This week's guest editors

The colours of a potential Indian prime minister

Transparency and accountability are hardly Mr Modi’s forte. Modi’s record in decentralised governance also fails to impress. Voters have no idea who will be in his ministerial team, and what their views are likely to be.

The Indian elections: what does "the Gujarat Model" really mean?

Narendra Modi, whom some consider a human rights criminal, is running for PM of India and being touted as an economic saviour based on his record in Gujurat. An analysis of these claims reveals a version of corporation-driven neoliberalism as extreme as that of the US, argues Rohini Hensman

Patents versus patients: the case for affordable medicine

The protection of intellectual property rights has become a bone of contention in India's relations with the US and the EU. How can we make sure the interests of Big Pharma never stand in the way of public health, especially in developing countries?

Gender violence, Narendra Modi and the Indian elections

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a good chance of winning the forthcoming general election in India. Amrit Wilson reports on discussions about what life has been like for women in the states where the BJP has been in power, and what may lie ahead

Constitutional rights, sexual rights, and "morality" in India

In the aftermath of the recent rulings in India re-criminalising homosexuality, Poonam Joshi reports on the critical role that grassroots LGBTI activists play in building public support for LGBTI rights in Karnataka

The subaltern can speak

The organizers of the 2014 festival felt - if the Hindiwallahs and the Rajasthani heritage experts wanted more time, let them have it. As a result, the subaltern got to speak.

Will the US ‘lose’ India? The Khobragade human rights puzzle

When the US attorney seeks to glow with a human rights halo, this is met with an angry groan in India.

Big democracy, big surveillance: India's surveillance state

In India, surveillance is on the rise by the state to tackle crime and terrorism, and private companies are eager to meet the demand. 

Euphoria and caution greet a new democratic experiment

Mr. Kejriwal’s supporters now begin to question the legality of his conduct,his utterances about there being no real democracy in India, and about the futility of celebrating Republic Day.

How are social enterprises helping address road safety and transportation challenges in India?

Ten countries account for more than half of the world's annual 1.2 million road deaths. Across the developing world, enterprises and governments are exploring new approaches to transportation and road safety problems causing these deaths. This happens equally at civic and policy level.

Moral panic in India

Transitions and disruptions are changing relations between generations, between genders, between classes and between religious groups. It is not just a simple conflict between tradition and modernity that sparks occasional violence. India has become an excellent laboratory for studying change. 

Sex, law, and the nation: the Indian Supreme Court reinstates a law criminalizing homosexual acts

To focus only on the sexual politics misses the critical dimension of the unfolding debates in India about secularism and sovereignty.

The world should be watching India’s coup of common people

Can the new Aam Aadmi party transform Indian democracy? Or will high expectations be dissipated as the party's promises are challenged and its weaknesses are tested? Either way, other movements for social and political change should take heed.

How poverty impedes the cognitive function

What must be understood is that mental bandwidth is a limited resource which is used for everything. So what happens if we can make some things, like banking, easier for the poor ?

India: Whose law is it anyway ?

Cultural justifications for upholding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalizes homosexuality are untenable, given the colonial antecedents of the legislation, the cultural heterogeneity of the populations it was imposed upon, and the liberal sexual mores which prevailed among many sections historically.

China and the Great Game

Almost all discussion of Afghanistan after 2014 hinges on the withdrawal of western forces. Yet into that gap a major power is stepping—China. China’s involvement in turn poses major questions, vis-à-vis Pakistan, India and their own point of friction—Kashmir.

Canvassing for ‘None of the above’

Politicians are no longer middle class or working class. Rather, they are a political class. They form, or appear to form, a tight in-group from which millions of citizens feel excluded. What is the poor citizen to do?

Is slavery invincible?

The right not to be enslaved is one of the two absolute human rights that cannot be violated on any ground whatsoever. However, 65 years after its denunciation, slavery continues to resist the corpus of human rights. Why the asymmetry ?

India’s questionable choices of icons

It was only in 1990 that one of twentieth century India’s finest minds, principal author of its constitution and campaigner against caste oppression, B.R. Ambedkar, was conferred this honour, 34 years after his death.

Modi as future Indian PM? Development, camps, the ‘Muslim Vote’

Is it not contradictory that Modi stands exonerated of any role in the pogrom of over 3,000 Muslims in Gujarat whose Chief Minister he was, whereas even the construction of a toilet or fixing of a lamppost is squarely attributed to Modi’s personal achievement in the area of development?

Grief and rage in India: making violence against women history?

There was uproar in India at the brutal gang rape of a 23 year old student on her way home from the cinema. Can we harness the international attention to this case to demand that the world's leaders commit themselves to a policy of zero tolerance of violence against women in the post-Millennium Development Goals agenda?

Ailing from distorted development: healthcare in India

So where has the growth gone; who is it for? Who has benefited from the ‘economic miracle’? The middle class have become rich; the rich have become super rich: the super rich stellar rich.

Time to challenge India for its stranglehold on funding for rights organizations

One of the country’s most informed human rights experts explains how India blocks foreign funding for rights work it doesn’t like. Philanthropists avoid supporting work that will anger the state so the only organizations able to tackle the most sensitive rights issues are those funded by small contributions from ordinary citizens. हिंदीالعربية, Español.

Rebuilding capacities in India, rebuilding lives

Any plans for the social and economic empowerment of ‘beggars’ will work only if they address the factors that affect people negatively, forcing them out of their work/livelihood, and eventually pushing them into extreme destitution and dependence.

Can digital empowerment alleviate poverty in India

The focus has, until now, been on access but is gradually shifting towards changing social behaviours within communities.

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