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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Radio Mewat: radio by the people, for the people and of the people

The transformative power of community radio for young women in India is up against a central government ban on the stations broadcasting news and discussing politics. Radio Mewat is staying on air.

'Not a tomboy, a lesbian or a Hijra but a transman'

‘Whenever laws and bills in India are passed regarding transgender rights, transmen are almost never called to the discussion table. So what can I, a transman expect? Sometimes I feel I am in ‘No Man's Land’.

What has Hindu law ever done for women?

India’s long overdue Uniform Civil Code, a set of common personal laws for all citizens, guaranteed by its constitution, is under renewed debate. It should not be based on Hindu law.

Belling the trolls: free expression, online abuse and gender

Freedom of expression is fundamentally about power: about who gets to speak or express themselves and on what terms and platforms.

A flashpoint in South Asia?

“You question India’s territorial integrity, I will question Pakistan’s. You interfere in our internal affairs, we will interfere in yours.”

My 350 on BREXIT: No apocalypse

"In India, the liberalization of the foreign direct investment (FDI) regime and related reforms are and will decide the direction of the economy, and no, Brexit is not a factor."

HIV community condemns witch-hunt against civil society in India

It is imperative that Governments, while committing to ending AIDS by 2030, remain alive to the indispensable role of civil society organisations in creating sustainable change.

Fields of sight: Gauri Gill and Rajesh Vangad

Reviewing an exhibition with fresh ways of seeing in Gallerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke (Mumbai).

A deadly politics of wealth: femicide in India

Census data shows that poverty and illiteracy are not key factors in India’s female genocide as many assume. The survival of girls is determined by a patriarchal politics of wealth control.

Abortion and contraception in India: the role of men

The callous attitude of Indian men that  ‘she can always abort’ in cases of an unwanted pregnancy caused by failure to use a condom needs to be tackled at the root.

Why the backlash against dowry laws in India?

The backlash against gender-just law which seeks to protect women against dowry violence reveals the full extent of the patriarchal mindset that underpins the criminal justice system in India.

From funerals to freedom for Kashmir: undoing the Great Indian Democracy

Indian desperation to possess the territory of Kashmir in its entirety, even if it means sacrificing all Kashmiri, and many Indian, lives, is a blot on Indian democracy.

India's new camel legislation: protection or relegation?

Threatened by trade bans and industrialization, the Raika's ancient pastoralist culture in Rajasthan is seeking a lifeline in camel milk as it struggles to survive. 

We must understand threats in the technology we use every day

Like everyone else, human rights activists use mobile phones, email and social networks to connect. Unlike most people, they criticise states, challenging their actions. As such, they attract their attention.

Saudi Arabia's new best friend: India

After being let down by Pakistan, Saudi has turned to India for trade and defense cooperation – while Iran has approached Pakistan. This may signify a change in traditional power structures across the region.

From colonials to corporates: maternal mortality in Assam’s tea gardens

For the women employed in the tea gardens of Assam, pregnancy is a life-threatening ordeal. An interactive exhibition records the struggle of Adivasi mothers across the decades for better conditions.  

Sexual violence and the culture of impunity in Nagaland

Perpetrators of sexual violence escape justice, while their victims are trapped between exhortations by women's advocacy groups not to ‘suffer quietly' and the social stigma attached to sexual violence.

Trump diminishes democracy

How the Americans vote in their presidential election should be only their business. But it cannot be so.

Does the caste system really not exist in Bengal?

Bengali middle class society is seen as casteless because caste violence lacks visibility. One woman’s story of working as a teacher shows how caste intersects with gender to reproduce discriminatory practices.

Legumes vs. labour rights: how Indian women pay for the cost of dal

A cooking project in Asia’s biggest informal settlement brings into focus the millions of workers denied a share in the world’s seventh-largest economy.

De Pondy à Paris – le marché matrimonial de Pondicherry

Les mariages entre les  Pondicherriens qui ont pris la nationalité française en 1962 et ceux qui ont choisi de rester indiens se révèlent  être un ensemble de mariages d’intérêt qui ont lieu aujourd’hui. English

From Pondi to Paris: Pondicherry's marriage market

Marriages between Pondicherrians who took French nationality in 1962, and those who chose to remain Indian, reveals a complicated range of ‘marriages of interest’ taking place today. Français

Hindu nationalism and caste exclusion in Indian universities

Leading members of the Indian opposition have publicly condemned the treatment of Rohith Vemula and the political interference in Hyderabad University.

The chilling effect on India’s academic freedom

The language of anti-nationalism has worked to put forth a monolithic vision of the nation state, and simultaneously sought to erase diverse voices from the discursive space.

India falters in battle of ideas with Pakistan

The religious extremists in Pakistan love any outbreak of sectarian violence in India because that makes their task easier.

Nationalism fever strikes India

The debate in India about 'nationalism' or 'anti-nationalism' is essentially between the pro & anti-Modi forces. But the issues come and go...

The billionaire, big data and net neutrality: Facebook and democracy in India

“One user even said Facebook sent him a notification that his deceased uncle had supported Free Basics and so he should too.” 

Long live Empire!

Indians don’t care whether the statue of Queen Victoria stays put or is consigned to a junkyard. Many agree with Ferguson that the British Empire had some plus points.

Breaking Free: a women's movement in Indian universities

Female students in Delhi are protesting against their hostels resembling prisons - arguing that restricting women’s freedom is not a way to ensure safety: it is society that must be made safe for women.

Writers get bouquets, not brickbats

The business model of the Jaipur Literature Festival will be studied as a case study, the two writer-directors having successfully yoked together the rival Hindu Goddesses of wealth and wisdom. 

A city aflame: India’s coal rush

While intensified coal production has helped India’s economy to grow and its great metropolises to thrive, it has left one of the most mineral-rich regions in the country up in flames - literally.

Will booming India topple China in Latin America?

Much like China since the turn of the century, India is increasingly looking overseas for raw materials to fuel its breakneck growth. Español Português

¿Destronará la India a China en América Latina?

De manera muy similar a China, su rival económico en Asia, India mira cada vez más al extranjero en busca de materias primas para alimentar su vertiginoso crecimiento. English Português

A Índia desbancará a China na América Latina?

Desde o início do século, assim como a China, sua rival econômica na Ásia, a Índia tem olhado cada vez mais para fora em busca de matérias-primas para alimentar seu crescimento vertiginoso. Español English

Welcoming gays into the church: voices from India

Following Pope Francis' appeal to welcome gays into the church, Indians of diverse backgrounds and faiths reacted with bewilderment, threats, and in due course support.

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