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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The story of a slum eviction

"Three years of research on slum evictions had not prepared me to watch for the first time, with equanimity, the actual lived experience of decisions made behind closed doors."

How not to counter Modimania

It has been India’s strength not to think in black-and-white terms. “If you are not with us, you are against us” is not what is normally heard in India. 

Purse is mightier than the pen

As India’s culture wars move into the economic domain, the British Prime Minister may raise the topics of pluralism and tolerance during Narendra Modi’s UK visit.

Narendra Modi, gender violence, and the Hindu Right's agenda

India is facing a relentless nightmare of violence against minorities, Dalits and those who dissent from the agenda of the Hindu Right. Gender violence is central to this agenda.

A vote against religious hate

No agency records the levels of mental pollution and no scientific instrument records the intolerance levels in a society, but even a casual visitor to India would notice.

Europe's refugee-love

Fear pushes us to know the social and political determinations of refugees from a right-wing perspective ('are they potential ISIS militants?'). But compassion works by blinding us to it.

India hangs another despite pleas from eminent people

Possible innocence, the fact that guilt was never proven beyond reasonable doubt and that many impoverished accused are poorly represented - just a few of the reasons anti-death penalty campaigners cite.

The idea of India

This is a concept that operates not by concealing the actual conditions, but by creating its own 'reality': the reality of communalism as a deviation from secularism and the constitution.

Of battles won and lost: telemedicine in India

In India, tele-medicine has finally opened up the prospect of medical documentation for vast swathes of the uneducated population. 

The market is a cruel taskmaster

Chloe Ruthven’s film Jungle Sisters hurtles through the complexity of industrial development in south India. At the Open City Documentary Festival on 18 June 2015.

Dalit women and village justice in rural India

Enjoyment of the rule of law requires judicial institutions which act with impartiality. For Dalit women in India’s villages, fat chance.

A year of Modi Raj – India in crisis

Middle and upper class Indians see no crisis. The media fails to inform them that 75% upwards are too often suffering not only neglect but massive state violence and terror.

Smartness Inc.

The powers behind India’s first ‘smart city’ tell us that “land is not an issue”. But with the neoliberalisation of space comes a disturbing transformation of citizenship via data and real estate.

Songs of dissent, laws of control

An artistic group in Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, is among the targets of India's counter-terrorism measures. But an acclaimed film opens a new front for freedom of expression.  

BRICS from below: counterpower movements in Brazil, India and South Africa

While movements in Brazil and South Africa have been fueled by unrealized socio-economic expectations and by explosive growth in India, what they have most in common is the subordination of democracy to money.

Violence compared: rape in Turkey and India

There are striking similarities in the responses to rape and murder cases of women in India and Turkey: a predilection for punitive measures without addressing the root causes of violence.

A dangerous silence in India’s north-east

Unlike the 2012 Delhi gang rape, the violence meted out against women in India’s north-east has not elicited widespread calls on the government to act. The silence is proving costly.

When scarred female bodies demarcate the Indian subcontinent's polity

The Lightning Testimonies, an acclaimed feminist exhibition, comes to Assam, and its powerful images speak to the region's own legacies and women's often-sidelined stories.

Defending the global knowledge commons

Members are encouraged to use creative commons licensing and to join others in a pledge to be open by agreeing to review for and publish in mainly if not solely open access journals.

The Podemos wave

Never before has it become so clear that we live in societies that are politically democratic but socially fascist. The Podemos wave is a metaphor for every single attempt to find a progressive solution. 

India’s Daughter: platforming rapists and ignoring activists

Udwin’s intervention has been true to her self-assigned role as an ‘amplifier’, but the only voice given an international platform here other than her own is that of the rapist.

The problem of representation in ‘India’s Daughter’

Jyoti Singh, the real name of the woman in question, has not been allowed to be what she was, but made into what she had no say over.

'India’s Daughter': the rapists’ callowness not the most distressing aspect of banned BBC documentary

The Indian Home Ministry’s attempt to block the screening could be seen as one example of a broader clampdown on whatever is deemed  ‘anti-national’. But what does that say about the mainstream culture?

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 ?

Will the real Modi stand up?

Lord Shiva is one God who assimilates in his person all contradictions. Modi did the same!

Proper democracy triumphs in Delhi

The Aam Admi Party won as many as 67 of the 70 seats in the Delhi State legislature. Modi’s BJP managed to get just three of its candidates elected. Congress failed to win a single seat.

The need to decriminalise attempted suicide in India

India needs to go through with eliminating section 309 of its penal code, punishing attempted suicide, as announced by the government at the end of 2014. The criminalisation of suicide is often used to suppress peaceful hunger strikes.

A mellower Naipaul disappoints fans

All was forgotten. All was forgiven at this year's Jaipur Literary Festival. The short fuse replaced by a wire thick enough not to burn.

Caste no bar

Dalit literature has emerged as a powerful force against the exploitation of lower castes in India. But the revolutionary transformation that it seeks to enact can only occur through a plurality of voices, engaged in meaningful dialogue.

Whose battle is it anyway?

The women and children of the Indian tribal population are trapped in deadly crossfire between the state and the Maoists. Forget gender equality: sexual abuse is rampant.

Change the people

In a message to the tax evaders, a frightening voice says: “We know it all! Every single transaction of yours! You can hide nothing!” Meanwhile, Indians are getting more materialistic…

Women workers in the Gurgaon industrial belt fight increasing casualisation

It is these solidarities, across factory and across contract, which the factories and indeed Modi’s Government fear, which must not be forgotten once the dust settles over the current round of labour 'reforms'.

Do we all live in Bhopal now?

A Greenpeace study finds 473 US chemical facilities each endangering 100,000 or more people with a Bhopal magnitude disaster on its 30th anniversary.

Is India preparing to hang an innocent ‘untouchable’?

Should the court rule against Koli and were he to be hanged, it would be the second consecutive execution in India of a most likely, or almost entirely, innocent person.

Why I decided to reject Hinduism

Only one aspect of Hinduism is common for all the different variants: the varna hierarchy. This is my personal account of why I rejected this discriminatory religion. 

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