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Europe In Islamophobia’s Grip?: The Charlie Hebdo murders

More than two weeks on, the debate on the barbaric killings of Charlie Hebdo journalists and the freedom of expression has become a conversation across time-zones and political, cultural and legal divides. This is probably the first time that such a debate is taking place in a world connected by Facebook, Twitter and U-Tube.

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Why The Right To Dissent Is Indispensable: Romila Thapar speaks out

When Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani famously said of the media during the Emergency that “when asked to bend, they crawled”, he received widespread praise from the intelligentsia and even from people opposed to the BJP’s ideology—because he spoke the truth about the loss of independence and professional integrity on the part of the Fourth Estate and other institutions. Today, not just the media, but leaders from the fields of education, culture, healthcare and law, are crawling before the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh without even being asked to bend

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Choking funds to suppress dissent

Perhaps no other country has as complex a maze of laws and rules – that give arbitrary powers to the state – as India. And no other state has abused them as comprehensively as India to censor free expression, curb dissent, criminalise protest, and harshly victimise people – so as to impose manifestly harmful decisions on them.

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Gandhi Doesn’t Need This Defence: Banning books shows insecurity

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Milosevic Modi has again demonstrated that his capacity for setting new lows in politics remains undiminished. His government has banned Great Soul, a new biography of Mahatma Gandhi by former New York Times India bureau chief and editor Joseph Lelyveld. The ground for the ban, passed after a unanimous vote by the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, is based on hearsay—a review by Andrew Roberts, a British practitioner of canned imperialist history and vulgar celebration of royalty, in The Wall Street Journal, one of the world’s most wretchedly Right-wing papers.

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Attacking Writers, Banning Books : Growing fascist intolerance

The attack by Bharatiya Janata Party Mahila Morcha activists on the residence of writer Arundhati Roy in Delhi, accompanied by abusive slogans and breaking of flower-pots, marks a new low in the destructive activities of the forces of bigotry and intolerance in India. It is a hair-raising reminder of the great distance this society has travelled from the concept of a liberal democracy which genuinely respects the freedom of expression and the right to dissent—a concept that’s at the heart of the Constitution.

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