NEW DELHI 29 NOVEMBER 2020 SUNDAY `9 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard https://epaper.morningstandard.in The Home Hub The Ikat Experiment PLUS: 12 PAGES Hitting a Tandoori Century The Reticent Modernist MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE VOICES Prabhu Chawla Shankkar Aiyar TJS George Ravi Shankar Pushpesh Pant Gautam Chintamani Damyanti Biswas Sheila Kumar Govt ready for talks before Dec 3 if farmers vacate roads & highways Punjab, Haryana farmers debate cutting off Delhi as hundreds close in from UP too Free Your Home and Work Place of Anger Stunning Tales of the Tash The Dark and the Delicious SADHGURU SPEAKS A Relationship is all About Offering Yourself DDC POLL IN NUMBERS 280 296 140 TOTAL VOTERS: 67 LAKH 89 Female Total seats Kashmir Valley 140 207 Male Total candidates 8-PHASE POLLS Nov 28 Dec 1 Ph I 4 7 10 13 16 43 SEATS IN PHASE-I Kashmir: 25 (Srinagar 7, Baramulla 2, Kulgam 2, Anantnag 2, Pulwama 1, Kupwara 3, Budgam 1, Bandipora 3, Shopian 2 Ganderbal 2) VOTERS IN PHASE-I 3.28 lakh Female Dec 19 Ph II Ph III Ph IV Ph V Ph VI Ph VII Ph VIII 7 Lakh I am voting to get issues of my mohalla resolved. We want development in our area —ZUBAIDA Jammu Jammu: 18 (Kishtwar 2, Doda 2, Ramban 3, Reasi 2, Udhampur 2, Kathua 2, Samba 1, Jammu 2, Poonch, 1 Rajouri 1) 3.72 lakh Male 2,146 POLLING STATIONS IN PHASE-I PARTIES & ALLIANCES: BJP, 7-party People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, Congress, Apni Party, J&K National Panthers Party Concertina wires at the Singhu border in Delhi to stop the farmers; BKU members cross a police barricade at Ghazipur on Saturday | SHEKHAR YADAV & PARVEEN NEGI ‘My son in army & we are being called terrorists’ H A R P R E E T BA J WA , GAYAT H R I M A N I & N A M I TA BA J PA I @ Chandigarh/New Delhi/Lucknow UNION home minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the government was ready to hold talks with the agitating farmers even before December 3 if they vacated the roads and national highways and moved to the Nirankari ground in Burari, north Delhi. “The government is ready to deliberate on every problem and demand of the farmers,” Shah said in a video message released in the evening. “If farmers’ unions want to hold discussions before December 3, then I want to assure you all that as soon as you shift your protest to the structured place, the government will hold talks to address your concerns the very next day he said. ,” Shah said the government had made all the arrangements for the farmers at the designated ground for their protest, including water, toilet and medical facilities. The farmers turned down Shah’s offer to go to Burari, with BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan saying the protest will continue “till our demands are met.” Earlier in the day the agitating Punjab and , Haryana farmers said they were contemplating sealing the borders of the national capital and staying put at the Singhu and Tikri borders of Delhi. “We might seal the borders of the national capital and stay put at the borders for as long as it takes but it is just a plan. The final decision will be taken by all the leaders in their meetings, which are being held on a regular basis. As of now we are at the Singhu and Tikri borders of Delhi,” a farm leader said. While there was no untoward incident on Saturday traffic movement on both the nation, al highways continued to be disrupted as the farmers refused to move to Burari. Farmers from Uttar Pradesh also closed in on Delhi, with hundreds of them reaching the Ghazipur border with their vehicles on Saturday afternoon. In the meantime, the more than 6,000 farmers gathered at the Singhu border with their tractors and trolleys said they were ready for the long haul. They said they had enough food and essentials for the next P4&7 six months. ‘We aren’t Khalistan terrorists’ The farmers dismissed allegations that Khalistanis support them, saying every family has sent one child to serve in Army If farmers want to hold talks before Dec 3, then I want to assure you all that as soon as you shift the protest, the government will hold talks the very next day AMIT SHAH, Home Minister We might seal the borders of Delhi and stay put at the borders for as long as it takes but it is just a plan. The final decision will be taken by all the leaders in their meetings FARMER LEADER G AYAT H R I M A N I @ New Delhi AMONG the hundreds of farmers at the Nirankari ground in Burari is Bhim Singh, 72. His son is in the army and deployed in the borders. So other than the new farm laws that has angered him, it is the insinuation by government circles that Khalistani elements are fanning the farmers’ agitation that has got his goat. “My son is protecting the country at the border and his father is being treated like a t e r ro r i s t a n d a criminal for raising his voice,” said Bhim Singh, who reached the national capital after negotiating through multiple police barricades, tear gas shells and water cannons. “Not only my son, my nephews are also in the army serving the nation but their family is starving and sinking in debt due to the three anti-agriculture laws imposed by the Central Government,” said Bhim Singh, a native of Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. His family farms sugar cane, wheat and barley. But, for the last 14 months he claimed they have not been able to sell any crop or sugar cane because of the “corporate farm bill.” The government has already removed many items from the es- MODI REVIEWS VACCINE PROGRESS WITH PHARMAS E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi/Hyderabad/Mumbai PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday undertook a whirlwind trip to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune for reviewing the Covid vaccine development and manufacturing process by Zydus Cadila, Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India. At each of the three facilities, Modi spent over an hour each, took a tour of the facilities, met top executives and interacted with scientists to understand the trial status, issues and challenges being faced in vaccine development. He also asked scientists for their opinion on how the country could further improve its regulatory process and sought their suggestions to improve the process of vaccine distribution. While the indigenously developed vaccine Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with ICMR, is undergoing phase 3 testing, another developed by Zydus Cadila is SII in process of getting emergency licence Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing Covishield vaccine in colloboration with Oxford-AstraZeneca, is in the process of applying for emergency use authorization now in the second stage of human trials. SII, on the other hand, has partnered with AstraZeneca-Oxford University to scale up the production of Covishield, which is also being tested on 1,600 volunteers in India. “The prime minister’s visit serves as a great inspiration to our team, and further reinforces our commitment to- wards scientific discovery, solving public health issues, and the nation’s fight against Covid-19,” Bharat Biotech said in a statement. Zydus Cadila said it is committed to the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission and to provide the nation safe and efficacious vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for fighting Covid Following the PM’s visit, SII CEO Adar Poonawala said his company will apply to the country’s drug regulator for emergency use authorization of Covishield in next two weeks. Interim analysis of the vaccine, from its late stage trial in Brazil and the UK, showed that its average efficacy in two different dosing regimens was 70.4 %. He said that the Oxford vaccine will first be used in India and African countries. “The price will be affordable and accessible to everyone. The Union health ministry wants the 300 to 400 million doses by June-July 2021. We are working on that timeline.” sential commodities, he said. Sharing his hardship, Singh said: “We are four siblings and everyone has sent one child to serve in the army for the nation. While we produce food, cereals, wheat, sugar, pulses for the country today we have been , locked here at this open ground like a criminal and are being c a l l e d t e r ro r i s t s by t h e government.” Singh said if the government “not repeal the law and fulfill our demands, our wives, children and even my grand children will come on the roads to support us.” “The government will see road blocks back at home in UP . We don't have any intention to disturb the public but it’s high time that the country and its citizen know what the government is doing to the farmers who give you food to survive,” he said. “We are not asking for your fake promises of `15 lakh in our account. The farmers have always worked hard for their family and this country We are . asking just to add an amendment or a line in the newly introduced farm laws that the MSP will continue,” Singh said. The farmer said they were so much in debt that their children were unable to get online education. People wait to cast votes at a polling booth during the first phase of the DDC elections in Ganderbal on Saturday | PTI Nearly 52% turnout in vote for peace & Article 370 F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar BRAVING cold and the Covid-19 threat, 51.7% voters in Jammu and Kashmir cast their vote in the first phase of the eight-phase District Development Council elections, the first electoral exercise in J&K after the scrapping of Article 370 and its bifurcation on August 5 last year. The turnout was an improvement from the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when 45% voters exercised their franchise. The improvement was more marked in the Kashmir Valley where the turnout was , 40.65%. In the general elections it was only 18.8%. Kupwara recorded a turnout of 50.74%, Bandipora 43.57%, Baramulla 32.51%, Ganderbal 48.62%, Srinagar 33.76%, Budgam 56.96%, Pulwama 6.70%, Shopian 42.58%, Kulgam 34.35% and Anantnag 43.32%. The overwhelming sense across the Kashmir Valley was of a vote for development, peace, employment and against the revocation of J&K’s special status. A first-time voter Zubaida, who cast her vote in Nochimalla Makhdoom Mohalla (B) polling station in the Harwan area in the outskirts of Srinagar, said the vote makes a difference. “I am voting to get issues of my mohalla resolved. We want development in our area. We want so many issues… we want healthcare centre and I hope our votes will lead to development of our area”. She said she wants her children to have all the facilities that exist in main towns and cities and “unlike other elections, in BDC polls we can hold our representatives accountable”. Mohammad Shafi said their vote was against the BJP. “We are voting against the BJP and we hope that the representatives and parties whom we vote in the DDC polls will be able to get back what was snatched from us on August 5 last year.” Abdul Samad, an elderly voter, said this election was for development of the area and not for political purposes. CONTINUED ON P8 EXPRESS READ Bansal is interim Cong treasurer BJP eyes poll win in J&K, South Uddhav’s words regretable: BJP New Delhi: Following Ahmed Patel’s demise, the Congress is looking for party treasurer. While the names of veterans like Kamal Nath, Ashok Gehlot and Digvijaya Singh are doing rounds, Pawan Bansal is in the seat for now. New Delhi: Tarun Chugh, the BJP national general secretary in charge of Telangana, J&K and Ladakh, said the party was all geared up to win people’s trust in the South and Kashmir on the pro-poor agenda | P8 Mumbai: BJP took a shot at Uddhav Thackeray, saying he is the first Maharashtra CM who threatens the Opposition when criticised. BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis said Uddhav’s language did not suit the CM office. BEYOND COURTROOM For them, Oxford not the end of the Rhode S H A N TA N U DAV I D @ New Delhi THERE’S a lot that Misbah Reshi, 24, and Anupriya Dhonchak, 22, have in common. They are both law students from Delhi, both are Oxford bound to pursue postgraduate studies on the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and both hope to be able to hone their critical thinking at Oxford University so that, upon returning to India, they can use their knowledge to make justice more accessible to people and be the drivers of social change. While Dhonchak is a final year student at National Law University, Delhi, Reshi is a final-year student of Campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, both highly respected institutes in their own right, with Oxford sure to add to their list of considerable accomplishments. “Winning the scholarship makes me feel giddy with excitement about the possibilities. But I think about it as an enabler and not an end in itself,” says Dhonchak, adding, “I can’t wait to meet people from across disciplines and discuss ideas with them.” Reshi modestly says, “This is just the start and I am very excited at all the opportunities and the experiences that this scholarship will open for me. I am looking forward to studying at Oxford and learning about law from different perspectives Anupriya Dhonchak Misbah Reshi that will help me become better academically and professionally .” Speaking on their return to India after getting their degrees, the two already have ambitious plans. “As a legal scholar, I am always curious about the different ways law can be used to effect change and I am hoping to learn about new and extraordinary legal discourses happening across the world. Most importantly, I hope to come back with the strength and confidence required to be a propeller of change for betterment of society says Reshi. ,” Dhonchak feels the education and critical thinking fostered at Oxford can be applied to various situations in India. She is looking forward to translating academic knowledge into action via honing her craft for litigation and policymaking. “I think if you feel invested in trying to demystify the law and are fascinated by the impact that it has on real people, you try to contribute in ways that the people you are writing about will identify with,” she signs off.
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