The Latest: Top stories of the day
1. A rescue team recovered the body of Vijay Kumar, the soldier who had gone missing on March 17 after an avalanche in Kargil.
2. Fire has once again broken out at a dumping ground in Mumbai, with smoke enveloping the area around it.
3. The Uttarakhand Assembly speaker has issued notices to the nine rebel Congress Members of Legislative Assembly who supported the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Big Story: Bharat Mata ki Vikas
The Bharatiya Janata Party, and those of its members in the government, have been performing a dance ever since Narendra Modi's pathway to the prime ministership became a little clear. All the official comments connected to Modi himself focus on development, while the rest of the BJP and its larger parivar carry on with their task of reimagining the nation.
Then, when asked why everyone happens to be talking about, say, beef or Bharat Mata ki jai, instead of jobs, they simply cry media conspiracy and insist that the press has been ignoring Modi's focus on development.
At the BJP political executive meet this weekend, the party attempted to follow the same script, but it has become evidently harder to stick to the line. Prime Minister Modi reportedly asked party workers not to be distracted by irrelevant issues and to focus instead of development. Then the rest of the party spoke. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu called Modi a "gift from god" and a "messiah" while Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tried to insist that nobody should question the need for "Bharat Mata ki jai".
If anyone is doing the distracting, it is coming from Modi's own party and its broader parivar. Taken at face value, this only suggests that the prime minister has not been able to control the BJP-Sangh apparatus the way he would like to. The other conclusion, considering all the talk of how powerful he is within the system, is that Modi simply sees this as the ideal way for India to move forward: he speaks of development, while the rest chant Bharat Mata ki jai.
There's only one problem: As acche din become harder and harder to spot, with the economy still looking troubled, Modi's comments on vikas will quickly be drowned out by the angry mob.
The Big Scroll
This is why Muslims have no problem chanting "Bharat Mata ki jai" at Kejriwal's rallies. And here's how "Bharat Mata" became the code word for a theocratic Hindu state.
Politicking & Policying
1. A student in Madhya Pradesh was arrested under section 66A of the IT act, which was struck down by the Supreme Court, after he shared a caricature caricature of the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
2. Jewellers have ended their 18-day strike against provisions in the Budget, after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley promised they will not be harassed.
3. Rajasthan authorities have busted an atomic material smuggling racket and arrested six people in the case.
4. The National Investigation Agency will again send the charred remains of the Pathankot terrorists to a forensic lab to conclude whether there were four terrorists or six.
5. A week after the Narada News revelations, the Trinamool Congress government is yet to answer any questions.
1. Without clear rules on privacy, the digitisation of identity could portend tyranny, write Eben Moglen and Mishi Choudhary in the Economic Times.
2. Makarand Paranjape in the Indian Express explains why he signed the petition against Sheldon Pollock running the Murty Classical Library.
3. It is time for the old Narendra Modi, the chief minister who was proactive on immediate issues, to return, writes Debashis Basu in the Business Standard.
Dhvani Mehta explains the real problem with the recent ban of 344 drugs in India.
Although there might be enough technical material and legal precedent to support CDSCO’s orders, it is very worrying that a situation such as this was allowed to arise, that is 344 drugs without any therapeutic justification were allowed to enter the market. Apart from concerns about safety and efficacy, many FDCs were also allowed to enter the market illegally. State Drug Authorities issued manufacturing licences for such FDCs without obtaining Central approval from CDSCO. This contravenes Rules 122B (3) and 122D, read with Rule 122E of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.