1. What’s the story?
The Modi Government (that came into power with a sweeping mandate in May) recently completed one hundred days in office, with mixed reviews. On Thursday, however, Prime Minister Modi claimed that “picture abhi baaki hai”, indicating that the full film is yet to come.
2. Where else should I be looking at?
West Bengal and Assam, that’s where. Low wages, illiteracy, and useless labour unions have systematically destroyed the social and economic lives of the tribal tea garden workers in these states. Tea garden workers in West Bengal are paid less than the MGNREGA wages — and things are only getting worse. (Quick recap: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, or MGNREGA is an Indian labour law. According to its mission statement, it aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.)
3. What more?
Back in June, Tabrez Ansari from Jharkhand was tied to a pole, accused of theft, forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”, and assaulted by a violent mob. The 22-year-old later succumbed to his injuries. This week, Jharkhand Police decided to drop the murder charges against the multiple people accused. And Ansari’s wife, Shaista Parveen, is not having it.
4. Anything else?
The Indian Council of Medical Research, in a controversial step, has funded a project to chant ancient Vedic mantras to help patients with brain injuries. Not everyone is happy.
5. Is that all?
A new, alarming report has found that the world is losing forest cover the size of the UK each year. And things aren’t looking up anytime soon.
6. Before you leave…
Make sure that you read about the “shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farms in the US.”