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    JOHN DAYAL/ OPINION: Oct 19, 2021. It is a moot question which of the two October developments poses a more potent threat to the Christian mission in India, or at least in states other than Christian strongholds like Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. The first development is a firman or diktat issued by Sikhism’s top body, the Shrimoni Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC), to curb Christian evangelical activities among the Sikhs in the northern state of Punjab. The SGPC has sent 150 teams, each comprising seven preachers, to scour the 12,729 villages in the state. This is ostensibly to extend their own pastoral care to the young in Sikh families so that they can resist temptations that may come their way. This is almost exactly what the Islamic Tabliqi Jamaat does among Muslims, and the Hindu groups such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Arya Samaj do among Hindus. Unexceptional, on the face of it. The second development is a decision by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the southern state of Karnataka through its backward classes and minorities welfare committee to investigate “official and non-official” Christian missionaries. The state is expected to join nine other states that have passed laws against “forcible and fraudulent

    If Amazon, with barely 2% of the retail market, can be called “East India Company 2.0”, how would one describe inviting foreign capital to buy into hitherto government monopolies?This piece was first published on The India Cable – a premium newsletter from The Wire & Galileo Ideas – and has been updated and republished here. To subscribe to The India Cable, click here. After accusing Infosys of working against Indian interests, the RSS-affiliated publication Panchjanya has described Amazon as “East India Company 2.0”, seeking a monopoly in Indian retail with “initiatives for seizing the economic, political and personal freedom of Indian citizens.” There are accusations that Amazon has spent $1.2 billion in legal fees or allegedly underhand payments to expand its Indian operations. The US authorities are ostensibly investigating. The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), affiliated to the RSS, has also argued that e-commerce giants like Amazon will hurt small traders and kirana stores in India. But the Reliance group and the Tatas are also in the same space (Jio Mart and Big Basket). The Tatas are tying up with Walmart to build a bigger e-commerce platform in India. If Amazon harms small kirana stores, so will Jio Mart, Big Basket and the

    IT IS NO LONGER THAT WINGED HORSE MOVING HEAVENWARDS BUT A ROTTEN SPY WEAPON HURTLING THE NATION TO DOOM Pegasus is in the news! No, not the immortal winged horse from Greek mythology or the one whose soaring flight was interpreted in ancient times as an allegory of the soul’s immortality. Pegasus in its latest avatar is far from the mythical creature of old or even the symbol of poetic inspiration in modern times. It is dangerous Israeli spyware and has become a metaphor for all that is rotten and corrupt in a country like India; of a government that can stoop to abysmal depths to spy on its own citizens, especially the voices of dissent who uphold justice and truth. The first "Snoopgate" scandal came to the limelight in late 2019 when it was discovered that the Pegasus spyware was used to hack into the phones of roughly 1,400 users around the world, including 21 Indians. The latest sensational revelations are far more serious, with the Indian government reportedly snooping on at least 300 prominent citizens including journalists, human rights activists, political opponents and even current and former government officials. Of far more concern is the targeting of lawyers, activists and academics connected with the

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