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Exodus Constitutionalism

Mass Migration in Covid Lockdown Times

Issue Articles

The Three Farm Bills

Is This the Market Reform Indian Agriculture Needs?
The rules of the game in markets have changed dramatically. But there are problems with the fundamental premise of the approach, there are doubts about the future of state intervention & there are major lacunae in the bills, all making the outcome uncertain.

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.

Ten Preliminary Lessons from the American Election

Joe Biden’s victory was not narrow but comprehensive, to achieve which the tireless work of women of colour was crucial. Yet, this win is just a punctuation mark in a long & continuing struggle to realise the universalist set of foundational ideals of the US.

Contemporary Developments in India

A Conversation with Ramachandra Guha
A conversation, including by a group of college students, with the historian Ramachandra Guha on contemporary politics, environmental issues, and Adivasi rights.

Desi or Not?

Kamala Harris, Race, and the Indian Diaspora
The Indian-American community’s mixed feelings about Kamala Harris’ candidacy for US vice president spotlight its problem of racism and social conservatism.

Subverting the System

Reflections on the Fate of Democracies in the 21st Century
The emergence of political leaders the world over with a contempt for the democratic systems they preside over, requires a re-examination of the ideas of democracy & representation. This is a necessary preliminary towards salvaging ‘government by discussion’.

Jammu and Kashmir’s New Domicile Law

Justice for some, repression for many
Jammu and Kashmir’s new domicile law recognizes the rights of marginalized Hindu communities that had earlier been locked in social exclusion. But giving rights to one set of groups while simultaneously taking away the rights of Kashmiris is not justice.

A Moment for Civilizational Introspection

The devastating effects of the pandemic upon the working poor should be a recognition of the collapse of our moral centre as a nation and as a people. The elite have exiled the poor from their conscience and consciousness.

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.

Aspects of School Education in NEP 2020

Some Innovations, Some Familiar Prescriptions, Many Unrealistic Timelines
The New Education Policy has new as well as old interesting ideas on school education but execution will call for a change in mindsets to broaden horizons and the training of a vast number of highly skilled teachers, all within impossible timelines.

Academic Freedom In India

A Status Report, 2020
Academic freedom is about the right to study, teach and research a diversity of viewpoints. Yet, this right that is so crucial for the pursuit of knowledge has seen widespread attacks in colleges and universities across India.

The Architecture of Democracy

Central Vista and a Tale of Three Axes
The imperial Central Vista in Delhi has been transformed since 1947 into a symbol of democratic India. But the proposed redevelopment will reduce public space, highlight the spectacle of government and seems to reflect the authoritarian turn in our democracy.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the 75th Anniversary of ‘Nuclear Peace’

'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’. Physicist Robert Oppenheimer recalled these lines from the Gita after watching the first nuclear test in July 1945. With the world now sitting on a huge nuclear stockpile, can we hope to avoid that destruction?

Toxic Ecologies

Assam, Oil, and a Crude Future
The ecological destruction from the Baghjan gas well blowout is part of the story of Assam’s economic development. Resource extraction has been foundational to the logic of politics in Assam but has marginalised local communities.

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.

After Balakot: India-Pakistan Relations Heading Nowhere

The ‘all or nothing’ policy that the Narendra Modi government has followed towards Pakistan has failed. Bilateral relations have deteriorated and violence in Kashmir is at a new high. Now all hopes rest on new initiatives after the Lok Sabha polls.

In the Name of the Nation

Nietzsche’s Abyss Staring Back?
Sanjib Baruah's new book is 'a prescient ledger' of what Northeast India has become and at the same time 'a cautionary tale' of where muscular policy may take us in the rest of India.

Covid-19 and the Spectres of Colonialism

India’s lockdowns and questionable experimentation with vaccines and drugs to fight Covid-19 eerily mimic its colonial past.

Examining the Making of the Constitution

At the dawn of independence, the liberal traditions that underpin a constitutional democracy were absent in India. How did the framers of the Constitution deal with this challenge?

Situating the Biology of Covid-19

A Conversation on Disease and Democracy
‘Struggles for a more just, fair, inclusive, or caring politics in the time of Covid-19, need to be grounded in the everyday work of building institutions, supporting the vulnerable amongst us, and cultivating a deeper ethic of mutuality.’

Margins and Marginality

The Pathalgadi Movement and Jharkhand Elections 2019
The Pathalgadi movement of Jharkhand drew on Munda traditions to fashion the 2019 electoral defeat of the incumbent party. A unique interplay of an assertion of constitutional rights, local sovereignty and social practices made this a special moment.

States’ Loss of Fiscal Autonomy in a Centralised Federal System

The states bear the larger responsibility in dealing with Covid-19 but they have few resources to do so. The ongoing process of centralisation has weakened the states. We need an institutional mechanism to oversee bargaining between the centre and the states.

Counts and Consequences

Citizenship and Language Identity
Language diversity has always been a given for Indians. The Constitution endorses this diversity as ‘a noble intention’. But as in 2011, the 2021 Census too may see hundreds of languages removed from official records in the service of Hindi-Hindu nationalism.
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