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I drink and I write things | Bylines for @PARINetwork, @Firstpost, Mumbai Mirror, Al Jazeera, LA Times |Movie Geek, Sports Buff, Has-Been Cricketer
22 May 20
At Vasai. The migrant workers supposed to get on the shramik train are called here. But thousands who have not recieved an SMS also turn up, hoping to get through.
This is the photograph of those who would NOT be able to make it to the train.
There are several workers who registered for the train but left when they found an alternative mode of transport. So to fill up the seats of those workers already left, authorities allow workers without registration to get in on first-come-first-serve basis.
Satish Yadav arrived at the ground at midnight. He spent the night here with his wife and two kids. One of them is only 5. She has only eaten biscuits since morning. They gave up their rented house, and are now hoping to get on the train.
Read 4 tweets
13 May 20
"Urban India didn't care about migrant workers till 26 March, only cares now because it's lost their services," P Sainath tells me in a detailed interview on the plight of migrant workers.
firstpost.com/india/urban-in…
Do read via @firstpost
"How many English publications even bothered to give names of the workers crushed under the train? They just had to go faceless, and nameless. If it had been a plane crash, you would have helplines giving information."
"The rationale in leaving was absolutely sound. They know — and every hour we are proving — how untrustworthy, inconsiderate and cruel their governments, factory owners and middle-class employers like us are. And we are proving that with laws to restrict their freedom of movement
Read 7 tweets
10 May 20
He left from Andheri at 4 AM. walked 16 hours to reach a checkpost in Thane. On the way, a tempo driver duped him for Rs. 1500 by promising to drop him to Reva, MP. He has Rs. 500 left, and he still has to cover 1200 kms.
#lockdown
Spent the entire day at the Thane checkpost. Scores of migrant workers, and their heartbreaking stories.
Meet Savita. She spent #mothersday2020 by walking for over 14 hours with her 3-year old daughter.
This young man from UP asks if the buses could be organised for students in Kota, why not for us? "Is there no value of our life? The lockdown isn't for everyone. The rich are going around in their AC cars," he says.
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24 Mar 20
Important: A daily wage worker in rural Latur showed signs of #coronavirus. He returned to his village after work dried up in Pimpri Chinchwad, where his roommate was tested positive. He travelled back home in a packed bus.
firstpost.com/health/despite…
My story for @firstpost
Between 15-22 March, lakhs of migrant labourers have made their way back to their villages in Marathwada because they could not afford to stay where they were. The worker from Latur is only one of them.
#COVIDー19
A doctor in rural Latur tells me this has suddenly increased their burden. His primary health centre is supposed to cover for 40,000 people. They don't have adequate protective gear, and are using old masks that they've been using for years.
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21 Mar 20
Why Modi chose 22 March for Janata Curfew, and asked us to clap at 5PM, according to fake news university. You won’t find an explanation as hilarious and as mind numbing as this one.
#Thread
Two months ago, Modi met scientists of ISRO and Nasa to discuss #coronavirus, where he wondered if it would be possible to spray chemical all over India with the help of a satellite.
Nasa’s scientists even said Modi’s IQ is same as Einstein’s upon hearing the theory. Modi proposed to bring the satellite full of chemical in front of the sun on 22 March because it is the hottest day, so the steam from the satellite would start moving towards the earth.
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24 Feb 20
Outside Sabarmati Ashram, kids from a nearby school have been sitting with India and US flags since 8 AM. An exasperated student tells me, "We had to come. Teacher told us to."
A bystander I spoke to wants Modi to be PM for 25-30 years. "If that happens, there won't be any need for Indian leaders to travel abroad. Everyone will come to us. We will have the dollar, they will have rupees," he proclaimed.
#TrumpIndiaVisit
#TrumpInIndia
Crowd roars as Trump's plane is seen landing in Ahmedabad on the giant screen installed at Sabarmati Ashram.
#TrumpIndiaVisit
#TrumpInIndia
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16 Feb 20
#Thread on what has turned out to be a five-part investigation from Bihar on how the police have brutalised muslims for participating in the anti CAA and NRC protests in the town of Aurangabad. Some have been terrorised for merely living close to the protest site
#CAA_NRC_Protest
In the first part, firstpost.com/india/in-bihar… I wrote how the police indulged in religious profiling, barged into houses, asked Muslims if they wanted Azaadi and even manhandled women in the absence of female constables. They arrested 46 people on the day.
The second part looked at the video footage where the police are caught on camera vandalising public and private property, for which the police had blamed protestors firstpost.com/india/watch-in…
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13 Feb 20
Exclusive: The main accused behind anti-CAA protests that turned violent in Bihar's Aurangabad town has been arrested twice from two different locations in police FIR. firstpost.com/india/police-p…
My story on the loopholes in the investigation that landed 46 Muslims behind bars
When the police couldn't prove a man's involvement in the unrest, they claimed he was injured by the stones pelted by "rioters". Except the police are caught on camera beating him up.

This, and more gems in my story for @firstpost
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4 Sep 19
Sharing a disturbing letter written by noted Marathi playwright Jayant Pawar. He talks about two recent instances that happened in Mumbai and Pune with two theatre groups, and asks if the art community will stand up. Posting some excerpts here. It should worry us all.
#Thread
"From 9th to 11th August, Delhi-based group Jan Natya Manch (Janam) had come to Mumbai with their play "Tathagat". On August 10th, the play was staged at the Ambedkar Bhavan in Dadar. The police arrived at the venue and made inquiries about the play."
"The next day in Andheri, at the Harkat Studio, 2 CID cops from Versova police station landed at the small auditorium and started taking photographs of the set. After this, they started making enquiries about Sudhanva Deshpande, the leader of the folk-theatre group."
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2 Aug 19
Three out of every four anchors (among a total of 40 anchors in Hindi channels and 47 in English channels) of debates are upper caste. Not one is Dalit, Adivasi, or OBC ~ from Oxfam India's Report: Caste Representation in Indian Media
For over 70% of their primetime debate shows, news channels draw the majority of the panellists from the upper castes.

No more than 5% of all articles in English newspapers are written by Dalits and Adivasis.
Around 72% of bylined articles on news websites are written by people from the upper castes

Only 10 of the 972 articles featuring on the cover pages of the 12 magazines under study are about issues related to caste.
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