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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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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