Dear Pranav,

There are moments and events when a nation’s conscience is shaken and we collectively hang our heads in shame. The brutal tragedy of the gangrape of a young girl in UP’s Hathras village and the state’s subsequent complicity in trying to bury the truth is one such moment.

The media’s role is to report the unvarnished truth, define the context of why such tragedies are allowed to happen and inform the citizens of the remedies needed to ensure that such brutalities are stamped out. Our grantees have striven to do just that.

The Wire reports on the struggles and humiliation that rape survivors go through to even file an FIR in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Alt News debunks claims by certain leaders that the Hathras victim’s family was present when she was cremated. And, Feminism in India analyses how rape has been used as a political tool fuelled by deep patriarchy, caste discrimination and systemic bias.

Also, in the week of Mahatma Gandhi’s 151st birth anniversary, Live History India delves into the history of his iconic ‘Lathi’, which accompanied him on the Dandi March, and which has a past of its own!

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Sunil Rajshekhar

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In UP, Rape Survivors Struggle to Get Police to Register FIRs, Let Alone Investigate Them

Less than three weeks before the Hathras incident, a study by The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and the Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI), titled ‘Barriers in Accessing Justice’, revealed how even filing an FIR in today’s Uttar Pradesh is a struggle for rape survivors. The Wire’s report on the study highlights the humiliation, caste and gender discrimination that these survivors go through even before a preliminary investigation has begun.

Read Here

Video shared to make misleading claim that Hathras victim’s family did her last rites

Alt News fact-checks a claim made by political leaders that the Hathras victim’s family was present at her cremation. The fact-checking site spoke with the victim’s family and analysed media coverage from different sources to show that not one immediate family member was present when her last rites were performed.

Read Here

Rape As A Political Weapon

Feminism in India analyses how rape and sexual violence has been systematically used as a political weapon against women and the vulnerable to stifle their voices. In the Hathras gangrape incident in UP, aspects of gender prejudices, caste privileges and systemic discrimination were at play, it points out.

Read Here

If rulers get stubborn it’s a crime to sit at home: Punjab farmers’ protests get popular support

Contrary to the Centre’s claim that the farmers in Punjab have been “misled by vested interests”, The Caravan reports from the ground that the agitation against the Farm bills is transforming into a “peoples’ movement”. Not only has Punjab seen a massive mobilisation around the issue, but the farmer groups leading it are consciously keeping political parties seeking to profit from the movement at an arm’s length.

Read Here

How the amendment to FCRA strangles NGOs

Suno India discusses India’s history of clamping down on NGOs and the perennial fear of a ‘foreign hand’. The amendment to the law has severely demoralised the sector and is likely to hurt grassroot level NGOs which will find it tougher to comply and access funding, the podcast concludes.

Listen Here

More from the grantees
Mahatma Gandhi’s Iconic ‘Lathi’
Live History India goes down the history lane to tell the story of the walking stick, the ‘lathi’, that accompanied the Mahatma on his famous Dandi March and which had been passed down to him through some very illustrious owners.
New Labour Codes and their Loopholes
EPW argues that the new labour laws have further eroded even the limited protection currently available to the workers by expanding the space available to employers to unilaterally close down establishments and retrench workers without compensation.
Rajpora, A Village Now Connected To The World
Rajpora, a village in Kashmir, just 75-kms from Srinagar, gets its first mobile network, a full 15 years after mobile telephony came to Kashmir. As Kashmir Observer reports, it is enabling lives lived under the pandemic – a doctor on call, distance learning, and work from home.
Irrelevance of 66 MW Loktak downstream hydroelectric project in Manipur
Imphal Free Press analyses the multiple costs that the Loktak hydroelectric project in Manipur has extracted from the state. It reiterates the futility of hydel projects when more alternatives like solar are increasingly becoming more viable and sustainable.
ग्राउंड रिपोर्ट : देवरिया का डूबता गांव, रातभर जागते ग्रामीण कि घर-परिवार न समा जाये पानी में
In this ground reported story from Narayanpur, a village in Deoria district of UP, Janjwar highlights how the villagers are living in the fear of their houses being washed away by an overflowing river. Despite various promises being made by the administration, nothing has changed on the ground.
हिंसा, जाति और राजनीति: हाथरस से लाइव अपडेट
Khabar Lahariya reports from Hathras, UP, and highlights how TV channels and other media are now thronging the home of the grieving family of the gangrape victim and imposing on them.
Can Palm Oil Have a Sustainable Supply Chain?
The Bastion analyses how India, the largest importer of palm oil, and other consumers of the commodity, can work towards more sustainable procurement practices.
Suicide & Stigma: Sikkim's multifaceted social issue that remains unresolved
Sikkim Chronicle explores the reasons why the tiny Himalayan kingdom continues to have the dubious distinction of being among the top three states for suicides in India.

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