Dear Reader,

A hundred years ago, almost to the day, on 18 March 1922, Mahatma Gandhi was sentenced to six years imprisonment under Section 124A of the Indian Penal code (IPC). A law that the Mahatma famously called the “prince among the political sections of the IPC…designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen”.

The India Forum chronicles the iconic trial and points out that it is the same sedition law that an independent India invokes to send dissenting citizens to jail today, a full century later.

The military conflict between Russia and Ukraine has rich lessons for India, including the imperative of building indigenous defence systems. Despite years of striving, India remains the largest defence importer, with a bulk of it coming from Russia.

ThePrint examines how India’s drive for being ‘aatmanirbhar’ has floundered, largely because DRDO - the premier agency in research and development of the military’s arsenal - has been beset with severe costs and time overruns, inability to develop tactical weapons and trust deficit between the organisation and the armed forces.

The police across the country use cyber forensic tools to unearth crime and criminals. However, the use of these tools are accompanied by issues of collection, storage and use of citizens’ data leading to serious privacy concerns. MediaNama deep dives into the issue and finds that the unbridled use of such surveillance is “not only unjust but dangerous”.

And, Feminism in India reports from West Bengal’s Petuapara village, in Birbhum district, on women beedi workers who toil hard, without any institutional support despite an ‘artisan card’, only to be paid measly sums - an amount that has not increased in the last 20 years!

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


Sunil Rajshekhar

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The Great Trial of 1922

Exactly 100 years ago, Mahatma Gandhi was sentenced by a court for ‘sedition’. A law that is still on the books and that has been used since independence, particularly in the recent past, to quell dissent. The India Forum analyses.

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Another lesson for India from Ukraine: DRDO must get its act together & get along with military

India’s quest for self-sufficiency in weapon systems has run aground largely because of the inability of its leading research and development agency, the DRDO, to come up to scratch, ThePrint reports.

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Exclusive: How And Why Law Enforcement Agencies In India Are Using Phone-Cracking Tools

The use of phone-cracking tools to combat crime by unearthing digital evidence by law enforcement in India, usually given greater weightage by the courts than traditional evidence, has also opened up the potential for its misuse by the state. MediaNama investigates.

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A Day In The Life Of Women Beedi Rollers In West Bengal’s Birbhum District

Feminism in India highlights the struggles of the women beedi rollers in the Birbhum district of West Bengal who are underpaid and exploited by middlemen and have no support from the state.

Read Here

More from the grantees
Experts call for community participation to save dying ‘Yongchak’ trees in Manipur
One of the most popular delicacies in Manipuri cuisine, tree beans or Yongchak – critical to the cultural, ecological and livelihood aspects - is under threat. Imphal Free Press reports that fungus attacks, depleting water sources, changes in the ecosystem, have drastically shrunk the yield and the harvest.
Watch: How Yangli transformed women’s lives in Assam’s Morigaon
EastMojo features women from Assam’s Morigaon district who, by taking advantage of various schemes of both the Centre and the state, have scripted a success story producing and selling organic agricultural products through an initiative called ‘Yangli’.
How to make schools safe for queer, neurodivergent children
Suno India discusses the need to make educational institutions in India a safe space for the queer and the neurodivergent who face harassment, and focuses on the role the teachers and the community can play to make it happen.
Impact of the OROP Judgment on Policies and Pensions
SC Observer delves into the Supreme Court’s ‘One Rank One Pension’ judgement and looks at the implication of it on how government servants are compensated post their retirement in the future.

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