Politics

Politics

Issue Articles

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.

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.

Muslim politics and the 2020 Bihar Election

The story of the Muslim vote in Bihar is not the triumph of the AIMIM, but the strong desire of the Muslim voter in both majority and minority areas across the state to express herself against the BJP and its allies.

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 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.

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.
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