If newspapers had been as clear about farm laws as they are against taxing corporates, Punjab’s farmers could have gone back home a long time ago

The month-long agitation by Punjab’s resolute farmers over the agricultural “reforms”, artfully sneaked through Parliament with former journalist Harivansh (former Editor of Prabhat Khabar) presiding over the Rajya Sabha, has seen the usual divisions in the media.

Large sections of the media have been susceptible to official spin, running audio and video transcripts provided by the government’s spin doctors to discredit the opposition, even while the more brazen sections of it have not been shy of attributing motives to the agitating farmers, calling them khalistanis (separatists) and worse.

Meanwhile, the farmers’ agitation is now in its second month in biting cold.

But a remarkable wave of clarity has swept through the same media over the taxation with retrospective effect of phone and oil corporates, an eminently questionable policy ushered in by two media darlings: Pranab Mukherjee of the Congress and Arun Jaitley of the BJP.

Every single newspaper bar none makes the same points: it was wrong to tax the companies in hindsight in the first place, and now having lost the arbitration it is best for the Indian government to let go.

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The Asian Age/ Deccan Chronicle

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The Times of India

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The Hindu

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The Indian Express

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Free Press Journal

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The New Indian Express

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Business Line

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