#Gender & #sexuality norms #India 2018

In Britain, “buggery” between consenting adults became legal in 1967. Let me hasten to assure that I use the crude term “buggery” not to mock the LGBT community. This is the physical act, defined by its antiseptic moniker “voluntary carnal intercourse against the order of nature”, which was excised from Section 377 of the Indian […]

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Book Review: For Reasons of State

India is a young nation. Three fourths of us probably have no recollection of the ravages of the Emergency period from January 1975 to March 1977. This book was first published in 1977, just after the national elections, called by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi – in a bout of self-delusion as a referendum on the […]

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A “green” Diwali sans firecrackers

Managing winter smog in the National Capital Region (NCR) has occupied the Supreme Court since 2015. Three interim orders — in November 2016, September 2017 and October 2017— each of which changes the status quo, imposing commercial costs, illustrate the limitations of the judicial approach while balancing commercial interests with public health concerns. Joined at […]

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BJP – mega political mall

The rout of the BJP, in the Bihar and Delhi Assembly elections, were loudly touted as evidence of the deep roots of the “idea of India” — so dear to the Left-leaning, “secular” intelligentsia. Two years later, Bihar is back in the BJP stable and Delhi limps along with Arvind Kejriwal nursing his 2017 defeat […]

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Book Review: Just erratic not deranged

Amitav Ghosh’s latest book—The Great Derangement—is an exploration of why contemporary culture, imagination and political systems have failed to prevent global warming, despite its cataclysmic long-term effects and disruptive short-term outcomes. His choice of the book’s title reflects the conundrum facing poor nations. They are not the ones who benefited from the carbon economy. But […]

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The Monk and Haryana’s Assembly

Haryana’s folk dances are vigorous and fiesty like its people. Photo credit:alchetron.com Haryana wears its heart and mind on its sleeve. There is a lot of brawn and bravado but little guile here. Last week, the Haryana Assembly listened in rapt attention to a pravachan (teachings of a holy person) by a Jain monk. Alarm […]

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Why Planning Died in India

(www.thebetterindia.com) So what will the post-Plan India look like? Will we veer away from the soaring flyovers; highways straight as Arjun’s arrow; high rise apartments and carefully “zoned” areas, typical of planned development and turn instead towards the squiggly, irregular lines so dear to the foreign tourist, of “charming”, little, oriental streets; buildings leaning precariously […]

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Hate and its adherents

Hate is a powerful emotion. A sense of rejection, powerlessness, consistent negative discrimination or perceived persecution; any of these can invoke it. In India it is a common, albeit not a publicly expressed sentiment. But it lurks very close to the surface. Who hates whom, is an easily answered question. But why the poor do […]

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