In India, a Pandemic of Prejudice and Repression: NYT

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The New York Times today published an opinion by Siddhartha Vardharajan on how the BJP government in India is escalating attacks on freedom of speech and liberty in the times of Covid19. We have summarised the opinion for our readers.

Freedom of speech and expression is the intrinsic element of liberal democracies across the world. However, amid the pandemic, there are further curbs on freedom of speech and liberty in India. Not only that, there are disparate vignettes to the story of the right to freedom.

An opinion piece published by New York Times highlighted, “The establishment is much more comfortable with the propaganda campaign against Muslims immediately started by a section of the Indian media, vilifying members of the Tablighi Jamaat, targeting mosques and seminaries rather than sincerely dealing with Covid19. This quickly morphed into a vicious social media campaign with fake videos carrying hashtags like #CoronaJihad.”

The author of the opinion piece, Siddhartha Vardharajan was himself implicated by the government along with other activists and intellectuals who voice their concern for public health. His portal, The Wire published an article showing that subsequently after the Tablighi Jamaat event Yogi Adityanath sanctioned a gathering under his watch on the occasion of Ram Navami in Ayodhya.

While thousands of migrant workers have been turned into wretched populace without food and shelter, Supreme Court, which was supposed to keep a check on the government’s excesses is despondently lurking on the sidelines.

Here is the link to the original article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/21/opinion/coronavirus-india.html?fbclid=IwAR0DFyA7-h4BQdu3t0fbqW4bdD0-gB68dzi8Fxqjr97i-lerT7VJn3pmxQQ

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