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Economy

India's Farmers Finally Hand Modi A Major Political Defeat

The year-long national movement of farmers challenged the government of Narendra Modi against all odds, and ultimately prevailed by focusing on unity across India's diverse ethnic, religious and geographic landscape.

India's Farmers Finally Hand Modi A Major Political Defeat

Farmers riding tractors during the protests in January 2021

Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta

NEW DELHI — In what will be hailed as a great victory for the year-long farmers' movement in the times to come, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced his government's decision to repeal the three controversial farm laws.

Modi's government until now had been unrelenting, with none other than the Prime Minister himself scornfully calling the protesting farmers "andolan jeevi (those who live off agitations)" on the floor of Parliament. The BJP machinery attempted to brand the farmers' agitation as a movement led by Khalistani Sikh separatists and funded by terrorist groups.

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Coronavirus

In Shanghai, A Brewing Expat Exodus As COVID Crackdown Shows "Real" China

Not only strict rules of freedom of movement as part of Zero-COVID policy but also an increase in censorship has raised many questions for the expat population in the megacity of 26 million that had long enjoyed a kind of special status in China as a place of freedom and openness. A recent survey of foreigners in the Chinese megacity found that 48% of respondents said they would leave Shanghai within the next year.

People walk in Tianzifang, located in Huangpu District, a well-known tourist attraction in Shanghai.

Lili Bai

SHANGHAI — On the seventh day of the lockdown, Félix, a French expat who has worked in Shanghai for four years, texted his boss: I want to "run,' mais je sais pas quand (but I don’t know when). A minute later, he received a reply: moi aussi (me too).

Félix had recently learned the new Mandarin word 润 (run) from social network postings of his local friends. Because its pinyin “rùn” is the same as the English word “run,” Chinese youth had begun to use it to express their wish to escape reality, either to “be freed from mundane life”, or to “run toward your future.”

For foreigners like Félix, by associating the expression “run” with the feeling of the current lockdown in Shanghai, “everything makes sense.” Félix recalled how at the end of March, the government denied rumors of an impending lockdown: “My Chinese colleagues all said, Shanghai is China’s top city, there would be no lockdown no matter what.”

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