Society

Society

Issue Articles

Distress and Danger in Kashmir

Until the recent killings of minorities, there was an unusual silence in Kashmir valley. Kashmir’s situation reveals the tell-tale signs of a region pushed into a vortex of irrecoverable misery, thanks to monumental official blunders.

Digital ID: A Single Source of Truth

The push worldwide to give everyone a legal identity was to allow people better access to financial and public services. But this endeavour has quickly morphed into promoting Digital IDs that are increasingly used for surveillance and control.

The Banality of India's Islamophobia

Islamophobia in India erases Muslims even as it hyper-visiblises them: disempowering them and diminishing their worth. Ironically, even secular-minded people diminish its seriousness by asking Muslims to ignore the hate campaigns and focus on 'real issues'.

The Kashmiri Women Demanding Answers

Zia’s ethnography of Kashmiri women activists seeking redressal for the enforced disappearance of their relatives resonates with the struggles faced by many across India's conflict zones.

Redefining the Same-Sex Marriage Question

Even as courts begin to consider the lawfulness of restrictions on same-sex marriages, queer groups should engage with the burdens of legal marriages and help build on feminist efforts to turn marriage into an equal partnership.

There is Much to Gain and Little to Fear from Reopening Schools

There is ample scientific and epidemiological evidence to indicate it is safe to reopen schools for children of all ages. It is not a question of whether to reopen schools, but what should be done to bring children back to the classroom.

Casting Race in Another Light

Colonialism, Orientalism & Wilkerson’s Caste
Arguing that race in America is actually caste, Isabel Wilkerson seeks to startle the readers who may have become numbed by debates on race. But by overplaying what is not much more than a clever analogy, she might actually be weakening her argument.

Marigolds and Domestic Abuse

My journey from an Indian wedding to the courts
Challenging India's legal system that privileges the father for custody of a child was a painful process. However, much was gained. My case was a legal first in India for women.

Growing Distress and a Falling Unemployment Rate

What is going on in the labour market?
The Periodic Labour Force Survey for 2019-20 has thrown up some unusual and contradictory patterns in employment and unemployment. However, the trends in the labour market over three years of the PLFS from 2017-18 onwards are clear and cause for worry.

Disinformation: A New Type of State-Sponsored Violence

While attempts by the ruling party to control the media and the messaging are not new in India, what we see now is the use of new technology to ‘curate’ and exercise ‘centralised control’ to spread disinformation in order to harass and intimidate critics.

Sexual Violence Against Dalits at the Current Conjuncture

'Both Dalit suffering and Dalit resistance unsettle us because both point to what we do not wish to acknowledge: that there are no bodies that do not suffer when hurt, and there are no bodies that will not resist when they suffer, angrily or creatively.'

'Will Come if it is in Our Podu'

Importance of cultural safety for Adivasis in Covid-19 care
Why do health workers often take the punitive route to obtain compliance from marginalised communities? How can we build cultural sensitivity into our public health practice? A story of the Solega group of Adivasis and how they related to Covid care.

Making Sense of India’s Measures of Unemployment

The co-existence of seasonal and regular employment has posed a challenge over the decades for accurately measuring unemployment in India. An explainer and a discussion in the light of the puzzling results of the 2019-20 Periodic Labour Force Survey.

Ajay Gandhi of Manthan and Much More

Ajay Gandhi who co-founded one of India’s most vibrant public discussion forums was a true public intellectual in that he was open, reflected about issues and closely engaged with the ‘public’ in debates about India and its future.

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.

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’.

Front-loading Criminal Justice

Bail hearings and the presumption of innocence
‘To try and satiate society’s lust for punishing and othering a criminal, bail hearings emerge as an alternate site of justice with courts engaging in pseudo-condemnation to justify imposition of lengthy jail terms before a conviction.’

The Making of India’s Linguistic Landscape

India's linguistic landscape is much too vast and diverse to neatly contain within one clean narrative. Various forces — not just linguistic — have shaped individual languages, leading up to the modern forms we use today.

The Deadly Fever

A people’s history of the influenza epidemic in India
"The history of influenza serves as a reminder of how Indians & individuals across the Global South have long experienced the ravages of epidemics, and how marginalised peoples across the globe made meaning from the devastation as they struggled for survival."

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.

CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Surveys: An Assessment

In the absence of timely data from the national official surveys, the large-scale private CPHS have become popular sources of data on current conditions. But problems in the survey design & methodology of the CPHS need to be fixed for more reliable estimates.

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.

Artificial Intelligence and its Discontents-I

Artificial Intelligence has exploded onto the world in recent years. Part-I of this review essay examines the nature and implications of contemporary AI. Next week, Part-II will address the multiple crises engendered by AI's rapid and widespread deployment.
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