Actor Kangana Ranaut said she has many platforms she can use to raise her voice. (File)
Actor Kangana Ranaut’s account was permanently removed today by Twitter, which accused her of violating its rules on hateful conduct and abusive behaviour with a controversial post.
The actor, defiant, called it the “death of democracy” in a rant on Instagram.
“Twitter has only proved my point. They are Americans, and by birth a white person feels entitled to enslave a brown person. They want to tell you what to think, speak or do, fortunately I have many platforms I can use to raise my voice, including my own art in the form of cinema,” the 33-year-old said.
“But my heart goes out to the people of this nation who have been tortured, enslaved and censored for thousands of years and still there is no end to the suffering,” added Ms Ranaut.
In the post that led to her removal from the micro-blogging site, the 34-year-old actor referred to the post-poll violence in Bengal and appeared to urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “tame” Mamata Banerjee using his “Virat Roop” from “early 2000s” in Bengal.
In recent posts, she demanded President’s Rule in Bengal and targeted Mamata Banerjee, calling her an “unleashed monster”.
This stone marked the boundary between Belgium and France. By moving it 2.29 metres, he expanded Belgium’s territory.
We must assume he had driven around it before – the stone was placed on this site in 1819, as part of the proceedings that established the Franco-Belgian border in 1820 after Napoleon’s defeat.
For the farmer, it stood in the way of his tractor. For the governments of France and Belgium, it was an active international border.
This story suggests a fragility to borders that contradicts their apparent solidity in an atlas or on Google Maps. Human history is, however, full of arguments about where the edges of property lie.
‘Beating the bounds’
Nations establish their borders through treaties. Rivers are sometimes relied on to set boundaries, but even here tensions rise when there are disputes about interpretation. Is the boundary on the river banks, the deepest part of the river, or the very centre of the flow?
The fact these measurements can even be calculated is remarkable. Expecting high levels of accuracy in a map is a recent development.
Later development saw the topographical charts used by bushwalkers and mountain climbers. But only with the arrival of digital mapping did it became normal to pin-point our location on a map in everyday situations.
The precise location of boundaries was usually part of local knowledge, kept and maintained by members of the community. For centuries a practice known as “beating the bounds” was followed in parts of Great Britain, Hungary, Germany and the United States.
Members of the parish or community would walk around the edge of their lands every few years, perhaps singing or performing specific actions to help the route stick in the participants’ minds. By including new generations each time, the knowledge was passed through the community and remained active.
Beating the bounds was a tradition of spatial knowledge that carried weight – it was accepted as evidence in cases of disputed boundaries. It was also part of a larger tradition, maintaining borders through physical symbolism, whether for good or bad.
Britain has a long history of using enclosure (the fencing or hedging of land) as a means to excluding the poor from accessing common resources. In contrast, in colonial Australia, the first fences were built to protect essential garden crops from scavenging livestock.
Sometimes the importance of the border was demonstrated with an elaborate marker. The Franco-Belgian stone was carved with a date and compass points, representing not only a boundary but also the end of Napoleon’s destructive wars.
Formality was not always required. At a local level in the Australian colonies, boundaries were often marked by painting, slashing or burning a mark into a tree. These were easy to ignore and frustrated landholders placed public notices in the newspapers cautioning against trespassing. People constantly took timber from private properties, or grazed their livestock without hesitation wherever was convenient to them.
Landholders included descriptions of their properties – detailing landmarks and neighbouring properties – in their notices, so there could be no doubt about which land was taken.
But these descriptions formed a circular argument: the potential trespasser needed to know who held each property in order to establish whose property they were about to enter. How effective they were at actually preventing trespass remains unclear.
Rivers were an obvious boundary marker, although European settlers quickly learned how to manipulate them to suit their own needs. By quietly blocking a section of river with trees and other rubbish, they could divert its route to suit their own wishes. By the time the surveyor came to verify or reassess boundaries, the landholder had been using their stolen acres for several years.
Throughout the 19th century, Australian survey departments devoted huge resources to undoing the confusion created by manipulation and incompetence in earlier years.
Markers of time
When the Belgian farmer this week got fed up with going around the stone and decided to move it, he was participating in a time-honoured tradition of manipulating impermanent boundary markers. But if he was able to move it, then who is to say it had not been moved before?
Historic boundary markers like this one have a habit of being in technically the wrong place, even if they are in precisely the right place to commemorate a moment in time.
Perhaps that is where their true significance sits.
Imogen Wegman is a Lecturer in Humanities at the University of Tasmania.
PM Modi extended his best wishes to Mr Tshering for his efforts in the fight against Covid (file)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a telephonic conversation with his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering on Tuesday as the two leaders noted that the coronavirus crisis has further highlighted the special friendship between the two countries.
The Bhutanese prime minister expressed solidarity with the government and the people of India in their efforts against the recent wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.
Mr. Modi conveyed his sincere thanks to the people and the government of Bhutan for their good wishes and support, it added.
“Discussed the pandemic situation with my friend Lyonchhen @PMBhutan, and conveyed appreciation for the solidarity and prayers expressed by the leaders and people of Bhutan. The India-Bhutan friendship is truly special, and we will continue to fight this crisis together,” the prime minister said in a tweet.
He also appreciated the leadership of Bhutan’s king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in managing the neighbouring country’s fight against the pandemic and extended his best wishes to Mr. Tshering for the continuing efforts.
The two leaders noted that the present crisis situation has served to further highlight the special friendship between India and Bhutan, anchored in mutual understanding and respect, shared cultural heritage and strong people-to-people links, the statement said.
Centre has so far provided more than 18 crore vaccine doses (18,00,03,160) to states and UTs free of cost
More than 90 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and UTs which will receive over 7 lakh additional doses in the next three days, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
The Centre has so far provided more than 18 crore vaccine doses (18,00,03,160) to states and UTs free of cost.
Of this, the total consumption including wastages is 17,09,71,429 doses.
“More than 90 lakh COVID Vaccine doses (90,31,691) are still available with the states and UTs to be administered. States with negative balance are showing more consumption (including wastage) than vaccine supplied as they have not reconciled the vaccine they have supplied to Armed Forces,” the ministry said.
States and UTs will receive 7,29,610 additional vaccine doses in addition within the next three days.
The ministry said the Government of India has been supporting the nationwide vaccination drive by providing COVID-19 vaccines free of cost to states and UTs.
Implementation of the Liberalized and Accelerated Phase 3 Strategy of COVID-19 Vaccination has started from 1st May 2021.
In the strategy it is made clear that every month only 50 per cent of the total Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) cleared vaccine doses of any manufacturer would be procured by the Centre.
The Centre would continue to procure its share of 50 per cent of the monthly CDL cleared vaccines and would continue to make it available to state governments free of cost as was being done earlier.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)