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COVER STORY

12-02-2021

West Bengal Assembly election 2021: A battle on many fronts (February 12, 2021)

Briefing

AIMIM & the Indian Secular Front

New front threatens to divide Muslim votes in Bengal

The AIMIM and the influential Bengali Islamist leader Abbas Siddiqui’s new party, the Indian Secular Front, together may become a deciding factor in the 2021 Assembly election.
Left-Congress combine

The Left and the Congress seek to regain relevance in Bengal politics

The Left-Congress combine hopes to emerge as the dark horse by winning back the anti-Trinamool voters who are ideologically opposed to the BJP.
Interview: Surjya Kanta Mishra

Surjya Kanta Mishra: 'West Bengal Left bringing secular forces together to fight Trinamool and BJP'

Interview with Surjya Kanta Mishra, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member.
Interview: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury: 'West Bengal Congress’ priority is to gain strength to survive and restore lost ground'

Interview with Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, five-time Congress MP from Baharampur.
The 1894 peasant uprising

The gallantry of the peasants of Pothorughat, who revolted against revenue hike, has inspired the people of Assam for over a century

The killing of 140 unarmed peasants protesting against the increase in land tax by the British at Pothorughat in Assam in 1894, 25 years before the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, finds no mention in the mainstream discourse on India’s freedom struggle but has lived in oral lore for more than a century.
Copyright Issues

Cases against Sci-Hub and Libgen imply long-term consequences to research and education in India

Divya Trivedi The Nation
The cases filed by publishers for a blanket ban of free online repositories Sci-Hub and Libgen will seriously undermine the ability of researchers to access scientific and academic articles for learning purposes.
Kannada lexicographer

G. Venkatasubbaiah: A centenarian’s life-long scholarly journey with the Kannada language as a lexicographer, grammarian, writer and editor

MURALIDHARA KHAJANE Arts & Culture
G. Venkatasubbaiah dedicated his life to the development of Kannada linguistics, lexicography and research studies. At 107, he continues his ardent association with the language.
Essay

Trial by media flouts principle of fair trial

A.G. NOORANI The Nation
The judicial system is weakened if the media are allowed to conduct trials of accused persons, and the principle of fair trial on the basis of evidence admissible in a court of law is undermined.
Arnabgate

Arnab Goswami: Our man in the media

Anupama Katakam The Nation
A leaked document of WhatsApp chat transcipts incriminates Arnab Goswami, editor of Republic TV, exposing his nexus with top political leaders and complicity in TRP manipulation.
Communalism

Communal violence in Ujjain, Indore, Mandsaur following rallies to collect funds for Ram temple

Ziya Us Salam Communalism
Rallies to collect funds for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya have resulted in Hindutva warriors instigating communal violence in different parts of Madhya Pradesh.
Environment

Gujarat Power Corporation gets notice on violations at lignite mining site in Bhavnagar district that are blamed for tremors and upheaval of agricultural land

Lyla Bavadam Environment
In November 2020, the residents of Badi-Hoidad villages in Ghogha tehsil of Bhavnagar district, Gujarat, were greeted by a disorienting sight. The ...
United States

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris assume office in a smooth transition of power in the United States

John Cherian World Affairs
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris assume office in a smooth transition of power in the United States, which is still reverberating from the shocks of the violent events in the nation’s capital on January 6.
COVID-19 Update

Bhopal gas tragedy victims were used as guinea pigs for COVID vaccine trials

Divya Trivedi The Nation
Bhopal gas tragedy victims were used as guinea pigs for COVID vaccine trials in total violation of ethical and medical norms.
Interview: Joginder Singh Ugrahan

Joginder Singh Ugrahan: 'It’s the government that is stubborn'

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
Interview with Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan).
Vaccine confusion

India and COVID-19: Government's vaccination drive a total mess

R. Ramachandran The Nation
The government’s vaccination drive has been fraught with deficiencies in communication and delivery of doses, along with doubts regarding Covaxin’s efficacy, leading to hesitancy and low turnouts.
Interview: Lachhman Sewewala

Lachhman Sewewala: ‘Under the farm laws, the farmer will lose his land and we will lose the PDS’

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
Interview with Lachhman Sewewala, general secretary, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union.
Movements

Protesting farmers stay firm

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
The protesting farmers on Delhi’s borders rejected the Central government’s offer of suspension of the contentious laws and are determined to stay and fight until their objective is achieved even as the government seemed to harden its position.
Jammu and Kashmir

Lone exits PAGD; internal rumblings within Gupkar alliance apparent

Anando Bhakto The Nation
The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference’s departure from the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration raises questions about whether the alliance itself was more about the political parties creating space for themselves rather than restoring Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Farmers reject abeyance ploy

Government running out of options in face of resolute farmers' agitation

Agitating farmers reject the government’s ‘abeyance ploy’, leaving the BJP with no room to save its face, while the opposition gets ready to grill the ruling alliance in the upcoming Budget session of Parliament.
AIMIM & the Indian Secular Front

New front threatens to divide Muslim votes in Bengal

The AIMIM and the influential Bengali Islamist leader Abbas Siddiqui’s new party, the Indian Secular Front, together may become a deciding factor in the 2021 Assembly election.
Interview: Mahua Moitra

Mahua Moitra: 'The fight in West Bengal is between the BJP and Trinamool Congress'

Interview with Mahua Moitra, Trinamool Congress MP.
Trinamool Congress

It's do or die for Trinamool ahead of 2021 Assembly election

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is set to face her toughest battle yet, which will decide her own and the Trinamool Congress’ political relevance.
BJP

BJP uses defection as a political device in Bengal election run-up

Defection has been the most talked-about issue in the run-up to the 2021 Assembly election as the BJP, in a favourable environment and in the absence of a sound organisational structure, decides to ride on the shoulders of former generals in the enemy camp.
Interview: Kailash Vijayvargiya

Kailash Vijayvargiya: 'The people of West Bengal see the BJP and the leadership of Modi as the only alternative'

Interview with Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP national general secretary.
West Bengal Assembly Election

No holds barred in Bengal as parties gear up for Assembly election

As the State heads for possibly its most violent Assembly election, the Trinamool Congress and the BJP, the main adversaries, spit fire at each other; the Left-Congress combine and a Muslim platform threaten to make the outcome unpredictable; defections take centre stage as electoral strategy.
Darjeeling Hills

Uncertain prospects for Trinamool in Darjeeling hills

The BJP-GNLF combine looks to gain from the disarray in the opposition camp as Bimal Gurung comes out of hiding and decides to support Mamata Banerjee.
Communalism

Communal violence in Ujjain, Indore, Mandsaur following rallies to collect funds for Ram temple

Ziya Us Salam Communalism
Rallies to collect funds for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya have resulted in Hindutva warriors instigating communal violence in different parts of Madhya Pradesh.
COVID-19 Update

Bhopal gas tragedy victims were used as guinea pigs for COVID vaccine trials

Divya Trivedi The Nation
Bhopal gas tragedy victims were used as guinea pigs for COVID vaccine trials in total violation of ethical and medical norms.
Interview: Joginder Singh Ugrahan

Joginder Singh Ugrahan: 'It’s the government that is stubborn'

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
Interview with Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan).
Vaccine confusion

India and COVID-19: Government's vaccination drive a total mess

R. Ramachandran The Nation
The government’s vaccination drive has been fraught with deficiencies in communication and delivery of doses, along with doubts regarding Covaxin’s efficacy, leading to hesitancy and low turnouts.
Interview: Lachhman Sewewala

Lachhman Sewewala: ‘Under the farm laws, the farmer will lose his land and we will lose the PDS’

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
Interview with Lachhman Sewewala, general secretary, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union.
Movements

Protesting farmers stay firm

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
The protesting farmers on Delhi’s borders rejected the Central government’s offer of suspension of the contentious laws and are determined to stay and fight until their objective is achieved even as the government seemed to harden its position.
Jammu and Kashmir

Lone exits PAGD; internal rumblings within Gupkar alliance apparent

Anando Bhakto The Nation
The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference’s departure from the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration raises questions about whether the alliance itself was more about the political parties creating space for themselves rather than restoring Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Interview: Prakash Karat

Prakash Karat: ‘Our stress is on the widest unity against authoritarianism’

Interview with Prakash Karat, former general secretary of the CPI(M).
The 1894 peasant uprising

The gallantry of the peasants of Pothorughat, who revolted against revenue hike, has inspired the people of Assam for over a century

The killing of 140 unarmed peasants protesting against the increase in land tax by the British at Pothorughat in Assam in 1894, 25 years before the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, finds no mention in the mainstream discourse on India’s freedom struggle but has lived in oral lore for more than a century.
Copyright Issues

Cases against Sci-Hub and Libgen imply long-term consequences to research and education in India

Divya Trivedi The Nation
The cases filed by publishers for a blanket ban of free online repositories Sci-Hub and Libgen will seriously undermine the ability of researchers to access scientific and academic articles for learning purposes.
Kannada lexicographer

G. Venkatasubbaiah: A centenarian’s life-long scholarly journey with the Kannada language as a lexicographer, grammarian, writer and editor

MURALIDHARA KHAJANE Arts & Culture
G. Venkatasubbaiah dedicated his life to the development of Kannada linguistics, lexicography and research studies. At 107, he continues his ardent association with the language.
Essay

Trial by media flouts principle of fair trial

A.G. NOORANI The Nation
The judicial system is weakened if the media are allowed to conduct trials of accused persons, and the principle of fair trial on the basis of evidence admissible in a court of law is undermined.
Arnabgate

Arnab Goswami: Our man in the media

Anupama Katakam The Nation
A leaked document of WhatsApp chat transcipts incriminates Arnab Goswami, editor of Republic TV, exposing his nexus with top political leaders and complicity in TRP manipulation.
Communalism

Communal violence in Ujjain, Indore, Mandsaur following rallies to collect funds for Ram temple

Ziya Us Salam Communalism
Rallies to collect funds for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya have resulted in Hindutva warriors instigating communal violence in different parts of Madhya Pradesh.
COVID-19 Update

Bhopal gas tragedy victims were used as guinea pigs for COVID vaccine trials

Divya Trivedi The Nation
Bhopal gas tragedy victims were used as guinea pigs for COVID vaccine trials in total violation of ethical and medical norms.
Interview: Joginder Singh Ugrahan

Joginder Singh Ugrahan: 'It’s the government that is stubborn'

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
Interview with Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan).
Vaccine confusion

India and COVID-19: Government's vaccination drive a total mess

R. Ramachandran The Nation
The government’s vaccination drive has been fraught with deficiencies in communication and delivery of doses, along with doubts regarding Covaxin’s efficacy, leading to hesitancy and low turnouts.
Interview: Lachhman Sewewala

Lachhman Sewewala: ‘Under the farm laws, the farmer will lose his land and we will lose the PDS’

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
Interview with Lachhman Sewewala, general secretary, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union.
Movements

Protesting farmers stay firm

T.K. Rajalakshmi The Nation
The protesting farmers on Delhi’s borders rejected the Central government’s offer of suspension of the contentious laws and are determined to stay and fight until their objective is achieved even as the government seemed to harden its position.
Jammu and Kashmir

Lone exits PAGD; internal rumblings within Gupkar alliance apparent

Anando Bhakto The Nation
The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference’s departure from the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration raises questions about whether the alliance itself was more about the political parties creating space for themselves rather than restoring Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Farmers reject abeyance ploy

Government running out of options in face of resolute farmers' agitation

Agitating farmers reject the government’s ‘abeyance ploy’, leaving the BJP with no room to save its face, while the opposition gets ready to grill the ruling alliance in the upcoming Budget session of Parliament.
AIMIM & the Indian Secular Front

New front threatens to divide Muslim votes in Bengal

The AIMIM and the influential Bengali Islamist leader Abbas Siddiqui’s new party, the Indian Secular Front, together may become a deciding factor in the 2021 Assembly election.
Left-Congress combine

The Left and the Congress seek to regain relevance in Bengal politics

The Left-Congress combine hopes to emerge as the dark horse by winning back the anti-Trinamool voters who are ideologically opposed to the BJP.
Interview: Surjya Kanta Mishra

Surjya Kanta Mishra: 'West Bengal Left bringing secular forces together to fight Trinamool and BJP'

Interview with Surjya Kanta Mishra, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member.