Politics

Politics

Issue Articles

The Cycles of History

The US departure from Kabul has drawn inevitable comparisons with the exit from Saigon in 1975, but ‘history’s eternal shadow, namely, the future, will always throw up surprises no matter how carefully we curate the past to tell us what we want to believe’.

Another Chapter in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is not the exhausted, impoverished, war-weary country the Taliban took over in 1996. Nor are the Taliban the same cohesive force. New aspirations, and pressures from the ground and foreign backers will shape the new regime's governance style.

Twenty Years of the ‘Global War on Terror’

Matters have come full circle in Afghanistan, the main theatre of the ‘war on terror’. Chaos is festering in Syria, Libya, Yemen & Iraq. The failure of U.S. justice presages an unravelling of the international order. An alternative could emerge in war or peace

Seven Medallists at Tokyo, Seven Hundred Crowd the Podium

The Indian athletes at Tokyo gave it all they could but a familiar ugliness has surfaced after the event. Officials, politicians, and sponsors are jumping on to the bandwagon of the medallists, while some who failed face the wrath of officials.

India: From the World’s Largest Democracy to an Ethnocracy

The principle that Hindus can rule and marginalise others has firmly established itself beyond the BJP and the RSS. This emerging ethnocracy in India draws on electoral victories and legislative majorities, making formal suspension of democracy unnecessary.

Blockchain vs Public Bulletin Board for Integrity of Elections and Electoral Rolls

When the Election Commission is the sole decider of a public ledger, the use of Blockchain to conduct polls & maintain voter lists may result in an unverifiable & highly insecure solution. A simpler cryptographic-secured public bulletin board will suffice.

Why the Pegasus Snooping is a Hacking of India’s Democracy

The widespread use of the Pegasus spyware in India suggests a disrespect for the institutions of democracy at the highest levels of government. What could be worse for the future of India’s democracy?

The Pegasus Case Must be Used to Press for Change in Surveillance Laws

To ensure comprehensive privacy for all Indians, we need to generate public pressure to make the Government of India reform the existing framework for surveillance and introduce a data protection bill in Parliament that is much tighter than the current draft.

5 July 2021

The day Fr. Stan Swamy died marked a collective national failure; we are all guilty of his death, either by omission or by commission. We now need symbolic as well as bold gestures to reclaim the moral ground we ceded on 5 July 2021.

The Nation State and Modern Sport

'National feeling is not something that has been injected into sport by swaggering players, corrupt politicians, and a scheming media looking to boost ratings; it is native to modern sport, something that is built into its historical evolution.'

The Intrinsic Limits of Hindutva as an Ideology of the Indian State

The BJP has built an electoral juggernaut but the mishandling of the pandemic has shown that Hindutva as an ideology is a handicap in the running of a modern state. The challenge to the BJP will come at the state-level & will be rooted in a cultural pushback.

West Bengal's Verdict in 2021

The BJP’s failure to wrest West Bengal is a vote against the centre, as well as a sign the TMC’s welfare programmes gained the incumbent support from sections that had earlier moved over to the challenger. But unless the Left revives, the BJP is here to stay.

The Achievements and Challenges of the Kerala 'Model'

The experience of Kerala ever since its formation in 1956 shows that, contrary to received wisdom, high public spending on social sectors improves people’s lives and also provides a positive thrust to economic growth.

The Supreme Court Needs to Step in to Stop Mob Lynchings

The Supreme Court has a duty to enforce its 2018 judgement against lynchings and mob violence. Its failure to do so emboldens majoritarian governments and vigilantes alike.

The Politics of Language in Assam

Language has been at the heart of political debate in Assam since the formation of the British colonial province of Assam in 1874, then through the turbulent decades leading to Independence, the separation of Sylhet during Partition, and into our times.

For India, a Moment of Reckoning in the Neighbourhood

India's waning democratic credentials and its desire to see diplomacy towards its smaller neighbours through the narrow prism of security has seen its influence wane in South Asia. China meanwhile has muscled in. The repercussions will be felt in the future.

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.

Subverting Reservations in Karnataka

The unusual sight of Karnataka's influential swamis at the forefront of protests to tweak reservation quotas portends the end of reservations as a constitutional means for social justice, and a reassertion by the dominant castes.

The Fault Lines in Tamil Nadu that the DMK Now Has to Confront

The DMK faces new challenges in expanding social justice alongside economic modernisation: internal fault lines have emerged in the form of cracks in the Dravidian coalition of lower castes and there are external ones such as reduced autonomy for states.

The Implications of the Left Victory in Kerala

The LDF’s return to power in Kerala was on the back of its creditable response to emergencies and its quality of governance. The unprecedented second term signals the emergence of a new kind of electorate, with implications for both the Left and its rivals.

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.

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?
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