OPINION

Monthly Archives: DECEMBER 2018


When watchdogs of democracy prefer to be lapdogs of the government
MEDIA & MODI GOVERNMENT
28.12.18 - VIPIN PUBBY

TWO RECENT MOVES by the central government have put the focus back on its attempt to extend surveillance on the general public and media. This is in addition to a series of steps aimed at controlling and keeping media on the leash.

It is common knowledge by now that the government or the ruling party has been able to extend control over large sections of media. This has been achieved through either issuing threats and using its agencies to browbeat some media houses or by encouraging filing of defamation cases, including criminal defamation cases, to silence the media.

Many media houses have taken the cue by volunteering to abstain from their role as watchdogs of democracy to prefer to be lapdogs of the government. The worst affected is the television media. The focus of  debates, with the anchors themselves becoming a party to one sided debates, leaves no room to doubt the ...
  


It is for the rest of India to seek justice. The Sikhs are done with it.
GHOSTS OF 1984
20.12.18 - SP SINGH

UNSPEAKABLE ACTS OF cruelty occurred on the streets of India's national capital 34 years ago. Nearly 3,000 died. A frustrating pursuit of justice fell way short of the objective. The complicity of powers within the regime was the country’s worst-kept secret, and closure eluded the victims. It's a story lived by every Sikh, a story most Indians know and much of the world is aware of.

The recent sentencing of a senior Congress leader by a fairly superior court seems to have triggered a slew of predictable commentary: a recall of events, creatively drawn timelines, talk about need for institutional reforms, new legal definitions for a certain variety of crimes, the need to peruse other pending cases and, finally, to see the wider menace that underpins 1984, 1993, 2002, and 2013 Muzaffarpur.
 

The judgement of the Delhi High Court has convicted ...
  


Now, Punjab Govt Challenges Bargari Directly. Will the sangat stand up now?
THE BRAND NEW BARGARI CHALLENGE
14.12.18 - S Pal

For months, Bargari in Kotkapura block of Punjab's Faridkot district had come to symbolise the power of the resistance struggle when a people chose to collectively speak truth to the establishment. Just 179 kilometres from the Punjab Civil Secretariat and the state Assembly, there sat a motley bunch of people at latitude 30.5216222 and longitude 74.9487197, challenging the rulers, both erstwhile and incumbent, that they shall not be trifled with.

Gathered in the name of the Guru, and inspired by a long tradition of pursuit of justice and truth, these were the people of the book, ehle-e-qitab, who were deeply pained at the sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. 

At Point Zero in Bargari, thousands spent days and nights under the guiding light of gurbani, of the Living Guru. These were sons and daughters of Guru Nanak who could not be cowed down by the likes of Babur. These were a people ...
  


Congress 3, BJP 0 — What should be Amarinder Singh’s gameplan?
WINDS OF CHANGE
12.12.18 - kanwar manjit singh

IT IS BJP 0. Opposition 5. Congress 3.

In a clutch of state elections, Narendra Modi’s party could not win any, and Congress walked away with all the big ones. All of a sudden, Amarinder Singh has become the chief minister of one of the least important states for his party president Rahul Gandhi. Till yesterday, he was the only worthwhile chief minister of a Congress ruled state, the other being an apology that goes by the name of Puducherry. (No offence there, my beloved people of that beautiful hamlet. You can keep calling it a state.)

This is the time for Amarinder Singh to ponder over some serious stuff. The good part is that he has the intellectual capacity and political suaveness to engage with the situation at hand. That he is not in the pink of health is something that cannot be denied, but as of date, there isn’t a ...
  


Deconstructing the Idea of a Political Apology
NETA DOING SEWA — FOR MISTAKES UNSPECIFIED
09.12.18 - SP Singh*

PHOTOGRAPHS OF TOP leaders of the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal doing penance-style sewa at the Golden Temple are making a splash in the media. Memes, sarcastic comments and outright derogatory messages are doing the rounds on the social media, and the message-managing backroom boys of the erstwhile rulers are at their wits’ end to find a positive spin.

The idea is to tell the people that the party has realised that it did commit some errors in the past, "knowingly or unknowingly,” and that it seeks forgiveness for the same. However, the perception problem remains because there was no public discourse of introspection and no transparent debate about why the Akali leadership finds itself in doldrums. 

People do not even know who, how and why reached this decision of a public-spectacle style sewa at the gurdwara. Clearly, it is an image management exercise as otherwise, a penance activity does not require live ...
  



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