Afternoon Voice

News junket

Through this entire week, news was more of a propaganda and less of truth. As usual, the government has its agenda to divert people’s attention from the core issues. Let it be the disaster of demonetisation, falling rupee to the arrest of rationalists, nothing was much on a positive note. Social media is divided, as usual, these days the fight is between the #UrbanNaxals, the intellectuals and the #SaffronNaxals, the ignorant attackers. One big raging of the then BJP in opposition has shown a mirror to them when they are in power now, all hiding face after Rupee has gone at 71 and  Article 35A is another flop. Meanwhile, Asian Games gave some good glimpses and proud moments for the country. Bollywood was average, no big films were released but some small-time films did well. Priyanka Chopra was in the news for her engagement, Ranveer and Deepika were stalked over their marriage shopping. Media was busy guessing why Taimur looked happy, meanwhile, his cousin Inaaya Khemu shared the limelight. Twitter posts made headlines and news got faded with time. There was nothing much from senior Bachchan on social media. As usual, Jhanvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan shared an equal amount of photo gallery space. Well, that was all about entertainment.

Kashmir is at unrest, no one knows what the state has become! The Modi government has completely failed the governance. Last few years, the valley has gone to pieces. Terrorists were able to make their way into Cop’s homes and kidnap their family members, this proves how slack the security arrangements that were made at these homes and how easily terrorists entered these areas.

A hearing for a clutch of closely-watched cases challenging Article 35A of the Constitution has been deferred by the Supreme Court after the state and the central governments requested it to be pushed back, saying it could trigger unrest and affect efforts to organise a long-delayed local body election by the end of this year. The law empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to determine who are permanent residents of the state and give them various special rights and privileges while imposing restrictions on others in the respect of jobs, acquiring land, settling in the state, right to scholarships and other forms of aid. Eleven family members of six policemen have been kidnapped by the terrorists, who raided the homes of several police officers across four districts in south Kashmir. The kidnappings, which police sources say that is a pressure tactic by the terrorists, come after security forces conducted multiple raids and arrested the equal number of relatives of some terrorists in the area in the last few days. The terrorists barged into the homes of the policemen in Pulwama, Anantnag, and Kulgam districts and kidnapped the family members. Among the kidnapped are the brother of a policeman posted in Srinagar and the son of another policeman who works as a cook at police training centre. Former chief minister Omar Abdullah has termed the development “worrisome”. Well, it’s time for one last assault against the terrorist behind the border and as well as inside our country. Punish those culprits who think of throwing stones as well as obstruct Armed Forces’ path. Time for the central government to take decisive actions; either you take control of Kashmir fully by any means or throw that cancer away. We don’t want innocent army personnel to die.

Two militants and four policemen were killed in two separate incidents in south Kashmir’s Anantnag and Shopian districts. The duo was trapped during a search operation and, in a bid to escape, they opened fire on the search party, triggering an encounter for a couple of hours. Over 40 protesters, according to local medical facilities, were injured in the widespread clashes in the hometown of Kachroo. The security forces used pellet shotguns and tear smoke shells to contain the situation. A large group of armed militants also joined the funeral of Kachroo.

The Article 35A sees wide support among the residents of the state but is opposed by others who believe that it violates the rights of the rest of the citizens of India. On Friday, the court deferred the hearing of the case to the second week of January after the Jammu and Kashmir government said that it plans to hold Panchayat elections in the state between September and December and a debate on the Article 35A could trigger law and order problems. Already, there have been several protests in the state against the Supreme Court’s move to hear the challenges to the law. Article 35A may have to be revisited, but not with BJP at the centre, as the changes to the article will certainly go against the people of J&K. It should be reviewed by a joint committee consisting of equal representation from all parties; it should include members of the judiciary who will take a non-political view.

Meanwhile, there was some relief to Lalu Yadav’s son Tejashwi Yadav and wife Rabri Devi, they were granted bail in a corruption case by a court in Delhi. A day after Lalu Yadav had to surrender following the end of his parole; the court’s decision comes as a huge reprieve for his family as well as the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). A judge took just a few minutes to announce bail for Tejashwi Yadav, 28, who was present in court with his mother Rabri Devi. Lalu Yadav’s younger son, widely seen as his political heir, has been accused by the CBI in a corruption case that triggered his party’s split with Nitish Kumar last year and left the RJD out of power.

Well! The dollar strength against its rival currencies overseas too put pressure on the rupee. The rupee’s fall against the dollar continued with the currency hitting fresh lows against the dollar for the second straight day. After Friday’s trade, it slumped to close at 71, showing a loss of 26 paise over the previous close. The currency opened 70.57 a dollar on Thursday as compared to the previous close of 70.59. The fall in the currency is attributed to the month-end dollar demand by oil importers. On Wednesday, the rupee touched a low of 70.65 a dollar. The rupee, the worst Asian currency this year, has depreciated over 9 per cent.

In the meanwhile, Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao, who was arrested by the Pune police two days ago from his house in Hyderabad, was flown back by them. A Pune police team drove back Rao to his flat in Ashoknagar. Rao was among the five human rights activists detained by the Pune police from different parts of the country for their alleged links with the Bhima-Koregaon violence this January. Following a petition challenging their arrests, the Supreme Court directed the police to keep them under arrest in their respective homes. This is the beginning of the new saga, the 2019 elections will be answered by many of these harassed intellectuals.

News that India is heading towards the fifth largest economy was heart-warming, we have to stress the need to delete anomalies too. The Indian economy expanded 5.7 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017, below 6.1 per cent in the previous period and market expectations of 6.6 per cent. It remains the weakest growth rate since the first quarter of 2014 due to a slowdown in the consumer spending and exports. These are the real figures coming in for 2017. The question is that, how can we grow when the unemployment rate is increasing or exports are falling? Even the rupee is losing value against the dollar.

Of course, now common people across the Nation are fooled by the Politicians of this Country. Not only a waste of time but now we are left with the CHEAP looking notes which anyone can print in a photocopy machine, like the kind of paper money you find in Monopoly games. Well, that was all for this week. Keep reading Afternoon Voice for the latest updates!

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