August 15, 2021 8:08:35 am
India at 75
August 14 would now be observed as “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day” to commemorate the “struggles and sacrifices” of millions who were displaced and who lost their lives during Partition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared on Saturday. The decision drew sharp criticism from the Congress and other Opposition parties, who accused PM Modi of playing “divisive politics”.
Highlighting India’s highest ever medal tally at the Olympics, President Ram Nath Kovind said that in the success of the women, “I see a glimpse of a developed India of the future.” Addressing the nation on the eve of the 75th Independence Day, Kovind said: “…From higher educational institutions to armed forces, from laboratories to playgrounds, our daughters are making their mark.”
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On Saturday, President Ashraf Ghani briefly came on TV. Speculation has been rife in Afghanistan that Ghani would resign. But in Karte Seh, home to the middle class in West Kabul, no one is waiting to find out. Clutching identity papers, residence documents, people lined up outside the passport office hoping to exit the country before the Taliban seizes control.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram writes that as we enter the 75th year of Independence, economic conditions in some parts of the country give the feeling that one is still in the 20th century. The immediate goal to make India a modern nation, he says, is to achieve the pre-pandemic GDP level of Rs 145.69 lakh crore.
From the Front Page
Two clauses of Rule 9 of the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, have been stayed by the Bombay High Court. Passing the interim order, a high court bench said, “People would be starved of the liberty of thought and feel suffocated to exercise their right of freedom of speech and expression, if they are made to live in present times of content regulation on the Internet with the Code of Ethics hanging over their head as the Sword of Damocles…”
Shafiq Ahmad and his family have the rare distinction of being the only Muslims residing in the predominantly Jat Sikh village of Jhabal Pukhta, located just 15 km from the India-Pakistan border at Wagah. During the Partition wave of 1947, among those who crossed over to Pakistan were families from Jhabal Pukhta, including several relatives of Ahmad. Among the tales of Partition horrors and divided families, his is a happy story: over the years, the border has not hindered him from shuttling between the two countries for special occasions like marriages and festivals.
Six police officers who quelled tensions during the Northeast Delhi riots in February 2020 will be receiving the Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG) on Independence Day, this year. Two of the officers, Superintendent of Daman Police Amit Sharma and Superintendent of Diu Anuj Kumar, recall how they faced the violent mob, and the wounds — both physical and emotional — they were left with after the riots.
As the Taliban continues to tear through Afghanistan, young Afghan students studying in India are grappling with a near-constant fear and anxiety over the bleak fate that awaits them when they return to their home country. “The future seems to be our past. Hopes of millions now seem to be dwindling. So many of us left our countries in hopes to return back and have a better future,” Journalism student Farhad Haqyar said.
With India turning 75 next year, we ask teenagers who will soon be eligible to vote some very pointed questions about their expectations from the country and the fundamental rights they value most. From women’s rights, technology and the economy, to better healthcare infrastructure and security — these 17-year-olds share their hopes for the country, as well as their desire to seize their Constitutional rights.
Long jumper Shaili Singh was glued to the screen as Neeraj Chopra ended India’s athletic medals drought at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this month, securing a gold medal for javelin throw. Now the 17-year-old hopes to follow in his footsteps by capturing a medal at the championships in Nairobi. “This time I watched with full josh. When Neeraj won the gold, I was dancing with the other athletes I share a place with. Seeing an Indian athlete win such a big medal was inspirational,” she said.
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose
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