Law

Law

Issue Articles

Jat Power and the Spread of the Farm Protests in Northern India

The combination of caste & farmer identity amongst the Jats in western UP uniquely strengthens the resistance to the farm laws, but also creates barriers to creating lasting solidarities with marginalised groups that the farm movement is trying to incorporate.

Designed to Paralyse

India’s New Rules for Digital News Publications
A government that does not see value in independent media has brought in rules for digital news publications, which, in the garb of introducing self-regulation, are designed to stifle vibrant and critical voices, and open the door to government interference.

‘One Nation’, New India and the Hollowing Out of the Federal Idea

Since 2014, the BJP government has been steadily delegitimising federalism. It has been using soft & hard measures to realise its political & cultural vision of ‘One Nation, One India’, where diversity is discounted & the states’ interests are seen as hurdles.

Love Taboos: Controlling Hindu-Muslim Romances

The myth of ‘love jihad’ is sustained through widely circulated illustrations of ‘lustful’ Muslim men and ‘victimised’ Hindu women. These images recirculate decades-old calumnies and make invisible Hindu men’s regulation of Hindu women.

India 2020

A collection
A curated set of 35+ articles published in ‘The India Forum’ during a year which began with the demonstrations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, ended with the farmer protests against the new farm laws, but was the year of Covid-19.

The Crisis of Citizenship in Assam

Autonomy and social justice are often in a tense relationship in Assam. While the demands for autonomy reflect the desire for territorial control over land, demands for social justice reflect an insistence on citizenship and equality under constitutional law.

The Agrarian Crisis in Punjab and the Making of the Anti-Farm Law Protests

The protests in Punjab are happening at a time when the agrarian economy is under stress. With increasing uncertainty, previously antagonistic groups across classes, castes & gender are coming closer, building a broader base for the agitation & beyond.

Exodus Constitutionalism

Mass Migration in Covid Lockdown Times
Multiple disasters and mass catastrophes have been on display in the migrant crises following the Covid-19 lockdown. In its light, India’s constitutionalism might be called ‘Exodus Constitutionalism’, a development that threatens to devalue citizenship.

The Use and Abuse of Forensics

There is little scientific evidence for widely used forensic tools like truth serums, lie detectors, and brain fingerprinting. Their continued use in India for investigating crime is a new form of torture.

The Silent Takeover of Labour Rights

The three new labour codes passed by Parliament without discussion make sweeping changes to labour laws; they reduce the regulatory powers of the government; they hand over some oversight functions to third parties, and, all in all, disempower labour.

The Criminal Law Reform Committee

The New Old Thing
Unless an attempt at reforming India's criminal laws questions the power imbalances in the system, the exercise will only end up beautifying the facades. This unfortunately is to be the fate once again of the 2020 iteration at reform of the colonial era laws.

Ambivalences of 'Creep'

Citizenship, Personhood and the Second Digital Turn
As autonomous ‘citizens’ capable of acting on the responsibilities that go with Constitutional rights have been technologically replaced by populations to be ‘managed’, what we see is the populist abstraction of the ‘people’ being used against actual people.

EIA 2020: Two Steps Back…

The draft Environment Impact Notification 2020 has been widely criticised because it is not designed to protect the environment. It will further weaken the 2006 EIA and rather than deter violations, encourage them. The poorly drafted rules must be withdrawn.

Fraternity: The Missing Link of India’s Democracy

Fraternity—bandhuta—is the most radical and important idea of our times, the necessary foundation to fight all the world’s injustices, hate and inequalities.

Gendering the Pandemic in the Prison

'For women, prisons are built with stones of "patriarchal" law. It is time to campaign against incarcerated pregnancies and custodial childbirths as making for cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of women.'

Migrants Workers, the Lockdown and the Judiciary

The millions of migrants who have lost their livelihoods have a fundamental right to a life of dignity. The refusal of the Government of India to provide comprehensive support and the Supreme Court’s ruling on a petition seeking relief have left them adrift.

Justice and Rights In Viral Contexts In India

There are dimensions of justice, human rights and constitutionalism that need to guide governments when there is a public health emergency as with Covid-19. The focus has to be on the right to health, empathy for the working poor and ethical state practice.

Consent and Privacy in the Age of Digital Technology

When Big Data reigns and the economy relies on mass surveillance and data collection, will humans end up as Pavlov’s dogs? Taking back control of our data will require rebuilding digital technologies to make them compatible with greater democratic control.

'Collective Conscience'

A Benchmark for Sacrifice?
To cite the doctrine of ‘collective conscience’ to justify capital punishment as for the convicted rapists in the Nirbhaya case is to reduce justice to revenge and bloodlust.

The Ayodhya Verdict Dissected

A close analysis of the Supreme Court's final judgement on the Ayodhya dispute that has been criticised as much as it has been praised for how it has brought about closure

Mahatma Gandhi Would Have Approved

On the 72nd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we can state that the Mahatma would have supported the peaceful nation-wide protests against measures that would discriminate between citizens based on their religion, protests led by students and women.

Three Streams in the Anti-CAA Movement

The protestors in the north-east, the Muslim community and a vast number of agitating students are all united against the CAA. But there are differences among them that they must be sensitive to; they must show unity lest the ruling regime divides them.

Why the CAA Violates the Constitution

‘A reasonable analysis based on primary legal principles, on the Constitution’s language and on the Court’s own past decisions, will show us that the CAA … infracts fundamental rights, in particular the guarantee of equal treatment contained in Article 14.’
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