P Chidambaram – The Old Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu, now divided into the three districts of Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai, and Virudhunagar, has a variety of waterbodies, including man-made tanks, irrigation tanks, drinking water ponds, tanks for sheep and cattle, and wells. Old Ramanathapuram was a district with an arid climate and little rainfall.
The majority of the land was used for agriculture and was monsoon-dependent. The populace and their rulers were forced to dig endlessly in order to make water bodies. They did that all year long. Both people and animals depended on the waterbodies for their survival.
There are still many nations with an electoral commission, elections, a judiciary, a parliament, members of the House of Representatives, a cabinet, ministries, and media outlets. But you can tell it’s not a free country when you go there or when you live there.
The waterbody suffered when more human settlements were required due to population growth. ‘Creeping encroachments’ was the tried-and-true strategy. On the borders of a water body, a few shelters will appear; during the coming months, more will be built. The waterbody started to shrink as encroachments increased, and eventually, it disappeared. The coastline shrank back as the sea rose. It’s known as erosion.
Encroachment and degradation are two terms that also apply to freedom. Freedom won’t be seized at midnight in a free nation. It will gradually dissolve until you realize that you are no longer as free as you were a few months ago – silently, covertly, insidiously. And by the time you realize you’ve lost your independence, it will be too late to get it back. ( P Chidambaram)
Don’t believe that you can keep your freedom forever. Just add up the countries that attained independence around the same time as India in 1947 and the years that followed. Count how many of them have now lost their freedom to native autocrats rather than colonizers. ( P Chidambaram)
Many of those nations continue to have an Election Commission and elections, a Judiciary and judges, a Parliament and Members of Parliament (MPs), a Cabinet and Ministers, newspapers, and journalists. But you can tell it’s not a free country when you go there or when you live there. ( P Chidambaram)
Although these nations appear to be free, they are authoritarian republics. Countries are categorized as Liberal democracy, Electoral democracy, Electoral autocracy, and Closed autocracy by the Swedish V-Dem Institute. The Institute designated India as an “Electoral Autocracy” in 2021. It represents shame. ( P Chidambaram)
Successive Amendments – P Chidambaram
The Constitution’s Articles 14 and 19(1)(a) and (g) safeguard both the rights of the person and the institution known as the Press. Mark April 6, 2023. On that day, a dubious statute gave its blessing to the deterioration of press freedom. Press freedom was abruptly taken away during the Emergency (1975–1977).
Indira Gandhi apologized for the Emergency because it was horribly wrong.) The government changed the Information Technology Rules, 2021 on April 6. Following the revision, Rule 3(1)(b)(v) now reads as follows (the amendment is in bold italics):
“3(1) An intermediary’s due diligence: The following due diligence must be observed by all intermediaries while performing their tasks, including social media intermediaries, prominent social media intermediaries, and intermediaries for online gaming. The harm is plain to see. ‘Any business of the Central Government’ is covered by the modified rule.
There will be a “central government fact-checking unit.” An official censor is referred to by that term. The censor has the authority to declare news to be “fake or false.” Without any court monitoring, that judgment will be entirely subjective. Newspapers, TV networks, and social media sites are required to “cause the user of its computer resource” to remove the news once it has been determined that it is fabricated or misleading. ( P Chidambaram)