The first issue of Swarajya 
Snapshot
  • A selection of 12 pieces from the best content we carried in 2018.

2018 has been an eventful year with state elections and world cups and massive protests and socio-political churning, fit for the history books. Through all this, Swarajya has been bringing you the best ground reports, commentaries, opinions and perspectives on a plethora of issues which have been able to debunk flawed premises and have been able to set an independent narrative. These articles are ones which people have come back to again and again, and which have truly had an impact on the way certain issues were discussed, deliberated and debated.

As the year draws to a close, we present to you 12 of our articles spanning across politics, policy and culture, which you should read again.

1. Swarajya interviews PM Modi

Author: R Jagannathan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (GettyImages) Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (GettyImages)

The highlight of 2018 for Swarajya, was a free and frank discussion with the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on politics and policy and everything in between. The interview was conducted by the editorial director along with the CEO and publisher, and covered all burning issues including the state of the economy, the jobs crisis, doubling farm incomes, India Inc, ease of doing business and the GST. These are a series of articles which need to be read again to understand the vision and the work of the government.

2. Today Sabarimala is India

Author: Aravindan Neelakandan

Members of Navi Mumbai Malyali Samaj protest against Supreme Court’s Sabarimala verdict. (Bachchan Kumar/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)  Members of Navi Mumbai Malyali Samaj protest against Supreme Court’s Sabarimala verdict. (Bachchan Kumar/Hindustan Times via GettyImages) 

This year has seen the most outrageous assault of the judiciary on the faith of people in Sabarimala and an organic protest against the same in Kerala. Swarajya has consistently fought against the one-sided narrative of the mainstream media and has brought to you the perspective of the devotees. This piece is an important articulation of all that the struggle at Sabarimala symbolised for India and Hinduism.

3. Selective data on communal violence in India: Indiaspend, English media have a lot to answer for

Author: Swati Goel Sharma

Representative image (PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/GettyImages) Representative image (PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/GettyImages)

This article was crucial in puncturing the manufactured narrative and sinister propaganda which the portal IndiaSpend was running through its ‘hate tracker’. It was a detailed takedown of the motivated inclusion and exclusion criteria of hate crimes, cherry picking of data and questionable omissions by the IndiaSpend team to create data tailored to sentiment of ‘rising intolerance against minorities in India’.

4. How the Congress managed the judiciary for decades

Author: Pratyasha Rath

Indira Gandhi with son Sanjay Gandhi (Keystone/GettyImages) Indira Gandhi with son Sanjay Gandhi (Keystone/GettyImages)

While the Congress gunned for the impeachment of the ex-chief justice of India Deepak Misra, Swarajya brought to you the dark history of the Congress party in 'managing' the judiciary. From the days of the Emergency to the political co-option of friendly Supreme Court judges, the article lays bare the role of the Congress party in tarnishing the judiciary and its present day hypocrisy.

5. Hundred per cent village electrification is no mean task - let’s acknowledge it

Author: Aashish Chandorkar

Rural electrification in India (Pradeep Gaur/Mint via GettyImages) Rural electrification in India (Pradeep Gaur/Mint via GettyImages)

2018 was the year when every single village in India finally had access to electricity. But instead of acknowledging and celebrating this landmark achievement, a narrative was spun to undermine its significance. This piece was crucial in debunking each of the flawed premises being floated around and provided the correct response to every dubious contention.

6. Namami Gange: How Modi’s grand project is making gradual but certain progress

Author: Prakhar Gupta

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing Ganga aarti puja after cleaning Assi ghat on 8 November 2014 in Varanasi, India. (Ashok Dutta/Hindustan Times via GettyImages)  Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing Ganga aarti puja after cleaning Assi ghat on 8 November 2014 in Varanasi, India. (Ashok Dutta/Hindustan Times via GettyImages) 

The Namami Gange project was an important objective of the Modi government and this piece weaving together data and ground insights told us exactly how this project is faring. From infrastructural augmentation, to improved centre-state coordination to a focus on sanitation, Swarajya presented to you the one piece you should read to understand why the Modi government can claim to have done more for the Ganga than any regime before.

7.
The Banaras Ghats: They are A’Changin’

Author: Arihant Pawariya


Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency.

Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency.

This year, we did a special edition tracking the status of development in PM Narendra Modi’s constituency of Varanasi. In this special ground report, Arihant Pawariya gave you the low down of how the famous Ghats of Varanasi are gradually undergoing a change. Covering a range of voices from the city, this is a compelling read of all that is done and all that remains to be done in Kashi.

8. Anti-Sterlite protests: Who is behind the Tutucorin turmoil?

Authors: M R Subramani and Aravindan Neelakandan

A banner about a protest meeting against Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin on March 24, 2018. (Photo courtesy: Foil Vedanta) A banner about a protest meeting against Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin on March 24, 2018. (Photo courtesy: Foil Vedanta)

The anti-Sterlite protests in Tamil Nadu carried on for months and there was yet again a similar line of reporting seen in the local and the national media. Swarajya in this investigative piece looked deeper into the modus operandi of actors and organisations fuelling the protest in Tuticorin, and found that there is more to the unrest than meets the eye. From a hidden separatist agenda to actors associated with evangelism, this piece is a must read to decipher the anti-Sterlite protests.

9. How Chief Minister Chamling is driving the Sikkim growth story

Author: Jaideep Mazumdar

(Photo by Yasbant Negi/The India Today Group/GettyImages) (Photo by Yasbant Negi/The India Today Group/GettyImages)

Our team has been consistent in bringing you stories from northeast India and in helping bridge the divide which some eminent journalists had blamed on tyranny of distance! Sikkim is the best performing small state in the country and is a leader in sustainable development. In this piece, we discuss how the longest serving chief minister in the country, Pawan Kumar Chamling has powered this phenomenal development in the state.

10. Four years of Modi government: India’s security sector

Author: Syed Ata Hasnain

Indian soldiers take position on the border with Pakistan.  (ROUF BHAT/AFP/GettyImages) Indian soldiers take position on the border with Pakistan.  (ROUF BHAT/AFP/GettyImages)

No less than a retired three star General of the Indian Army, reviewed the security sector for our readers, as the Modi government completed four years in power. From diplomacy, to internal security to civil-military relations and personnel management, this comprehensive review covers all the aspects that one would want to peruse.

11. Dismantling Sainthood: Ambedkar on Gandhi

Author: Anand Ranganathan

B R Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi B R Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi

On the occasion of the127th birth anniversary of the father of the Indian Constitution, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Swarajya brought out a commemorative issue celebrating his genius and his contribution towards nation-building. One of the articles which stood out and triggered a discussion was this piece highlighting the long standing clash of ideas between Ambedkar and Gandhi. Agree or not, it is definitely worth reading again.

12. Ardent Environmentalists: How women of a Jodhpur village propel the Bishnoi sentiment for ecology and life

Author: Sumati Mehrishi

Women of Guda Bishnoi before and  after worship of life.  Women of Guda Bishnoi before and after worship of life. 

The Bishnois of Rajasthan are known for a way of life which considers ecological conservation as a central tenet of their existence and not as a part of any activism. This interesting ground report helped us understand how women of the community take this sentiment forward through their everyday actions and how kindness towards all species is a part of their faith, culture and ethos.

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