23 June, 2021

A Turning Storm

It’s time to learn from the past and fight back while we can

Illustrtation by Saahil
A Turning Storm

Those of us who had fought and survived Indira Gandhi’s Emergency a quarter century ago believed that it could scarcely be repeated. But lo and behold, something more sinister than the Emergency has shaped up before us. It is a frontal assault on free thought enforced by political bullies on reporters and journalists through physical force.

History teaches us that nationalism is a double-edge sword. And yet the establishment has chosen to wield it with devastating results. Arresting the Jawaharlal University (JNU) students’ chief Kananaiya Kumar on sedition charges on the basis of slogans raised at a campus gathering was an extraordinary event, with Home Minister Rajnath Singh reading the riot act.

What followed was even more ominous. A group of lawyers, some with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) connections, took it upon themselves to police the court compound where Kumar was to be brought before a judge and went about beating up young men and women who looked like JNU students and journalists. They had decreed students as anti-national and reporters...

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