Free Press Journal
  • Dalits raring to go

    A century after the Indian National Congress formally condemned untouchability and 68 years after the Constitution mandated affirmative action, India is still wrestling with The Dalit Question. Social tensions, such as the face-off between the Marathas and Mahars (two centuries after Bhima-Koregaon) continue to disrupt ‘samajik samrasta’. As every Indian acknowledges, social parity is still…

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  • Much ado about LGBTQ and Sec 377

    CERTAINLY,  the decades-long and sometimes militant struggle by gay activists in the US, supported by the media, gender activists and liberal movements towards pluralism and multi-culturalism, has radically changed attitudes to homosexuality the world over. In an age when Humanism informs our attitudes to those outside the mainstream, homophobia is seen as no less contemptible…

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  • Nothing impossible for ‘Rajini Can’t’

    THE symbol in the backdrop, of a lotus supporting a hand in Apana Mudra and enclosed by a cobra, reinforces the supernal persona and purity of purpose.  As his legion of fans would say, there is no such thing as “Rajini Can’t”. The sun doesn’t rise until Rajinikanth says “good morning”. One among the vast…

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  • Temple Run: The game is on in 2018

    WHEN  the Anthony committee pointed out that the Congress rhetoric on communalism was widely perceived as minorityism, Rahul Gandhi still didn’t get it. He continued to believe that characterising the BJP as an upper-caste, anti-poor, communal party was the way to go. On the cusp of 2018, with Rahul Gandhi at the helm, the Congress…

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  • Narendra Modi and Manmohan Singh

    Modi alleges Manmohan Singh: To speak and when not to speak

    Manmohan Singh ko gussa kab ata hai? Just how hard do you have to step on his Buddha-esque toes before he loses it? The former prime minister rarely breaks his inscrutable silence, but when he does, it’s volcanic. Like his tirade against PM Modi for implying that senior Congress leaders had secretly met with Pakistani…

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  • Time to rewrite the Cong fairy tale

    WHEN he returned to India after 12 years abroad, he brought very little to the table. He had no particular accomplishments or professional successes of which to boast, but enjoyed a jet-setting lifestyle and had a Venezuelan girlfriend on his arm. The lost, forlorn lad, just shy of 21, touched the hearts of millions as…

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  • Congress 2019 strategy hinges on Gujarat

    The sound of Rahul Gandhi’s silence on ticklish issues is the best possible music for the Congress in Gujarat. By steering clear of the 2002 riots and refusing to engage with critics of Padmavati, he has left the ruling party floundering for electoral ammunition, just when the BJP needs it most. Devoid of an emotionally-charged…

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  • Manjhi and the idea of reservation

    Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s suggestion that the benefits of reservation be limited to two generations of a single family deserves serious attention, given the opportunistic competition among communities for a slice of the quota pie – and among politicians to create vote banks through quotas. Affirmative action is no longer about social…

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  • 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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