Someone needs to speak up when country loses ability to speak the truth: Lapid defends ‘Kashmir Files’ remark

News Network
November 30, 2022

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Israel filmmaker Nadav Lapid - whose criticism this week of 'The Kashmir Files' as 'vulgar' and 'propaganda' led to a row and pushback from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party - on Wednesday defended his remarks and insisted 'someone needs to speak up'. Speaking to Israeli news website Ynet via the telephone, Lapid said the fury over his remarks was 'crazy' but the award-winning filmmaker underlined that he had been left shocked by the 'transparent combination between propaganda and fascism and vulgarity'.

Lapid on Monday said 'The Kashmir Files' - which writer/director Vivek Agnihotri says is a movie based on Kashmiri Pandits' exodus from the Valley in the 1990s, when militancy was rampant - is a 'propagandist movie inappropriate for an artistic, competitive section of such a prestigious film festival (the International Film Festival of India that was held in Goa)'.

The remarks triggered a furious reaction from Israeli diplomats, including ambassador Naor Gilon, who said Lapid should be 'ashamed' and accused him of abusing Indian hospitality. Gilon also demanded Lapid apologise to India.

Many also criticised the remarks on grounds the Jewish community also endured a similarly horrific incident - the Holocaust, in which some believe around six million Jews were killed.

The intensity of the pushback appears to have startled Lapid, who told Ynet: "It is crazy... what is going on here. It was broadcast live on television" but doubled down on his statement.

"It is a film the Indian government... if it didn't actually initiate... at least pushed it in an unusual way... it basically justifies Indian policy in Kashmir and has fascist features."

In his interview (translated from Hebrew) Lapid also said: "The claim is there... that the dimensions of the event are hidden by intellectuals and media. And it is always the same - there is a foreign enemy and there are traitors from within."

Lapid was asked if he anticipated so massive a row and acknowledged that he did feel troubled by having to criticise the film at 'an event (where) everyone stands there and praises the government'.

"I knew that this was an event that is terribly connected... everyone praises the government. It is not an easy position - because you are a guest... you are treated very nicely... and then you come and attack the festival. There was apprehension, and there was discomfort.."

"Let's put it this way... I'm happy to be on my way to the airport now."

Lapid, however, stressed that he felt it necessary to speak up.

"In countries (where people are) increasingly losing the ability to speak your mind... someone needs to speak. When I saw this film, I couldn't help but imagine its Israeli equivalent... doesn't exist but could definitely exist."

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coastaldigest.com news network
January 21,2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 21: The city police has continued crackdown drugs network in private medical colleges in Mangaluru as it arrested nine more medicos including two doctors and seven students on charges of ganja consumption and peddling. 

The arrested doctors have been identified as Dr Vidush Kumar (27), from Uttar Pradesh and Dr Sudheendra (34) from Karnataka. 

The students are Dr Siddartha Pavaskar (29) from Karnataka, Dr Ish Midda (27) from Uttar Pradesh, Dr Suryajith Dev (20) and Dr Aysha Mohammed (23) from Kerala, Dr Pranay Natraj (24) and Dr Chaithanya R Tumuluri (23) from Telangana and Dr Sharanya (23) from Delhi. The arrested are pursuing their MBBS, MBBS MS, and internship in BDS and MBBS.

With this the total number of arrested in ganja network case in medical and dental colleges in Mangaluru has mounted to 24.

Earlier the police had arrested 15 persons. All the arrested have been produced before the court and sent to Judicial Custody.

“We have collected all the necessary information from the arrested. The concerned Medical colleges have extended their full co-operation and have suspended the accused involved in this case,” said Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar.

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News Network
January 21,2023

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Mysuru, Jan 21: A woman was killed in a leopard attack at Kannayakanahalli, T Narsipur taluk, Mysuru district last evening. This is the third incident of death due to a leopard attack in the district in the last three months.

The deceased has been identified as Siddamma, 60. She was out to fetch firewood when the leopard pounced on her.

Initial reports said that the leopard tried to drag the woman into the bushes, before letting her go due to the commotion caused by the villagers. The woman was already dead by the time the locals could reach her.

A statement from the state forest department is awaited.

On December 1, 2022, Meghana, 21, was attacked by a leopard in the backyard of her house in T Narasipura taluk’s S Kebbehundi village. She succumbed later at the hospital.

Manjunatha, 21, was mauled to death on October 31 by a leopard on the premises of Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy temple hills (Ukkalagere Betta) in T Narasipura taluk.

After an intense search and combing operation for over a month, forest officials captured and relocated a leopard on December 23, 2022, which was suspected to have attacked and killed the two youths.

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News Network
January 19,2023

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New Delhi, Jan 19: The Editors Guild of India yesterday urged the government to "expunge" the draft amendment to the IT Rules asking social media companies to take down news articles that have been deemed "fake" by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

"The Guild urges the Ministry to expunge this new amendment, and to initiate meaningful consultations with press bodies, media organisations and other stakeholders, on the regulatory framework for digital media, so as to not undermine press freedom," a statement issued by the Editors Guild of India said. "At the outset, determination of fake news cannot be in the sole hands of the government and will result in the censorship of the press," the Guild said in a statement here, voicing "deep concern" over the draft amendment to the Information Technology (IT) Rules.

It said that already multiple laws exist to deal with content that is found to be factually incorrect.

"This new procedure basically serves to make it easier to muzzle the free press, and will give sweeping powers to the PIB, or any 'other agency authorised by the Central government for fact checking', to force online intermediaries to take down content that the government may find problematic," the Guild said.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Tuesday released a modification to the draft Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 it had previously released for public consultation.

The addition, made in the "due diligence section" for social media intermediaries, states that an intermediary shall not be allowed to publish information that "deceives or misleads the addressee about the origin of the message or knowingly and intentionally communicates any misinformation" that has been "identified as fake or false by the fact check unit at the PIB of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or other agency authorised by the Central government for fact-checking".

"Further, the words 'in respect of any business of the Central government' seems to give the government a carte blanche to determine what is fake or not with respect to its own work. This will stifle legitimate criticism of the government and will have an adverse impact on the ability of the press to hold governments to account, which is a vital role it plays in a democracy," the Guild said.

"It must be further noted that the Guild had raised its deep concerns with the IT Rules when they were first introduced in March 2021, claiming that they empower the Union Government to block, delete, or modify published news anywhere in the country without any judicial oversight. Various provisions in these rules have the potential to place unreasonable restrictions on digital news media, and consequently media at large," the Guild said.

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