Fears grow that corona may gatecrash wedding parties: A very large number of weddings, or at least wedding parties for ceremonies that took place privately, have been planned till after June 21, the due date for a complete lifting of lockdown in Britain. But in place of wedding bells, many are beginning to hear alarm bells. The number of new daily cases recorded Wednesday is now above 7,500, up from 4,330 a week ago. The number of hospitalisations has now crossed a thousand. Some of this was expected after the easing of the lockdown earlier. This is the time now to test the effectiveness of the vaccines against the Delta variant particularly. They are known to be less effective against this variant. How much less will decide the future of Britain for the foreseeable future. It will also decide just how accusingly fingers are pointed at India and Indians.
Lockdown may have prompted more divorces: More than weddings, there may be reason to think divorces. Britain’s Office for National Statistics has been reporting an about 19 per cent rise in divorces year on year, and there are signs that this could have accelerated through the lockdown. The Independent newspaper quoted a manager from one law firm reporting a 95 per cent increase in divorce inquiries last month, more from women than from men. Other firm managers have been reporting a significant rise in divorce inquiries and divorces within the Indian community. The assumption that Indian families find ways of somehow holding together has long been a myth. The lockdown appears to have hastened splits within Indian marriages too.
Covid spirals in UK’s Indian neighbourhoods: It’s too soon to say whether a third wave of the virus is upon England. But without a doubt, an old pattern is re-emerging – a faster growth of the virus in many Indian-strong areas. Brent borough, home to Wembley, is seeing twice as many cases as the national average, and rising. Ealing borough that includes Southall is seeing an even greater rise. Slough is seeing three times the national average, Leicester almost four times the national average, Bedford closer to five times. The trend will hardly help alter perceptions that the Delta variant is in fact an Indian variant.
MPs prod Boris to raise ‘uncomfortable issues’ with India: Ahead of the G7 summit this weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure from several MPs from his party to push India over human rights and protection of investor rights. There is immediate concern among several MPs over the Cairn issue. The British company is seeking to secure 1.7 billion dollars from the Indian government following an arbitration ruling in its favour. Boris Johnson is being asked to take this up with Prime Minister Modi who will attend by video link. Tory MP David Davis has also alleged that India is becoming now a “halfway house between democracy and despotism.”
In-form Emily may ask Indian batters some tough questions: The Indian women’s cricket team will face a formidable new opponent by way of Emily Arlott in the Test match starting Wednesday next week in Bristol. Over the weekend, she took five for 29 in an important league match, including a hat-trick. She now has eight wickets in three matches for the Central Sparks team. England will be led by Heather Knight with Nat Sciver as vice-captain.