DANIEL BLOCK: How the Facebook-Reliance combine and the farm laws pave the way for digital colonisation

In April 2020, Facebook purchased a 10-percent stake in Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, the telecommunications arm of the Reliance empire. In addition to dominating telecom, Reliance is the largest player in petrochemicals and in retail. When its latest acquisition is complete, the company will control 40 percent – a large plurality – of India’s organised groceries sector. That could make it the biggest buyer of farmers’ products and, therefore, the biggest beneficiary of the right to negotiate directly….

Facebook, one of the world’s most powerful companies, is no one’s puppet. But through its partnership with Reliance, the social-media giant could substantially gain from the agricultural laws. Facebook owns WhatsApp, which has more than fifty crore users in India. It is currently rolling out WhatsApp Pay, a feature that will allow WhatsApp users to complete digital transactions without leaving the application. And it is integrating Reliance’s JioMart – an expanding, groceries-focused online marketplace – into its messaging service. It means that if farmers begin selling more food directly to Reliance, as the laws would allow, there is a good chance they will do so via WhatsApp.

For Facebook, that presents enormous financial opportunities. For every sale or purchase made over WhatsApp, the company will receive valuable data on people’s needs, retail preferences, and finances. On 15 May, Facebook updated WhatsApp’s privacy policy in a way that makes clear the broader Facebook empire can use this data as it sells microtargeted advertisements….


Surinder S. Jodhka: Changing Modes of Agriculture in Punjab

Jairus Banaji on the Indian corporate strategy of subordinating farm households and family labor

Bharat Bhushan: It suits the RSS to allow BJP to encourage defections from other parties

Swati Chaturvedi: It Was BJP Who Made It Mamata vs Modi. Too Far

Socrates: If the whole is ailing the part cannot be well / Ajit Prakash Shah: Darkness at noon, felled by the judiciary

Indian Farmers’ Protest – Work in progress videos

Jatinder Kaur Tur & Mandeep Punia: Dalit activist Shiv Kumar’s medical report describes illegal detention, torture and PTSD / Chitleen K Sethi: Nodeep Kaur gets bail, medical report shows bruises caused by blunt object

Gautam Bhatia – Safoora Zargar and Disha Ravi: Similar cases, (same judge), vastly different verdicts

‘Citizens can’t be jailed for disagreeing with state policies’: Top quotes from Disha Ravi’s bail order / Rajmohan Gandhi: Just Who Is Spoiling India’s Image? A View From The US

“Pack of lies”: Disha Ravi family lawyers dismiss social media claims about activist’s religion

The WEF Agenda Behind Modi Farm Reform. By F. William Engdahl

WE STAND WITH INDIAN FARMERS – Full Page Advertisement in New York Times of February 16 in support of farmers movement

COLIN TODHUNTER: Farmers’ Protest in India: Price of Failure Will Be immense // Global Corporations’ plans for India’s agriculture

Nivedita Menon: Toolkits of democracy and a paranoid Hindu Rashtra

Express Editorial: Weaponising an advocacy document to arrest an activist signals paranoia, not democratic power.

BJP planning to form governments in Nepal, Sri Lanka? Biplab Deb discloses Amit Shah’s global expansion plan

Chakshu Roy: Over the years, poets, students, and even a village have been booked under the sedition law

Bharat Bhushan – Covid-19 drugs: Eager beavers of BJP play God

Election Commission responsible for spreading Covid-19, should probably be booked for murder: Madras HC // Bharat Bhushan on the departing CJI: Good riddance

Bharat Bhushan – Himalayan chessboard: India fishes for advantage in unstable Nepal

Bharat Bhushan: No one critical of the government seems to be innocent any longer / Delhi Police arrests 22-year-old environmental activist, calls her key to foreign hand

SIMRAN JEET SINGH: The Farmers’ Protests Are a Turning Point for India’s Democracy

Rihanna and Greta prompt an MEA outburst — and a hashtag firestorm

Avay Shukla: Acts Of God And Follies Of Man

Kunal Kamra and the Elasticity of Justice. By Avay Shukla



Reflections of an American living in India…

Popular resistance to undeclared Emergency// Ghazipur Border: Rakesh Tikait के लिए यूपीहरियाणा से रातों रात गए किसान

Samyukta Kisan Morcha distances itself from violent elements / Farmer leaders accuse Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu of instigating protesters and leading them to the Red Fort

Manu Kaushik: Before India Breaks Its Promises / Dushyant Dave: SC Should Have Declared New Farm Laws Unconstitutional / Republic Day Tractor Rally: Tear Gas At Singhu Border

India’s protesting farmers pay homage to the 143 farmers martyred in their movement and reject Centre’s offer to stay farm laws / 42-year old Haryana farmer dies by suicide at Tikri border

Satarupa Chakraborty: CJI’s Remarks on Women Farmers Are an Assault on Human Agency and Constitutional Rights / Pratap Bhanu Mehta: SC’s order on the farm bills is terrible constitutional precedent, bereft of judgment

Agenda for Social Democracy

Discussion on Indian Agriculture and the ongoing Kisan agitation

STATE OF RURAL AND AGRARIAN INDIA REPORT 2020. By the Network of Rural and Agrarian Studies

Navsharan Singh: A million reasons to march

Aruna Roy: All citizens should stand with the protesting farmers. At stake is India’s food self-sufficiency and sovereignty

Amit Bhaduri: Faces in mirror held up by farmers’ protest

Deb Mukharji – A Himalayan lesson, and about time

Noam Chomsky: Internationalism or Extinction (Universalizing Resistance)

Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist?

Sam Kriss: ‘Neoliberalism’ isn’t a left-wing insult but a monstrous system of inequality

Defying capitalism and socialism, Kumarappa and Gandhi had imagined a decentralised Indian economy – Venu Madhav Govindu & Deepak Malghan

Amandeep Sandhu on Arthiyas – extract from PANJAB: Journeys Through Fault Lines

Ravinder Kaur: Has Modi finally met his match in India’s farmers?

Indian Farmers’ Protest – Work in progress videos

STATE OF RURAL AND AGRARIAN INDIA REPORT 2020. By the Network of Rural and Agrarian Studies

P. Sainath: Did You Think the New Laws Were Only About the Farmers? // SCBA president says farm laws ‘unconstitutional’, offers free services as lawyer to agitating farmers