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This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

#MeToo in a country that worships God as woman

During a festival celebrating the Goddess who kills a demon menacing Gods, scores of educated Indian women have unmasked their tormentors and sparked a mini-revolution.

Imran thanks Modi, and eyes joint Nobel Peace Prize

“India led by you would never think of undoing the Partition. Your party depends on Pakistan for its existence.” A secret letter accessed by the author.

Good Bye, Gandhi!

Writing on Gandhi in an India stricken by faux patriotism and jingoism causes gloom. A poem in Indian English provides an antidote.

Hyper-extremism tends to follow extremism

The Hindutva storm-troopers would feel let down, having been trained to abuse the secular Hindus, liberals, intellectuals, dissenting writers and a minority community.

Faultlines in India's parliamentary democracy

The executive is hardly accountable to the legislature, legislators lack tangible power, so notions of the consent of the governed and the will of the people are a farce.

Naipaul: an abandoned child looks and relooks at the motherland

Naipaul always felt that his books would stand the test of time. But which of his books on India, after multiple visits to his ancestral land, will stand that test?

Democracy eats its parents!

"If a principled yet powerful leader does emerge, he can only come from yesterday’s disempowered classes."

Subverting democracy without vote-rigging

Recent events in some prominent democratic nations have highlighted the internal threats that are hard to see and even harder to counter. A military dictator can be identified.

A recipe for injustice: India’s new trafficking bill expands a troubled rescue, rehabilitation, and repatriation framework

India’s proposed trafficking in persons bill replicates the flaws of the existing framework. It must be re-written if it is to better the lives of the women it purports to help.

Harvesting hope: the permaculture movement in India

The major transformative potential of permaculture in India lies in its ability to make small-scale farmers self-sufficient. Hence, it offers viable solutions to the very deep crisis farmers are facing.

God votes in India, abstains in Britain, Part II

Unlike in India, British democracy, distorted by Mammon, is spared by God.

God votes in India, abstains in Britain. Part 1

Once Britain moved beyond religious nationalism, religion itself became a spent force, though not one prevented from speaking truth to power. Contrast India.

How students in India are resisting the Hindu-right's attacks on universities

In India, student protests have escalated under the current far-right, Hindu-supremacist government and been characterised by open ideological warfare.

Indian Supreme Court curbs one of the world’s most powerful anti-discrimination laws

The vitriolic anger directed at the PoA might mean that Indian society is not entirely ready to face the depth of its own ingrained prejudice.

When Harry weds Meghan

Some bashed the monarchy and called the royal wedding a non-event. A minority voice claimed that the wedding was no big deal. (He was wrong).

Silence and din define Indian journalism

Ravish Kumar has recorded the Republic of Fear for posterity. These are the heroes of World Press Freedom Day.

Why the ‘good’ refugee is a bad idea

An opaque process of separating the ‘good’ Rohingya refugees from the ‘bad’ ones has begun under conditions where only seven and a half thousand out of one million people have national verification cards.

The Queen rules the Commonwealth!

Many epithets have been used to run down the Commonwealth. The London summit may even be called the Commonwealth Games II…

The Commonwealth gets extra attention

Some 5,000 participants from government, business and civil society have arrived for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The central theme of the deliberations is ‘Towards a Common Future’.

Cut-throat competition distorts democracy in India

So, what is the right measure of passion in politics that is good for the health of democracy? There has to be a right balance.

Remotely-controlled weapons hit democracy: killing from a distance

In the new information order, manipulated voters have come to outnumber threatened voters and bribed voters. The larger picture.

Statues are not safe in India

One cynic says that after every election, the new Government can spend its first year in uninstalling the statutes erected by the previous regime.

Islamophobia gastronomica - on the food police, rural populism and killing

Khan’s killing was an act of adjudication over citizenship, culture, gender and life, in a form that’s becoming increasingly widespread in the US, India and through parts of Europe.

Sri Lanka local elections: the return of Rajapaksa

After his recent win, Mahinda Rajapaksa urged his voters not to attack the losing side, saying: “No matter what they did to us we must set an example”.        

The myth of the Indian ‘New Middle Class’

Families in Modi’s India are caught in a spiral of working class conditions in jobs pretending to be middle class, with their requirement for degrees and skills training.

Hindu authoritarianism and agrarian distress

To defeat populist-nationalist forms of communal authoritarianism in India, we have to fight against more than just communalism.

Modi government and the muzzling of the Indian media

The more damaging development has been the role of the mainstream media in the face of the government attempts to muzzle it.

When faith fills ballot boxes

Ironically, the message of scientific temper, modernity, secularism resonated more in India when the rate of literacy was low. Distinctions between science and mythology and mythology and history keep eroding.

Patriotic education is textbook propaganda

Resistance is vital if we are to spare children from the mind-numbing diet of national superiority and state allegiance that governments around the world are trying to feed them.

The social and political roots of exploitation in India

What is it that allows severe labour rights abuses to flourish in India? The answer is more complicated than poverty alone.

Organising the unorganised in India

When will the workers of India become sufficiently united to demand a change in terms?

Squeezing civil society hurts India’s economy and democracy

India played a key moral role in international affairs during the anti-colonial struggles and as a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement during the cold war. What happened then?

India at 70: bigotry rules

"Hyper-nationalism and the closing of the mind is also ‘a manifestation of insecurity about one’s place in the world.’”

Of sacred cows and profane men

The cow has highlighted religious, regional, social and cultural differences. Some humans have been killed in the name of the cow.

Why is the UK government wheeling back on legislation against caste discrimination?

Appeasing votebanks of the Hindu right, instead of legislation, a consultation has been launched which serves to obscure the ugly reality of caste-based discrimination which is alive and well in Britain.

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