Researched by: Rachel John & Aarthi Ramnath
ICYMI: The latest Advisory edition has Samarth Bansal’s deeply personal essay on the perils of being vulnerable as a millennial man in India’s dating zeitgeist is a must-read. For your next rainy day at home: the splainer team’s excellent list of jigsaw puzzles—ranging from natural wonders to Potterhead decor, queer gender-bending and traditional tribal art. In our Listen section: the splainer fam’s recommendations for the ultimate monsoon playlist. As always, the splainer team curates the best new shows and movies to watch over the weekend.
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Researched by: Rachel John & Aarthi Ramnath
Three people—including two home guards—were killed during a yatra taken out by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The trigger appears to have been reports of the presence of Monu Manesar. He is the prime suspect in the horrific killings of two Muslim men—who were kidnapped on suspicion of cow smuggling in February. The Bajrang Dal activist had posted a video on social media boasting of his plans to participate in the yatra.
This report in The Hindu appears to be the clearest account of how the violence began:
According to an eye-witness, the violence broke out around noon today when around half-a-dozen vehicles, including a black Sports Utility Vehicle, carrying devotees reached Nuh Chowk leading to rumours that Monu Manesar was inside one of the vehicles. “The vehicles had ‘Gorakshak’ written on them fuelling rumours that Monu Manesar was inside them. As soon as the vehicles reached Nuh Chowk, a handful of teenagers pelted stones on the vehicles. Soon, the mob from the neighbouring villages descended on the road and went on the rampage,” said Gurugram’s Pintu Singh, 36, who sustained a shrapnel injury in the attack.
As news of the violence spread to neighbouring districts, there were reports of retaliatory violence. According to the state home minister, “3,000-4,000 people were being held hostage in a temple”—and had to be rescued. The union government has sent in 20 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to maintain law and order. The Indian Express report of the violence is based entirely on official sources—and makes no mention of Manesar. The Hindu has a more balanced take.
A Railway Protection Force constable killed three Muslim passengers and his superior officer on a train travelling from Mumbai to Jaipur. Chetan Singh appears to have travelled from one coach to another in search of Muslims:
Mr. Singh allegedly fired 12 rounds from his automatic weapon and the GRP recovered eight bullets from the weapon after the incident. He killed the senior policeman and a passenger in coach B5, another passenger in B6, and one in the pantry car between the B5 and B6 coaches.
Also this from Hindustan Times:
All three passengers were bearded. As Asghar Ali’s body toppled onto the narrow corridor, Singh rested the hilt of his assault weapon on the side seat and began a short hate-filled rant against Muslims that he asked the bystanders to record for the media’s consumption.
Here’s what he said—if you don’t want to watch the clip:
… Pakistan se operate hue ye, aur media yehi coverage dikha rahi hai, unko sab pata chal raha hai ye kya kar rahe hain… Agar vote dena hai, agar Hindustan mein rehna hai to mai kehta hoon Modi aur Yogi, ye do hain.
Content warning: The clip of the incident is below—it clearly shows the body of one of the victims. We would have linked to it except this is the kind of thing that disappears overnight these days:
Railway officials and relatives claim Singh may have been depressed—or suffering some kind of mental health issue. They also say the video may have been faked. The Indian Express has the official account of the killings. The Hindu has a straight-forward report. Hindustan Times has the most details.
Flipkart: Walmart has bought out Tiger Global’s remaining stake of 4% in the company—and mopped up the shares of founder Binny Bansal and another investor Accel Partners. The sale price for the Tiger Global deal: $1.4 billion—which brings Flipkart’s valuation down to $35 billion from $38 billion. Walmart now owns around 80% of the company, according to Economic Times. Why this is notable:
Walmart earns the majority of its revenue and profit from its US business and has pared down other international operations in recent years, selling off much of its stake in U.K. retailer Asda and its operations in Brazil, Japan and Argentina.
Foxconn: After breaking the deal with Vedanta to make semiconductor chips, the company announced plans to invest $500 million to build two factories to manufacture Apple components. At least one of them will be in Karnataka—but other details are still unclear. The company inked a separate deal with Tamil Nadu to set up a component plant with an investment of Rs 16 billion ($195 million). (Bloomberg News)
A London company has developed a drink called Alcarelle that offers all the joys of drinking—without the downside. This means no slurring or hangover. What you get: “It feels like what a glass of wine feels like. It feels relaxing. It makes you a bit more chatty, a bit more socially engaged with people.”
How it works: Neurotransmitters in our brain—called Gamma-aminobutyric acid aka GABA—slow the brain down and make us calm:
When alcohol reaches the brain, it binds to GABA receptors and mimics its effect, relaxing people and giving them a warm feeling. But it also results in other neurotransmitters producing undesirable side effects, like difficulty thinking and moving.
This drink only targets GABA receptors—releasing dopamine and serotonin—and not the other unwelcome neurotransmitters. So theoretically, you can have an excellent evening with zero regrets the next day. Of course, this does nothing to prevent all the diseases caused by booze. (Wall Street Journal)
Pehle Ambani-ji made plans to construct the world’s largest zoo in Gujarat. Now, Delhi will be home to Yuge Yugeen Bharat National Museum. The present North and South Blocks—which house government offices—will be converted as part of the Central Vista project. It will have 950 rooms spread across 117,000 sq metres. For perspective, the Louvre and the British Museum—the largest museums in the world—cover 70,000 square metres. Also this:
Divided into eight thematic zones, the museum will showcase historical events, personalities, ideas and achievements related to India’s past that have contributed to the making of India’s present. It will tell the story of 5,000 years of Indian civilisation, said officials, adding that the name signifies the civilisation’s “perennial” nature.
Ten days ago, the world was agog at the sight of a giant gold-coloured cylinder that washed up on an Australian beach. Investigators quickly concluded that the unidentified floating object was safe. Now they’ve figured out that it’s part of an ISRO rocket—the third stage of a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, to be specific. Ah, well. As a reminder, here’s what the cylinder looked like—back when it was still an object of great mystery. (The Hindu)
Major League Cricket: The MI New York have won the first edition of the Amreeki version of IPL—beating the Seattle Orcas by seven wickets. The star of the match: West Indies batter Nicholas Pooran who remained unbeaten at 137 off 55 deliveries. BBC News has lots more on the game—and our Big Story has everything you want to know about the US league. Watch the celebratory final moment—with Nita-behen, no less.
Super Katie Ledecky: The US swimmer has won her 16th world swimming title—beating the record set by her countryman Michael Phelps. The 26-year-old won the women's 800-metre freestyle at the 2023 world championships in Fukuoka, Japan. USA Today has lots more on Ledecky’s stellar record.
An Air Asia manager has been suspended for a month because he allows a flight to take off on time. The problem, however, was that the Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot was late. He arrived at the airport at 2:07 pm—when the flight was scheduled for 2:05 pm. His staff insisted that the governor was right on time—but delayed due to the ground staff. Two other employees are expected to be suspended to satisfy the governor’s wrath. (Times of India)
One: Niger president Mohamed Bazoum was taken into custody by the military—which declared a coup. Many were worried about his whereabouts and safety. Happily, Chad’s president Mahamat Idriss Déby has now posted a photo of himself in the company of Bazoum (right)—whom he met on a diplomatic mission to resolve the faceoff with coup leader, Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani. Our Big Story puts the coup in the context of the superpower rivalry between Western allies and Russia. (The Guardian)
Two: SRK’s upcoming ‘Jawan’ just dropped its first song. We feel it’s a bit meh—but you should definitely check it out. Mint has more on the stellar talent that went into making the song. The Tamil version is here.
Three: McD’s is feeling kinda nostalgic these days. First, it introduced a purple milkshake in tribute to its 1970s mascot Grimace—an impish monster-like creature. Now it plans to test out a totally new restaurant chain, called ‘CosMc’s’—in honour of an alien mascot of the same name from the 1980s. We don’t know much other than it will be a “small format concept with all the DNA of McDonald’s, but with its own unique personality.” (CNN)
A Trinamool Congress strongman is accused of sexually exploiting an entire village in Bengal.Read More