India: Metamorphosis of the Media

by Barun Das Gupta

Frontier | Vol. 50, No.10, Sep 10 – 16, 2017

The Indian media—or at least the most dominant and influential part of it—is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis. From being the vehicle of informing the public with news and objective analysis and being the vehicle of articulating the people’s voice and gauging the public mood, it has become a willing adjunct of a coterie that seeks to transform a democratic State into a fascist one.

These media-persons, especially those in the electronic media, are waging a valiant war against domestic ‘anti-nationals’ and foreign enemies from their five-star comfort of air-conditioned studios. ‘Peace’ has become the most hated word today and ‘peaceniks’ the most hated species—the target of insults, insinuations and innuendos—whose patriotism can be questioned by any Tom, Dick and Harry. And the questioners are usually those who have no record of patriotism, no record of participating in India’s freedom movement.Read More »


India: Growing Intolerance Leading To Shrinking Economy, Warns Raghuram Rajan?

by Raman Swamy

Frontier | September 16, 2017

For a full year after he stepped down as RBI Governor in September 2016, Raghuram Rajan refrained from speaking out.  Now he has come out with a book entitled “I Do What I Do” and has been talking about what he thinks about India’s current economic, political and social scenario.

In various interviews and talks during the past week, Rajan’s focus has been as much on why the growth rate has slowed down as on what needs to be done to ensure that the country gets back on track to achieve its potential as an economic super-power.

As a world-renowned monetary economist with intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the system in India as well as the advantage of studying developments from afar for the past 12 months,  his observations are deserving of close attention. Read More »

India: At Farmers’ Protest in Rajasthan, Anger at Modi Government Policies and State Indifference


The Wire | September 11, 2017

Farmers protesting at the Krishi Upaj Mandi, Sikar. Credit: Shruti Jain

Sikar, Rajasthan: Close to 15,ooo farmers have been protesting at the Krishi Upaj Mandi in Rajasthan’s Sikar district since September 1, under the leadership of the All India Kisan Mahasabha. Their demands include a complete farm loan waiver, implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission, the withdrawal of the 2017 ban on cattle trade, a solution to the menace of stray cattle and a pension for farmers. The protesters have called for a blockade at the district collectorate today (September 11) to assert their demands.Read More »

India: How One Village’s Successful Tryst With Self-Governance Inspired Others to Embrace Gram Swaraj


The Wire | August 5, 2017

A village council meeting being held in Barkheda village to discuss community issues. Credit: Ishan Agrawal

A village council meeting being held in Barkheda village to discuss community issues. Credit: Ishan Agrawal

A few years ago, Barkheda village in Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh was a typical example of how rural communities neglect their common resources and let them degrade or be used by a few influential households. Then a few villagers decided it was time for change.

With the help of development workers from a non-profit with expertise in natural resources management, some of them figured out that the commons could be used to the mutual benefit of the community at large. They started raising their voices at village council meetings.Read More »

‘How many deaths will it take . . .’

by Smarajit Jana

Frontier | August 15, 2017

How many farmers’ suicide would make it a ‘case’ and bring us to sense? ‘The answer is not blowing in the wind’. More than three lakhs of farmers committed suicide since 1995. This is the registered cases of suicides as per the Government department. However as per definition, farmers’ are those who own farm land in his or her name. Even if one of the spouses or child of a farmer commit suicide having no land holdings in his or her name will not be figured in the statistics. So the actual number would be much higher if all these cases of suicides that are dependent on agriculture are included. On an average 15400 farmers committed suicides every year in India in between 1995 to 2003. This has increased to more than 16000 in between 2004 to 2012. Suicides rose by 42% in between 2014 and 2015. The number of suicides quadrupled in the state of Karnatka during this period.  In fact the rising trend of farmers’ suicide across India is a well established fact since it first reported in 1995, barring only few exceptional periods. still it is not a ‘chilling factor’ and  none of these numbers has moved the policy makers, when the farming community is passing through deep to deeper crisis.Read More »

On Independence Day Leaders Of Narmada Bachao Andolan To Remain In Jail

by | August 14, 2017


Badwani, Madhya Pradesh. August 14, 2017: The day Medha Patkar and others broke their 17 day indefinite fast, Madhya Pradesh police foisted cases of disturbing peace, kidnapping and many other trumped up charges on 55 named and 2,500 unnamed project affected and activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan. Most of the cases are related to the incident on August 7th when 2,000 strong police force violently attacked the fasting protesters, injured 42 and forcibly hospitalised 10 of them in Dhar and Indore Hospitals. This itself speaks volumes of the terror and oppression being unleashed in the Narmada valley today.Read More »

Medha Patkar Arrested Again

 | August 09, 2017


Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar was arrested again after being released from hospital. She is on the 14th day of her fast. Today after discharged from hospital in the afternoon, Medha Patkar started at 4 PM from Indore after meeting her supporters and resting a little. As their vehicle was moving towards Barwani, her vehicle was intercepted by nearly 35 police vehicles and arrested her again. The vehicle’s driver was forced out and a police man took control of the vehicle. Medha Patkar will be produced before the magistrate.Read More »

Declare Adivasis as Indigenous People Of India

by | August 09, 2017


Today we celebrate World Indigeneous people’s day but in the backyard of the biggest democracy of the world is the systematic isolation and displacement of millions of adivasis in the name of development. A veteran activist is fighting for the rights of the aadivasis on the Narmada valley but the government is determined to ‘develop’ the state even when it ensure dislocation of thousands of adivasis in India. Can we expect anything from those in power who have already decided what is ‘good’ for adivasis by dislocating them without any honorable rehabilitation? The state does not even allow activist to peacefully protest against a project which has never been shared with those who are going to be affected. The brutal and condemnable police action against the Narmada activists led by Ms Medha Patkar, in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh reflect the methodology of the Indian state which does not believe in dialogue on the issue of ‘development’. Those who challenge it peacefully are antinational while others who have picked up the guns have only given state legitimacy to brutally suppress the adivasi revolt in the name of Naxalism. Frankly speaking, fasting methods will not move Indian elites unless it is either done by the prime minister or some Swamies and Babas. Anna Hazare’s fast was to discredit the Manmohan Singh government and the nation is paying a price for it. Not that we loved Dr Singh but definitely he was much more sober and better than his alternative’.Read More »

Narmada Valley Hunger Strike Attacked: Medha Patkar And Four Others Arrested


 Environmental Protection | August 07, 2017


New Delhi | August 07, 2017 : In response to Indefinite fast led by 11 Sardar Sarovar Dam affected people and Medha Patkar in Chikhalda, Dhar District, Madhya Pradesh, India, Govt of Madhya Pradesh send police forces in thousands and attacked the peaceful meeting going on there around 6 PM Today. There was no attempt to talk to the protesters sitting on fast against the illegal and unjust drowning and forceful eviction of more than 40000 families in Narmada Valley residing there without complete and just rehabilitation. For last 12 days govt made no effort to have any dialogue and started raising panic about their deteriorating health, no attempt at any dialogue.Read More »