Society

Society

Issue Articles

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.

The Power and Contexts of Cartooning

There is a centuries-long tradition in France of poking fun at the state and even the Catholic Church, but it is one thing to critique the rich and the powerful and another to satirise marginal immigrant communities.

What Did You Do in the Last 24 Hours?

Some reflections on India’s first Time Use Survey in historical perspective
The first nation-wide survey of the time spent by men and women on various activities during all 24 hours of the day brings out the gender inequalities in the work that each of them do.

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 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.

The Use and Abuse of Forensics

There is little scientific evidence for widely used forensic tools like truth serums, lie detectors, and brain fingerprinting. Their continued use in India for investigating crime is a new form of torture.

A Prehistory of Religious Modernity

A comparative study of the Brahmo Samaj and the Swaminarayanis, two sects seen as polar opposites, raises questions on both the superiority of the Hindu reform project during the colonial period and on claims that traditionalist faiths are intolerant.

The Digital Panopticon and How It Is Fuelled by Personal Data

Our phones are continuously leaking data about who we are, where we are, what we read, what we buy, and a lot more. The data is being collected with and without our consent. It is sold for profit; more dangerously it can be used to modify our behaviour.

Remembering The Second World War in North East India

The Second World War is memorialised in the North East through narratives of Allied and Japanese veterans, nationalism, and war tourism. Lost in the process is how the war and issues of post-war compensation shaped the integration of the region into India.

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.

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’.

The Criminal Law Reform Committee

The New Old Thing
Unless an attempt at reforming India's criminal laws questions the power imbalances in the system, the exercise will only end up beautifying the facades. This unfortunately is to be the fate once again of the 2020 iteration at reform of the colonial era laws.

The Digital Panopticon and How It Is Fuelled by Personal Data–II

Personal data is being extracted and shared by private and state agencies; facial recognition is being used by governments to profile their citizens. What should we do and can we demand to resist this onslaught of surveillance that has been enabled by tech?

The Sabars of Singhbhum

A photo-essay on the Sabars, an identified Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group, who survive—live is hardly the word—in the most extreme conditions in East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.
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