Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bhopal Notes - 21A :: Old Bhopal to miss out on "Smart City" goodies

Taj ul Masajid in Old Bhopal
It has been some time since Bhopal made it to the list of twenty cities that are going to be converted in the first phase into “Smart City”. That the city barely made it to the list being ranked twentieth says much about its present condition. I read somewhere that the entry about availability of land in the city clinched the decision in its favour.

That it was not vacant land that was available probably was not communicated. What was meant was actually redevelopment of two areas of the newer part of the city – Shivaji Nagar and Tulsi Nagar. Both have around 50-year old government low rise structures which, according to the government, are occupying precious government land and it was felt necessary to unlock its value by recapitalizing it. Both the areas are situated close to two business hubs – the New Market and Maharana Pratap Nagar (Zones 1 and 2) as also the up-and-coming Central Business District being built by the infrastructure giant Gammon India Ltd. Gammon India has already half built the business and high rise residential complexes. The idea seems to be to have a longish belt of residential and commercial high-rise high end complexes right up to the junction with Maharana Pratap Nagar.

The proposal was well taken. Probably, the builders were eying the area for long and, reportedly, something was in the works on the pretext of re-densification. The Smart City dispensation was a God-sent and the state government latched on to it, driven most of them, as they are, by the builders’ lobby. Whatever might be the truth, there have been only feeble protests by the adversely affected residents of the colonies of the two Nagars. Much stronger protests by the residents of what was then known as South TT Nagar heralded the Gammon Project. But this time it was much muted. The inhabitants of these two colonies will be uprooted from their moorings where most of them have spent close to thirty-odd years, and, what is more, there is no plan for their resettlement in sight. That is an acute human problem the resolution of which is not yet in sight. Resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced people are not the strong points of this government.

Another point that seems to have failed to come up of consideration is the consequence on traffic that would be generated by the belt of high-rise commercial, office and residential complexes. The Link Road No. 1 would be practically jammed, at least one of its carriageways. With great the Bhopal Citizen Forum prevailed upon the planners to provide openings from Gammon India's CBD on the road to tin Shade. Commuting through the Link Road will be problematic once the Smart City comes up.

More importantly, what is worrying is that as many as 30000 trees are going to be felled. I had mentioned earlier that 3000 trees were felled for the BRTS project and Gammon India felled another 3000. Compensatory re-plantation in these areas has not taken place. Felling 30000 more is going to have a telling impact on the climate of the city. Shivaji Nagar and Tulsi Nagar are perhaps the greenest areas of the city with dense growth of trees, many parks and ponds. It is an ecologically rich area and sacrificing all that for something that may or may not come up even in the next thirty years seems to be travesty of reason. It is likely to play merry hell with the environment which already has taken a hit from climate change induced by global warming.. When the weather is playing highly fickle and nobody knows what kind of turn it takes in the next few days sacrificing trees in thousands in a city would seem to be crime against its citizens. Reports have already appeared of Bhopal registering high temperatures throughout 2015. One, therefore, feels a little sad that there have been no protests against this decision of the government by any of the civil society groups or environmentalists barring, perhaps, the Bhopal Citizens’ Forum.

The government and builders, taken together, are very quick in felling trees but excruciatingly tardy in compensating for the lost the greenery. I recall, more than fifty years ago Arera Hills and the areas under reference were devoid of any greenery. I was able to get an unhindered view from my brother’s bungalow in 74 Quarters of the 1250 and 1467 quarters coming up further in the south. Perhaps, trees had been clear-felled for the hectic construction that was undertaken after shifting of the capital to Bhopal. It took painstaking effort by Late Shri Mahesh Buch to green these areas and that took decades. One, therefore, is apprehensive and also apprehensive and also afraid of the lot that is in store for the people of Bhopal in general and those living and working in and around Shivaji Nagar and Tulsi Nagar in particular. What they are in for is a jungle of concrete and glass radiating heat in place of a nice soothing environment offered by greenery. The plans prepared show a lot of greenery but those are only plans on paper. How these are translated into reality would be another matter. In any case, there can be no replacement for the greenery that is going to be lost any time soon– not by this government or by this municipality.

All that is not to say that one opposes conversion of Bhopal into a Smart City. Certainly not. There are other ways by which it could be converted into one. Most of the selected cities among the twenty have opted for retro-fitting which would be meaning that there would be no demolitions and no large scale felling of trees. That is a more rational way of smartening up a city with equal attention being paid to all its parts. What is being attempted in Bhopal is concentration of high end facilities in a limited area to the exclusion of all others. Though reports have appeared of the newly-created Special Purpose Vehicle for organizing and overseeing the development of the Smart City talking about pan-city development one cannot but have misgivings about it. Our culture is inherently undemocratic in these respects. We know how VIP areas of 74 Bungalows, Link Road No.1, Chaar Iml Arera Colony etc. are lavished with far, far greater attention by the civic and utilities establishments than those where the common, unimportant, uninfluential folk live and work. Had the mode of retrofitting of the entire city been opted some sort of equity would have been achieved. As things stand, inequity is built into the method that is being adopted; only a part Bhopal will be smartened up to the exclusion of all others. The dye seems to have been cast and the politicians seem to have done in the people.

Apparently, city planners picked on the easier way out. The option of a Greenfield project was never explored. Redevelopment of an already developed area was an easier option. Perhaps plans were either already in the works or were available. Consensual selection of the areas for redevelopment bandied about seems to be all false and the voting was reported to be fraudulent and the decision was imposed on the citizens.

The upshot, therefore, is that more resources are going to be lavished on an already well-developed area and the older parts of the town would be deprived of the same. These deserve it more as it is in the older parts of the city where utter degradation of the civic infrastructure has taken place. The neglect and indifference of civic authorities is palpable. One only has to peep into in any of the colonies in older parts of Bhopal to see their deplorable condition. The residents in these parts are however going to be deprived of the improved quality of life that has been promised for smart cities. The only “smart solution” that the Smart City Mission talks off for such areas would seem to be to provide first the infrastructure and then talk of retrofitting.

*Photo from internet

Monday, March 21, 2016

A travesty of justice

The fallen Professor
Recently there has been a travesty of justice. All six accused in Prof. Sabharwal murder case were acquitted by a court in Nagpur the other day for want of adequate evidence. Prof. Sabarwal, head of the department Political Science at Madhav College, Ujjain after fracas with the boys of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthy Parishad in August 2006 was beaten black and blue and eventually he had to be hospitalised. He succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter. A part of the fracas was even covered by some TV channels. Besides, there were a number of students and employees of the College who had witnessed the sad incident.

Prosecution against the six accused commenced three years later in 2009. As the proceedings dragged on, Prof. Sabharwal's son apprehended miscarriage of justice. Suspecting pressure on the court by ruling party whose students’ wing ABVP was involved, Himanshu, the son of Prof. Sabharwal, successfully moved the Supreme Court for transfer of the case from Ujjain. The Apex court found substance in the plea and transferred the matter to a Nagpur court. That court has now given its judgment ten years after Prof. Sabharwal's murder.

But after protracted trial the court only acquitted all the accused for want of adequate evidence. The prosecuting officer found gaps in investigations and wanted to get the case re-investigated. Somehow that could not be done. He had said all the relevant material that could lead to conviction of the accused were not collected by the investigating agency (presumably under the pressure of the ruling dispensation) While the court and the prosecuting authority were changed the damage done by indifferent investigations could not be undone. The contention of Prof. Sabharwal's son in seeking a change of scene was justified as the pressure of the ruling party was palpable. Unfortunately, however, for want of diligent investigations the accused have been able to get away – literally with murder. Even the Court felt that the accused might have committed the murder but there was not enough evidence.

It is such a sad and depressing travesty of justice. Hopefully the Nagpur court and/or prosecutor will submit a detailed report to the Supreme Court for its notice indicating the flaws in investigations because of which prosecution of the accused did not succeed and everybody's time, including that of the court, were wasted. Perhaps, the higher ups in the Police could also be brought to book for allowing a sloppily investigated case to go to court.

Making a sad and pathetic comment Dr. Sabharwal’s son said that his father died again (on the day the judgment was delivered). From the judge’s comment it was clear how proper investigations were avoided quite clearly under the ruling party’s instructions. Even the Nagpur prosecutor hinted that both the investigating and prosecuting agencies belonged to the state government leaving no one in doubt who the culprit was for protecting the criminals.

Come to think of it, the Professor lost his life over an altercation on the college students' union elections. This can happen to any staff member of a college where elections to students’ union have become such a matter of life and death. Highly politicized, these elections are manipulated by the respective political patrons. Violence during these elections is almost routine. The violence, as that in case of Prof. Sabharwal, is likely to be encouraged by the decision of the Nagpur  court.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


The iconic Colloseum
We reached Rome from Florence in less than two hours. Having read so much and having seen numerous Hollywood movies featuring Rome produced during what is termed as the Golden Era of Hollywood the anticipation was great. Who can forget the film Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and that handsome, huge hulk of a man, Gregory Peck? Then that musical featuring Frank Sinatra singing in his deep voice “Three coins in the
Trevis Fountain
fountain” shot at Trevis Fountain of Rome; as also the film La Dolce Vita featuring Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni with his histrionics. That we were going to be there soon excited us no end.

Booked again in a pension that was located in a more than hundred-year old heritage building which, if I recall, was around three storeys tall but
Spanish Steps
retrofitted with a communication system from the main door on the ground floor to the second floor where the lady of the house was mostly available. She would operate a lever to allow access to the building. It also had a retrofitted small lift which could at best take three people with their bags.  Regardless of its small dimensions it was quite a relief as otherwise one would have had to climb those numerous steps to get from one tall floor to another. From outside, the building gave a gloomy look painted in a drab grey but inside it was bright and very well appointed. This
Another view of Trevis Fountain
only shows how heritage structures are taken care of by people and the government in Italy. This is what seems to be true in most European cities where heritage is conserved and it sells.

I do not think there would be any point in writing about Rome much as most of us are familiar with it – its history, its culture, its beautiful architecture and that it also has the Vatican within its confines, the only instance in which a state is located within the municipality of a city. It probably was the only city after which an empire and a civilization were named. That was in the hoary past, before and after Christ which, in fact, is described as the Roman Imperial
A Roman street with a column in a piazza ahead
Period. Centuries later, however, Rome added aesthetics to its military prowess and spiritual attainments. It became the centre of that socio-cultural movement that is called Renaissance, a movement that started in Italy in the Late Medieval period and spread to the rest of Europe. Rome became one of the centres of Renaissance as most popes “pursued a coherent policy along four hundred years an architectonic and urbanistic programme to make the city the world’s artistic and cultural centre”.  Famous artists, painters, sculptors and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city. That is precisely why the city is so attractive – full as it is of architectural and sculptural
My wife somewhere near the ColloseumAdd caption
wealth. On every street one would find a marvellous structure, a slim aesthetically designed column or even an obelisk and in every piazza a running fountain surrounded by a host of sculptured religious or historical figures.

Inevitably our Rome visit commenced with a trip to the Colloseum. Situated, more or less, at the centre of the city the first impression of it strikes one with awe followed by incomprehension and incredulity.
Ruins of ancient Rome
That such a huge multi-tiered structure of large stone pieces could be made more than 2000 years ago was simply unbelievable. No wonder it is still treated as the largest amphitheatre ever built. It could seat at least 50000 spectators at a time. Seating arrangement was in tiers and strictly in accordance with the social stratification that was prevalent then in the Roman society. Huge
St. Peter's Basilica
numbers of stairways were provided for jostle-free entrances and exits. Underneath, there was a network of tunnels cages and rooms for temporarily housing wild beasts and the gladiators who were to fight them generally to death. Standing there one could only imagine the gory sight and even hear the excited roar of the crowd followed by wild clapping as a big,
A colonnaded section of St. Peter's Square
burly man fell to a beast or to a bigger, more muscular beastlike man.   

We wandered around the city generally in awe. In all directions there seemingly was a sumptuous visual feast of art on stone – in architecture or sculpture. As was planned we took the Fontana di Trevis first where we remembered Frank Sinatra chucking coins into the pool singing “Three coins in
a la Roman Holiday
the Fountain”. It is an amazing place – a fountain with a huge backdrop of sculptures framed in stone with columns on their sides. It is perhaps the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous in the world. Built by architects who won a competition for its design, it took around 30 years to complete in 1762. Its massive proportions are incredible
Piazza Venezia and the Victor Emanuel II Memorial
- around 90 ft. tall and 150 ft. wide. The backdrop is a palace that is now a museum and the sculptors went to work on it creating figures flanked by Corinthian free-standing columns and down below a jumble of figures seemingly playing around in water. The central figure represents Oceanus. The water, apparently, comes from a stream a few kilometres away from Rome to which, the legend has it, thirsty Roman soldiers were led by a virgin as far back as in 19 BC. We literally tore ourselves away
In the St. Peter's Square
from the captivating ambiance after chucking a few coins in the fountain.

Piazza di Spagna again has a fountain and from here the Spanish Steps, a broad stairway, climbs a hill to a church which, I later learnt, was the church of Trinita die Monti. The stairway up the hill was constructed again on the basis of a competition and the architect considered best was allotted the
In front of ancient Roman ruins
work. In Italy during the Renaissance almost all aesthetic works were assigned to an artist on the basis of merit. Spanish Steps are also credited to be one of the widest stairways in the world. The church on the hill above is French and the area around it is controlled by French authorities. Just below it stands a tall an obelisk brought perhaps from Egypt.

Not everything that we saw can perhaps be described but one more piazza that was impressive was Piazza Venezia. It takes the name
A bridge on the River Tiber with statues on its balustrade
from Palazzo Venezia which is in the neighbourhood and, at one time, used to be the embassy of the Republic of Venice in Rome. It is practically the centre of Rome and criss-crossed by several arterial roads. The piazza is dominated by the very impressive monument built in the 19th Century to honour the first King of Italy, Victor Emanuel II. It features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains and an equestrian statue of King Victor Emanuel.

On the last day of our stay we went to Vatican City. Vatican is a walled enclave inside Rome with an area of 100-odd acres and a
Another massive Roman piazza with an obelisk at the centre
population of less than 1000. That makes it the smallest state in the world area-wise and population-wise and yet it confines within itself an unparalleled cultural wealth. Not only does it have, the St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel it also has a few museums where some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures are in display. Alas, all that was not for us as we had neither time nor the money to visit so many sites that included galleries, museums and places of interest. My
Sitting on the balustrade of Trevis Fountain
wife and her sister, did, however, go and visit Sistine Chapel. I satisfied myself by visiting St. Peter’s Basilica and hanging around St. Peter’s Square.

A renowned Italian Renaissance church, St. Peter’s Basilica was designed, among others, by Michelangelo and Bernini. The Basilica’s dome is known as Michelangelo’s dome. It is one of the biggest churches in the world that holds an unique position in the Christian world as the greatest of all churches in
Spiral stareway in the Basilica
Christendom and the holiest of the Catholic shrines. It was constructed to replace an earlier one and it took more than a hundred years to build during the sixteenth an seventeenth centuries. The shrine takes the name after St. Peter who was one of an apostles of Christ and was also the first pope. He was crucified somewhere near the obelisk within the St. Peter’s Sqaure and is interred directly below the altar in the church.

Built in Renaissance style the Basilica’s interior is lavishly decorated with marble reliefs, architectural sculpture and gilding. It
Another view of Colloseum
is approachable from St Peter’s Square, a huge area colonnaded in two sections on two sides. While presiding over what are known as liturgies the crowds generally spill over from the Basilica into the St. Peter’s Square.  The popes generally speak to the pilgrims in the Square from a first floor balcony in the Basilica. The dimensions of the Square are very impressive with as many as 284 columns, a depth of 320 metres and a diameter of 240 metres. The architect of the Square was Bernini whose students built 140 statues of saints mounted on the balustrade above the columns. Similar statues we happened to see on the balustrade of the bridge on the River Tiber as we were coming away from Vatican City sadly to end our Roman sojourn.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

JNU student activism crosses the line

The sedition charge against Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of one of the students’ unions of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) seems to have been dropped as he has since been allowed interim bail for six months by the Delhi High Court. He was arrested after a demonstration by the students in JNU earlier this month on 9th February protesting against the hanging of Mohammed Afzal Guru who was allegedly the mastermind of the terrorist attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001 even as it was in session. Guru’s execution took place in Delhi’s Tihar Jail on 3rd February 2013.

The charge against Kanhaiya arose out of the report that during the demonstration some of the participants had raised anti-India slogans. The slogans raised were about their resolve to struggle till dismemberment and ruination of the country. Branding Afzal Guru’s death sentence as “judicial killing” was itself a show of disrespect for the Supreme Court. Besides, some slogans demanding freedom for Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland were also raised. “Aazadi” (freedom) is a slogan frequently heard in Kashmir, especially shouted by those who are known as “separatists”. Later reports from JNU indicated that the slogans against the country were mainly raised by Kashmiris some of whom are students of the University and some others were from outside who joined them for the occasion. Apparently, the court didn’t find any evidence of any seditious act against Kanhaiya and hence granted him interim bail.

JNU has always been a hotbed of activists of all kinds where resentment and protests against the ruling dispensations go hand in hand. The Left oriented faculty, some of whom were card-carrying communists, have been infusing in their wards a kind of rebellious streak, a revolutionary fervor coupled with anti-statism. Established in the late 1960s by Indira Gandhi as a crucible for promoting socialist thought it never could change course over the years. Nonetheless, it nurtured some very bright scholars who have done very well in India and abroad in the fields of management, public administration, teaching and research. Perhaps, there is always some spark of brilliance in those who rebel against their surroundings and turn against the establishment, ventilating their resentment against it with all their might. This time, on 9th February last, they crossed the line while protesting against the hanging of Mohammed Afzal Guru.

The slogans and the subsequent arrest of Kanhaiya let loose a furore in the media, both print and electronic. The University has, of late, acquired a troubled legacy because of its students’ frequent brush with the faculty and/or administrative authorities. It has always been volatile, sizzling with leftist anger against the Right or any shade thereof. The University and its students have supporters in the media who not only are sympathetic but also claim to be “secular” as against the current ruling dispensation of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).

What is known in this country as the liberal and secular press is, quite obviously, pretty strong. The so-called liberals and secularists are not only in the Indian National Congress led by Indira Gandhi’s daughter in-law, Sonia Gandhi, but also in the Left parties like Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Revolutionary Socialist Party that also leans toward the Marxist and Leninist ideology. Also hordes of unattached liberals/seculars constitute their intellectual capital. Having wielded the reins of power for most of the post-independence history of the country the (liberals and) secularists have had immeasurable opportunities to consolidate their hold over national psyche by planting people of their choice in establishments and institutions of national importance and/or doling out favours to those who toed their line. These include placements in key positions in institutions and organizations of higher learning and research as also those that deal with culture and the practice of it. They have also insinuated into the media, both print and electronic. Having acquired a critical mass over time, such secularists and/or liberals, if threatened, can and do swing public opinion in their favour. In comparison, the Indian Right hardly has any presence in the media except, of course, a few intellectuals who could be counted on the finger tips.

The turbulence in the JNU followed by arrests and filing of charges of sedition against Kanhaiya were a great  handle presented on a platter for the secularists, led mainly by the Congressmen, to beat their sworn enemy with, the BJP and Prime Minister Modi. Entrenched for a decade at the Centre and indulging in unfathomable corruption, the Indian National Congress was routed at the 2014 General Elections. That is when the tectonic shift took place. The hated Bharatiya Janta Party came to power and of all the people the man, Narendra Modi, against whom the secular brigade had run a persistent campaign for more than a decade and a half for allegedly overseeing the communal killings during the Gujarat riots in 2002 became the prime minister. Discomfited, they started slamming the new government from the word go – more so, Modi himself. His party having overall majority, Modi had nothing to fear and he generally overlooked the jibes and barbs. They made issues out of the indiscriminate statements of a few elements of Hindu fringe in the ruling party or alleged attacks on places of worship of the minority communities or killings of a few free-thinkers and even killing of a Muslim for allegedly having consumed beef by over-zealous members of the Hindu fringe and blamed Modi for all the things.

They successfully raised the din about, what they called, “rising intolerance” in the largely tolerant Indian society and ventilated their views not only in the domestic media but also abroad. A spate of articles against the government and even the Hindu religion were published by prominent US and British newspapers. Those who went abroad on invitations of foreign organization did not let go of the opportunity of speaking against the government and the intolerant environment it allegedly had created. Taking a cue from Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Vice President, their aim was to run down the government, especially the Prime Minister in the West. This was more because of the rousing receptions that Prime Minister Modi was accorded in several world capitals - receptions like of which none of their prime minister was ever accorded. The basic idea was to run him down in the eyes of the world leaders with whom Modi has developed a great rapport and is on first name terms.

The reverberations of the JNU incident continue in the press. The basic issue that is being debated is whether it was a case of sedition that the government was quick to seize and slap against the students, including Kanhaiya Kumar. The secularists are holding forth in the newspapers on what constitutes anti-nationalism or anti-India, dilating on their views on nationalism and seditious acts which, generally, tend to favour the anti-establishment view, more so since the ruling party today has always been branded as communal. Strangely, they are not able to distinguish between anti-establishment and anti-India slogans.

What the JNU students are guilty of is raising anti-India slogans – the slogans that were not anti-BJP or anti-Modi. They were against the Indian State.

*Photo from internet
**This piece may seem dated. It was awaiting approval from INFA since 5th March 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Is Upper Lake awaiting Lake Ulsoor's fate

Known as “the Silicon Valley of India” or the IT capital of the ountry, Bangalore, now Bengaluru, has had a fairy tale rise in the urbanscape of India. Demographically it has bulged or bloated over the last few decades and simultaneously it has had unremitting hunger for hosting a huge number of techies so much so that it has the largest number of them per square metre.  Despite having become an international destination and virtually a global city its civic apathy is to be seen to be believed.

Once upon a time Bangalore used to be clubbed with Dehra Doon and Poona (now Pune) as idyllic retirement destinations after a lifetime of supposedly back-breaking jobs under the colonial government. Soon after independence Bangalore, then of salubrious climes and dotted with picturesque water bodies, became the chosen one for development of industries. Hindustan Machine Tools, popularly known as HMT, was perhaps the first to be located there. With that, however, was sounded the death knell of Bangalore’s salubruity and other attendant distinctions. Over the following decades numerous industries were located within its precincts with consequential upward swing in its demographics. That took a heavy toll of its green ambiance and water bodies that were, encroached upon, built over, filled up or, at best, neglected by the people and the municipality. At the last count there were only 17 of them as against 51 that used to exist decades ago and beautify the city.

Ulsoor is one of them that has survived the human onslaught. If one
looked at its pictures one would get the feel of serenity, tranquility and, of course, beauty. Lately, however, it has become another victim, like numerous others, of the city’s civic apathy. Thousands of lifeless fish, big and small, landed up on its shores the other day for the simple reason that leaks in sewers had been emptying sewage into it depriving the fish of life-giving oxygen.

That sewers emptying into the water bodies is not something with which we in Bhopal are not unfamiliar. Our own Upper Lake is still receiving sewage from a number of drains despite several projects to stop this inflow. Multi-crore almost ten-year long international project that ran from 1994- 2004 funded by Japan like the Bhoj Wetland Project could not stop it. While we the citizens are being supplied water from the Lake generously mixed with sewage we also are being taxed for the interests to be paid for the soft loan that the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation provided. Such double whammies are the ironies that are inflicted on the citizens without batting an eyelid by those who are in authority. The municipality shamelessly spends tax-payers’ money for beautification of the Lake in a bid to, ill-advisedly and unwisely, invite more and more visitors forgetting that it would help the citizens enormously if it plugged the flow of sewage into it.

Probably that day is not far off when fishes are washed up on the Upper Lake shores or are seen floating on its blue surface lifelessly. Perhaps, only then the municipality would wake up as that would hit its ill-gotten revenues from so-called tourism with visitors shunning the Lake. We have already had an experience of such an incident when large numbers of dead fish were noticed floating in front of the Benazir Palace in one of the heritage ponds known as Motia Talaab.

One therefore wonders whether one should vicariously feel happy at the Silicon Valley of India getting a taste of Bhopal!

*Photos from internet

DISAPPEARING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Rama Chandra Guha, free-thinker, author and historian Ram Chandra Guha, a free-thinker, author and...