Dear Reader,

The tragic killing of 14 civilians in Nagaland in a purported case of mistaken identity by the Assam Rifles last week has raised demands that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) be withdrawn from the Northeast. The Act gives the Indian military extraordinary powers to use force and still be immune from prosecution.

AFSPA, The Print argues, is a “deadly intoxicant” and “self-destructive power kick”, that the Indian state indulges in, and calls for the Act to go forthwith. Terming its continuation in the present form not in the army’s or the nation’s interest it should, at best, be restricted to 25-30 km along the border with Myanmar.

Echoing these sentiments, The Caravan reports that students unions, academicians, armed Naga groups and human rights organisations are united in their demand that AFSPA should be immediately revoked in the Northeast; and, a “lasting peace accord” arrived at.

In Andhra Pradesh, families displaced and rehabilitated by the Polavaram Irrigation Project are facing a “peculiar challenge” – they no longer know which Gram Panchayat their new addresses fall under. Down To Earth explains the conundrum.

In less than thirty years, every second Indian will be living in a city or town. With a projected urban population of about 900 million, India Development Review emphasises the need for instituting deep and urgent urban governance reforms. If not done, this massive transition would be a potent recipe for ‘urban distress’.

And, HW News analyses the findings of the World Inequality Report 2022 which confines India to one of the most unequal countries in the world. It points out that the top 10% and top 1% in India hold 57% and 22% of the total national income, respectively.

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


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Nagaland massacre shows AFSPA is a deadly addiction. Does Modi govt have the courage to kick it?

The Print analyses why the AFSPA should be revoked from the Northeast or at least confined to a specified strip along the Myanmar border, as the situation in the region has eased in the recent decades and deserves a ‘peace dividend’.

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Naga peace stakeholders demand early political accord after army massacre of 13 civilians

Nagaland’s civil society groups, Naga rebels, and even the political leaders are united in their demand that AFSPA be withdrawn and an early and final political settlement reached. The Caravan reports.

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Polavaram — displaced and nowhere to go: Local governance ignored as Gram Panchayats await restructuring

Down to Earth reports on the struggles of the families displaced by the Polavaram Irrigation Project in Andhra Pradesh whose original villages have not been denotified and the new ones have not been notified – leaving them in the lurch.

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Making urban planning work for smaller cities

The failure to plan and put in place reformed urban governance for the massive and rapid urbanisation of India in the next three decades can create clusters of “social, economic, and ecological deprivation”, says India Development Review.

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Editorial with Sujit Nair: World Inequality Report

HW News delves into the findings of The World Inequality Report 2022, released by Paris-based World Inequality Lab, a global research initiative, which places India among the most unequal countries in the world.

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Unrelated video shared as crash-landing of Gen Bipin Rawat’s chopper
Alt News checks the veracity of a video that claimed to be footage of the tragic helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor last week, which took the lives of 13 people, including Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat. The fact-check found that the video was from November 2021 accident of another IAF Mi-17 in Arunachal Pradesh.
Gender Inequality in the Fashion World
Think Pragati, in its latest episode of All Things Policy, discusses the issue of gender discrimination in the fashion industry. It goes into the wage gap, distribution of working hours, and the pre-existing notions related to clothing and the designs - despite it being an industry propped up by women.

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