The masks have been thrown to the winds. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his most trusted aide and Bhartiya Janata Party President Amit Shah have audaciously signalled to both national and global public opinion that they feel no need for masks and fig-leafs any longer.
In India, we have accustomed ourselves to erasing from public memory horrendous injustices and moving on. Moving on without healing, without remorse, without even elementary justice. Moving on as though nothing happened.
On November 26, 2005, a man in his thirties named Sohrabuddin Sheikh was gunned down by a team of the Gujarat police. The police claimed that Sheikh was an operative of the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist organisation and that he was, along with Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency, planning a high-profile assassination of a senior leader in Gujarat
On the 10th day of the Karwan-e-Mohabbat, as we met bereaved and grieving families – Muslim families that had lost their loved ones to cow vigilantism or police aggression – in five villages of the Nuh district of Mewat, we got news of anger and hostility to the advance of our peace caravan to Behror in Alwar district.
The latest salvo from the Centre on the shock and awe demonetisation excercise is that the move did not have an adverse impact on India’s buoyant economic growth story. This is contrary to the pessimistic expectations of economists, statisticians and bankers the world over – and not just those from the Left – that the sudden withdrawal of 86% of the currency in circulation before November 8 would cripple the country’s economy.
Close to 10 years after a reversing dumper truck ran over and crushed a 35-year-old sleeping on a Mumbai road in November 2007, a motor accident claims tribunal last month held that the victim was equally to blame for the accident. It held that the deceased was also “negligent” as he dangerously chose to sleep on the corner of the road.
Farzan Biwi, 22, who lost her husband during communal violence 2 months ago and since living in a relief camp, kisses her 15 days old baby in Ahmedabad, 16 May 2002. Farzan’s baby is among the 45 babies born in this camp since its opening following the sectarial violence in which nearly 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, have died.
It is impossible to comprehend the policy of New Delhi to Kashmir without recognising that for people on both sides of the ideological divide in India, Kashmir has a supreme symbolic importance well beyond just the land and its people.
In what is paraded as nationalism – indeed, the only true nationalism – in the bitterly divided times we inhabit, one trademark, one essential badge of patriotism is reverence for the soldier.
Some commentators expected that the Union Budget 2017-’18 would craft a sharp departure from earlier budgets of this government. This it would do to mitigate the immense suffering of millions of casual workers, farmers and small traders caused by the “shock and awe” of the astoundingly