Samyukta Kisan Morcha distances itself from violent elements / Farmer leaders accuse Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu of instigating protesters and leading them to the Red Fort

Statement issued by Samyukta Kisan Morcha We thank farmers for the unprecedented participation in today's Farmers Republic Day Parade. We also condemn and regret the undesirable and unacceptable events that have taken place today and dissociate ourselves from those indulging in such acts.  Despite all our efforts, some organisations and individuals have violated the route and indulged in condemnable acts. Anti-social elements had infiltrated the otherwise peaceful movement. We have always held that peace is our biggest strength, and that any violation would hurt the movement.  The long struggle for more than 6 months now, and more than 60 days of protest at Delhi borders also seemed to have led to this situation.  We dissociate ourselves from all such elements that have violated our discipline. We appeal strongly to everyone to stick to the route and norms of the Parade, and not indulge in any violent action or anything that taints national symbols and dignity. We appeal to everyon

Manu Kaushik: Before India Breaks Its Promises / Dushyant Dave: SC Should Have Declared New Farm Laws Unconstitutional / Republic Day Tractor Rally: Tear Gas At Singhu Border

Even the states are saying these laws are against the federal spirit. Legal eagles feel the laws do not follow the spirit of separation of powers, and are a case of executive overreach—since the executive plays the role of ‘enforcer to adjudicator and interpreter of the law’.  Too much democracy? Neither farmers nor state governments nor the legal fraternity agrees.  Republic Day Tractor Rally: Tear Gas, Lathicharge As Farmers Break Barricades Laws passed without constitutional authority, against the spirit of the Constitution (both in the context of federalism and separation of powers between branches), without any demand for it from the primary stakeholders, without consultation, without even a debate, when they threaten to usurp the farmer’s land, when it threatens the very existence of farmers when fundamentally the law is anti-farmer in every sense, how does one accept anything less than a repeal?...

Bharat Bhushan: 'Arnabgate' undermines the Modi govt's national security narrative

NB:  ' The government cannot feign ignorance of the allegations as Goswami’s chats celebrate the Pulwama terrorist strike, about which he says, “with this attack we have won like crazy”. This could lead to conspiracy theories about the Pulwama terrorist strike which resulted in the death of 40 security personnel ...'   Only one question needs to be asked of the Sangh Parivar - what would you and your IT Cell and numerous trolls and spokespersons have said if the boot were on the other foot? What if a "sickular libtard" news anchor had done what your favourite mud-slinger has done? What shameless hypocrisy! But what is shame to the shameless. DS In April 2009, the chief of counter-terrorism at the UK’s Metropolitan Police was held to have compromised an anti-terrorist operation because he was photographed alighting from his car with a document titled ‘Briefing Note: Operation Pathways’. Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick was carrying it to a security briefing at the Brit

Andrew Rawnsley: The bill for Boris Johnson’s Brexit is coming in and it’s punishingly steep

I smiled to see that  Roger Daltrey , the Leave-supporting lead singer of the Who, has joined the chorus of rock stars furious that the post-Brexit visa rules will ruin their prospects of touring across the Channel. Mr Daltrey will have to sing Won’t Get Fooled Again to himself before moving on to Boris the Spider and I Can’t Explain. It is particularly rending for the soul to witness the rightwing press discovering that the cause they so noisily championed is not the nirvana that they sold to their readers. They were cheering when Boris Johnson flourished the Brexit deal that he concluded on Christmas Eve and proclaimed: “ This is a cakeist treaty .” The UK would be having the sweet stuff and eating it by gaining lots of shiny new benefits from being outside the EU while still enjoying the historical advantages of frictionless trade with its closest neighbours. All those acquainted with Mr Johnson and his casual relationship with the truth will have taken that with a juggernaut of

Samar Halarnkar: The mass radicalisation that India does not acknowledge / Ruchir Joshi: A verdict on the republic

It is now clear that if you are Muslim in Narendra Modi’s new India you can be arrested for selling shoes, taking part in a protest, talking to or walking with a Hindu girl, driving a cattle truck, cracking a joke – or not. If you are a Muslim in the wrong place at the wrong time, the Constitution means little and the law can be twisted in any manner to imprison you. Criminality is irrelevant. It does even not matter that you may be a victim, not the perpetrator. Such is the ever-growing reality for Indian Muslims. Consider Munawar Faruqui, the standup comic, now in jail 23 days without bail for no crime. His show in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, was disrupted by vigilantes from the Hindu Rakshan Sangathan (Hindu Protection Union), who claimed he was “going to” joke about Hindu gods. Instead of arresting the goons, the superintendent of police commended them for being “alert and vigilant” and arrested Faruqui instead. Ruchir Joshi: A verdict on the republic Consider Nasir, the poor shoe

Andrew Roth - The problem is Putin: protesters throng Russia's streets to support jailed Navalny / Russia’s courageous and historic protests against Putinism / Video sensations

NB : The Russian people have fought for freedom and democracy for over a century, in 1915-21 ; in the deadly struggle against Nazi invasion ; and again in the aftermath of glasnost. Putin is the inheritor of the Russian autocratic tradition, he moved easily from the KGB and membership of the Communist Party to becoming a Russian nationalist, making the post-Soviet reality just as corrupt and tyrannical as the one it superseded. This is the kind of patriotism he uses to crush the people's demand for democracy. (We are familiar with it in India). Freedom loving people the world over should support the Russian people in this new wave of struggle and repression. DS For more than a decade, the Kremlin has used every tool at its disposal to keep Russians off the streets, wielding fear and boredom to make protesting against  Vladimir Putin  seem pointless. And yet in defiant scenes on Saturday in cities across Russia, from St Petersburg to Vladivostok and even in Yakutsk, where proteste

Behind Bars: Arrests and Detentions of Journalists in India 2010-2020

The year 2020 has been a bad one for journalists in India. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused illness and death, and the lockdown resulted in salary cuts and loss of livelihood due to mass retrenchments effected by media houses. The killing and attacks on journalists have continued unabated. While self-censorship within the media remained an open secret, the government sought to increase regulation of the media, with media policies, funding and administrative mechanisms for online media. A sharp rise in criminal cases lodged against journalists in India for their work, with a majority of cases in BJP-ruled states, has contributed to the deterioration in the climate for free speech in India. In the last decade, 154 journalists in India were arrested, detained, interrogated or served show cause notices for their professional work and a little over 40 per cent of these instances were in 2020. Nine foreign journalists faced deportation, arrest, interrogations or were denied entry into Indi