Torture porn, brilliant children and radioactive silence: Links for the weekend

Gayatri Jayaraman recounts her trip to a Teach For India classroom

Journalism? These are kids who are not used to being told that their opinion matters, that what happens to them in life, in person, matters, that they have a point of view, or that others can want to know it, share it and consider it valid.

These are the true failings of our education system.


Kanchan Gupta talks about our national shame: the fate of the Kashmiri pandit

Had this tragedy occurred elsewhere in Hindu majority India, and had the victims been Muslims, we would have described it as ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘genocide.’ We would have made films with horror-inducing titles. We would have filed cases in the Supreme Court of India. Our media would have marshalled remarkable rage in reporting the smallest detail.


The Border Security Force: braveheart pornographers – SHUDDHABRATA SENGUPTA

Eight soldiers of the Border Security Force, hold down a young Bangladeshi man accused of cattle smuggling. He is stripped naked, hogtied and then thrashed. He screams in agony and humiliation. The soldiers act as if they are out on a picnic.

These are not the deeds of a few ‘bad apples’. The suspension, or even dismissal of eight BSF personnel is not going to make this go away. There is a clear pattern of authority between the torturers, some of them give orders, others act on them.

These are not wild young men on the loose, with no authority supervising their actions. These are soldiers going about their business. Perhaps it is time for us to consider that this might in fact be the norm.

There is no way, absolutely none for warfare to take place for prolonged periods without dehumanizing of the enemy. India’s security forces are one of the largest organized human rights violation organizations. This is the truth, and our shame. We have been at war with our own people for too long.


Vidyut Kale asks why there is silence about radioactive soil in Punjab

“Uranium found in 241 water samples” the headline could have screamed, but it didn’t. It made modest appearance and slid into obscurity, unheralded on the news site’s social networks.

We don’t hear, think or question these things, because our media carefully filters triggers to such debates. From being the first country in the world to set up a Ministry for renewable energy to being one that doesn’t question harmful ways energy is procured – be it fly ash from thermal power, radioactive contamination from nuclear power, or exploitation of Kashmiris for power – it has been a long way. There is pathetic little interest in sustainable energy or the environment in our media.