Politics

Politics

Issue Articles

Vulnerabilities in the EVM-VVPAT Process

The Potential Threat to the Integrity of Elections
The 'jugaad'-like manner in which the VVPAT-machine has been inserted into India's electronic voting process has endangered security; the process safeguards that were earlier designed to protect EVMs are now of little value.

Women Bring a Spring of Hope to the Farm Movement

Women have been reinforcing the farmers’ protests on Delhi’s borders, right from the beginning. Their experiences of the agrarian crisis are broadening the demands of the movement beyond defending minimum support prices for crops.

Jats into Kisans

The Unmaking and Remaking of the Farmer Identity in Western UP
The decline of farmer identity from the 1990s brought a generation of upwardly mobile Jats close to the BJP. The waning of urban economic opportunities has reminded youth of the security from ties to the land, spurring the resistance to the farm laws.

Understanding the Downslide of India’s Democracy

There is crisis today in Indian democracy but the long-term context is a growth of ‘sub-democratic’ politics. This has made democracy vulnerable to erosion and capture as in the current regime. Can citizens make the re-investment needed to rescue the Republic?

The Burden of Conflict that Women of Kashmir Bear

Women face an unequal burden from the conflict in Kashmir. As state and society turn against them, circumstances force them to renegotiate their positions and even their consciousness.

Historical Roots of the Rise of Hindutva in West Bengal

For a century, Hindu organisations have worked amongst Dalits in Bengal to incorporate them into the religious community, while the Left excised the question of caste from its discourse. These legacies have come to the fore as the BJP rises in the state.

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.

Coming of Age of India’s Youth Climate Movement

A nascent but rapidly growing movement in India of young people — school and college students — concerned about climate change is now confronted with having to deal with the chilling effects of police charges on some of their fellow-activists.

The Political Economy of Covid-19 Vaccines

Vaccine grabs, the refusal to relax patents to enable mass production, and the use of vaccines for diplomacy run the risk that poorer nations may not be protected against Covid-19 quickly enough. This will prolong the pandemic, even for the richer nations.

Guns Fall Silent on the LoC

But can peace follow?
India’s need to prevent a two-front threat & to be on the right side of the US underlies the sudden decision on a LoC ceasefire. This opens up many possibilities but Modi’s long-running anti-Pakistan domestic politics can come in the way of a durable peace.

‘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.

India’s Privatisation Drive

Be careful what you wish for
The case for privatisation is based on the belief that the private sector is more efficient, and that public sector units do better when in private hands. But what does the evidence tell us? These are issues to ponder as India embarks on a major sell-off.

Ruptured Reality

Fact-checks and counter-checks in the truth trade
In the Indian mediascape, every mechanism through which fact is sifted from falsehood has become questionable. If news organisations do not have an ethical commitment towards factual reporting, fact-checking risks turning into mere performance.

Elections, Populism and the ‘Supreme Leader’

The Rise of Authoritarian Democracies
The structure of a democracy has elements that can enable the rise of a strong political executive. We are now witnessing many elected leaders across the world draw upon ‘people’s will’ & aspirations to transform their states into authoritarian democracies.

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.

Reading the Local Elections in Kashmir

The J&K polls have not gone according to plan. Politics has been re-energised, the BJP had a mixed outcome in Jammu & the voters of Kashmir have shown their anger. But will the DDC model now be extended to all of India in order to undermine state governments?

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.

Has the US Dodged the Rise of Far-Right Politics?

Lessons from the 2020 Presidential Elections
Despite Donald Trump’s defeat, the politics of the far-right maintains its presence in the US polity; but the results of the 2020 election also underscore the potential power of a multiracial working class politics to counter the rise of such politics.

Why I’m Losing Hope in India

A socialist, secular, democratic reflection
It is not the economy that makes one worried for India. It is the flattening of diversity, the undermining of education that gave mobility to so many, and the entire 'banality of evil' around us that makes me lose hope. A young Indian responds to another.

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.

Civil Society Organisations and Foreign Contributions

Why the Xenophobia?
India’s draconian rules restricting foreign aid to civil society organisations exhibit a false sense of patriotism against foreign ‘conspiracies’. Reversing India’s historically open attitude towards aid will hit welfare in areas the state cannot easily reach.

The American Empire Across the Globe

An impressive comparative study of the British Empire & the United States makes it clear that America should properly be seen as an empire. Its hegemonic ambitions have frustrated the developing world’s aspirations for autonomous political & economic futures.
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