Afternoon Voice

News this week

This entire week was full of happenings; it began with Bharatiya Janata Party MP Liladhar Vaghela getting admitted in the ICU with broken ribs after a stray cow attacked him. The 83-year-old Lok Sabha MP from Patan, Gujarat, was out for a walk when a stray cow attacked him outside his residence. The social media made fun of this attack stating it as the punishment by the Cow Mother (Gau Mata), while Narendra Modi is under attack from people over falling rupee and rising fuel prices.

Hardik Patel, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader has been taken to the hospital after his health worsened. Hardik was on an indefinite hunger strike since the last 14 days, demanding reservations for the Patidar community under the OBC category and loan waiver for the farmers in Gujarat. So far, no government representative visited him nor taken his fast seriously. Rather, the Modi supporters outraged him on social media by calling it a drama.

Meanwhile, a pregnant woman in Andhra Pradesh who was being carried for several kilometres by her family members and villagers after she went into labour, gave birth to her baby midway — the tribal woman in Vizianagaram district was being taken in a makeshift carriage made of bamboo poles, ropes, and a piece of cloth. A group of men and women can be seen walking precariously in a forested area on a muddy road, full of stones, carrying Muthamma. She was carried in the makeshift palanquin for about 6 to 7 km. When the woman reached a point where she could not bear the pain anymore, the villagers had to stop their journey midway and help the woman deliver the baby. The video was shot by a young man who said that they have written to several authorities about the lack of connectivity but no one has helped them so far. He made a fervent plea to the authorities to provide them road access. Under the Integrated Tribal Development Area project, about 15 hamlets in the area did not have road connectivity. Locals had been petitioning the government repeatedly. About Rs 5.5 crore was sanctioned in October 2017 for a 9.8-km stretch of road in that rocky and hilly terrain. But no contractor has come forward to issue tenders, so the work was not done. We develop big cities but villages and interior villages are still there where they were in 1947. You will not find a school, a primary hospital, road connectivity, water resources etc. — villages and interior villages do not have their basic rights. Well, this was what all about Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas!!!

A good news is here that the Congress has shown some concern for the Brahmins; if they come to the power, the community will get 10 per cent reservations. Moreover, to express the deep-rooted Hindutva and Brahminism, the 48-year-old Congress chief Rahul Gandhi left for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, in accordance with a wish he expressed in April when his plane plunged hundreds of feet during the campaign for the Karnataka polls. Gandhi is likely to cover a distance of 60 km on foot. Much expected pilgrimage has come under a sharp criticism from the BJP. The party questioned Gandhi’s choice of the route via Nepal. The BJP alleged that Gandhi is visiting China and the government needs to know whom he is meeting there.

Fighting fit, Sonali Bendre, who just a day ago came to the news wearing a wig for her “new look”, currently appear to be undergoing her chemotherapy sessions. While she posted a photo of her with the book, with her head shaven clean, the comments section is flooded with words of encouragement, hoping for her speedy recovery. “Happy to see you, bold lady having a lot of strength, will power and dare to tell the rest of the world. Get well soon,” read a comment while another added, “So beautiful… Wearing that strong smile is making you stronger every day… Wish you all the luck ma’am.” and so on. Sonali Bendre announced that she’s been diagnosed with metastatic cancer in the first week of July and that she’s flown to the Big Apple for the treatment. India accounts for the third highest number of cancer patients. Cancer cases, as well as mortality, are increasing rapidly among Indian women, primarily because of low awareness and late detection. India accounts for the third highest number of cancer cases among women after China and the US, growing annually at 4.5-5 per cent, new data shows. According to a report ‘Call for Action: Expanding cancer care for women in India, 2017’, cancer among women in India is estimated at 0.7 million. However, the real incidence is much more — between 1 and 1.4 million per year as many cases go undiagnosed or unreported. Well, those point one per cent celebrities hit the headlines each day with their posts and fancy handling of cancer. Many common people fade anonymously.

There was a joy and emotional breakdown in the LGBT community over the Section 377 verdict. Homosexuality is not unique to humans, says the Supreme Court. The judge, with this single observation, dispelled the prejudice that homosexuality is against the order of nature. Justice Chandrachud quoted from an article which said that homosexual behaviour existed in all species except those that “never have sex at all, such as sea urchins and aphis”. Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra also wrote, “What nature gives is natural. That is called nature within.” Despite challenges, there is a growing acceptance of the LGBT community in India, the decriminalisation of the Section 377 IPC being the step towards it. On the other hand, the Supreme Court extended the house arrest of five rights activists in connection with their alleged connection with the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist) till September 12. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested five persons in Chennai — three partners of the firm manufacturing the MDM brand of gutkha and two government officials — in the sensational case, in which Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar and DGP T.K. Rajendran have been arraigned as accused. Lois Sofia, arrested for calling BJP govt. ‘fascist’, gets bail.

The SC/ST community came on the road against the abolishing of the SC/ST Act but the farmers got some good news as the government has sanctioned loan waiver for about 41 lakh farmers amounting to Rs 19,537 crore. The Opposition has planned to corner the government over the glitches in the loan waiver scheme and the inordinate delay in rolling out the scheme. According to the Devendra Fadnavis-led government, it has disbursed Rs 5,580 crore to clear the loans of 16.98 lakh farmers although there is another debate nationwide. The week ended on a good note; next week Ganpati Bappa is arriving and people have geared up to receive him.

 

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