Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Message of the day

“Thank you so very much!” We greatly appreciate the support of our subscribers and Ambassadors—Prachi Gupta, Suniti Jain, Aparna Jain, Kavitha Sivakumar, Mithil Oswal—for their help in adding to our growing ranks of subscribers. Your personal recommendation is priceless to us! If you want to pitch in, please hit the ‘Refer Friends’ button above for your unique referral link. You’ll find options to share it via social or email. Broadsheet relies on your love to grow!

Share | Facebook logo WhatsApp logo Twitter logo


The biggest news story today, explained.

image orange sidebar everyone's talking about image orange sidebar

Indians rising in protest against the citizenship law

Police violence on the Jamia Millia campus sparked a day of protests across the country. The government finally responded to the outrage, as did some celebrities. We unpack an eventful day in Indian politics. (ICYMI: Read our explainer for details on what happened in Jamia. Need a refresher on the citizenship law? Read it here.)

The campus protests: As per the latest count, students at 22 colleges and universities held rallies in support of the Jamia students—ranging from Delhi University to TISS in Mumbai and IIT Madras. There were reports of police violence on the DU campus, where a number of students decided to boycott their exams. There were reports of the police entering the campus, and forcibly removing students. Some claim that members of the rightwing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) roughed up students, as well. Both have denied the charge. 

  • See: a handy infographic mapping the all-India student protests.

  • Watch: clips of the use of force here and here.

  • This is allegedly a clip of ABVP gundagardi. 

  • Quint has a report on DU, while The Telegraph has photos of protests from across the country.

  • Also going viral: This iconic photo of the Monday night protest in Delhi. 

  • And this shirtless protester displaying his ‘janeu’ thread in response to the PM’s comment: "People who are setting fire (to property) can be seen on TV... They can be identified by the clothes they are wearing." The South Mumbai wing of Congress offered its own rebuttal with this image.

  • The protest at India Gate in Delhi wasn’t limited to students—and even included a number of opposition politicians like Priyanka Gandhi. Here’s a great clip of the crowd chanting the Preamble to the Constitution. And this cheeky sign made us chuckle.

Meanwhile at Jamia: The Vice Chancellor held a press conference to express support for her students, and condemn police brutality. She plans to file an FIR (clip here). In other news:

  • The cops insist that there were no shots fired on campus despite hospital reports of two people being admitted with bullet wounds.

  • A large number of students are leaving campus—especially women who are under pressure from families worried about their safety. 

  • A silver lining: this wonderful illustration of one of them standing up to a policeman, inspired by this confrontation that went viral yesterday. 

  • On a related note: The National Commission of Women has raised concerns about the sexual harassment of Jamia students by police personnel.

The government’s response: PM Modi issued a flurry of tweets saying that the “violent protests” were “unfortunate and deeply distressing.” He insisted: “No Indian has anything to worry regarding this Act”—and pointed to “vested interests” who “divide us and create disturbance.” Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman warned of “jihadists or Maoists or separatist movements” infiltrating the student protests. And Home Minister Amit Shah urged students to “go through the CAA once and not fall in their trap." Indian Express has more details.

Celebs under pressure: Indian Twitter called out Bollywood stars and other celebs for staying silent on Jamia—especially its famous alums like Shah Rukh Khan. A number spoke up, but the biggest names stayed mum, while Akki created a giant PR mess.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court: refused to hear petitions challenging police violence in Jamia if “rioting and destruction of public property continues.” CJI Bobde said: “We will take cognisance of the matter but not like this. We are not going to be bullied like this.” OTOH, the Times of India claims that the court may hear the petitions today.

Learn more: Quartz and News Laundry carried disturbing eyewitness accounts of police action in Jamia and the Aligarh Muslim University. The Print reports on the Assamese RTI activist to be tried under a new law that allows the government to designate individuals as terrorists. Also in The Print: Why the amended law is unconstitutional. Interested in the government’s take on the citizenship law: Mint has its list of ‘mythbusters’. Quint has a great collection of protest artwork by Indian artists on Insta.


In very much related news: A group of Class 11 and 12 students in Karnataka re-enacted the demolition of the Babri Masjid in a stage performance. The school is owned by RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat. The chief guests at the event included Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda and Puducherry Governor Kiran Bedi. Watch it here. (News18)

Share | Facebook logo WhatsApp logo Twitter logo


wondering what to wear to that office party

Unnao rape accused is convicted: It has been a long road to justice for the survivor, who once set herself on fire to outside Yogi Adityanath’s residence in desperation. And whose father died in custody, and who teetered on the edge of death when a truck just happened to run her car over. More than two years after she filed an FIR, a court finally convicted former BJP leader Kuldeep Singh Sengar of raping a minor (She was a teenager at the time). The judge declared that her testimony was “unblemished, truthful and… of sterling quality.” He also indicted the CBI investigation: “In my considered opinion, this investigation has suffered from patriarchal approach or inherent outlook to brush the issues of sexual violence against children under the carpet, apart from exhibiting lack of sensitivity and humane approach.” Indian Express has details on the judgement. Huffington Post explains why Sengar epitomises UP’s toxic politics. And if you need a refresher on the case, here’s our explainer

In very much related news: The conviction rate in rape cases in the country is 32.2%. According to the most recent crime data, the total number of rape cases that went to trial in 2017: 1,46,201. The number of convictions: 5,822. But here’s the really dismaying stat: Formal charges were filed in only 86.6% of the cases in 2017—and that’s down from 95.4% in 2013. What this means: many of the cases don’t even end up in court. (Economic Times)

A lawsuit that shames Apple, Google: A landmark legal case filed by families in Congo accuses the world’s largest tech companies of aiding and abetting in the death of their children. The reason: the kids were used as forced labour to mine for cobalt—which is used to power smartphones, laptops and electric cars. Why this matters: “The insatiable demand for cobalt, driven by desire for cheap handheld technology, has tripled in the past five years and is expected to double again by the end of 2020. More than 60% of cobalt originates in DRC, one of the poorest and most unstable countries in the world.The extraction of cobalt from DRC has been linked to human rights abuses, corruption, environmental destruction and child labour." (The Guardian)

Uber is getting ready to sell: its food delivery biz to rival Zomato, and seal the deal before the end of this year. The expected valuation of UberEats India:  $400 million. Also in the works: a plan for Uber to take a $150-200 million stake in Zomato. (Hindustan Times)

Indian airlines are always running late: All domestic airlines are late at least a third of the time. An analysis of data across Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad shows that most of the delays were “reactionary”—caused by a delay in the arrival of the aircraft. Who’s the worst of the lot? Air India, of course, followed by SpiceJet and IndiGo. The most punctual: GoAir, and for the 15th month in a row! (Quartz)

Payal Rohtagi sent to jail: In a video, the actor claimed that Motilal Nehru (Pandit-ji’s father) had five wives. She has now been arrested, and thrown in jail for eight days. Her unexpected supporter: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor who tweeted, “There’s little doubt that the comments of Payal Rohatgi were tasteless & false, typical Sanghi drivel circulated on WhatsApp. But to arrest her is unwise: upholding freedom of expression means allowing her to say stupid things without police getting involved. She should be released.” (Quint)

Supreme Court makes alarming noises over RTI: The country’s highest court is worried about potential misuse of the law: "People who are in no way connected to an issue file RTI. It sometimes amounts to criminal intimidation, which is a nice word for blackmail. We are not against the right to information. But there is a need for guidelines. It cannot be an unrivalled right." Point to note: a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the Chief Justice of India is also subject to the RTI law. (Indian Express)

Arsenal star criticises China: and earns a world for grief for it. In an Instagram post, Turkish mid fielder Mesut Ozil described China’s Muslim minority, Uighurs, as “warriors who resist persecution.” His team’s management promptly distanced itself, saying Arsenal is "always apolitical as an organisation." His once adoring Chinese fans were furious—and one editor even accused him of stoking a “global jihad.” The Chinese government did what it does best: censorship. It pulled the live broadcast of the Arsenal vs Man City match over the weekend. (BBC Sport)

India’s snacking culture: is alive and thriving. We now have more snack times per day (2.7) than we have meals (2.4). More interestingly: 75% say that “food is a major part of my identity.” Our favourite snack time: 12:03 pm. This and other odd bits of data in ‘The State of Snacking’ report.

Meet the world’s oldest couple: She is 105, he is 106—and they will soon be celebrating their 80th wedding anniversary. And the Guinness World Records has recognised them as “the oldest living married couple." Washington Post has all the details of a love story that all started in a zoology class back in 1934. 

Why the UN Climate Summit failed: BBC News outlines the five key reasons.

Uncomfortable potties are coming! The latest frontier in the war between employers and employees is the toilet. In the UK, companies are eyeing the StandardToilet, a seat that forces you to sit at a downward angle of 13 degrees: “After around five minutes of sitting, this will cause strain on the legs, similar to a low level squat thrust.” Why thirteen degrees? The company’s founder says: “Anything higher than that would cause wider problems. Thirteen degrees is not too inconvenient, but you’d soon want to get off the seat quite quickly.” Of course, given the state of our public toilets, just the smell will drive us drones out. (Wired)


Bad news on the boozing front: Just in time for the holidays, medical experts have declared that even the standard two drinks a day is unsafe for our health. The new guidelines: Adults should have “no more than 10 standard drinks per week.” The maximum daily intake: four standard drinks. Ah, just about a bottle of wine then. (The Guardian)


Take this Women on Work survey: Recent data points to a precipitous 10.7% drop in women in the workforce since 2011. Broadsheet Ambassador Ameya Natarajan points out, “We need to understand why despite so many developments women are not stepping out to work or are quitting work.” One step towards that: Taking this survey which is an attempt to understand what women feel and think about their work and career. Natarajan notes: "It is completely anonymous and doesn’t capture names of persons or organisations." Also, she wants you to share it with women in your networks.


Your daily quota of sunshine items: includes the following:


  • This amazing (and endearing) video of a farmer in Karnataka singing Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’.

  • This excellent chart of Madonna’s many lovers—the latest of whom is 36 years younger than her.

  • For Star Wars nerds readying for the big release: this list of the weirdest foods ever served on the series.

  • This ‘naughty’ British kid who is furious at Santa.

  • This 141-year-old Christmas cake.

  • This Christmas tree made entirely out of items confiscated at airport security.

  • This truly stunning horse-headed 17th century dagger

Share | Facebook logo WhatsApp logo Twitter logo


Unexpected, thought-provoking and always worth your time

image teal sidebar The pop up image teal sidebar

The ‘Instagram Decade’ Edition

The second decade of the new millennium belonged to Instagram, which bred a whole new breed of people—influencers. And with their rise, it spawned a whole new ideal of beauty. And we don’t seem to be any better off for it.

A single, cyborgian face

The look is insta-recognisable: “It’s Instagram Face, duh. It’s like an unrealistic sculpture. Volume on volume. A face that looks like it’s made out of clay.” A millennial woman takes a tour of LA’s top plastic surgeons to discover what it takes to achieve that face—and makes an unexpected discovery about herself.

Read: The Age of Instagram Face | New Yorker

Sex, Love etc 2

Influencer with a capital I

The Instagram influencer is now a cliche. What was once heralded as the triumph of outsiders in the realm of fashion and beauty is now viewed as suspect or—god forbid!—tacky. Have we hit the peak of this version of social media marketing? Or will the next decade bring an even closer melding of self and sales?

Read: Goodbye to the Influencer Decade, and Thanks for Nothing | VICE

Share | Facebook logo WhatsApp logo Twitter logo

Or just select, copy and send this link to your friends and you score some cool swag in the process:
Follow us on
Facebook logo Instagram logo Twitter logo

Be an Ambassador

To connect with one another, get unique access, invites to private events,
exclusive content and much more.
Not a subscriber? Sign up here.
Unsubscribe Unsubscribe from this list.
Our mailing address is:
Copyright (C) *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|* All rights reserved.