Daily Briefing: India-US ties; Afghan embassy shutdown; a dispatch from Hangzhou Asian Games; and more

In today’s edition: The India-US ties; Afghan embassy shutdown; a dispatch from Hangzhou Asian Games; Idea Exchange with G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant; protests in Manipur; and more

🚨 Big Story

🇺🇸 Dispelling apprehension that the India-Canada diplomatic crisis may cast a shadow on India-US ties, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasised that Delhi’s relationship with Washington is at an “all-time high” on Sunday.

Addressing Indian-Americans in Washington DC, the former diplomat said that like the Chandrayaan mission, India-US ties “will go to the Moon, maybe even beyond”. 

🇦🇫 Meanwhile, back in Delhi, the Afghanistan Embassy said that it is ceasing its operations from October 1, citing “lack of support from the host government”, failure to “meet expectations… to serve the best interests of Afghanistan”, and paucity of resources and personnel.

This development comes more than two years after the Taliban captured Afghanistan and the Ashraf Ghani government collapsed. 

⚡Only in Express

🥇 “I knew I was faster than all my competitors, and I wanted to run a fast race,” says Avinash Sable, India’s steeplechaser who set a new record at the Hangzhou Asian Games and won us our first athletics gold medal there. Read Mihir Vasavda’s dispatch from China for more on India’s medal haul at the Asiad!

In the latest edition of Idea Exchange, India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant talks about drafting the joint communique which got 100 per cent consensus, delivering a win-win on the Ukraine question, and the green development pact. 

Over two years since the Union Cabinet approved the Model Tenancy Act for circulation to States and UTs, only four states have adopted the law, despite reminders from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), The Indian Express has learnt. The law aims to balance the interests of tenants and landlords. Find out more in our report.

📰 From the Front Page

Announcing the arrest of four persons by the CBI for their alleged involvement in the killing of two Imphal residents, Manipur CM N Biren Singh said on Sunday that the accused had been taken to Guwahati by a special flight. This triggered protests by Kuki-Zomi organisations, with the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum declaring an indefinite shutdown starting from 10 am today. 

As countries step up renewable energy capacity addition, there is growing urgency to develop long-duration energy storage systems that could be installed alongside green power generation, given that it is not always in sync with the electricity demand cycle. How can gravity help solve this issue? We explain

In June 1992, a large contingent of police, forest and revenue officials swooped on Vachathi, a tribal village located around 300 km from Chennai, and unleashed terror — raping the women and destroying homes. On Friday, the High Court upheld a sessions court order finding 215 people guilty of the atrocities. Villagers recall the fateful night, and their life after.

👩‍💻 Must Read

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, K P Shankaran and Vinay Lal, in their respective columns, discuss the Mahatma’s religious beliefs. Shankaran writes, “It is my contention that by no stretch of imagination can one consider him a traditional “Hindu”. He was a nastika like the Buddha…  He used the Sanatan Dharma/Brahminical/Hindu vocabulary largely because he believed he had a mission to ground the Sanatan Dharma/Brahminical religion and its affiliates in an ethical foundation… Alas, he, like the Buddha, failed miserably.”

Expanding on Gandhi’s secularism, Lal writes: “It is Gandhi’s profound religious belief and sensibility that made him resolutely secular; his secularism, and his worldly obligations, each of which was but an attempt to strive for self-realisation, deepened his religious belief. His veneration for other faiths made him more, not less, of a Hindu.”

A parliamentary committee has recommended that the list of centrally protected monuments (CPM) should be “rationalised and categorised” on the basis of their national significance, and unique architectural and heritage value. We explain what this entails and the issues that plague the ASI. 

Most Read

Bigg Boss Tamil 7: Here’s the list of contestant set to enter Kamal Haasan show
Priyamani says ‘half the scenes in The Family Man were improvised’ by Manoj Bajpayee, but Shah Rukh Khan sticks to the script

⌛ And Finally…

Why do Parsis in India live longer than other communities? Why do they have relatively fewer cases of lung, head or neck cancer, but present an increased prevalence of Parkinson, Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative diseases? A project aims to find out.

Delhi Confidential: As TMC plans to protest against the Centre over the ‘pending’ NREGS and PMAY-G grants, Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh, under whose ministry these two schemes come, will remain absent. Meanwhile, here’s how the BJP is singing paeans to the Prime Minister at rallies in poll-bound states.

In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, deviating from our usual programming, we revisit a conversation on what Mahatma Gandhi’s insistence on ahimsa actually meant for him.

Until next time,

Arushi Bhaskar and Sonal Gupta

Business as Usual october 2