Statement by the Jana Natya Manch
11 February 2021
LeftWord Books Stands With NewsClick
Over the course of the past few months, agricultural workers and farmers from across India have been in the midst of a brave agitation against the three farm bills passed by the Indian government. The agricultural workers and farmers have held their line in the cold winter months, braving repression, and harassment; they have been called terrorists and anti-nationals. Nothing has broken their will. They remain resolute: they will defend their livelihood and their lives.
The views of the agricultural workers and farmers would not have been available to the world without the equally brave and forthright reporting from the team at NewsClick, a media company based in New Delhi. Reporters from NewsClick went amongst the agricultural workers and farmers from one protest site to the next, facing the water cannons and police lathis themselves as they took down the testimonies of farmer and agricultural worker, of bystander and politician. This was reporting of the very highest quality.
At LeftWord, we were proud to publish a volume edited by Pranjal, the editor of NewsClick; this volume – कबहूं ना छाड़े खेत: दिल्ली के दरवाज़े पर किसान की दस्तक – collects reports and commentary on the farmer’s revolt. An English version of the book will be out presently.
On 9 February, the Indian government decided to raid the premises and homes of the editors of NewsClick, and then raid its office. Accusations flew around in the media without foundation. The Enforcement Directorate officers spent over two days interrogating the editors and journalists, searching through their materials on and offline. What they would have found in these computers is the honest and sincere reporting of the team at NewsClick, reporting which we have republished in a series of books on the various maladies that afflict India today along the hierarchies of caste and patriarchy, for instance. We, at LeftWord Books, hope that the officers will learn something of the India that is being buried; we hope that they will read some of these reports and open their eyes to the atrocities committed against the majority of Indian citizens so that a minority can profit from the work we do.
Many of those who have been detained and harassed – such as Pranjal and Prabir Purkayastha – are our authors at LeftWord Books. We are proud of our association with them and with NewsClick. We stand with NewsClick and will continue to tell the stories of an India that refuses to bow down to power, profit, and privilege.
Vijay Prashad (Chief Editor)
Sudhanva Deshpande (Managing Editor)
Statement by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Yet Another Attack on Independent Media
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The CPI(M) condemns the Enforcement Directorate raid on the offices of Newsclick, a digital news portal and the houses of its editors and the owner.
The ED action is a blatant attempt to intimidate and suppress an independent news portal. Newsclick has been providing credible and wide coverage of the farmers protests.
The Central agencies are being used by the Modi government to harass and silence independent media. The CPI(M) demands an end to the vindictive action against Newsclick and its management.