Politics

Politics

Issue Articles

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.

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.

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.

The Rise of the Populist State

A populist idea has developed that an entrenched elite is exploiting deprived people. This then drives populist anger that certain types of leaders take advantage of and exploit through rhetoric and a clever manipulation of facts.

'We are the True Inheritors of the Nationalist Legacy!'

Muslim Consciousness and National Politics after CAA
Shaheen Bagh, like other sites of protest against the CAA and NRC, was more a consciousness than a mere physical space. The protesters' ways of imagining religion and nationalism to meet progressive ends offer lessons for a new politics.

War metaphors used for COVID-19 are compelling but also dangerous

The use of war as a metaphor by politicians and media is appealing in a crisis like COVID-19. However, instead of a spirit of going into battle what we need now are a sense of civic duty, pan-national solidarity and a respect for fellow human beings.

Naming and Belonging

A Personal History of a North Indian Muslim Clan
Did my Shamsi clan “come” or “convert”? What qana’at made my family remain in India after Partition? Our lives are a confection of history and happenstance. As belonging is questioned and citizenship interrogated, perhaps these personal histories will suffice.

Crowdsourcing “Knowledge”

Troll Armies and the Attack on Science & History
The brazen articulation of weird ideas is now a mass phenomenon. These ideas reveal an ignorance of elementary science & history, yet have wide traction & lethal consequences. Why has 'fake news' taken deep root? Can we do anything to reverse this moment?

Our Brother’s Keepers

The Solidarity of Shaheen Bagh
The protesters at Shaheen Bagh have built a solidarity that has not been derived from some legal or religious text but is drawn from their own direct experience. They say in their own plain fashion: we are our brother’s keepers.

The Revolt of the Upper Castes

The surge of Hindu nationalism in India can be seen as a revolt of the upper castes against the egalitarian demands of democracy. The Hindutva project is a lifeboat for the upper castes in so far as it promises to restore the Brahminical social order.

Why Aren’t Our Sports Celebrities Speaking Out?

Protests by young Indians against the CAA/NRC/NPR have been met with violence by the State and silence from their sporting heroes. Why do sports icons steer clear of issues and actions affecting their fan base? Is it because they can’t or they don’t want to?

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.’

Statements Against CAA/NRC & Police Violence

Many student & other groups have made statements condemning the Citizenship Amendment Act/National Register of Citizens, & the police brutalities at Jamia Millia Islamia & Aligarh Muslim University. Here is the full text of statements & all the signatories:

Election Campaigning in a Transformed India

The Lok Sabha elections of 2019 are being held in a country that is very different from what it was in 2009 and 2014. What are political parties offering the new electorate? What will the outcome reveal of the transformation that has taken place?

When the Past Melts

Bhagat Singh as a Reader
Bhagat Singh always surrounded himself with a library. His eclectic reading tastes ranged from the classical tradition to high modernity. Decoding his reading habits reveals a futuristic paradigm for the Idea of India.

India 2019

A curated set of 25 articles published in "The India Forum" during the past year that described, discussed and critiqued the many important events that took place in India in 2019, a momentous year when a project to reshape the country was begun.
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