Free Press Journal
  • We have seen horrors of a pliant judiciary

    Erosion of public trust in democratic governments the world over has been well-documented. The political class as a whole and political incumbents in particular are no longer guaranteed to act in public interest. Media credibility has dropped to an all-time low and hopes in the democratizing effects of the internet, as an enabler of participatory…

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  • Cash-digital transaction balance is way forward

    The little rectangular squares of plastic in our wallets – credit/debit cards – probably know us better than best friends, spouses, or parents. Our food cravings and private fetishes, fashion choices and closet cosmetic procedures, your menstrual cycle and contraceptive preferences, undisclosed ailments and covert literary adventures – consumption patterns reveal who we are. Only…

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  • Gujarat elections 2017: BJP’s biggest challenge yet

    Will the PM’s 12-year track record as chief minister, Gujarati pride, Amit Shah’s organizational skills and an attenuated Congress compensate for three years of messy governance, the Patidar revolt, the two-too-many atrocities against dalits and the double whammy of GST and demonetization? Raj Thackeray doesn’t think so, but the BJP appears sanguine. The Wizard of…

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  • Abysmal standards in pesticide use

    The devastating impact of agricultural pesticides on farmers, consumers and even unborn children, is being felt across the country. The Yavatmal mass poisoning, which has so far claimed the lives of 40 farmers, recalls the Kasargode tragedy in Kerala, where exposure of pregnant women to the highly toxic pesticide, Endosulfan, led to congenital deformities in…

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  • Changing face of the Defamation Suit

    Admittedly, it is all too easy to use defamation law to bully and silence journalists and activists. Big Business, after all, can deploy far more legal firepower than a small media outfit and outspend it many times over. A recent example of a corporate suing a publication is that of the Essar Group, which took…

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  • Americans more trigger happy than others?

    As India paid homage to the apostle of non-violence on October 2, bloody violence erupted in the US. A lone gunman shot and killed 58 people and injured 430 others in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world. This was the latest in a series of mass shootings in the USA in 2017, in…

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  • Women power more visible now

    Patriarchy is fighting a losing battle. The one positive takeaway from the lathi-charge on women students at Benares Hindu University (BHU) is that it signals a wave of feminine assertion. Naturally, this provokes a backlash. Women are on the move, with unprecedented physical and social mobility, and are more visible and vocal than ever before….

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  • Why isn’t the Oppn on red alert?

    Opposition continues in reactive rather than pro-active mode, rousing itself occasionally to condemn the government and/or Narendra Modi and making desultory attempts at forging a united front. The humble farmers of Mandsaur and Sikar are proving a more effective opposition than the UPA & friends. With the Lok Sabha elections just 18 months away and…

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  • Six crore school going children growing up in fear

    India has over 25 crore schoolchildren, aged 6 to 17. At least one-quarter of them feel unsafe or unhappy in school, according to a survey by an international agency. That means millions of our children are growing up in fear. Then why should we be surprised that India has the highest threat perception from the…

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  • Talaq verdict: Thin end of the wedge

    The spirit of Shah Bano Begum, arguably the most famous victim of triple talaq, can finally rest in peace. She has a won a moral, if posthumous victory, with the Supreme Court verdict declaring verbal divorce or talaq-ul-bidaat as unconstitutional. The battle for gender justice, however, is only half won. The next phase of the…

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  • Good girls go out at night and party too

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address covered a range of contemporary issues, from national security and the war on corruption to the en masse death of children in a Gorakhpur hospital. The increasing incidence of attacks on women in public spaces, however, did not figure. Seventy years into Independent India, women continue their non-violent…

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  • Nitish Kumar’s principled stand on Vice President rare

    Nitish Kumar, styled as the new poster boy for political opportunism, has declared that he will honour his commitment to support Gopalkrishna Devdas Gandhi as the Opposition’s vice-presidential nominee, although the JD(U) is now a member of the ruling NDA. Such a principled stand is rare in Indian politics and all the more welcome for…

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