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This week's editor

GK

Guest editor Ronan Harrington introduces this week's theme: Spirituality and Visionary Politics.

Ronan is a freelance political strategist and co-creator of Alter Ego, a gathering exploring the future of progressive politics.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Stop the global crackdown on academic freedom! Act now!

A call for the global community of teachers and students to protest against this most dangerous trend by signing, translating and circulating this statement, and organising protest meetings in all universities.

Is religious dogma taking hold of democracy in India?

Hindu fanaticism seems to be on the rise in India with the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi turning a blind eye. Is the world’s largest democracy on a slippery slope?

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...

Where do women belong in Indian cities?

While men can be seen hanging around, women are expected to have a purpose for being outdoors. This question must be addressed.

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.” 

The hugging Prime Minister fails Zuckerberg

India, according to the Facebook Director, would have been better off had it remained under British rule. Coming from an American, it was a bit ironical.

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.

Nepal: the struggle for equal citizenship rights for women

Nepal's new constitution was widely celebrated as progressive, but restrictions on a woman's right to pass on citizenship to her child mean that thousands of Nepali women remain second-class citizens.

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.

India's wandering women with cameras

The feminist documentary film festival in Mumbai, ‘Wandering Women’, opens up questions of how gender identity in Indian contexts can be explored through film.

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. 

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.

Nepal: natural disaster, unnatural suffering

Shockingly, none of the funds that have been pledged by international donors have actually been transferred to Nepal. We know rapid response is possible when security or economic interests are threatened.

Meet the musicians challenging India's rising inequality and untouchability

"Our role is to counter injustice with justice and healing, war with peace, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love."

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.

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