(Image Credit: Mohamed Hassan at pxhere.com; the image is at this link. Used without modification under Creative Commons Licence)

Support independent voices: Please ask your friends, family & associates to subscribe to my website, so they can also receive my articles and podcast without any gatekeeper as an intermediary.

Independent voices are more important than ever in today’s Canada. There is a widely shared belief that the mainstream media is not doing justice to its role of informing people with objective reports and unbiased commentary. Certainly, the ‘media bailout’ of the federal government does nothing to strengthen their credibility. More objectively, on many crucial issues, MSM is found to be advancing points of view that have not benefited from rigorous intellectual inquiry. Public trust in MSM is at an ebb, and perhaps at an all-time low.

On the other side, social media platforms have been exercising censorship for a while now. These platforms used to be the forums where independent, unbiased voices could reach out to a receptive audience. However, those days are in the past; voices that don’t align with the preferred narrative are now regularly shut down, without appeal or recourse. Even prominent experts in their respective fields have fallen victim to this overreach by the likes of Facebook, Twitter etc. The alternative platforms such as Gettr etc. that sprang up as a response to this censorship haven’t quite established the kind of wide reach that the earlier platforms had.

The net result is that the public space where ideas can be offered freely and without hinderance is shrinking. People who have differing views – or who would like to hear these views – are getting suffocated by an environment that shuns inquiry and often goes to the extent of punishing it. To make matters worse, the federal government has brought several legislative proposals that will further constrict the cyberspace where unhindered voices can be heard – under penalty of legal consequences.

The solution – or at least one part of the solution – to this worrisome situation is to establish direct channels of communication among the free-thinking people. I had started my own website precisely due to this reason; I am able to convey my ideas to my valued subscribers such as yourself without any intermediary – directly from me to your email address. Currently, my content is in two forms: (a) investigative articles on major issues, where I draw on official data and my experiences in different parts of the world, and (b) podcast episodes for exploring these issues, when the written format is less effective than an audio format.

In the coming next little while, I will be adding more types of content. To start with, I will be adding ‘Short Takes’ (in text format) for brief comments on the major news as they emerge. My intention is to make this a daily feature – but it may take me some time to get there. In the meanwhile, please bear with me if you don’t receive it every day. I also have some other ideas about adding more content as well, and as & when I am near the point of implementing them, I will let you know.

I can only succeed in my endeavors with your help. I am deeply grateful to you for subscribing to my website. In order to ensure that my work reaches more people, I request you to invite your friends, family & associates to subscribe to my website as well. As the same time, I am aware that our lives are busy, and some of your friends may not see your message sometimes, or perhaps may not be able to act on it. Therefore, it might be useful to post your message periodically on all the social media where you are present.

I also encourage you to post my articles (or excerpts from articles – just mention my name & provide a link!!) and podcast episodes on your social media. My only desire is that alternative points of view should be made available to as many people as possible. Over the past 2+ years, you have provided valuable support to me in this endeavor by subscribing to my website and reading & commenting on my articles & podcast. I am sure you will continue to lend your helping hand to me on an ongoing basis to ensure that my voice is heard by ever more likeminded people.

What we are facing now is a top-down narrative that is coming to us as a diktat, with negative consequences (of varying degrees of intensity) for failing to fall in line. This isn’t a new phenomenon in human history by any stretch. In many such instances, such narratives and diktats were defeated by action at the grassroots. I am glad that you and I are shoulder-to-shoulder in this grassroots movement. I am confident that the people shall prevail over the narrative and its peddlers. Translating from an Urdu poem by Mohammed Iqbal:

This is how the world has always fought with oppression,

Neither their methods are new, nor are our tactics;

This is how we have always grown flowers amidst the flames

Neither their defeat is new, nor, for that matter, is our victory

Be well, and keep up the fight.