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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 25 & 26 , June 17 & June 24, 2023

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, June 17 & June 24, 2023

Saturday 17 June 2023

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Authoritarian Streak Under the Modi Regime is Getting Bigger

On June 15, 2023, an official meeting decided to change the name of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML). This is a disturbing development that has rightfully come under criticism. A prestigious national institution both as a library - archive and one that was conceived as a memorial space for India’s first Prime Minister should not have been renamed, and there should have been prior consultation for a consensus with politicians across parties and with academics, with prominent persons while taking such an important decision. But very evidently the entire system seems to have an attitude of arrogance of power and is not willing to take any criticism in the face of unethical decision-making. The other day the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey revealed how the government of India had tried to pressure and threaten the company that its offices in India could face closure unless it took action to take down accounts of people supporting the Farmers movement. The Government denies and suggests as if Jack Dorsey is lying. Earlier this week news came of a massive data leak revealing passport numbers, Adhaar Card ID details, and more from the CoWin vaccination system database - a government database. Again, the Minister in charge denied any such leak of registrants’ private data. It is the Minister’s word versus everyone else’s. This is a huge administrative lapse in protecting data security. The Govt must apologize, fully investigate the leak and take measures to ensure personal data protection.

The Government seems above the law and not answerable — only public pressure can make it accountable and not allowed to get away.

June 17, 2023 —HK

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