DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES THE EDITORIAL PAGE FOOD MATHS: IMBALANCESIN CEREALECONOMY BY JEAN DRÈZE PAGE 10 Bihar warns of action for online posts against govt; Opp calls it draconian SANTOSH SINGH PATNA, JANUARY 22 IN A move that has been described as “draconian and unwarranted” by the Opposition, Bihar Police have issued a circular warning that those making “objectionable and indecent” comments online against the state government, Ministers, MLAs, MPs and officials can be booked under the IT Act and the Indian Penal Code. “We have been, of late, getting information about the use of objectionable and indecent language being used against the government, Ministers, MPs, MLAs and government officials through social media/ Internet. This is against provisions of the law and comes under the domainof cybercrime...Forthisact, it is apt to take action against such offenders," states the circular issued by Bihar Police's Economic Offences Unit (EOU). The circular, which is dated January 21 and signed by Additional DGP (EOU and Cyber Crime) N H Khan, has been sent to principal secretaries and secretaries of all state government departments. It states that the EOUisthenodalagencyforcyber crime, and that all principal secretaries and secretaries should bring “such matters” to its notice so that “action can be initiated”. Reactingsharplytothecircular, RJD leader and Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadavtweetedthat“inthebirthplaceoftheRepublic”,BiharChief MinisterNitishKumar“hasbeen rippingapartdemocraticvalues”. Yadav said the Opposition will not allow the JD(U)-BJP government to “take away democratic rights of the people”. JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said the government's move is in accordance with the lawandwill“applytoeveryone”. “Thereisnothingoffensiveabout it,” he said. ADGP Khan later said police willnottakeanysuomotuaction. “We will take action only if CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NO DATE SET FOR NEXT MEETING Talksbreakdown,Centretellsfarmers wehavemadebestoffer,reconsider HARIKISHAN SHARMA & RAAKHI JAGGA HARIKISHAN SHARMA NEW DELHI, LUDHIANA, JAN 22 TALKSBETWEENtheCentreand farmer unions demanding the repeal of the new agriculture laws broke down Friday after weeks of negotiation. The government made it clear to the farmers that its proposal to suspendthelawsfor18monthswas the “best” it could offer, and farmers could return to the talks table after a rethink. Thehardeningof theCentre’s position was evident when, at the very start of the meeting, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar objected to the Samyukta Kisan Morcha’s announcement Thursday evening that the farmer unions had rejected the Centre’s offer to suspend the laws. ItislearnedthatTomartoldthe unions that since the talks were scheduledFriday,theyshouldhave communicated their decision to the government instead of announcingittothemediafirst. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 JAIPUR, JANUARY 22 FOUR YEARS after chargesheets were filed against three bureaucrats, including an IAS officer — who is now retired and is an advisor to the Rajasthan Cricket Association led by Vaibhav Gehlot, son of Chief Minister AshokGehlot—forcorruptionin an alleged land scam, the state PAGE 1 ANCHOR Faced pressure but went by scientists on vaccines: PM bid to dispel doubts MSP to APMCs: Suggests vaccination competitions by SC panel puts hospitals to move to 2nd phase quickly up questions to MAULSHREE SETH draw farmers BUSINESS AS USUAL LUCKNOW, JANUARY 22 Some forces don’t want to see this resolved: Tomar NEW DELHI, JANUARY 22 Farmers’ representatives after the meeting in New Delhi on Friday. Amit Mehra Opp parties target ‘rigid’ Govt, plan to turn up heat in Parliament MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, JANUARY 22 WITH TALKS between the Centre and farm unions breaking down, Opposition parties Friday slammed the Government for adopting a “rigid” stand and signalled that theywillraisetheissueforcefully and “vociferously” during the Budget session of Parliament starting next week. Sources told The Indian Express that Congress president SoniaGandhiislikelytoconvene a meeting of Opposition leaders ahead of the session to discuss strategy, and that they are already in touch with each other. The Opposition parties have also decided to hold street agitations over the farm laws, with NCPchief SharadPawarslatedto participate in a protest in Mumbai on January 25. “Parliament will reconvene in a week’s time. It is the Budget session, of course. But there are so many pressing issues of public concern that need to be debated and discussed fully. Whether the Government will agree however remains to be CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ■ Are you aware about the implications of legalising MSP? ■Doyouthinktheremayberisk of acquiring land by the corporate sector or the contractor? ■ There are apprehensions that theprovisionsin theActwillcollapseAPMCmarkets.Doyoufeel so? If yes, how will it be responsible for the collapse of APMC markets? These are some of the questions in a feedback form prepared by the Supreme Courtappointed committee seeking "suggestions" of farmers and other stakeholders on the three contentious farm laws and the demand for legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP). The feedback form, available on the committee’s webpage, contains 20 multiple-choice questionsdividedinto5sections. While Sections A, B, and C deal withthethreefarmlaws,Section CRITICISINGPOLITICSovercoronavirusvaccinesandtryingtoallay fears regarding the same, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday that he had been underalotof "pressure"butleftthe call on when to introduce the vaccines to scientists. Inatelevisedinteractionwith beneficiaries and vaccinators of the Covid vaccines in his constituencyVaranasi,healsourged peopletobelievehealthworkers and doctors, and suggested that hospitals initiate "competitions in vaccination" so that the countrycouldmovequicklytothesecond phase of the drive. Without referring to ques- ANOTHER MINISTER QUITS IN BENGAL, BJP INVITES HIM TO JOIN THEIR PARTY PAGE 5 Artists taking part in the Republic Day tableaux undergo Covid-19 test, in New Delhi on Friday. Praveen Khanna CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E X P L A I NE D government has moved an application at the trial stage to withdraw the case against them at a special court set up for hearing cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Twochargesheetsagainstthe three officials — GS Sandhu, IAS (nowretired),NishkamDiwakar (now retired, Rajasthan Administrative Service) and Onkar Mal Saini (serving RAS E Withdrawal ● symptom IN ITS 2016 chargesheet, the state ACB had accused the three bureaucrats of criminal conspiracy for allotting land belonging to a housing society to a private construction company. The state has now moved a special court to withdraw the case. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE BENGALURU, JANUARY 22 THE NATIONAL Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has landed in trouble in the Karnataka High Court for claiming in a submission that the Environment Protection Act, 1986 was “passed by Parliament not only for protection of environment but also at the instance of foreign powers” while refer- ring to a UN conference. Thesubmissionwasmadeby a Deputy General Manager of NHAI in objections to a writ petition filed by the NGO, United Conservation Movement, against a 2013 notification of the UnionEnvironmentMinistrydoing away with environment impact assessment reports for widening national highways of over 100 km by more than 40 metres. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 tions raised regarding emergency use clearance to the indigenously developed Covaxin despite some missing data CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with Cyrus Poonawalla and Adar Poonawalla in Pune on Friday. Ashish Kale Fire loss Rs 1,000 cr; BCG, rota vaccines capacity hit: Serum EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PUNE, JANUARY 22 THE CITY BEFORE THE PARADE BY UNNY CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NETWORK Rajasthan bats for retd IAS officer, now Green laws passed at advisor to cricket body led by CM son instance of foreign Files plea to withdraw corruption powers: NHAI in HC case against him and two others DEEP MUKHERJEE `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 NORTHEAST DELHI: BJP PLANS ‘RATH YATRA’ FOR RAM MANDIR DONATIONS PAGE 3 VACCINE-MAKER Serum Institute of India has said it suffered losses worth at least Rs 1,000 crore in Thursday’s fire, although the production or supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine remained unaffected. “The fire incident will not affect Covishield supplies, but it has damaged the rotavirus and BCG vaccine manufacturing and storage facilities. It is a big financial loss for us, more than Rs 1,000 crore,” Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla said at a press conference on Friday. “By God’s grace, and prayers by all of us, the fire incident took place in another building and Covishield production and stock was not affected at all,” he said. Fiveworkers engagedin electrical and air-conditioning jobs were killed in the fire that engulfed the three upper floors of a newly-constructed six-storey buildingontheSerumcampusin Pune'sManjhariareaonThursday. “We were hoping that there was no loss of life. When we got an initial report that there has CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CWC ASKS FOR JPC PROBE ‘All Ministers with us’: Arnab’s chats make BJP do some social distancing LIZ MATHEW & MANOJ CG NEW DELHI, JANUARY 22 THE BJP and the Centre have avoided reacting to the WhatsApp chats between Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami andformer CEOof theBroadcast Audience Research Council (BARC)ParthoDasguptasubmitted to the court by the Mumbai Police in the TRP case. But as the CongresscallsforaJPCprobeand His WhatsApp chats with ex-BARC CEO submitted to court flags Goswami’s claims of proximity with the government, that distancing will be tested once Parliament begins. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) Friday de- manded a "time-bound investigation” into “the breach of national security, violations of the Official Secrets Act and the role of the persons involved." Congress president Sonia Gandhicriticisedwhatshecalled the “deafening” silence of the Government, adding that "those who give certificates of patriotism and nationalism to others now stand totally exposed." “Why should we enter CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Mystery of the missing ‘Spark’ as Thackeray gets statue in Mumbai BENITA FERNANDO & LAXMAN SINGH MUMBAI, JANUARY 22 SOMETIME IN the early 1990s, an imposing sculpture at Haji Ali Circle was lost to a road expansionproject.Overtwo-storeytall, shapedlikeapeacock, thesculpture called Spark had been built by pioneering artist Pilloo Pochkhanawala. Years later, in 2002, a miniature version of the work was placed on a traffic islandoutsidetheNationalGallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Colaba. As a Bal Thackeray statue, the first of the late politi- cal leader in Mumbai, comes up on the island on Saturday, it has suddenly come to notice that 'Spark' has gone missingagain— and may have been missing for months now. The BMC is undertaking a makeoverof theColabatrafficisland. Asked about the missing replica, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, A ward (Colaba, Fort), Chanda Jadhav said, "We arenotawareofthewhereabouts of the sculpture. I checked with our staff whether it was shifted to some other place or removed, butnosuchthinghastakenplace from our side." HSBC, which funded the Spark replica and maintains the traffic island as per an arrangement with the BMC, did not commentonitscurrentlocation. The Spark replica had been installed through a citizen's initiative, including members such as Dr Pheroza Godrej, former director of the NGMA, and Zarir Cama, ex-CEO of HSBC India. Godrejmadethereplicabasedon Pochkhanawala’s scale model, whichsheowns.Thereplicawas one-third the height of the original sculpture at Haji Ali. Pochkhanawala, who died in 1986andwhoselegacyisnowalmost forgotten, made notable contributiontomodernIndianart, A 2013 photograph of the sculpture in Colaba, Mumbai. Photo Courtesy: Pheroza Godrej; the statue of Bal Thackeray which is to be unveiled at the site. Ganesh Shirsekar pushing sculpting beyond busts ofroyaltyanddignitaries.Shewas amongthefewwomensculptors at a time when the Indian art world was dominated by men and painters. Born in 1923 to the Adenwalla family that set up the firm Cowasjee Dinshaw & Bros, she married into the family of Sir SorabjiPochkhanawala,oneofthe founders of the Central Bank of India. While she started out working with an advertising firm, a Europe tour in 1950 introduced her to original works of Constantin Brâncusi, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and AlexanderCalder,amongothers, and convinced her to become a sculptor. But her works were as inspired by American and European modernism as Hindu temple sculptures. Spark was originally commissioned by BEST (Bombay ElectricSupply&Transport),and Pochkhanawalamadeitwelding scrap metal together — the heavy, industrial quality of the work set off by its light, bird-like features. Godrej says Pochkhanawala probably gave it thatnameduetoBEST'sconnection with electricity. Pochkhanawala chose Haji Ali Circle as the location as she CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.