From the caste-based labour system in an Indian jail to new alien discoveries, If you haven’t had a chance to read all the stories from the last week, here are some of the reports that you don’t want to miss.
- In Indian prisons, caste-based labour is not just common – it even finds remarks in official manuals, reports Sukanya Shantha in The Wire
In several states, prison manuals still dictate that labour within the prison should be assigned based on caste.
With Caste-based labour, sanctioned in the prison directories of many states. The colonial articles of the late 19th century have hardly seen any amendments, and caste-based labour continues to be an untouched part of these directories.
Every state has its unusual prison manual, they are largely based on The Prisons Act, 1894. These jail manuals note every activity in detail – from the distribution of food and space per prisoner to penalties for the “disorderly ones”.
The jail arrangement is clear in India – those at the bottom of the caste pyramid did the cleaning work; those high above dealt with the kitchen or the legal documentation department. And the rich and powerful did nothing; they only threw their weight around.
These agreements had nothing to do with the scandal that one was arrested for or his conduct in prison.
2. The impact that large corporations might have on small and marginal farmers, reports Parth MN, in an interview with Firstpost
Over the past two weeks, the National Capital of India has been storming with farmers’ protests against the three farm bills the Union government shoved through in September 2020.
The most contentious of those bills is the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, which strives to provide farmers with the trading areas outside of the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) that come under the legislation of the state government. It is praised as a move that will liberalize farmers.
The government and the supporters of the bill also assert that private investment will trickle in once the APMCs are out of the way.
However, Kerala never had an APMC Act as it already had a regulated market for all of these stocks, so the bill does not have an immediate impact on Kerala.
So the point is if APMCs are undermined and private markets come in, then farmers will be refuted a remunerative tax.
If APMCs are undermined and private markets don’t come in, there will be a Bihar-like circumstance with unethical and unregulated traders ruling the market.
The bill is enacted at an all India level when we need customized treatments for states. The small and marginal farmers don’t have the bandwidth and reserves to take on big corporates.
Whenever corporate existence rises in agriculture, small and marginal farmers have an impossible time coping with that onslaught. That is precisely why we need good regulation. And that is why this Act is terrible.
Why do farmers fight for APMC and MSP
3. Abid Hussain and Shruti Menon reported European non-governmental organization alleged to have exposed an Indian disinformation effort stretching 15 years
A dead professor and several defunct organizations were reanimate and used alongside at least 750 fake media openings in a vast 15-year global disinformation campaign to attend to Indian interests, a new investigation has disclosed.
The man whose identity was kidnapped was regarded as one of the founding fathers of international human rights law, who died at the age of 92 in 2006. The system was constructed primarily to “discredit Pakistan internationally” and impact decision-making at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and European Parliament, EU DisinfoLab.
EU DisinfoLab partly exposed the network last year but now says the operation is much bigger and more resilient than it first believed.
4. As families wait endlessly for their loved ones to be released, they must keep their tales alive in the public imagination, they must also be the gladiators who assure that nobody will disregard their loved ones
In the last two years, the Bharatiya Janata Party government has liberally used the severe anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, against students, academics, lawyers, writers, and activists whose only fraud seems to be that they are vocal dissidents of the ruling dispensation. This year hundreds of anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protestors have been phrased as rioters in the turmoil that broke out in northwest Delhi in February.
In expansion to tackling rejected bail applications, halted trials, enormous paperwork, and tighter prison rules in the pandemic, they must also be the gladiators who ensure that nobody will ignore their loved ones. This past year, fathers, daughters, wives have conveyed their tales and tears on Facebook, through press conferences, in open letters, and interviews to the few mainstream media outlets.
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5. Has the State of Israel made contact with aliens?
According to ex Israeli officer and current professor Haim Eshed, the explanation is yes, but this has been kept confidential because “humanity isn’t ready.”
Giving in an interview to Yediot Aharonot, Eshed – who worked as the head of Israel’s space program for almost 30 years and is a three-time recipient of the Israel Security Award – clarified that Israel and the US have both been bargaining with aliens for years.
While it is ambiguous if any proof exists that could support Eshed’s assertions, they did come just ahead of a recent statement SpaceIL, the group behind Israel’s declined attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon in 2019.
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