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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 52, New Delhi, December 12, 2020

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Dec 12, 2020

Friday 11 December 2020

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Dec 12, 2020

It is astonishing that the Supreme Court of India gave permission to the Government of Narendra Modi to go ahead with the foundation laying ceremony for the new Parliament and Central Vista complex while saying that no construction should begin. A clear contradiction in terms. The Court’s granting of the nod, while litigation is underway on ‘change of land use’ is very unfortunate. Due process is not the way this government functions, the government seems not interested in waiting for the Court’s verdict. A project of this scale concerning the very seat of the Government in India should have been debated over and over again in Parliament and in public.

The foundation stone laying ceremony for the Central Vista project went ahead and was turned into so-called ‘Bhumi Pujan’ ceremony not very different from the one for the Ram Temple ceremony. Why on earth was there a Hindu religious spectacle organized for the supposed launch of construction of the Parliament of a secular state.

The ceremony had Hindu priests and India’s Prime Minister. There was no sign of the President of India, Parliament Speaker or leaders of any other political parties. This thing has Hindutva written all over it and on top of it there is a clear intent to mark a Modi imprint on major new buildings of national and long-term importance. ‘Follie de grandeur’ of our ever unstoppable ruler. Democracy has been given a go-by in the worlds largest democracy!

That we are in an increasingly authoritarian atmosphere is clear by the ways of the government and its planners and its interest keepers.

A top official from the Niti Ayog has apparently inadvertently made a public statement suggesting that ‘Too Much Democracy is Bad for Reforms.’ This speaks for itself.

Earlier this week, the BBC reported on the release in Europe of a report on how the powers that be in India have over the past fifteen years used influence peddling and media manipulation by creating hundreds of fake news websites carrying ‘pro-India’ propaganda configured by unaccounted for agencies that are behind this operation. We invite our readers who are familiar with the everyday shouting match on TV networks that do a hatchet job on dissent, to now discover this ‘Make in India - Fake in India’ game that India’s agencies have been peddling outside India (see: Such manipulation to fix public opinion is bad for democracy.


Nityagopal Basu a leading figure in peasant struggle of the All India Krishak Sabha in West Bengal in the late 1940s passed away on December 6, 2020

Malalai Maiwand, a twenty-six-year-old Afghan news anchor, a woman journalist was shot dead near Jalalabad on December 10, 2020. Islamists who oppose women’s participation in public life are behind this.

Manglesh Dabral, the renowned Hindi poet and editor, passed way in Delhi on December 9, 2020. He had contracted Covid-19.

Astad Deboo, the celebrated exponent of modern Dance in India passed away on December 10, at his home in Mumbai. He was 73 and lost the battle with cancer. He was also a recipient of the Padma Shri in 2007.

We pay our homage to these personalities

December 12, 2020 – The Editor

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