P. Sainath Profile picture
Founding editor @PARINetwork
Richesh Jain Profile picture Dipankar Khasnabish Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
Apr 12 15 tweets 6 min read
1/15. This week marks the 200th anniversary of the great tradition of Indian journalism – the opposite of the petty one that has ruled our media for 30-40 years. Raja Ram Mohan Roy founded the newspaper Mirat-ul-Akhbar on April 12, 1822.
#PressFreedom Image 2/15. He had of course launched the Bengali paper Sambad Kaumudi in November 1821, but it was not his name that appeared as publisher for a while. With Mirat ul Akhbar he explained his political and social views quite explicitly to an educated elite.
Feb 17 8 tweets 5 min read
1/8. With the passing of Ramchandra Sripati Lad (underground name ‘Captain Bhau’) on Feb. 5 – India lost one of her greatest freedom fighters. On June 7, 1943, his Toofan Sena squads looted a British Raj train at Shenoli, Maharashtra. Story link at end of thread.
#FreedomFighter 2/8. The money from the Raj payroll was spent on struggling farmers and workers in a year of great hunger. “It is unjust to say we looted anything,” he complained. “What the British had looted from us Indians, we brought a small part of that back to our people.”
Jan 24 8 tweets 8 min read
1/8. Another first for India: police in Amravati, Maharashtra are holding 58 camels “in detention.” They also arrested their pastoralist herders – who’ve managed bail – from Kachchh on charges of cruelty to the animals. Story link at end of thread.
#animal #camel #cattle 2/8. The 5 semi-nomadic herders were going to Rabari settlements in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh to deliver camels that communities there had ordered through kin in Kachchh. They’ve been doing this for decades without anyone accusing them of cruelty.
#animal #camel #cattle
Dec 23, 2021 7 tweets 5 min read
1/7. Tweets paraphrasing my open letter to the Chief Justice of India responding to his lament that “the concept of investigative journalism is unfortunately vanishing from the media canvas.” But how and why did that come to be so. Story link at end of thread.
#CJI #mediafreedom Image 2/7. For about 30 years, I had argued that the Indian media are politically free but imprisoned by profit. Today, they remain imprisoned by profit, but the few independent voices amongst them are increasingly politically imprisoned. Some under the UAPA.
#CJI #mediafreedom
Dec 20, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
1/5. The People’s Archive of Rural India turned 7 today. In just these first 84 months, PARI won 42 awards – one every 59 days on average. Of these, 12 are international awards. And 16 were won for stories done during the lockdown periods. Story link at end of thread
#Anniversary 2/5. First day of last year’s lockdown, the media were declared an essential service. Good – as never had the Indian public needed journalism and journalists more. Stories needed to be told on which people’s lives and livelihoods depended. How did Big Media respond?
Nov 20, 2021 7 tweets 6 min read
1/7. Why is it so hard for the media to admit that the farmers at Delhi’s gates represent the largest peaceful democratic protest the world has seen in years – that too, organised at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic? Story link at end of thread.
#FarmLaws #FarmLawsRepealed 2/7. Prime Minister Modi ‘apologises’ to the nation not for bringing in obnoxious anti-farmer laws but because, he says, he failed to persuade ‘a section of farmers despite best efforts’ to accept them. So which sections of farmers did he persuade?
#FarmLaws #FarmLawsRepealed
Nov 18, 2021 4 tweets 4 min read
1/4. Chikapar was thrice displaced, first for the HAL MIG project, then for a naval munitions depot and once for a Military Engineering Service station. The only village to have taken on the army, navy, air force – and lost. Story link at end of thread.
#displacement #ruralindia Image 2/4. All three times, the displacement of this Koraput village was for ‘development.’ Mukta Kadam was evicted the first time herding her five children through jungle on an angry monsoon night. The second time, she was thrown out with her grandchildren.
#displacement #ruralindia Image
Aug 15, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
1/7. Bhagat Singh Jhuggian, 93, is one of India’s last living freedom fighters. Expelled from school, an official circular called him ‘dangerous’ and a ‘revolutionary’ – at age 11! He became a courier for the radical underground. Story link at end of thread.
#IndependenceDay2021 2/7. His reaction to being thrashed and thrown out of Government Elementary School, Samundra in Hoshiarpur, Punjab was: ‘Now I’m free to join the anti-British struggle.’ He did. By the time he was 16, the police were more scared of him than he was of them.
Jul 7, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
1/4. Journalists should not accept awards from governments they cover or critique. If the external auditor of a venture you were invested in was accepting the company’s awards, you would be furious. The journalist is an external auditor to government.
#Media #Awards 2/4. In this respect, journalists are different from musicians, artists, sportspersons, and some other groups. Unlike journalists, those other groups are not likely to be subsequently called upon to scrutinize the government’s functioning.
#Media #Awards
May 19, 2021 7 tweets 5 min read
1/7. The number of schoolteachers who died of Covid-19 after compulsory duty in UP’s panchayat polls has risen to 1,621 – 1,181 men and 440 women. And the toll could rise further. Link to story (with full list of those deaths) at end of thread.
#COVID19 #Elections2021 2/7. The UP government says there is no proven connection between the holding of the elections and the deaths of these teachers who, as the Allahabad High Court noted, did not volunteer to render their services “but it was all made obligatory.”
#COVID19 #Elections2021
May 14, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
1/6. 𝗙𝗮𝗺𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗱𝘀 (not for the speaker, but countless thousands of others): “Remember, victory in the Mahabharat war came in 18 days. Against Covid it will take 21 days.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi. March 25,2020. (Do add your own favourites).
#COVID19India 2/6. 𝗙𝗮𝗺𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗱𝘀 (not for the speaker, but for countless thousands of others): “Today, India is ready to protect humanity with not one but two Made in India Corona Vaccines.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pravasi Divas meet, January 9, 2021.
Apr 16, 2021 7 tweets 8 min read
1/7. Indian Billionaires, now 140 in number, almost doubled their wealth in the pandemic year, says Forbes magazine, their combined worth reaching $596 billion (Rs. 44.5 trillion). In a year when GDP contracted 7.7 %. Story link at end of thread.
#Forbes #ambani #Farmers #COVID19 2/7. India’s 140 billionaires account for 0.000014 per cent of the population. But they hold wealth equivalent to 22.7 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product of $ 2.62 trillion, bringing that whole other meaning to the word 'Gross.'
#Forbes #ambani #Farmers #COVID19
Mar 8, 2021 6 tweets 6 min read
1/6. International Women’s Day: remember this group for whom ‘there is always a lockdown.’ Over 80 per cent of Indian nurses are women. A brilliant story in PARI by Kavitha Muralidharan on nurses in Tamil Nadu. Story link at end of thread.
#WomensDay #healthworkers #COVID19 2/6. Nurses working in Covid-19 wards do so at very high risk. Thousands have contracted the virus in India these past 11 months, and several have died – but data on healthcare worker deaths from Covid-19 are notoriously unreliable.
#WomensDay #healthworkers #COVID19
Feb 6, 2021 6 tweets 4 min read
1/6. Are those noisy Punjabis at Delhi’s gates “rich farmers?” The average monthly income of a farm household (avg. 5.24 persons) in that state was Rs. 18,059. Or a monthly per capita income of Rs. 3,450. (NSS 70th Round). Story link at end of thread.
#FarmersProtests 2/6. In Haryana: Farm household avg. 5.9 persons. Avg. monthly income Rs.14,434 or Rs. 2,450 per capita. That’s income from ALL sources: cultivation, livestock, wages/ salaries, non-farm businesses. Gee! Such wealth. What a ball these folks must be having.
Dec 29, 2020 5 tweets 4 min read
1/5. The Indian Jawan is a Kisan in uniform. And among the lakhs of peasants at Delhi’s gates is this group of 6 war heroes and veterans who have between them won over 50 medals in wars they’ve fought for India. (story link at end of thread)
#FarmersProtests #JaiJawanJaiKisan Image 2/5. “When we fought the wars, our parents were on the land, farming. Now our children are at the borders, and we do the farming,” says Colonel Jaswinder Singh Garcha (retd.), in his seventies.
#FarmersProtests #JaiJawanJaiKisan Image
Dec 10, 2020 5 tweets 3 min read
1/5. The farm laws exclude civil court jurisdiction and bar prosecution of officers of central and state governments, and also “any other person in respect of anything” if done “in good faith.” Hint: Any other person = corporations
#Farmers #FarmerBills 2/5. And ““No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect of any matter…” etc., These laws curb the right to legal recourse of all citizens, not just farmers. They undermine democracy, not just agriculture
#Farmers #FarmerBill2020
Nov 27, 2020 5 tweets 4 min read
१/५ शेतकरी दिल्लीत पोचू नयेत यासाठी काटेरी तारा, आडकाठ्या आणि सीमा सुरक्षा दळ? भले. तर ही आहे, सहकारी संघराज्य प्रणाली. का दिल्ली दरबारी शेतकऱ्यांचा उठाव थोपवण्यासाठी हरयाणाच्या सुभेदारांच्या संगनमतात सहकारी सरंजामशाही?
#FarmersDilliChalo #Farmers #FarmBills २/५. दुष्ट बाजारसमित्यांपासून शेतकऱ्यांना ‘मुक्त’ करू पाहणारी तीन कृषी विधेयकं (कायदे नव्हे) आठवतायत? केंद्राने रेटलेली, माध्यमं, ‘तज्ज्ञ’ अर्थशास्त्र्यांनी वाहवा केलेली! हाय! तोच मुक्त शेतकरी आज (कधीच न) पोसणाऱ्याच्या मुळावर उठलाय.
#FarmersDilliChalo #Farmers #FarmBill
Nov 26, 2020 5 tweets 4 min read
1/5. Barbed wire, Barricades and Border Security Force to stop farmers from reaching Delhi? Wow! There’s Cooperative Federalism for you. Or is it cooperative feudalism with the subedars of Haryana saving the Dilli Darbar from a peasant uprising?
#FarmersDilliChalo #Farmers 2/5. Remember the 3 Farm Bills (now laws) that were to ‘liberate’ farmers from the clutches of the evil APMC? Rammed through by the Centre, hailed by media and ‘expert’ economists. Damn! The liberated are biting the hands that never fed them.
#FarmersDilliChalo #Farmers #FarmBill
Sep 28, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
1/5. Bhagat Singh. Today is the 113th birth anniversary of the man we celebrate as a martyr, political activist, thinker, revolutionary – and rightly so. Sadly, an element central to his identity – Bhagat Singh the journalist, remains largely unknown
#Bhagat_Singh 2/5. Bhagat Singh the journalist wrote in four languages, English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi. While underground, he learned some Bengali. He even understood a little Persian. All this - achieved by a young man hanged at age 23. Many of us began journalism at that age
Sep 24, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
1/5. पंतप्रधान मोदी वारंवार सांगतायत अ) ते किमान हमीभाव संपुष्टात येऊ देणार नाहीत आणि ब) २०२२ पर्यंत शेतकऱ्यांचं उत्पन्न ते दुप्पट करतील. उत्तम. मग ही हमी देणारं ५ मुद्द्यांचं विधेयक ते का आणत नाहीत? आधीसारखा विरोध न होता ते विधेयक बिनविरोध पारित होईल.
#FarmBill2020 2/5. या विधेयकात - किमान हमीभावाची (स्वामीनाथन सूत्राप्रमाणे – ज्याचं वचन भाजपने २०१४ साली दिलंय) हमी असेल. कोणताही बडा व्यापारी, कंपनी किंवा ‘नव ग्राहक’ हमीभावाहून कमी किंमतीत शेतमाल उचलणार नाही. तसंच खरेदीची हमी असेल, जेणेकरून हमीभावाची थट्टा होणार नाही.
Sep 24, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
१/५. PM मोदीजी ने आश्वासन दिया है के १) वे MSP को कभी लुप्त नहीं होने देंगे २) वे किसानों की कमाई २०२२ तक दुगनी कर देंगे। बहुत अच्छी बात है. इन आश्वासनों को एक बिल के द्वारा निश्चित करने से उन्हें किसने रोका है? बाकि ३ बिलों से विपरीत, यह बिल बिना विरोध पास होगा #FarmBill2020 २/५. बिल का आशय होगा: MSP (स्वामीनाथन फॉर्मूला, जिसका भाजपा ने २०१४ में वादा किया था) की गारंटी. बड़े व्यापारी, कंपनियां या कोई 'नए खरीदार' MSP से कम दाम में माल नहीं खरीद सकेंगे. और एक बात - मुख्तारी की गारंटी हो ताके MSP एक मज़ाक ना बन जाये #FarmBill2020