Last week’s headlines were dominated by the Centre’s ‘Naya Kashmir’ outreach, with the Prime Minister meeting leaders of political parties in Kashmir, including the ‘Gupkar alliance’. This comes after Article 370 was abrogated, the State relegated to a Union Territory, a majority of Kashmiri leaders put under detention and the imposition of a general clampdown on political activity in the state.

The Centre’s rapprochement was unexpected and took many by surprise. ThePrint tells us why the Union government’s outreach was embedded in geostrategic imperatives. With the exit of the US from Afghanistan, India needs strategic space in the region, which entails stabilising relations with Pakistan, even talking to the Taliban, and untying the political knot in Kashmir.

Mojo Story too delves deep into the Kashmir overture and debates if the talks just amounted to a mere photo-op or if substantive outcomes are expected; and if any pressure from the US to calm nerves in the region, was really at play. Kashmir Observer decried the meeting as an “opportunity lost” by the ‘Gupkar alliance’ to collectively put across the real Kashmiri sentiments for restoration of Article 370.

Down To Earth reports how a spate of recent administrative decisions threatens both the fragile ecology and livelihoods of people in the Lakshadweep islands, who are out on the street protesting an “existential threat”.

And, Max Maharashtra's impactful reporting on the distress and struggles of the residents of Barad settlement in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra without electricity, forced the administration to electrify the settlement in two weeks. The first time that people had electricity in their homes in thirty years!

For more such stories this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Why Modi govt is suddenly ‘looking west’, talking to the Taliban and Pakistan

The Kashmir outreach by the Union government led to speculation on the motives. ThePrint argues that the reasons are not far to seek, and lie in geostrategic imperatives.

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Modi meets J&K Leaders in first major outreach | “Dil ki Duri aur Dilli Ki Duri Hatao”

Welcomed as the first major step in holding talks with leaders of political parties in Kashmir, Mojo Story debates the significance and implications of the move.

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"PAGD’s Meet with PM: An Opportunity Lost

Kashmir Observer characterises the stance of the 'Gupkar alliance' in the meeting with the Prime Minister as “disappointing” and says that their inability to articulate the sentiments of the Kashmiris to turn back the abrogation of Article 370 will further erode their already fragile credibility.

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Lakshadweep: A plan for the worse

Protests have broken out in India’s smallest Union Territory over the recent administrative orders. Citizens, including Vikalp Sangam - a group of 70 civil society organisations - protesting the move, aver that the new rules will deal a deadly blow to the ecology and culture of the archipelago. However, the government insists that the new regulations will help develop Lakshadweep as a tourist hub bringing in more revenues. Down To Earth details the ongoing protest and the issues involved.

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अंधारलेल्या गावात तब्बल तीस वर्षांनी लाईट आली....

Max Maharashtra records the delight of the residents of Barad settlement in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra who welcomed the arrival of electricity into their homes after thirty years! This, after its coverage of the struggle and distress of the residents bereft of power for decades had led the administration to provide immediate electrification.

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