tar while crossing the road as temperatures rose to 36C. Video footage from NDTV shows people becoming trapped on a melting road surface as their shoes stick in the softening tarmac.
Source: India’s roads melt as record-breaking heat wave continues | Asia | News | The Independent
India has set a new record for its highest-ever recorded temperature – a searing 51 degrees Celsius or 123.8F – amid a devastating heatwave that has ravaged much of the country for weeks. Hundreds of people have died as crops have withered in the fields in more than 13 states, forcing tens of thousands of small farmers to abandon their land and move into the cities.Others have killed themselves rather than go to live in urban shanty towns. Rivers, lakes and dams have dried up in many parts of the western states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Source: Farmer suicides soar in India as deadly heatwave hits 51 degrees Celsius | Asia | News | The Independent
Hiring private detectives to investigate lovers is big business in India as modern technology challenges tradition.
Source: India’s Love Detectives – Al Jazeera English
Across the globe at spring time, people splash each other with colours for a Hindu Holi festival.
Source: Holi festival celebrates colourful Australian community – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)