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Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone - Issue #33

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June 7 · Issue #33 · View online
Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone
Free speech is free. For all. Or it is tainted. It is free even when you don’t like it and it criticizes you.
When Majrooh Sultanpuri was jailed for 2 years for alluding to Nehru as Hitler, that was a devastating assault on free speech. When Indira’s emergency threw thousands into the jails for no reason, that was shredding the free speech.
What is happening now is not that people do not have the right to criticize the establishment. The problem with those brought up on the grease of the past is that they alone do not have the microphone or the pen. Others do too.
That is why the cries for attack on free speech and attacks on it have been coming from the same quarters - those who have ruled the waves.

your voice for you
Opindia is under threat from forces which have been in the business of silencing voices since India’s independence.
Nupur J Sharma
Free speech and freedom of press is available to everyone, not just a Times of India journalist. We as citizens expect you to uphold the values enshrined in our constitution. Let only a court of law decide what should be published and what shouldn’t be.
This, they call, “Freedom of Expression”.
Freedom of Expression in India always meant, freedom for only some to express that which was sanctioned. Anything else was buried.
That is why even in 1965, Utpal Dutt was arrested for running a theater drama called “Kallol” on the subject of Naval Mutiny of 1946 by the Congress Party regime in Bengal (How India got its independence - the real story). Because Gandhi had to be installed as the hero of India’s independence. Not Netaji.
You see, all these years, the editors in the newspaper offices have been trashing only some types of news and accentuating others to build a narrative that aligned with the mindset of those who ruled India as if it was their own kingdom.
It can’t happen anymore.
So, India itself is under threat.
Either there is an India with them as the kings and queens. Or none at all.
The news which hitherto no one reported about was picked up by Opindia to balance the scales.
For example, the whole world was told about how Junaid was “lynched because of beef” and a “not in my name” movement started.
But, not one of these media houses ever reported the court judgment which confirmed that his death (Opindia - High Court nails lies) was a result of an altercation over seats in a train. It had absolutely nothing to do with either beef or religion.
If you know the former (Junaid’s death and its fake movement), how come you don’t know about the latter (high court judgment calling out the lies)?
Remember, that high court judgment has not yet been challenged since!
'...if you can keep it'
When Benjamin Franklin left the Independence hall after the second draft of the US constitution, he was asked by a woman “Mr. Franklin, What manner of government have you bequeathed us?”
He replied “A Republic madam. If you can keep it.”
Democracy is about having a voice. Not just a vote. So, don’t outsource your humanity and character to those who have their paymasters to report to. Start a blog. Start a podcast. Shun silence.
Fair Game - Sean Penn - Speech
speak up - and demand the truth
India’s Civilization has a threat. It comes from us. And our silence.
Our voices have been dumbed down for decades. Indeed centuries now. 
We have been made to feel ashamed of even speaking about who we are. Even articulating which seemed obvious to us was deemed shameful.
Such had become our state, that if another person from West or the elite establishment did not acknowledge us of being human, we could argue very effectively as to why indeed we were a sub-human creation collectively. 
You see, even the acknowledgement of our humanity had been outsourced!
That is why the indigenous voices from those amongst us who are unapologetic about our being, is so revolutionary.
The time has come for the likes of Opindias to proliferate.
What they - Nupur Sharma and Ajeet Bharti - have done is indeed super-human. Given their resources and the expanse of their work.
Only truth and honesty to one’s purpose can propel such work.
But we need many such people. Speak up. For voices create narratives.
And narratives shape civilizations.
Speak, for Voices impact Narratives and Narratives Shape Civilizations! - Drishtikone
top social media tool for protests?
Everyone knows how the social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are used to mobilize people. Along with WhatsApp as a communication medium, these social media tools are supposed to be the apps of choice for any protesting group.
So guess which tool was the most effective and powerfully used during the protests post-George Floyd’s murder?
It is Google Docs!
In just the last week, Google Docs has emerged as a way to share everything from lists of books on racism to templates for letters to family members and representatives to lists of funds and resources that are accepting donations. Shared Google Docs that anyone can view and anyone can edit, anonymously, have become a valuable tool for grassroots organizing during both the coronavirus pandemic and the police brutality protests sweeping the US. (Source)
Its free, simple, and accessible, even when it is not encrypted.
altruism is maha-crime?
In Maharashtra, the government has run the whole state into a terrible situation by either lack of action or through malafide ways. When the state government machinery was not doing anything for the migrants, common people jumped in to help.
Sonu Sood has done the most for the returning migrants by arranging buses and even a charter flight. Shiv Sena is not very happy with the actor and is chiding him and his work.
'Mahatma Sonu Sood will meet PM Modi, become celebrity manager': Sena hits out at actor for helping migrants 'Mahatma Sonu Sood will meet PM Modi, become celebrity manager': Sena hits out at actor for helping migrants
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut feels that Sonu Sood has political aspirations and he is doing it per that “political script.”
Simple question for him - So what? So, bloody what?!!
You help them out. You run your own political script and do what he is doing better than him.
How was Shiv Sena with all the moneys and administrative machinery not able to do even a fraction of what Sonu Sood on his own could do?
That is an important question that Maharashtra voters will need to ask in the future.
As a citizen of India, however, Sonu Sood has all the right to go for a political office if he so wants. There is nothing wrong with that. When the political governments have become third-rate actors and comedians like those in Shiv Sena’s stable, what’s wrong with having good actors - and human beings - replace them to do some actual work for a start?
nota bene
Terrorist flush-out: Indian security forces took on Jihadi terrorists in Reban area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, starting in an operation on June 7th. It is a joint operation between 178 battalion of Central Reserve Police Force, Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operation Group (SOG). It all started with the killing of Danish Manzoor in Eidepora Bomai (Source)
Type A vulnerabilities: A team of German scientists at University of Kiel have found that people with Type A blood are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections. They are 50% more likely to need oxygen and ventilator support if they get infected by COVID-19 (Source)
COVID Forex boost: The Foreign Exchange reserves in India have shot up during the COVID-19 crisis. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das in the monetary policy statement last month had said that forex has surged by $9.2 billion in FY21 so far (till May 15) to $487.0 billion, equivalent to 12 months of imports. (Source)
Is the big one coming?: The Delhi-NCR region has seen 13 earthquakes in the last 2 months. Is it a prelude to a big one in the near future? (Source)
baldwin's 'black lives matter'
James Baldwin was a renowned American novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, and activist. Here is Mr. Baldwin delivering the original “Black Lives Matter” speech where he argues for racial justice and equality at the Cambridge University. It is worth listening.
James Baldwin's "Black Lives Matter" Speech (1965)
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