Splainer

Wednesday, June 17 2020


Dive In

He quietly came to Dimapur, the commercial capital of Nagaland, and handed over a cheque of 1.25 crores to the CM Neiphiu Rio. There was no fanfare. There was no major publicity. (He had made a similar quiet donation of 1.25 crores to the Kerala CM’s Fund too)... Later, he called my father in Kohima and spoke quite warmly.

That’s Charudutt Acharya—former Nagaland Governor PB Acharya—describing Sushant Singh Rajput’s quiet and unstinting generosity in a Facebook post. In 2018, Nagaland had been hit by severe floods. Rajput—who was shooting in Delhi—flew in just to hand over the check. Illustration: Parth Savla

the big story

A shocking confrontation with China

The TLDR: Since April, Indian and Chinese troops have clashed repeatedly at the borders. Yesterday—in the midst of talk of an ‘accord’—the situation swiftly escalated into an all-out confrontation. 20 Indian soldiers have died, and there are unconfirmed reports of 43 Chinese deaths. The historic reason for this ugly situation: Beijing’s refusal to define the border between the two nations. The immediate reason: China’s need to assert its dominance in the wake of the pandemic—right when its rivals are weak.

 

First, tell me what happened

The confrontation occurred in Galwan Valley in Ladakh. The two sides were holding “disengagement” talks—to figure out how to step back—and agreed on a buffer zone. Then this happened:

  • Chinese soldiers started to build a new post—but on the Indian side of the buffer zone. 
  • The Commanding Officer—Colonel Santosh Babu—insisted they remove the post, which soon resulted in a physical confrontation.
  • There were no guns involved. But Indian officers claim that the Chinese used used “sticks, clubs, bats, bamboos with nails.”
  • Three Indians were killed on the spot—the CO and two soldiers—who were reportedly attacked with iron rods. Another 17 who were critically wounded or suffered from hypothermia later succumbed to their injuries.
  • There are unconfirmed news reports that anywhere between 13-34 Indian soldiers are still missing. 
  • China’s state-run Global Times claimed five People’s Liberation Army soldiers were killed and 11 injured in the clash. ANI puts the number of Chinese casualties at 43, including the dead and seriously injured.

 

So they’re trying to take our territory?

 

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In today’s edition

  • Climate forecast: A hotter, wetter India
  • Siri can save you from the police
  • Steroids can save you
  • Fake plane rides, anyone?
  • Reimagine Disney princesses as black urban princesses
  • Literature and mental health
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