In the time of Covid, the Prime Minister’s address to the nation from Red Fort on Independence Day will have a low turnout, thanks to social distancing norms. However, not taking any chances with the expected turnout, the government has sent feelers to all ministries that officers who are invited must attend. Due to distancing norms, those only up to the level of joint secretary have been invited. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has written to various secretaries, saying a “serious view would be taken” if invited officers decide to give the event a miss.
The Congress chose to remain silent on the conviction of Advocate Prashant Bhushan by the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case. The reasons are many. Some leaders felt the party should not officially comment on individual contempt cases. Some felt the party should react only after his sentencing. But a majority of the leaders, most of them young, felt the Congress should not come out in support of Bhushan as, they argued, he had been critical of the UPA II government over the 2G spectrum matter and coal block allocations. Many seniors, however, felt the party should speak against attempts to stifle criticism, arguing that right to dissent is at the heart of a democracy.
On Independence Day, the National Commission for Women in collaboration with National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) will launch a ‘Legal Awareness Programme’ to equip women with knowledge of their legal rights and remedial judicial measures when faced with gender-based violence. The pilot will be launched in districts of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Assam and is targeted at women of economically weaker sections.
Days after former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad spoke out against the Indian government on Kashmir, which was lauded by Pakistan PM Imran Khan, New Delhi hit back. “You are known by the company you keep,” an MEA spokesperson said on Friday. Pakistan had raised the issue of Art 370 revocation on its anniversary on August 5.