Dissent is Dangerous: What Unites Jamal Khashoggi and Alok Verma?

Politics

Dissent is Dangerous: What Unites Jamal Khashoggi and Alok Verma?

Illustration: Arati Gujar

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peaking up against powerful institutions and people is a daunting task for the average civilian. And through the course of this month, from #MeToo to the ongoing crisis in the CBI, we’ve seen that hold true not just in India, but the world over. While there’s never a particularly good time to risk being a dissenter, recent events have highlighted just how dangerous it is to challenge the powers that be.

October began with the gruesome murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote in the Washington Post about the notoriously secretive Saudi regime. Saudi Arabia holds a rock-bottom Press Freedom Index rating of 169 (India, by comparison, has slipped to 138), and Khashoggi’s inside information on life in the Kingdom, and his criticism of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is trying to market himself as a progressive young leader, did little for the country’s PR problems. That is likely why, after weeks of denial and shifting stories by the Saudi government, it has now admitted that the murder was premeditated.

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