Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
India downgraded from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’ in democracy report (hindustantimes.com)
148 points by undefined1 38 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 122 comments

All: Indian politics has recently been overtaking even U.S. politics for flamewar and unsubstantive comments in HN threads. India is an important, amazing country. Developments there are of interest and on-topic for HN. But ideological, nationalistic, racial, and (god forbid) religious battle is definitely not on topic for HN.

Therefore, if you plan to comment in threads like this, make sure you're up to date on the site guidelines, that you have something thoughtful to say, and are coming from a place of curiosity. That's the core value of this site.

Extra tip: if you're hot under the collar, wait to cool down before posting. These issues are intense. It's easy and all too human to get activated, so we each need to do some internal processing before taking to the comments for discussion.


I'm surprised to see the battleground HackerNews turns into when any topic about India is mentioned. India is going through a huge cultural shift, and the erstwhile liberal establishment is slowly being pushed out of their power seats by the rising Hindutva group. India is so vasly multi-faceted, multilayered, and complex, it's hard for western commentators like HNers to comment on it meaningfully without the necessary support. Most people just appeal to western democratic authority and try to see it from the lens of Dems/Reps, but it's not so simple. Just like a person living in Orissa can't meaningfully comment on say Pro 22, we can't expect Oregonians to comment meaningfully on democracy report on India. On top of that there are IT Cells, ISPR/ISI LARPers, Khalistani groups, Indian media, NYT/Wapo hit jobs, angry nationalists etc that turn the discourse into a shrill shouting match.

One trend I'm noticing more and more is that India is taking a leaf out of China's books and paying less and less attention to the criticism western institutes. The next decade when India will rise in stature will make it more and more flippant about such issues. After all if any party (INC or BJP) that rules India, has enough clout and resources to enrich themselves and benefit from the rising fortunes of the country. Western commentators will be used as a classic "Us vs them" trope to further these claims.

I see what you are saying and I would like to point out a distinction if I may about chinese vs indian approaches regarding external criticism (with my limited understanding of India as a country of course).

You may see from the press that China has largely turned a blind eye to western criticism but in reality in all aspects of societal building we are adopting / importing more and more strategies from the west on a daily basis. I'm surprised when I talked to my childhood friends (some of whom are deep in administrative roles or important civil servants) their management is rapidly learning from the west (probably without them realising), may it be government bodies or private companies. The policies (at least on the paper) are getting closer and closer to what I can observe here in Europe. When I grew up in the 90s it was simply chaotic.

Secondly, what I consider a major difference is that India has the ability to converse well with west whereas chinese diplomats / communication points are extremely poor and belong in an era with standards so lagging behind of modern times. Small proportion of people do read english but not to a point (especially the elites) to comprehend and incorporate western opinions well into a meaningful dialogue. All other asian countries are light years ahead of us.

I'm not saying however who is better and not, all the symptoms maybe similar but there could be more nuances for a better understanding of the complex and yet inflaming situations.

What I wanted to highlight is that China doesn't cower over criticisms of it due to west. No one from CCP loses sleep over some "democracy report" or an editorial in NYT. China does what it pleases and due to it's power, all the countries bow to it's economic might. With the rise of India, I'm sure we'll see such pattern.

One major difference is that Indian right uses the criticism from western media to it's advantage, and helps bolster it's position in the game of West vs East.

I think it's clear that all societies are facing problems like this that people are prone to following populism and ideological extremes, which can be made worse by amplification of social media. It's not yet clear how to tackle that and make critical thinking really useful but not to fall into populism traps.

"The policies (at least on the paper) are getting closer and closer to what I can observe here in Europe." Can you give a few examples of such policies?

I'm not sure if it's still relevant to the topic but some that I heard of from last year's 'Two meetings' (the congress): - parental leaves for both (I don't know if paid or unpaid) - age of consent from 14 to 16 - rights for single female to freeze eggs - abolish of cooling period of a divorce - tougher requirement for child adoption - protect citizen info online and prevent data leakage and abuse - defining quasi-contract better etc

Of course there are glaring issues a lot of people care but never properly addressed such as the unfair pension scheme for gov body employees, which have been brought up every year and not resolved yet.

Couldn’t agree more with what you said. There’s definitely “us vs them” developing and that’s a direct result of western analysts looking everything through American lenses. India thinks and acts differently, and even it’s left-right political spectrum is different. It’s become a big mess of various actors trying to manipulate the discourse, exacerbated by social media.

NYT/WaPo/Guardian etc by their outdated colonial mindset, are literally handing juicy materials to Indian right on a platter. India's right is more socialist than western left, and they're increasingly using the colonial biases of western media to their advantage. Indian liberals are fumbling with their responses as they've lost patronage with the loss of INC and their traditional Bhadrolok attitude.

>>India is going through a huge cultural shift, and the erstwhile liberal establishment is slowly being pushed out of their power seats by the rising Hindutva group.

The process has been in progress for decades since Independence. The process was accelerated since the 1980s. It's more like the cultural shift is now complete.

A roll back is now impossible.

On the contrary, the process has just begun. The cultural shift is part of the larger decolonisation process of India. The British took over power from the Marathas, but handed it over to an Anglicized elite class who were also their partner-in-crime of the colonial loot. The Hindus, who were the elite ruling class of Marathas, are now asserting their voice. The Hindus are going through a renaissance of sorts. They are coming out of the survival mode they had been in ever since the Islamic invasions that ravaged their society with thousands of temples destroyed and millions killed or sold off in slave markets of Arabia. The Hindus managed to survive 1000 years of enslavement and saw off both the Islamic invaders and European colonizers while sustaining heavy losses of land, culture, wealth and prestige. The Persians and Egyptians who were their contemporaries were not that fortunate. They are now making a comeback.

As Ruchir Sharma points out [1], India is a postcolonial society which is unlike any other. We have our own, unique historical contexts, our own indigenous philosophies and value systems, and are bound together by a shared colonial trauma. And despite the hollowing out of our economy and society during centuries of imperialism, we can say with pride that our people are trying to improve their lives the best way they know how - seeking dignity, not charity, seeking empathy, not sympathy, and seeking equality, not revenge.

It is going to be very exciting to see how the Hindu society evolves over the next century. Knowledge is our currency and we will flourish in this information age.

[1] https://swarajyamag.com/politics/what-the-media-gets-wrong-a...

This is right wing pseudohistory which can be easily demonstrated to be false from the simple fact that India was at its global economic peak (20%of world gdp) under the muslim mughal empire.

The hindus didn't just survive under Muslim rule, they flourished.

Knowledge is definitely not the currency in India today. The government has set aside half a billion dollars for a pseudoscience ministry called Ayush. Pseudo physicians will now conduct surgery. Research institutes are being compelled to research the therapeutic benefits of cow piss. High school students are being taught pseudoscience- Indian cow milk is superior to Jersey cows milk because it contains gold!!

From your comments itself, it is obvious that India is moving towards ethnocentrism and you are excited about it. This we can both agree upon.

>>India was at its global economic peak (20%of world gdp) under the muslim mughal empire.

Actually its more like 25%. It was also a manufacturing super power.

Under his reign, India surpassed Qing China to become the world's largest economy and biggest manufacturing power, worth nearly a quarter of global GDP and more than the entirety of Western Europe, and its largest and wealthiest subdivision, the Bengal Subah,[15] signaled the proto-industrialization.


who ruled over almost the entire Indian subcontinent for a period of 49 years.



The metrics and history is clear, the heart burn is more on the line of him being Muslim. You don't want your biggest object of hate to be the most successful model/person you ever had in all your history.

>>India is moving towards ethnocentrism and you are excited about it.

Even on those line some one like Babur is more closer genetically and culturally(belligerent conquerers from Central Asian Steppes) to the Vedic Heroes than the boiled rice eaters we Indians are today.

It's one of those grand Ironies staring us in our face.

I think we need to separate the vapid demagoguery of right wing from the real historical trend of Dharmic awakening. There was never really an aversion to Islam even during the peak of Hindu reign e.g. Krishnadevaraya, Shivaji and Peshwas.

Now coming to your point about economy during Mughal period, you just need to check the book ‘The Cambridge Economic History of India 1200-1750’, which documents the reality of Mughal Manasabdari system.[1]

But all this perceived greatness of Mughal system can be challenged by the simple assertion that during the ~300 year rule, no a single university or centre of higher education was created by them. The only schools that flourished during that time were down south outside their realm.

[1]: https://mobile.twitter.com/prathgodbole/status/1261356094087...

Okay, the comments here are not something I'd have expected to see on HN. Kudos to dang for his attempts at keeping things in control.

Bringing the discussion more suited to HN, India has terrible ratings on Internet freedom: https://freedomhouse.org/country/india/freedom-net/2020

The country's administration blocks websites and cuts internet connections en masse, without warnings and legitimate reasons.

Also, its new content regulation and liability laws threaten the concepts of open internet: https://blog.mozilla.org/netpolicy/2021/03/02/indias-new-int...

This article from PG from a very long time ago called "Keep your identity small" seems very relevant whenever issues like "capitol hill", "indian democracy", "muslim religion", "trump", etc are posted here for discussion.

You can't change other people's opinion about their nation, religion, politics, etc even if you believe you have all the facts and most of the time it just devolves into a flamewar (1)

(1) http://www.paulgraham.com/identity.html

I haven't read that essay since it came out, but I always found that it interesting, because non-identification is a well-known spiritual teaching, indeed a well-known Indian spiritual teaching — but pg seemed to get at it from first principles.

Thanks for the link. The article hits the nail. That was a meaningful read.

No practical identity smaller than the individual; a concept that has been a foundational pillar of liberalism until, like, 10 years ago. Collectivism of all kinds is destroying western civilization.

I have read and re-read the guidelines and I really hope I don't cross the boundaries while writing this comment.

This democracy report sounds like as if written by an Indian journalist Rana Ayyub. (https://twitter.com/ranaayyub) She writes columns in various western media outlets. Her whole career is built on the foundations of hating Modi. Various statements used in the article linked above, sounds eerily similar to what this lady writes time and again.

While I don't give full marks to Modi administration, I do not believe the premise set in the article (or the report) at all. For all unbiased HNers reading this and unfamiliar with India, the issue at hand is very complex. You have to understand, there are vested interests around the world who want to disgrace the current administration in India by hook or crook.

There are issues and problems on both the sides (Hindus and Muslims) but in case say in a murder, a Muslim is the victim, the machinery of the likes of Rana Ayyub have the power to flare it up on all possible International platforms giving spin to the story what suits their own narrative but things go unnoticed when a person from some other religion is a victim when Muslims kill someone. An example, Sometime back a Muslim politician abused a Hindu group; in return a Hindu leader abused Muslim God. A fatwa was issued and the Hindu leader (Kamlesh Tiwari) was murdered by Muslims within few years of uttering the words. His murder never became the hot topic in International media.

I can go on and on to negate every statement in the linked article with supporting proofs if people here really want to listen with eyes and ears open.

All I want to say this There is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwOGdxRnfK4 Shekhar Gupta's analyses are generally good. The summary is at 25:30. Overall, rule of law is where India does poorly.

That aside, I am not fond of these "democracy reports" when they are driven by opinions of a handful of people, rather than data-driven.

As for rule of law, India's judicial backlogs are truly atrocious.

The problems with the judiciary go far beyond backlogs; far too many judges seem to hold extreme personal prejudices and are not shy about basing their judgements on them.

An ongoing controversy concerns the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who offered an alleged rapist freedom in exchange for marrying his victim. The victim, who was underage at the time of the attacks, was "stalked, tied up, gagged, repeatedly raped and was threatened with being doused in petrol, set alight and have her brother killed". [1]

Other judgements from 2020 that the Freedom House report refers to include the acquittal of allies of the ruling party for demolishing a 15th century mosque (despite overwhelming evidence) and granting the site of that mosque to allies of the ruling party to build a Hindu temple, a court case which bizarrely considered a Hindu deity one of the winning litigants.

Previous judgements acquitted the current home minister and president of the ruling party of ordering extra-judicial killings and freed other members of the ruling party who were previously convicted of murders during religious riots.

This is not to say all judgements fall into this pattern. There are undoubtedly a few highlights such as Shreya Singhal (online freedom of expression), 377 (decriminalization of homosexuality) and the Right to Privacy (is a thing).

However these are few and far between.

[1]: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/04/indias-top-jud...

I can't stand Bobde, but be careful with assuming that the accused guy in your story did anything wrong at all. These are all just allegations. IPC 498A is probably the most fraudulently applied law these days, along with other similar laws that Maneka Gandhi and her fellow animal rights exploit activists to target men. Knowing how poor the police investigations are, such scams are easy to pull off. Google "Maneka Gandhi Ramlingam" if you want an example. The audio is easy to find too. Besides, the police can make you admit to whatever crime they want.

>> a court case which bizarrely considered a Hindu deity one of the winning litigants

Abrahimic deity-view will find it bizarre and difficult to understand.

Aside from backlogs, India's judiciary is alive and kicking. Better than some of the 'free' countries even. There are enough examples of the judiciary smacking down the ruling government.

India has a deep corruption problem. There's a real incentive to make money off scams and the government is giving a blind eye. A guy infiltrated some of the scam companies, who where all in India, using their remote desktop software against them and got feeds of all the webcams and microphones in the building. Multiple reports to police and most companies still runnning to this day.

wow. Which story was this? Would love to read about this.

It's Jim Browning: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBNG0osIBAprVcZZ3ic84vw

I don't remember exactly what video it was, but he even has recordings of meetings from management of one of the scam companies

You can tell he is a true hacker and has a real passion to do the right thing. I'd recommend his channel to anyone

All countries have a deep corruption problem. Do you have any data to suggest that India's problem is bigger than others ?


All of these scamming companies are subcontracted to by Americans. The employees there are just poor people manning phone desks - as long as it is wihtin the law they are not doing anything wrong. The Americans who subcontract to them are the ones who are representing the culture of scamming.

Source ?

I have been to one of these scam call centres. The workers there are just paid per 'lead'. They read off a script and the if the person at the other end agrees to part with the information, then they add the information to the form and get paid for it. This is standard call centre marketing and ton of legit businesses do it also. From an operators point of view it is hard to figure out if the scheme is a scam or not. Call centers are getting paid per 'lead' - irrespective of what the business makes out of it - legal or not.

So the 'source' is some modi15 and does not even establish the claim that these are American operations. Got it.

>It's even part of it's culture and society is what I was trying to say

Wow; this is an atrocious and racist statement if i have ever seen one.

You ought to be banned.

I don't say every Indian is a scammer but what I'm saying that if someone needs a job real badly, it's easy to pick to work for a scamming company because the government enables them.

How you turn this into me being racist is just something I chose to ignore to keep it civil.

Modi reminds me a lot of Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan famously said democracy is like a train in that you get off once you've arrived at your destination. I see similar impulses from Modi and the BJP. I can very easily see Modi talking about how mandirs and shikharas are barracks and helmets. India is headed down a dangerous path and his perversion of Hinduism will not end well.


> its with opposition party who are using violence to put their point.

Care to provide sources for this?

The Indian middle class has never been more prosperous under any other government. The current ruling government has undertaken fundamental reforms that _all_ political parties have had in their manifestos but nobody has had the political will to execute on it. In fact in the past 7 years there hasn't been an single legitimate instance of corruption or scandal. If this is the dangerous path, please sign me up for more.

Your point is exactly the things a lot of my Hindu friends say. Freedom and prosperity are two different things. China has/had a booming economy but look at the way they are treating Muslims or dissent.

Yes, for mainstream Hindu nationalists, this is a great time, the government is fully for them. But with all due respect spare a thought for the minorities, journalists and even comedians who are sent to jail for no reason. What about CAA etc.?

There has been demand for hindus to manage their own temples. This been a right winged party has done nothing on it for last 5 years. Not even in states they are ruling.

As for comedians there should be demand to remove the blasphemy laws. That would stop those hurting religious cases.

That is the danger china posted to the world. Totalitarian pays. Let us have more of it. Suppressed minority right is ok. Let us do more of it. With the largest two or 1/2 humanity ... whatever we think about human rights will be overtaken by this crazy reality. Power is might. Prosperity is what counts.

Sigh. And the top judge is either a joke as in china or ask the rapist to continue raping the kids he raped (by marrying her).

Sigh. Can we have hope.

It's interesting and disappointing that the CAA is bought up all the time on India related threads in HN for being something that is anti-minority, but explicitly helps persecuted minorities in neighborhood countries, like these Sikhs that faced terror attacks in Afghanistan [1].

Isn't supporting persecuted minorities with no other homeland than India something that the government of India should do? Israel does it by giving citizenship to all persecuted incoming Jews and there seem to be no complains about that so not sure why India is demonized for doing the same.

Also, most of the mentions of CAA never explain exactly what is discriminatory in the law[2]. It only accelerates the citizenship process for religions that originate in India. Not sure what is discriminatory about that?

[1] - https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-first-batch-of-facilit...

[2] - http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2019/214646.pdf

Your question contains your answer - "It only accelerates the citizenship process for religions that originate in India. Not sure what is discriminatory about that?"

You pick and choose which religions get an "accelerated" citizenship process (whatever that means). Also India has millions of muslims (or christians) whom you can deny citizenship because it is a "foreign" religion :)

> Also India has millions of muslims (or christians) whom you can deny citizenship because it is a "foreign" religion

This sounds made up. What laws in India let them deny citizenship for minorities because it’s a “foreign” religion? Care to source one?

> What laws in India let them deny citizenship for minorities because it’s a “foreign” religion?

The National Register of Citizens (NRC). https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Register_of_Citizen...

The CAA and NRC are designed to work together to strip citizenship from Indian muslims who do not have documents to comprehensively prove citizenship.

The NRC is terrible but not overtly discriminatory on religious grounds. The CAA essentially protects people from the NRC, but does so in a blatantly discriminatory manner.

How it works: You might have a passport or driving license or Aadhaar, but none of these prove you are a citizen; you need a document issued before the 1970 wave of immigration from Bangladesh, and if you are younger than that you need to prove an ancestor's citizenship using such a document and then prove your descent from that person using birth certificates.

Needles to say, many people (of all religions) would not be able to do that.

This is where the CAA comes in, saying people in the country illegally have a fast-track to citizenship if they happen to be from a list of 'persecuted minorities' in neighboring countries. The list excludes persecuted muslim groups, most conspicuously the Rohingya of Myanmar who face the most horrifying persecution.

Sidenote: while I said the NRC isn't discriminatory in it's framing, it was in practice in Assam, the only state where it has been enforced. Officers have broad discretion over choosing whom to challenge (to prove citizenship), and some were caught admitting they challenged people based on how hey dressed and in what neighborhood they lived.

Not officially. There are other means - holding back approvals indefinitely, using clerical errors as an excuse selectively

This sounds like speculation.

Personal observation, but then you would say that's an anecdote. However if you are familiar with how governance works in India this will not be surprising to you at all.

The moment it is required that an official needs to sign off on something, that power will be used to extract money first and political favors next.

The recent love jihad laws that require a sign off from the administration attesting that no harm has been done in s case of mixed faith marriage, is not the first of its kind. A couple of months ago a marriage registrar and local police asked for a hefty bribe from two of my acquaintances who were getting married to each other - all because they are from different religion and that requires a sign off from local admin. This is a known practice and the corruption money finds it way up to high places. It is a politically sanctioned corruption.

Speculating now -- The recent spate of cow slaughter lynching is less about protecting cows ft slaughter houses but note about using the political system to grab protection money from Muslims - give me money and continue as usual or get lynched even if its buff meat that you are selling/transporting

not speculation, note that these are just some of the cases that have surfaced and got to the media.

"In India's citizenship test, a spelling error can ruin a family" https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-natio...

"Ex-Soldier Declared "Foreigner" In Assam Released From Detention Centre" https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/mohammad-sanaullah-former-so...

I would recommend you to read this FAQ[1]. It answers all you points.

> Also India has millions of muslims (or christians) whom you can deny citizenship because it is a "foreign" religion :)

This is blatantly false. The CAA only applies to new immigrants that apply for citizenship. No where in the CAA law it is mentioned that existing citizens can be stripped of their citizenship due to their religion or any other reason.

This is not twitter or reddit. Please stop spreading lies, FUD and conjecture here.

[1] -https://hcikl.gov.in/pdf/press/CAA_2019_dec.pdf

where did you get the "deny citizenship to muslims" from ? they are still part of the process and will take the same time they do today .. nothing changes for them.. which is the cases for hindus/sikh/jains/muslims/chrstn from any other country apart from these 3 bordering india ..

"The Indian middle class has never been more prosperous under any other government." -> Do you have any proof for this? I have been for greater part of the 1st Modi regime. It was mostly a shitshow with Demonetisation.

If you know about the history of fascism it has always had a base in a certain section of the middle class of a country aligned with some elites (as opposed to one rooted in the working class).


That can only lead massively off topic. Please don't take HN threads into generic political flamewar.


"The Indian middle class has never been more prosperous under any other government." - Based on what metrics?

India's GDP growth rate is not negative. Hence...

Talking about middle class incomes is a total red herring. These are fairly typical diversionary tactics, to move the conversation from an uncomfortable topic such as fascism and human rights violations to more mundane discussions about economic metrics.

If you have been in a couple of these discussions you will learn to avoid these diversionary traps :)

>> The Indian middle class has never been more prosperous under any other government

Have you looked at the interest rates ? The government is crushing the very same middle class savers/pensioners who have supported them ardently. And the funny thing is they still continue to do so.

This irony is lost on everybody.

This is another way of saying that India does not have a negative GDP growth rate (covid19 excepted).

Independent India has actually never had a negative growth rate ever, until 2020.

This also ignores 3 fundamental facts

1. The middle class of India is a minority. The majority of India is lower class.

2. The growth rate has been declining ever since Modi has assumed power.

3. The current discussion is about fascism, suspension of habeas corpud, human rights violations and the usurpation of power from independent branches like the judiciary, election commission, enforcement directorate etc. - not the middle class income profile.

Germany was also prosperous under Hitler.

Can you please cite with examples of growth in the past 7 years with comparison to the previous govt? This govt has been a failure in an astounding scale and the numbers confirm them. I'm not getting what you mean by "never been more prosperous"

> The Indian middle class has never been more prosperous under any other government.

It would be pretty worrying if they weren't.


Yikes. Please keep flamewar comments off HN—especially classic ideological battle stuff. Also, please note the site guideline against calling names.


‘Neutralise Those Writing Against Us’: Inside The Govt’s Plan To Manage Media Perception


Please share any first hand experience if you have faced any internet blockade anytime in last few years. I am seriously skeptical of the news portals now a days.

The reason for my skepticism is that I have never faced internet censorship. I was in Delhi till last June.

There's plenty of systematic[1] as well as "oh there are protests, let's turn off internet in the area" types of censorship[2]

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_India#T...

[2]: https://www.dw.com/en/indias-internet-shutdowns-function-lik... (arrived at from [1])

Whether you face it or not depends on how often you have questioned or criticized the govt

I doubt the technical feasibility of this. How can internet be blocked only for one person in a city? There are gazillion ways to access internet.

For the technicaly informed and with enough money yes one can find a way to circumvent censorship. Govts make sure or tries to make sure that such means are illegal - even better, morally equivalent to terrorism

Hope they dont ban hindustan times for this article.


Please do not take HN threads further into flamewar.


Your censorship would fit right in in India.

This should be read with USCIRF Report, which recommends US Govt to designate India as 'country of particular concern' https://www.uscirf.gov/annual-reports?country=47

oh no !! another paki islamist .. scared of what kafirs will do .. what you have done to kafirs for centuries .. you and your entire abrahamic expansionist lot ..

We've banned this account for using HN for religious and nationalistic flamewar. Definitely not what this site is for!

If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email hn@ycombinator.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future. They're here: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.

One needs to remember "Each of us needs of all of us and all of us needs each of us".

https://mobile.twitter.com/sonaliranade depicts coherent/rational state of current affairs in India;


Please don't take HN threads on generic flamewar tangents. It leads to predictable discussion, and usually nasty places, which isn't what this site is supposed to be for.


I disagree with you intensely, however not my house, not my rules.


That's a separate question. If you'd like to make a case that the article is off topic for HN, we're always open to hearing that sort of thing. You should make an argument in terms of the goals of the site, though, not just name calling, which is usually a way of expressing ideological dislike.


It is by no means limited to the Indian political right.


Please no. It can only lead massively off topic, and is certain to turn nasty. We're trying to avoid that here.


1. Spreading voter misinformation

2. Delegitimizing mail-in ballots

3. Delegitimizing election officials

4. Calling up state election officials to change votes in favor of Trump

5. Filing 200+ BS lawsuits questioning the authenticity of ballots

6. Disenfranchising minorities by gerrymandering

7. 250+ bills have been introduced in various states restricting voter rights

Do you seriously want me to go on?


Those are random quora posts. How is anything evident from that? Even all of the data from the 2nd Quora post is false. It is neither verified nor those posts link to any source.


None of it is inaccurate and we already witnessed how Muslims are targeted with this law in Assam.

- https://scroll.in/article/970901/a-year-after-assams-nrc-rel...

> Have Indian muslims been denied citizenship rights? ...CAA makes special provisions for some religious minorities.

Yes except Muslims. Thats the problematic part. Religion is used as a defining position for 'repatriation'.

> the ruling Republican party were not only responsible for spreading voter misinformation, opposing a free and fair election, causing an insurrection and failed to hold anybody accountable for it.

This is bad but its not bad as whats happening in India. The govt is throwing activists in jail for protests and raising questions. They have effectively captured all media houses and they telecast blatant anti Muslim propaganda 24/7. This is a massive problem for all except the privileged whom the govt is made of.

This entire defence of the govt and its blatantly bigoted actions looks silly. But I'm not surprised given the demography of Indian tech industry.

> Yes except Muslims. Thats the problematic part. Religion is used as a defining position for 'repatriation'

How is that problematic? Many religions originated in India. Don't these people have the right to come back and get accelerated citizenship for their homeland if they are persecuted in other countries?

Also very importantly, the CAA does not prohibit Muslim immigrants from seeking citizenship [1]. Which is what you are suggesting here. And it is patently false [1]. So please desist from spreading lies here.

A gentle reminder that Israel also does the same. So why are you holding Israel and India to different standards?

[1] - https://hcikl.gov.in/pdf/press/CAA_2019_dec.pdf

> They have effectively captured all media houses and they telecast blatant anti Muslim propaganda 24/7

The biggest media houses (by viewership count) in India are NDTV, AajTak, Times Now. I view them daily and I don't see any anti-muslim propaganda 24/7. Perhaps you can give examples from these three houses that is anti-muslim propaganda?

> How is that problematic?

Please read and educate yourself. https://cjp.org.in/why-the-caanprnrc-is-a-toxic-cocktail-for...

>A gentle reminder that Israel also does the same.

I dont know why you are mentioning Israel now as if i'm defending them. No, what they are doing is wrong too.

>Perhaps you can give examples from these three houses that is anti-muslim propaganda?

maybe this might help you. Its a well explained piece https://theprint.in/opinion/indian-media-waging-holy-war-aga...

> > How is that problematic?

> Please read and educate yourself. https://cjp.org.in/why-the-caanprnrc-is-a-toxic-cocktail-for...

I have read that before. It talks about a deadly cocktail of 3 laws, CAA, NPC, NRC. Out of these, the nation-wide NPC and NRC laws don't exist, even in very rough drafts. So I am really not sure from where the author of this piece is drawing all his conjecture from. It also re-repeats some same half-facts about CAA that I dismissed above. Maybe the author is time-travelling mind-reader who knows more about some future laws that even the law-writers don't know about?

> >Perhaps you can give examples from these three houses that is anti-muslim propaganda?

> maybe this might help you. Its a well explained piece https://theprint.in/opinion/indian-media-waging-holy-war-aga...

Let's dissect this piece step by step.

1. I mentioned the three big media houses by viewership (NDTV, AajTak, Times Now.) Two of them are not mentioned in this piece, so the "all media houses are controlled" statement falls flat right here.

2. This is not an well researched journalism piece. It not even a journalism piece at all. It's an explicitly stated opinion piece that is presented as such. No one in the world considers an opinion piece as a fact. This is what an actual, well researched fact filled piece looks like[1], with all specific facts and details. If you can produce a detailed piece of journalism like this proving your point, then I will believe you.

3. Even if we consider this opinion piece as not opinion, it is very light on facts. It does not mention any specific big government produced propaganda pieces that are being pushed. It talks about some media (not all) houses talking about some issues to gain ratings. But that is not 24/7 government controlled propaganda. Not even close to the old Triumph of Will standards, never mind all the modern spectacle that is possible today with technology.

[1] - https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/26/us/turkey-pro...

Denaturalization of 2 million citizens is not a joke that can be brushed away lightly. The denaturalized will either be locked up in concentration camps for life or lose their ability to vote, own property and work. Either way they will become slave laborers for the rest of their lives, incarcerated or otherwise.

Large scale denaturalization has only been carried out recently in apartheid south Africa, nazi Germany and Burmese militia.

Denaturalization of Hindus does not make the system "fair". They do however have a way back via CAA. The hindu victims are typically lower caste Dalits, for whom the upper caste middle class Hindus typically have very little sympathy.

Stories from Indias largest concentration camp for denaturalized citizens.


I agree with the report, but this part made me laugh.

> annual report on global political rights and liberties by Freedom House, a US government-funded NGO that studies political freedom around the world

> Beijing’s efforts “featured increased meddling in the domestic political discourse of foreign democracies, transnational extensions of rights abuses common in mainland China, and the demolition of Hong Kong’s liberties and legal autonomy”.

Is this not hypocrisy? Specially after what happened in the USA when Trump lost? How does Freedom House thinks China meddles in foreign democracies? Propaganda from NGOs is an open secret and almost every country uses it these days.

> Specially after what happened in the USA when Trump lost?

The President Elect took office on the specified inauguration day?

You mean after the President said the election was stolen from him and hundreds of his supporters stormed the US Capitol? The USA might think this is okay and forgot about it. But historically it was USA who criticized other countries where similar events occurred. If you think I am overreacting how about the comments from dozens of countries [0].

[0]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_reactions_to_the...

Probably not a popular opinion, but current Covid restrictions have limited personal freedoms in more meaningful ways than political changes in any country. You can live in a very liberal European country (ex. Netherlands or Denmark) and have fewer freedoms with regards to your ability to go outside where you need to go than 'a less democratic country' with lax covid policies. Feels really strange.

Also, it's a very western view to a country to be less or more democratic, depending on how authoritarian a current leader is. You can talk to an average person in India, Turkey or Hungary and very few will feel that they are now less free because, say, Orban or Modi is in charge (although they may totally dislike their leaders).

I had the privilege to be able to leave the country this year, the lack of freedom inside India had become personally stifling.

I went from lax Covid policies to a locked down city, and I feel freer.

What was the lack of freedom you experienced in India? Not asking rhetorically.

not the OP, but on my few (yes, tourist) visits to India - I've found things done that try to watch or "guide" you to do things a certain way.


getting a phone number as tourist was complex, we decided to keep roaming for 5 weeks.

every hotel you check in to asks you to write down where you came from and where you're going next. all so they can probably throw it in the trash. we didn't know where we were going next half the time, we made it up.

The amount of personal data required to do just about anything.

at the airports they have staff that will sit and make random marks on your boarding pass and write things down, but not consistently.

for me it felt very much like India was a "state that thinks it's in control of everything but doesn't have a real, substantive grasp on anything" - yet as a foreigner, i felt very much managed.

all opinion ^^

"In democracy it's your vote in elections that counts; In feudalism it's your count that votes" --Jallberg https://archive.is/h3TBP

This "Think Tank", "Freedom House" is NOT impartial; their methodology is flawed, biased and highly subjective. I wouldn't take any of their reports seriously, particularly when it comes to a country like India whose "Diversity" on various societal axes are truly one of a kind. The situation on the ground is much more nuanced and reports like these only create more harm.

Some criticisms;





> their methodology is flawed, biased and highly subjective.

That's not at all my takeaway. Note that you list The Heritage Foundation as a source, a well known opinion piece factory, far from impartial if you ever take a look at their funding structure.

I have provided multiple sources including research; you have an issue with one. There are plenty more if you do the research.

None of your other sources support the claim you make, as I thought I had made clear.

Not true at all.

Please re-read the links and in particular; the WaPo article. It also provides links to other relevant articles/papers.

Nothing is flawless. That’s not an argument at all.

And I swear India was trumpeting these same flawed reports when it worked in its favor.

Can you honestly not say this is not true. That India is not sliding into a much worse version of Democracy? Have you even looked at the new IT rules?

Here’s how you know India is less free. Irrespective of whether tou agree with the rules or not, they are not law. But India’s current situation is so messed up that no one will even consider not treating it as a law.

Yeah, right. These reports are so useful. If they are in your favor, cite them as a success. If not, they are "biased".

For recorded history, the subcontinent has been politically unified for -- at most -- 250 years. There are many different nations inside the "Republic of India." Some of these people are already seeking independence (https://referendum2020.org/) and more will join them. In retrospect, "India" will perhaps seem akin to the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Ottoman empire: a cage of nations. One friend of mine in Kolkata has informed me that there is more and more consideration of the "Himalayan Reconfiguration" -- a peaceful liberation of the nations trapped inside of the "Republic of India."

It's very interesting that there are regular questions about unity of India and subtle calls for breakup of the country on HN. Outside of the Kashmir issue, no one in India even mentions things like "Himalayan Reconfiguration" (first I've heard of the term). I mean, it's a non-existing thing in the country.

But I somehow find a link to a fringe website and a "my friend in India told me" anecdote, which is pretty unbecoming of HN but more and more common these days. I’m surprised (and disappointed) dang is allowing this kind of blatant propaganda.

> subtle calls for breakup of the country on HN

I didn't read it as a call for breakup of India. There are genuine questions about the state of West Bengal and why it should continue to be a single state.

If Telangana can be a state, why not Darjeeling?

Granting statehood/breaking up a large state isn’t what the parent comment is talking about. It’s about “independence from India”.

> In retrospect, "India" will perhaps seem akin to the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Ottoman empire: a cage of nations.

As a half-Croat, this reminds me also of a more recent example: the Balkans. Let's just hope and pray to whatever gods we adhere to that, should the situation come to the worst, it won't end in Balkan-level bloodshed.

Yes, very profound point, completely agree.

The website link doesn't work and the term "Himalayan Reconfiguration" doesn't provide any contextual search results. Kolkata is a pretty populous city. Along with "Himalayan Reconfiguration" the people there can come up with "Andes Reconfiguration" and "Rocky Reconfiguration" as well. Please don't add comments like this to market the divisive ideas enveloped inside the pseudo armchair philosophy.

ISIS captured large territories in Syria and Iraq, that doesn't legitimise it as a politically unified nation.

This definition works for countries like in Europe who have very little of their pagan roots left. Further more Europe is divided mostly on linguistic and on catholic/protestant divide (with exceptions and then there is Switzerland or Belgium).

India is a civilisational state, it has long established cultural interoperability. Indian epics, temples and traditions are 1000s of years old and still maintain deep roots.

For Indians, the recent notions of a nation state is irrelevant.

If that is the case then perhaps like China you may find more than 60% of its territory held together by force, with Hanification and reeducation camps.

The oneness of India goes back to thousands of years, as per ancient scriptures and records.

Sure, there were different kingdoms and turfs, but the philosophical core of the cpuntry, was based on Sanatana Dharma, common to the sub continent. That is why it was easy to keep it as a coherent unit even after hundreds of ywars of muslim and british rule.

I think you can make a pretty compelling case that the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal empire were cases of politically unified India for several hundred years before that.

No, South India was not ruled by these empires.

What about the Maurya Empire?

They didn't conquer the Tamil kings, who were merchants probably. And they had spices!

You should probably update Wikipedia then

It was, upto Andhra

Actually upto Arcot in Tamil Nadu. The Nawabate of Arcot was a Mughal governorship that exists even today (in name).

Not culturally very much. They were probably managed by sub-kings (I forgot the english word). Not a lot changed in South under Mughal rule, compared to north.


I don't think Khalistani has anything to do with Farmers protest. My father lives in Western UP and totally with protestors. And we are not Sikhs. But I also don't understand why government resort to calumny before dialogue? Remember not so long ago we all protested in Delhi against corruption and the "corrupt" government at that time actually had no issue with it. We were not called anti-national then? What changed?

I used the phrase They were one of the groups.

The technique of hijacking a perfectly legitimate movement to push a particular agenda/propaganda is as old as Politics.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact