Dear Reader,

The media in Kashmir has been beset with the challenges of reporting amidst ‘contested narratives’, where they are forced to perpetually toe the government line, and at the same time keep an eye out for not falling foul of the ultras.

Now, as Article 14 reports, a new diktat from the government has made the media’s task even more onerous, with broadsheet newspapers being instructed to use only officially sanctioned terminologies, which virtually amounts to newsroom censorship - a throwback to the days of the Emergency. Use ‘Terrorists’ instead of ‘militants’, ‘Prime Minister Modi’ instead of ‘Indian Prime Minister’, and ‘government’ instead of ‘Indian government’, are the new instructions. Plus, official press releases are to be carried verbatim, transforming the Kashmiri newspapers into replicas of government handouts.

HW News reports that the proposed delimitation to the Lok Sabha constituencies is skewed against the southern states as they have been relatively successful in containing their populations as compared to the northern states. This comes in light of the Madras High Court’s remark last week that the reduction of Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu in 1967 from 41 to 39, due to delimitation, was “unfair and unreasonable” and amounted to penalising the states which had successfully taken measures to control its population.

After India’s best-ever performance at an Olympics, in Tokyo, it is now the turn of our sportspersons at the Paralympics to make India proud. Medals at the Paralympics, like the Olympics, come with their unique challenges and odds.

The incredible story of Avani Lekhara, who just became the first Indian woman to win a gold at the Paralympics, tells the tale. A profile by Feminism in India published when Avani Lekhara was setting out for Tokyo, before her triumph, recounts the story of her indomitable will and courage after being confined to a wheelchair at the age of ten, following a car accident.

While we savour the success of our Olympians and Paralympians - the blood, sweat and the triumph - all is not what it seems. Success of Indian sportspersons has “both revealed and concealed systemic flaws” in sports administration in India. The India Forum says that post-Tokyo, officials and political leaders have revealed the all too familiar “sycophancy, glory-hunting, mediocre management, patriarchy, chauvinism and casteism” - all at the athletes’ cost.

And, as India marks 75 years of independence, in a fascinating story, The Bastion looks at how ‘songs of protest’ composed in the refulgence of the freedom movement against oppression and tyranny still continue to resonate, endure and inspire.

For these stories and more from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Not A Militant But A Terrorist: Censors Tell Kashmir Newspapers To Control The Narrative

In what is seen as a clear attempt to further muzzle the media in Kashmir, the government issued a verbal directive to major broadsheet newspapers to follow a pre-specified stylesheet, expressly forbidding terminologies that reflect Kashmir’s contested narratives, Article 14 reports.

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Does Every State Get Fair Representation In Lok Sabha?

Was, as the Madras High Court points out, the delimitation exercise in 1967 unfair to Tamil Nadu when it reduced its Lok Sabha representation from 41 to 39? And will future delimitation exercises based on population growth actually punish those states who have effective family planning? HW News analyses.

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Meet Avani Lekhara, India’s First Female Shooter To Win Gold At The Tokyo Paralympics 2020

Feminism in India profiles the inspiring journey of Indian para rifle shooter Avani Lekhara, as she set out on her maiden Paralympic quest and who became the first Indian woman to clinch gold.

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Seven Medallists at Tokyo, Seven Hundred Crowd the Podium

Despite its relative success at the Tokyo Olympics and the ongoing Paralympics, the administration of Indian sports and the treatment of Indian sportspersons is way less than par, with officialdom’s glory-hunting and chauvinism ruling the roost, The India Forum analyses.

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Jal-Jangal-Jameen ke Geet: An Earful of Environmental Protest Music in India

The Bastion explains the enduring connection between the ‘protest songs’ created during India’s independence movement, which have become the anthem of the post-independence movements against the usurpation of water, forest and land rights – the songs of jal-jangal-jameen.

Read Here

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