The Political Economy of Godi Media
'Priyanka Gandhi ने मीडिया को चेताया, बोलीं- हिम्मत करो, बहुत गड़बड़ है' | Sankalp Satyagraha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T9LzeM_klE The Political Economy of Godi Media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EdR6besHY4 NewsClickin
Mar 29, 2023 It is widely recognised today that the mainstream media in India has become a mouthpiece of the powerful - whether it is the government or corporates. Behind this ethical collapse lies a financial collapse of the media industry, which makes the news media permanently wary of speaking up.
LAKHS OF FARMERS TO GATHER AT KISAN MAHAPANCHAYAT OF SAMYUKT KISAN MORCHA AT DELHI ON 20TH MARCH
LAKHS OF FARMERS TO GATHER AT KISAN MAHAPANCHAYAT OF SAMYUKT KISAN MORCHA AT DELHI ON 20TH MARCH Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) | Press Release – March 19, 2023
The Mahapanchayat shall demand that the Union Govt. fulfil the commitments it had given in writing to SKM on 9th December, 2021 and also take effective steps to mitigate the ever increasing and spiralling crisis being faced by farmers.
India tops in internet shutdowns globally for the fifth consecutive year: Report
India tops in internet shutdowns globally for the fifth consecutive year: Report
With more than 800 million internet users, India has the second-largest digital population in the world, after China. The internet connects the country’s remote rural areas with cities
https://www.newsclick.in/india-tops-internet-shutdown-globally-5th-consecutive-year Out of 187 shutdowns across 35 countries last year, 84 were ordered in India, including 49 in J&K, according to Internet advocacy watchdog Access Now.
Full report https://www.accessnow.org/cms/assets/uploads/2023/02/KeepItOn-2022-Report.pdf
Although Access Now counted fewer than 100 shutdowns in India for the first time since 2017, it is “not convinced” that the government has “embarked on the path towards positive sustained change regarding digital rights”.
“Legal challenges against shutdowns, fewer mass protests in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sustained and increasing crackdown on dissent may have increased administrative friction or reduced the incentives for authorities to impose shutdowns,” the report adds.
The group also feels all disruptions in India in 2022 weren’t recorded due to the government’s “persistent failure to publicly release shutdown orders in violation of the Supreme Court’s judgment” and the “technical challenges in monitoring, tracking, and recording shutdowns—in particular in communities where shutdowns are an emerging issue”.
As NITI Aayog Looks into Water Trading, it Should Know the High Costs it May Bring
India’s initiative to study the global benchmarks for water trading indicates that the NITI Aayog, as a national body of planning, has decided to continue with its neoliberalist stand and strengthen it further.
If this comes into effect, though it is a national resource, water will be sold like gold and silver. As NITI Aayog Looks into Water Trading, it Should Know the High Costs it May Bring (thewire.in)
Since the idea is directly concerned with property rights, the foremost challenge is how the legitimisation of monopolisation and exploitation of water and water resources will be justified in prevailing constitutional settings. How will the principles of equality and rights over water as a property be defined for water markets? Once water becomes a commodity for trade, a disturbing question will be what can be a ‘comfortable’ price of water for the poor and middle classes.
For a country like India, this idea also presents a challenge to equity. Instead of fighting for water for all, it encourages more water to the price payers.
As the purpose of trade is to increase private surplus value, the worry is how the government will control the exploitation of groundwater. The NITI Aayog cannot afford to avoid the fact that big farmers and industrialists can collect excess amounts of water by investing in water trading. To ensure more water, they can establish water plants in plain lands and extract groundwater excessively by using advanced technology, as Nestlé is currently doing.
Collapse of regulatory structures
The Adani affair: Collapse of regulatory structures People's Commission on Public Sector and Public Service - Statement 10.02.2023
Extracts: SEBI’s own “investigations” into the use of shell companies has been going on for almost two years without any tangible progress. This is indeed serious because it reflects at best either lethargy, carelessness and dereliction of basic regulatory duties, or, at worst, a permissive regulatory regime that encourages cronyism.
Recent media reports reveal that the authorities in Mauritius have been in touch with SEBI, indicating that SEBI may well know or may have already been in the know about the true identities of “beneficial owners” in entities that own shares of the Adani companies.
Answering a Rajya Sabha Question on shell companies on February 6, 2018, the Corporate Affairs Minister stated “The Companies Act, 2013 does not define the term Shell Company. In effect, the Union Government, by conceding that it has no laws to check the abuse of shell companies, has accepted that it has no interest in establishing structures that promote transparency in markets that ensure that the identities of the true beneficial owners of companies are visible to all instead of hiding behind opaque walls.
To make matter worse, the Government’s decision of August 2022, deciding to allow Indian corporate entities to invest in foreign locations, provides ample scope for Indian entities to use shell companies located in tax havens to indulge in round tripping, a mechanism that enables the rerouting of black money into the Indian economy. The decision also permitted domestic entities to make overseas investments, even if they were under investigation by any investigative agency or regulatory authority, a provision that opened the overseas doors for tainted individuals and companies to continue with round tripping. This raises concerns about the motives underlying the decision
The Adani fiasco highlights the futility of the government’s reliance on private global champions to power the Indian economy. Moreover, such a misplaced reliance necessarily rests on a culture of “cronyism”, while holding back the potential of publicly-owned Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE).
There is widespread apprehension that many corporate entities appear to be operating through a multi-layered and complex web of shell companies set up in tax haven jurisdictions. This has the effect of creating a shadow economy, which enables them to not only evade taxes in India, but to manipulate markets, pass on funds to political parties through opaque vehicles such as Electoral Bonds, and mock at regulatory norms. The power to influence the political executive to adopt policies and laws that promote their own interests, and to the overall detriment of the public interest, is simply unacceptable to a functioning democracy.
The importance of George Soros’s Open Society – for India and the world
Rajni Bakshi writes: The importance of George Soros’s Open Society – for India and the world https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/george-soros-indian-democracy-modi-remarks-open-society-8454825/ Rajni Bakshi February 19, 2023
George Soros’ personal history is itself proof that the most serious contest of our time is not between the 'right' and the 'left' or capitalism and communism. It was between open and closed societies
Soros did not stop at seeing repressive communist regimes as enemies of an open society. By the mid-1990s, Soros began speaking out against what he called “market fundamentalism”. He reformulated his understanding of open society when he realised that excessive individualism and lack of social cohesion are as dangerous as excessive state control. While Popper had limited himself to critiquing communism, Soros used his knowledge as a leading market player to bust myths about the “free market”.
Market fundamentalism, he argued, is a mindset which reduces virtually all human interactions to transactional, contract-based relationships that must be valued in terms of a single common denominator — money.
Many other voices, both in the West and East, helped to puncture “market fundamentalism”. They argued that when free market ideology is treated as an ultimate truth this destroys social good and eventually undermines an open society by insisting that “There Are No Alternatives”, commonly known as the TINA effect.
This is why, in India today, the division between “left” and “right” is unhelpful to grasp what is most urgently at stake.
open society is hanging by a thread. In India, this is a strong thread because, until recently, living with differences came naturally to us. And, however distracted we may be by the controversy of the day, old mental habits cannot evaporate so easily. We know that reality is made up of competing, sometimes contradictory, yet co-existing truths. Open society lives on as long as this is the anchor for a large enough number of people and they dare to speak out.
For full speech of Soros: https://www.georgesoros.com/2023/02/16/remarks-delivered-at-the-2023-munich-security-conference/
The Dharmikaran of Agriculture is a Beggars Rope
Agriculture: शेतीचे धार्मिकीकरण म्हणजे भिकेचे डोहाळे! By वसंत भोसले February 4, 2023 https://www.lokmat.com/editorial/the-religiousization-of-agriculture-is-a-beggars-rope-a384-c301/ https://www.lokmat.com/editorial/the-religiousization-of-agriculture-is-a-beggars-rope-a384-c301/
वास्तविक भारतीय कृषी क्षेत्रात इतकी विविधता आहे की, एखादे पीक पुरेसे आले नाही, त्याचे उत्पादन कमी झाले तरी त्याला पर्याय असतो. भरड धान्याचे असंख्य प्रकार आहेत. या धान्यांच्या उत्पादनवाढीसाठी सरकारकडे कोणतीही योजना नाही. त्यांच्या चांगल्या बियाणासाठी पुरेसे संशोधन नाही. भरड धान्याला ‘श्री धान्य’ म्हटल्याने उत्पादन वाढत नसते. ते धान्य भरडून खायचे असते म्हणून त्याला भरड धान्य म्हणतात. श्री या शब्दाचा अर्थ काय? श्रीधान्य असे नाव दिल्याने त्या धान्याच्या नैसर्गिक गुणधर्मालाच छेद दिला जातो. शेतीलाही धार्मिक आयाम देण्याचे प्रयत्न होत आहेत. Google translate: In fact, Indian agriculture is so diverse that even if a crop does not produce enough, its yield is reduced, there is an alternative. There are numerous types of whole grains. The government has no plan to increase the production of these grains. There is not enough research for their good seed. Calling coarse grains 'Sri Dhanya' does not increase production. It is called coarse grain because it is eaten full of grain. What does the word Sri mean? By giving the name Shreedhanya, the natural properties of that grain are violated. Efforts are being made to give religious dimension to agriculture as well.
वास्तविक कृषी क्षेत्रावर आजही ६५ ते ७५ कोटी जनता थेट अवलंबून आहे. भारताच्या दहाव्या कृषी गणनेनुसार एक हेक्टर किंवा त्यापेक्षा कमी क्षेत्र असणाऱ्या शेतकऱ्यांचे प्रमाण ८६.२० टक्के आहे. शेतकऱ्यांची ही संख्या ११ कोटी ७२ लाख भरते. मध्यम शेतकऱ्यांची (१ ते ४ हेक्टर क्षेत्र) संख्या १ कोटी ९७ लाख आहे आणि त्यांचे प्रमाण १३.२० टक्के आहे. केवळ ९ लाख ८० हजार शेतकरी पाच किंवा त्याहून अधिक हेक्टर शेतीक्षेत्र असणारे आहेत. लहान आणि मध्यम शेतकऱ्यांची संख्या मागील कृषी गणनेच्या आकडेवारीनुसार वाढली आहे. म्हणजे तुकडेकरणाची प्रक्रिया अद्याप थांबलेली नाही. याचा दुसरा अर्थ असा होतो की, कृषी क्षेत्रावर अवलंबून असणाऱ्यांची संख्या वेगाने कमी होणे अपेक्षित आहे ते होत नाही. ग्रामीण भागात रोजगाराची संधी कृषी क्षेत्रातच आहे; पण त्या कृषी क्षेत्रातील लोकांचे; पर्यायाने शेतकऱ्यांचे उत्पन्न वाढण्यासाठी कोणतेही उपाय करण्यात आलेले नाहीत. Actually 65 to 75 crore people are directly dependent on the agricultural sector even today. According to India's 10th Census of Agriculture, the proportion of farmers with one hectare or less is 86.20 percent. This number of farmers is 11 crore 72 lakh. The number of medium farmers (1 to 4 hectares area) is 1 crore 97 lakh and their proportion is 13.20 percent. Only 9 lakh 80 thousand farmers have five or more hectares of agricultural land. The number of small and medium farmers has increased as per previous agriculture census figures. This means that the process of fragmentation has not yet stopped. Another implication is that the number of dependents on agriculture is expected to decrease rapidly, which is not happening. Employment opportunities in rural areas are mainly in agriculture; But those agricultural people; Alternatively, no measures have been taken to increase the income of farmers.
Comment. It may be tag line to say natural farming or organic farming should be "Ram Bharose", But can Public Agrilcultural Policy be? Not Ram Bharose, but Decentralisation, Look for the 'Atma' Locally, not corporatised universe
Nor can us use industrial intensification principles - taylorisaiton, external inputs, externalisation of waste etc. The only way is to diversify rural economy not just on-farm activity like animal husbandry, horticulture but also construction/building of infrastructure through NREGA, allied services jobs, like decentralised rural based distribution using IT, localised cold storage and credit for it, export. Today all these are being taken over by large centralised and monopoly like set-ups.
Budget 2023: Here is what Nirmala Sitharaman said about ‘Shri Anna’ and the International Year of Millets https://www.opindia.com/2023/02/budget-2023-nirmala-sitharaman-said-shri-anna-and-the-international-year-of-millets/
On December 6, last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations hosted the opening ceremony for the International Year of Millets 2023 in Rome in Italy. In her budget sppech 2023, the FM emphasised, “Now to make India a global hub for Shri Anna, the Indian Institute of Millets Research in Hyderabad will be supported as the centre of excellence for sharing best practices, research and technologies at the international level.” The speech itself : youtube 2 mins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmjCmFL4MbM
All About Siridhanya Millets-Health Benefits-Best Alternative for Wheat and Rice-Dr Khadar Vali https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcX3SSXfBFM
Aaron Swartz and His Legacy of Internet Activism
As Swartz fought for, what we ideally need is government information in the public domain and people’s personal data being secret.
Aaron Swartz died 10 years ago, driven to suicide by prosecutorial overreach of US attorneys trying to convict him for 35 years in jail for downloading scientific journals in bulk at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Swartz was a technology genius, who championed the cause of open knowledge and open internet. He helped create Rich Simple Site and Creative Commons, and was the co-founder of reddit and digital rights organisation Demand Progress. Beyond the technology contributions, Swartz helped liberate tons of information from government databases and create open access libraries and projects.
In Swartz’s words:
“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitised and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.”
Across the world, at present, tech companies have taken over control of the information and internet infrastructure. They have co-opted words of internet communities to suit their narratives. In the name of openness and building Digital India, personal information has been commodified. This commodification of information is what Swartz was warning against, how the powerful are taking control of information that should belong to the people. People who understood this fought back against this very idea of gatekeepers of knowledge and information.
HILLE LE JHAKJOR DUNIYA at WALK OF HOPE 2015 -16 from KK to J&K
SONG : HILLE LE JHAKJOR DUNIYA at WALK OF HOPE 2015 -16 https://youtu.be/RHCiocHGHvY?t=120 - Manav Ekta Mission Aug 11, 2016
MUSIC OF HOPE, a music concert by the INDIAN OCEAN BAND which took place on the 27th of February 2016, to promote the Walk of Hope - A padayatra led by Sri M from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, which commenced in Jan 2015 and concluded in April 2016, with the purpose of promoting oneness, peace and harmony amongst the people of India
Walk of Hope: Step by step, humanity brings people together March 19, 2016 https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/sri-m-walk-of-hope-step-by-step-humanity-brings-people-together/ Sri M’s Walk of Hope began in Kanyakumari on January 12, 2015, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, and will conclude in Srinagar in May, reaching out to 10 million people en route.
Sri M's 'Walk of Hope' from Kanyakumari to Kashmir reaches Delhi https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/sri-ms-walk-of-hope-from-kanyakumari-to-kashmir-reaches-delhi/articleshow/51147205.cms
spreading the message of interfaith harmony, sustainable living, community health, equality, women’s empowerment and education. After having walked more than 5,600 km and having traversed six states, since setting out from India’s southernmost point on January 12, 2015, the walkers have reached Delhi.
Mega Port Project In Kerala - Adanigiri
Gautam Adani's Mega Port Project Stalled As A Fishing Community Protests https://www.ndtv.com/business/gautam-adanis-mega-port-project-in-trouble-as-a-fishing-community-protests-3545347
The Adani conglomerate plans to send heavy vehicles to the port on Friday after the court this week said vehicle movement should not be blocked. November 23, 2022 On the main road to billionaire Gautam Adani's planned Vizhinjam mega port on the southern tip of India, a shelter built by the coastal region's Christian fishing community blocks the entrance, preventing further construction.
Across the street, supporters of the port including members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party and Hindu groups have set up their own shelters.
Each day, the protesters and port supporters blare music from loudspeakers and chant slogans. Prakash R describes the situation as a standoff between "people of the sea", who are mostly Christian and make their living from fishing and "people of the land" who are predominantly Hindu.
This article reads more of a religious war than one that has pointed merits and demerits of the Adani Mega Port. This kind of news further polarises citizens rather than bringing them together to protect the landscape . There must be one voice against such a project/s. Divided voice may not get desired results. Adani port has already acquired huge land in the surroundings area with the help of both the government. A state wide solidarity and non violent protest should be planned.
The church is now in the forefront of the agitation. But there are other people who have been protesting for years. Coastal erosion has increased significantly since the construction began. Apart from environmental and social issues, the CAG itself has found the project to be economically unviable.
The agreement is a complete sell off to Adani.
Of this 7000+ crore project, Adani will be investing just above 2000 crores(obviously, that will be funded by our banks for him). And Adani will have 100 percent revenue from the project for 15 years. On 16th year, the state will get 1%, on 17th, 2% and so on upto 40th year when the state will get 25%
More importantly, the port will need huge quantities of boulders that will be mined from the Western Ghats.
Page 1 of 10