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26-02-2021

Muzzling the Media (February 26, 2021)

Briefing

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U.S.-Iran

New regime, old games: U.S. goes slow on restoring nuclear treaty with Iran

World Affairs
The Biden administration seems to be in no hurry to restore the nuclear treaty with Iran, which is increasingly losing patience, while Israel is busy
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Nepal

New political crisis in Nepal

World Affairs
As Nepal’s ruling Communist Party grapples with a leadership tussle, there are powerful sections within India’s National Democratic Alliance that may
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Uganda

Museveni declares victory over Bobi Wine and will be in power for another five years

World Affairs
President Yoweri Museveni has declared himself victor in the recently concluded presidential election that was marked by the unparalleled use of stron
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Communalism

How hate is brewed in Hindutva’s laboratory

Communalism
A report on recent trends in communal violence in Gujarat notes a shift in the scene of violence from urban to rural areas, the use of social media to
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The United States

Foreign policy challenges that U.S. President Joe Biden faces in Asia

World Affairs
Even as Asia remains the most important frontline of United States President Joe Biden’s foreign policy, there are clear indications that his administ
Suicides in Armed Forces

At war with the self: Indian armed forces register alarming suicide trend

India
The alarmingly high number of serving soldiers committing suicide while on duty calls for an urgent need for structural changes in the armed forces an
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West Bengal

The exodus from Trinamool to BJP is on

Politics
A fresh round of defections from the Trinamool Congress, led by former Cabinet Minister Rajib Banerjee, has come as a major blow to the ruling party.
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Essay

RSS as Vishwaguru

India
The RSS’ drive to position India as preacher to the world encapsulates a long-term political programme of eliminating political dissent within the cou
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COVID-19

COVID and other diseases: An Animal Farm perspective

India
The global burdens of COVID and the global benefits of anti-COVID policy have been skewed against the poorer nations of the world, and within nations,
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Farmers' Movement

Allahabad High Court halts the Uttar Pradesh government's attempts to intimidate farmers

Agriculture
The Allahabad High Court intervenes against the Uttar Pradesh government’s intimidation of protesting farmers.
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RAILWAY BUDGET

The Finance Minister has dressed up the Indian Railways’ balance sheet, indulged in tokenism and in grand projections

Economy
The budget reveals a shocking collapse of the Railways’ revenues and shows that no significant investments are likely to be initiated to build its neg
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Farmers' Agitation and the CAA protests

A tale of two protests: farmers’ protest and Shaheen Bagh

Agriculture
While the government has shown more willingness to engage with the protesting farmers than it did in the case of the Shaheen Bagh sit-in, nothing has
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Union Budget

The Union Budget is marked by an overall compression of expenditures for agriculture

Economy
The Budget shows no commitment to agricultural growth or farmers’ welfare. Against the background of the raging farmers’ agitation, this is only likel
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Cover Story

A republic of rants: Arnab Goswami roams free despite WhatsApp chat leak

Lead Story
Arnab Goswami continues to roam free despite damning WhatsApp chats on security and TRP manipulation, but it remains to be seen if his protectors in t
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Union Budget 2021-22

A Budget that doubly punishes victims of the pandemic

India
The Union Budget 2020-21 is biased in favour of those who were spared the worst effects of the pandemic and imposes even more burdens on those whose l
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Tractor Rally

Prejudice on show in the media coverage of farmers' rally on Republic Day

Lead Story
The emphasis in the media coverage of the untoward incidents on Republic Day was on drama, histrionics and hyperbole.
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Cover Story

Govt muffling voices in Kashmir Valley through crackdowns on newspapers and intimidation of journalists

Lead Story
By launching crackdowns on newspapers and resorting to harassment and intimidation of mediapersons who do not toe the official line, the government is
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Union Budget

Union Budget 2021-22: Wages of inequality

Economy
Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget for 2021-22 is aggressively tilted in favour of the privileged and denies succour to those worst hit by the COVID-19 pande
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Interview: Vinod Jose

Vinod Jose: ‘We are seeing a culture of intolerance’

Lead Story
Interview with Vinod Jose, executive editor of “The Caravan”.
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Free Speech in India

The Union government’s assault on free speech

Lead Story
While charging students, activists, comedians and journalists under criminal and anti-terrorism laws, the government’s strategy to curb criticism is p
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Farmers' agitation: The setback and then the surge

Agriculture
After the unsavoury events of Republic Day, the farmers’ agitation has bounced back with renewed strength led by Rakesh Tikait of the BKU beating all
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Farmers' Movement

The BJP government's Goebbelsian campaign against the farmers’ agitation

Lead Story
The BJP government has resorted to a Goebbelsian campaign against the farmers’ agitation. But the protesting farmers are firm that they will overcome
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Economic Perspectives

GameStop case changes the speculative game

Columns
The meteoric rise in video-game retailer GameStop’s share price, which was propelled by day traders using Reddit forums to take on the Wall Street maj
Editor's Note

I love the way you lie

Lead Story
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Book review: R. Balakrishnan's "Journey of a Civilization: Indus to Vaigai" seeks to establish common ground between the Indus Valley and Old Tamil traditions

Books
The book holds a treasure trove of surprises relating to the Indus Valley Civilisation and Tamil literature and seeks to establish common ground.
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Press Freedom

Muzzling the media: How the Modi regime continues to undermine the news landscape

Lead Story
The recent arrests of several journalists mark yet another shameful chapter in the Modi regime’s relentless undermining of the fourth estate by harass