Apoorvanand (for Info only, not official)

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Apoorvanand

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    ... The recent order of the National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) penalising a popular TV channel for misrepresenting the poet Gauhar Raza in its news bulletins is significant in many ways. It restores to Raza his dignity and integrity which the channel felt free to play with. But it has larger implications for the question of individual liberty in a democracy like India. It leads us to think about the role of institutions in ensuring that an individual can hold her head high when pitted against the most sacred deity of our times — the nation. This order is also important in times when an individual with a public face is destined to be the representation that the media decides to make of him. ...

    Indian Express on Sept. 7, 2017, 12:30 a.m.

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    ...The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have belittled the tricolour — and Independence Day — by directing madrasas to hoist the national flag and take out tiranga rallies on August 15. The UP government has asked them to submit videotapes of the event as proof. This should embarrass, if not shame, all right thinking Indians. But this is perhaps asking for too much from people who are high on nationalism. A section of Muslims have argued that this should be done demonstratively in order to demolish the RSS propaganda that Muslims are not, or less, loyal to the nation. It has also been said that Muslims have always held the tricolour with pride and by doing so this time, they would only be continuing that tradition. Whatever this section of Muslims feels, we need to reject the idea of nationalism being imposed through government orders, that too on a particular section of the people. This is not an innocent order. ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 15, 2017, 12:02 a.m.

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    ... “We cannot allow the state brutality to which we are subjected each day snatch our humanity and values,” the Mirwaiz said, asking: “What will be the difference between them and us then?” Wise words these. Mirwaiz spoke like an elder. He spoke with pain in his voice and with concern for his people: “Mob violence and public lynching are outside the parameters of our values and religion,” the leader asserted. We cannot doubt the sincerity of Mirwaiz’s anguish. It is good that there was no rationalisation of the lynching of Ayub Pandit, the police officer who was killed by the crowd of believers just outside the Nauhatta mosque in Srinagar, who were there to mark Shab-e-Qadr as part of the holy month of Ramzan. There are different accounts of the tragedy. ...

    Indian Express on June 28, 2017, 1:21 a.m.

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    ... Amarinder Singh is part of the “mob” Pratap Bhanu Mehta wants the army to be wary of (‘The march to spectacle’, IE, May 29). That he has been heard by the army and the government is not surprising. Singh wanted a special medal for Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, the army chief has obliged him. There is also no irony in Defence Minister Arun Jaitley seconding Singh in advocating a free hand to the army, said to be fighting a war in Kashmir. It is also not shocking that a chief minister, who swears by the Constitution and belongs to a “secular” party, places the army above the people when he says, “the Indian army should have an upper hand to be able to negotiate peace on terms that are favourable to the country”. He forgets that it is for the elected government, not the army, to negotiate peace. ...

    Indian Express on June 1, 2017, 12:59 a.m.

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    ...Will the ship of India be able to come out intact from the stormy waters it is caught in? This is a question all those who love India are asking and they are not all necessarily Indians. For them, India has been an experiment to find an idiom of sharing for a diverse people. The existence of numerous religions, sects, languages and customs was welcomed as a resource to build this commonality and never resented as a problem by the makers of the nation. They resisted the temptation of erasing differences to create oneness. Indian secularism was not a mundane principle of statecraft. It was a bold attempt to negotiate the labyrinth of nationalism by rejecting the straight path of uniformity. The easiest thing for India’s founding fathers, all of whom were Hindus for Jinnah, would have been to say that Hindus were to be the benevolent patrons of Muslims and Christians. And Hindus they were, most of them at least — even Nehru called himself a Hindu. ...

    Indian Express on April 14, 2017, 12:15 a.m.

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    ... I write to you very reluctantly as I am not sure if you would accept my right to speak to you. Many of you know that I do not share your ideology, one which has the RSS as its fountainhead. Yet, I feel we can have a conversation. This is also because many of my students have been members of the ABVP. I have not tried to covert them; at the same time, I cannot disown them. As a student activist, I was an AISF member. But after taking up the profession of teaching, I decided not to be a party to any side in student politics. I am critical of the CPM, CPI(ML), CPI, the CPI (Maoist), the Congress and the Jamaat-e-Islami but when their student outfits call me, I do go. ...

    Indian Express on Feb. 25, 2017, 12:01 a.m.

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    ... It is amusing to see an article fit for the advertisement section managing to find space instead in the “Ideas” section of The Indian Express. The article, titled “A More Democratic Learning” (February 16, 2017), tries to persuade us to buy an academic product “Micromasters in Data and Economics for Development Policy”, a package of five online courses, leading to a degree from MITx. It is low-priced, why, only a lakh “for all but the richest Indians” (whatever that means) and much lower for those who can “demonstrate” that they cannot afford even this much. ...

    Indian Express on Feb. 21, 2017, midnight

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    ...FIRs have a life of their own and can have serious consequences. Books have been pulped, recalled from shelves, writers and artists have apologised for something they have not done, jobs have been lost. So, it is not amusing to learn that teachers are facing a “popular” agitation, bad press and possible arrests for their scholarly work, be this in a lecture at a seminar, an article or a book. This attack is not an exception. A similar assault had taken place at the Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, some time ago when the organisers and speakers of a seminar in the department of philosophy were targeted with criminal cases and a “popular” agitation. ...

    Indian Express on Feb. 10, 2017, midnight