Splainer

Wednesday, October 7 2020


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They have stopped us at the Haryana border. I will stay here until they open it. If it takes two hours then two hours. If it takes six hours then six, 10 hours then 10, 24 hours then 24, 100 hours, 200 hours, 500 hours...As many hours as it takes, I will not move.

That’s Rahul Gandhi leaning into his new-found satyagrahi role at the border of Haryana—where the government initially blocked his attempt to enter the state. The reason: Gandhi planned to hold a three-day rally against the new farm laws. The outcome: The government lifted the blockade within an hour.

Big Story

UP government targets some (un)usual suspects

The TLDR: The UP police has been distributing FIRs like laddus in the Hathras case. They do not, however, target the accused—or anyone related to the actual crime. Yesterday, the UP government arrested one journalist and opened an investigation into another. It also actively sought the intervention of the Supreme Court to ensure a “free and fair” investigation. And at least some officials leaked a story that appears to point toward the victim’s family. What has become increasingly clear: an official narrative that looks very very familiar.

 

The conspiracy

The UP government now has a clear narrative about what happened in Hathras—and laid it out in plain view yesterday. 

 

The affidavit: In response to a Supreme Court petition demanding a CBI probe, the government welcomed the court’s intervention in these terms:

 

“An affidavit filed by the government said ‘false narratives gained momentum at the behest of vested interests.’ There was a ‘criminal conspiracy to spread caste conflict and instigate violence.’ ‘Vicious propaganda’ was being spread by sections of the media with ‘oblique motives’ and political interests. ‘Sections of political parties deliberately mislead the public to create communal disharmony.’”

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In today’s edition

Headlines that Matter

  • A Nobel prize for a black hole
  • CBI draws a blank in Rajput case
  • Nuclear energy is a waste of time & money
  • A happy football story

 

A list of curious facts

  • US polls: NASA made special arrangements that will allow astronauts to vote from space 
  • This India map shows the percentage of women who say men eat first in each state
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