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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Quiet Down, Or Else

UPA-II goes elbows and shoulders at dissenting academicians

Quiet Down, Or Else
Sanjay Rawat
Quiet Down, Or Else
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The Slow Squeeze

  • UPA bears down on NGOs critical of its pro-capital policies, threatens to freeze funds under FCRA
  • Slaps sedition charges against protesters at Koodankulam
  • Tries to ease Yogendra Yadav, an academican and AAP activist, out of the board of the UGC
  • PM’s media advisor launches a Twitter offensive after an article by Pratap Bhanu Mehta
  • Govt blocks 16 Twitter handles

***

There was a time when the UPA celebrated its connections with intellectuals and academicians, feted them and, despite their critical views, gave them space on advisory committees shaping and directing future policies of the government. They were respected, and so were their dissenting views. But that was some time ago. Now in decline, the UPA sees the entire world as its critic, the media as its foe. As for academicians with dissenting views—off with them.

When a controversy breaks out, it’s often quite difficult to pinpoint how and when everything unravelled. But at least two outspoken scholars—Yogendra Yadav and Pratap Bhanu Mehta—are feeling the pain of UPA’s retribution. Yadav, a well-known psephologist and social scientist, and the human res­ources development (HRD) ministry have locked horns. It’s not hard to guess it must be over his forthright dissent and his affiliation to the Aam Admi Party (AAP). He’s being asked to quit his honorary post at the University Grants Commission (UGC). Mehta, president of the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), has not held back on his biting critique of the government in newspaper...

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