Press Freedom

In signal to Modi critic Siddharth Varadarajan, goons beat up caretaker of his flat

'Tell your sahib to watch what he says on TV,' the four men said.

Senior journalist Siddharth Varadarajan, former editor of The Hindu newspaper, today posted on his Facebook and Twitter pages to say that four men had beaten up the caretaker of his Delhi flat on 23 February and said, "Tell your sahib to watch what he says on TV."

Varadarajan often appears on TV news shows as a political commentator and is also the author of a book on the Gujarat riots of 2002. Varadrajan had quit The Hindu in October 2013 after the newspaper's board had decided to appoint Malini Parthasarthy as editor. A member of The Hindu board had criticised Varadarajan for not giving adequate space to articles about BJP leader Narendra Modi.

The unidentified men also issued threats against Varadarajan's wife, the sociologist Nandini Sundar. Sundar, author of a book on the Bastar region, has been waging a battle in and outside court against the Chhattisgarh government for alleged human rights excesses.

Neither Varadarajan nor Sundar were home when the attackers visited.

Varadarajan said he did not want to speculate on the motives of the attackers, and that the caretaker was not hurt too badly and is recovering. "He is shaken, more than anything else." The Delhi Police has been very co-operative and is examining CCTV footage to see if the caretaker can identify the attackers walking around the neighbourhood."

"I am making this incident public on the advice of friends who believe it may serve some deterrent value," Varadarajan wrote on Facebook.

Does he plan to watch what he says on TV? "No!" he said. "The funny thing is I don't even know what could have provoked whom because I am speaking on TV every other day."

Here's a video of Varadarajan speaking on communal violence in Gujarat.



 
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Eleven ways Indian college life teaches you not to waste anything

College, they say, prepares you for life. Sometimes in the most unexpected ways.

Our quintessentially Indian ability to make the most of every resource has weathered us through many a storm in life. But this talent, as it were, is developed and honed to a fine art only in college. Frugality is a prominent feature of college life—more by circumstances than by choice and perhaps the most important skill we learn is nearly 100% efficiency when it comes to making the most of resources or opportunities. This “no wastage” policy is learned through many ways in college.

Academics
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Food
Food occupies a special part of a college goer’s life and there is only one rule when it comes to food: don’t waste any.

4. Thalis. College kids are always hungry, and there are few options that provide better value for money than thalis. Thalis come in all sorts—the Gujarati kind on copper plates, the south Indian variety on palm leaves, or even the Punjabi “mini thali” found in restaurants all over the country. No matter what form they take, no food goes waste.

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Travel
Space is to be shared, not hogged. Every seat in college be it on the bench or a bike or a rickshaw would be occupied till its last inch.

8. Triple seat scooter rides. College-goers of a certain vintage remember that scooters were made to accommodate more people than cars. One person riding, another in the back, and at least one if not two people sandwiched between them. While this ensures no wastage of space, it’s not to be tried by the faint-hearted.

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Freebies
College teaches you many things. The ability to not waste freebies is prominent on the list.

11. Buy one, get one free. The five little words that every college student wants to hear. Be it movie tickets, rock concert tickets, clothes, books or meals, a “one-on-one free” offer would always be utilized even if you didn’t need what the offer was selling. An unwritten if long-standing rule in college.

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