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Why Modi’s Thugs Attacked My University

On January 5, masked men and women stormed the New Delhi campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), where I am a professor, and attacked the students and faculty they found there with sticks, iron rods, and scythes. The university administration, security guards, and local police not only failed to protect the innocent victims of this rampage, which included vandalism and trespassing, in addition to the violence; they watched and were complicit in the assault. This is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s India.

JNU is a highly respected institution. But with India’s leadership promoting an aggressive form of Hindu nationalism – including by enacting the blatantly unconstitutional Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which has rendered millions of Muslim Indians stateless – the university has come to represent the enemy: the liberalism and tolerance that is supposed to underpin Indian democracy.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/modi-nationalist-government-incites-attacks-on-indian-universities-by-jayati-ghosh-2020-01

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2020 in Asia

 

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Has Narendra Modi Finally Gone Too Far?

The street protests now sweeping India appear to be validating one of the oldest and most trusted maxims of politics: sooner or later, authoritarians will go too far. The authoritarian in this case is Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister. Since his reëlection victory, last May, Modi has mounted an aggressive campaign targeting the country’s Muslim minority, which numbers two hundred million.

In August, Modi’s government revoked the autonomy of Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority state, and detained thousands of its young men. That same month, the government created a citizenship registry in the northeastern state of Assam, a move that could render millions of Muslims stateless. In each case, Modi met little resistance.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/has-narendra-modi-finally-gone-too-far-india-protests?verso=true

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2019 in Asia

 

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Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India

On August 11th, two weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent soldiers in to pacify the Indian state of Kashmir, a reporter appeared on the news channel Republic TV, riding a motor scooter through the city of Srinagar. She was there to assure viewers that, whatever else they might be hearing, the situation was remarkably calm. “You can see banks here and commercial complexes,” the reporter, Sweta Srivastava, said, as she wound her way past local landmarks. “The situation makes you feel good, because the situation is returning to normal, and the locals are ready to live their lives normally again.” She conducted no interviews; there was no one on the streets to talk to.

Other coverage on Republic TV showed people dancing ecstatically, along with the words “Jubilant Indians celebrate Modi’s Kashmir masterstroke.” A week earlier, Modi’s government had announced that it was suspending Article 370 of the constitution, which grants autonomy to Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state. The provision, written to help preserve the state’s religious and ethnic identity, largely prohibits members of India’s Hindu majority from settling there. Modi, who rose to power trailed by allegations of encouraging anti-Muslim bigotry, said that the decision would help Kashmiris, by spurring development and discouraging a long-standing guerrilla insurgency. To insure a smooth reception, Modi had flooded Kashmir with troops and detained hundreds of prominent Muslims—a move that Republic TV described by saying that “the leaders who would have created trouble” had been placed in “government guesthouses.”

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/09/blood-and-soil-in-narendra-modis-india

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2019 in Asia, Reportages

 

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The Rape of India’s Soul

Injustice, discrimination, and violence are hardly unheard of in India. But today, they are being normalized, enabled, and even encouraged by the state, which is promoting an aggressive form of Hindu nationalism that looks increasingly like mob rule. India’s diversity and complex civilizational legacy are now under assault, and it is shaking the very foundations of Indian democracy.

In August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped Jammu and Kashmir – India’s only Muslim-majority territory – of its special status, which had granted it considerable autonomy, and split it into two “union territories” over which the central government now wields more direct control.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/indian-bjp-hindu-nationalism-violence-by-jayati-ghosh-2019-12

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2019 in Asia

 

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“One Solution, Gun Solution”

The sense of siege hit early, in the air, long before seeing the barbed-wire barricades and security forces armed to the teeth blocking the way. Fifteen minutes before the plane touched down at Srinagar, an announcement was made asking the passengers to close the windows. The staff went around making sure all windows are shut—“An order from the DGCA, sir,” one of the flight attendants said upon enquiry, referring to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. First there was mild disbelief, then there was mocking. A Kashmiri passenger next to me laughed and said, “This is nazarbandi”—house arrest. Others repeated the word as if they were adding it to their vocabulary. Some of them, curious, opened the windows halfway to peep out but closed them in a hurry. It was 7.30 am and I saw a glimpse of the verdant green Valley enveloped in grey monsoon mist. “Probably they don’t want us to see how many (security) forces they have brought into the Valley,” one person said. The passenger was coming home for Eid, which was the next day, on 12 August.

Some tried to laugh about it while others looked anxious. Soon, they had to figure out how to reach their destinations. As the flight landed on the runway, many passengers switched on their cell phones and kept staring at them, probably out of habit, and maybe some hope. The reality struck them soon enough. The Valley has been under strict lockdown since 5 August, with no communication services, when the union government effectively abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution. The green ticker at the tourist department counter next to the baggage belt kept flashing the message: “Welcome to the paradise on earth.”

https://caravanmagazine.in/conflict/one-solution-gun-solution-gun-solution-kashmir-in-shock-and-anger

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2019 in Asia

 

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The scorched corpses of Nagasaki should be a grim restraint to the chest beating in India, America and Iran

We like our anniversaries in blocks of 50 or 100 – at a push we’ll tolerate a 25. The 100th anniversary of the Somme (2016), the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain (2015). Next year, we’ll remember the end of the Second World War, the first – and so far the only – nuclear war in history.

This week marks only the 74th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It doesn’t fit in to our journalistic scorecards and “timelines”. Over the past few days, I’ve had to look hard to find a headline about the two Japanese cities.

But, especially in the Middle East and what we like to call southeast Asia, we should be remembering these gruesome anniversaries every month. Hiroshima was atomic-bombed 74 years ago on Tuesday, Nagasaki 74 years ago on Friday. Given the extent of the casualty figures, you’d think they’d be unforgettable. But we don’t quite know (nor ever will) what they were.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/india-pakistan-israel-nuclear-war-donald-trump-iran-saudi-arabia-a9046566.html

 
 

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The other opioid crisis

Dr M. R. Rajagopal has been called the “father of palliative care in
India”. He has spent more than two decades doing clinical work and
advocacy to improve care for the dying and those suffering from
life-threatening illnesses. The use of opioids for pain relief is
crucial to this work. Yet he has had to fight to prescribe them,
including amending the country’s legislation. “Only a tiny, tiny
minority of people in India have access to pain relief,” he says. “We
have people travelling as far as 300km to get their refill of morphine
prescriptions. There are many states where it is totally unavailable.”
According to Human Rights Watch, 96 per cent of needy patients in India
can’t access opioids. Now Rajagopal is worried that the dependency
crisis in the US will harm the slow progress being made in India.

https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/5393/the-other-opioid-crisis

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Asia, Reportages

 

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The World Needs a Water Treaty

During the face-off earlier this year between India and Pakistan over a terrorist attack that killed more than 40 Indian paramilitaries in Kashmir, New Delhi made an existential threat to Islamabad. The weapon was not India’s considerable nuclear arsenal, but one still capable of inflicting ruinous destruction: water.

“Our government has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan,” said Indian Transport Minister Nitin Gadkarikin on February 21. “We will divert water from eastern rivers and supply it to our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.” India controls three major rivers that flow into Pakistan.

If India had followed through, it would have abrogated the 1960 Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between the two counties, a move that could be considered an act of war.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/16/the-world-needs-a-water-treaty/

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Russia-India-China will be the big G20 hit

It all started with the Vladimir Putin–Xi Jinping summit in Moscow on June 5. Far from a mere bilateral, this meeting upgraded the Eurasian integration process to another level. The Russian and Chinese presidents discussed everything from the progressive interconnection of the New Silk Roads with the Eurasia Economic Union, especially in and around Central Asia, to their concerted strategy for the Korean Peninsula.

A particular theme stood out: They discussed how the connecting role of Persia in the Ancient Silk Road is about to be replicated by Iran in the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). And that is non-negotiable. Especially after the Russia-China strategic partnership, less than a month before the Moscow summit, offered explicit support for Tehran signaling that regime change simply won’t be accepted, diplomatic sources say.

Putin and Xi solidified the roadmap at the St Petersburg Economic Forum. And the Greater Eurasia interconnection continued to be woven immediately after at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, with two essential interlocutors: India, a fellow BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and SCO member, and SCO observer Iran.

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/06/article/russia-india-china-will-be-the-big-g20-hit/

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2019 in Asia, Economy, Europe, Middle East

 

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How Narendra Modi Seduced India With Envy and Hate

Before dawn on Feb. 26, Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist prime minister of India, ordered an aerial attack on the country’s nuclear-armed neighbor, Pakistan. There were thick clouds that morning over the border. But Mr. Modi claimed earlier this month, during his successful campaign for re-election, that he had overruled advisers who worried about them. He is ignorant of science, he admitted, but nevertheless trusted his “raw wisdom,” which told him that the cloud cover would prevent Pakistani radar from detecting Indian fighter jets.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2019 in Asia

 

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