Editor’s Note: That a State government, which was functional, moderate, and reasonably competent despite riding an unlikely coalition, was brought down in an act of vengeance bodes ill for Indian democracy and the federal structure central to it. While the Congress during its own hegemony was infamous for imperiously dismissing State governments by misusing Article 356, the BJP which came to power claiming to cleanse the system has instead only shown that it plays the game better. Its “one nation” theory is proving to be not so much about the nation as about its overweening ambition to become the only ruling party in the country. The agenda has morphed, as Venkitesh Ramakrishnan writes in this issue, from creating a “Congress-mukt India” to an “opposition-mukt India”. But for the party to stay in power in perpetuity, it also needs to silence all dissenting voices. Anupama Katakam reports on the witch-hunt that has been launched against Mohammed Zubair of Alt News, the fact-finding website that regularly busts fake news. She also traces the disturbing arrests of Teesta Setalvad, Sanjiv Bhatt, and R.B. Sreekumar after the Supreme Court called them out in the Ehsan Jafri 2002 Gujarat riots case. Covering the Maharashtra crisis for us, Lyla Bavadam writes that in the 62 years of its existence, the State has never seen such political anarchy before. If one reads the tea leaves right, the chaos is likely to play out repeatedly in the coming years as the BJP tries to surmount the stubborn south. Yes, the circus is coming to town. Keep reading, as we continue to bring you stories from the big top. Vaishna Roy

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29-07-202235 STORIES

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