When Omar Abdullah fired the first shot by tweeting the image of an official letter to counter the PDP’s denial on allotting land to set up colonies for ex-servicemen, he probably didn’t know he could be inviting trouble. But the ruling PDP lost no time in giving it back to Omar, with evidence of matching quality. They zeroed in on the “point of initiation” of the Sainik Colony proposal—meeting no. 73 in 2011, where Omar was present as the CM!
How dare a modest Maruti Swift overtake his Range Rover? When Rocky Yadav, son of a JD(U) MLC and a former don, shot dead Aditya Sachdeva, 19, between Bodh Gaya and Gaya following an altercation, it looked like he would get away despite eyewitnesses. He was in Delhi and did not shoot anyone, he claimed after his arrest. All eyes now are on CM Nitish Kumar.
Eighty per cent of those on death row have never been to school. An overwhelming majority are Dalits, adivasis or from the minority religions. The Supreme Court upholds only five per cent of the sentences. From trial to mercy petition, the process takes five to 16 years, which undertrials spend in solitary confinement. Students of the National Law University, Delhi, learnt all this and more by interviewing 373 prisoners on death row.
Female genital mutilation prevalent among the Bohras was traumatic and should be done away with, declared Taher Fakhruddin, a claimant to the office of the Syedna, in a statement issued in Mumbai. Women from the community appear to have welcomed his suggestion that the minor surgery of ‘clitoral unhooding’ should be left to the discretion of the women after they become legally adult. There is no religious sanction for doing it when girls are as young as seven.
Has the Supreme Court acted in haste by insisting on a common NEET (National Eligibility & Entrance Test) for admissions to medical colleges across the country from this year itself? In 2013, the court had considered the idea unconstitutional because it infringed on the rights of states, universities and minority institutions. That verdict was criticised as pro-rich and one that encouraged coaching institutes. And though the recent one is being called student-friendly, problems remain, given the country’s vastness and diversity. One was illustrated by Gujarat’s counsel in court, who said students in his state knew the Gujarati word for spinal cord but not the English or the Hindi word.
Another bid to erase Jawaharlal Nehru out of public memory. The controversy over dropping mention of India’s first PM as a freedom fighter in a social science textbook for Class VIII has had one positive fallout, though. As the state’s education minister defended the two sentences on Nehru on two different pages in the book as adequate, that can now be a benchmark to compare the weightage given to other icons from Indian history.
Describing former CM and the current defence minister Manohar Parrikar as a “bluff master”, the RSS and the BBSM (Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch) served an ultimatum that unless the state government withdraws grants from English-medium primary schools and agrees to support Konkani as the medium of instruction by October, it will be RSS vs the BJP in the state. With Goa going to polls next year, the writing is on the wall.