SECULARISM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

INSAF Bulletin 206 June 2019
Editors: Daya Varma (Montreal) and Vinod Mubayi (New York)

EDITORIAL: THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

Vinod Mubayi

 

In the wake of the recently concluded 2019 elections India has been dubbed a “majoritarian democracy”. In the near future, it is very likely that more emphasis will be placed on “majoritarian” and less on democracy. The essence of Indian democracy so far has consisted of adherence, no matter how flawed in practice, to the liberal, secular Indian constitution with its promise of equal rights for all, including minorities. Read more…

LET NOT TRUTHS REMAIN TONGUELESS

Badri Raina

 

Athens feared the cloutless Socrates,

Because he said what he had to say;

He drank the hemlock cheerfully,

And Athens is known by him today. Read more…

VIJAYI MODI? YES. VIJAYI BHARAT? NOT ON YOUR LIFE

Siddharth Varadarajan

 

The election results show Modi has overcome his poor track record in office, but the fact that he has done so with a heady cocktail of communalism and nationalism, obscene amounts of money, unstinting media support and pliant institutions is bad news for Indian democracy. Read more…

THE NEW INDIAN ELECTION: FREE BUT NOT FAIR

Mukulika Banerjee

 

This 2019 national election in India is nothing like the one before it in 2014. There is something fundamentally different about it, even though it is superficially familiar. The vocabulary is the same, but the grammar has changed. Read more…

ECHOES OF PAKISTAN IN INDIAN POLLS

Pervez Hoodbhoy

 

It was once common wisdom that India had succeeded in developing a viable form of Westminster-style parliamentary democracy whereas Pakistan had failed. Pakistan has indeed suffered a succession of military governments interspersed with periods of nominally civilian rule; as such, it is not a model worthy of emulation. But the rise of Hindutva politics has taken away the starkness of earlier comparisons. Read more…

DEMOCRACY AS MAJORITARIANISM

Subhash Gatade

 

Subhash Gatade’s Hinduta’s Second Coming deals with the question of normalisation of majoritarianism which India is currently witnessing. The book is divided into three sections. Read more…

A SAVAGE SUMMER, A MERCILESS DROUGHT

Harsh Mander

 

After a long, harrowing drought, you wait with aching, desperate hope for the monsoon rains. You expect it will quench your parched arid fields, it will heal your land, feed your starving cattle, your skinny children, and restore them all to life. But when its time comes, you stare at the sky and find that there are no rain clouds, only a pitiless burning sun. You slowly realise with foreboding that there will be no life-giving rain, that you need to brace and fortify yourself, to endure an even longer, more savage summer, and a merciless drought. Read more…

WHY THE BJP’S HINDUTVA EXPERIMENT FAILED IN KERALA

Anoop Sadanandan

 

This election cycle, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala followed the standard protocol to replicate the Hindutva experiment that had catalysed the party’s rapid rise in the north. By the book, the party pivoted its campaign on a temple issue. Read more…

A COLLECTIVE MADNESS: WHAT MODI’S VICTORY SAYS ABOUT TODAY’S INDIA

Namit Arora

 

In Varanasi recently, I took an auto-rickshaw from Godowlia to Assi Ghat. Like everyone else in town, the driver and I began talking politics. The 2019 general election was a week away and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seeking reelection from Varanasi. The driver was an ardent Modi fan and would hear no criticism of him. Read more…

EXPLAINING NARENDRA MODI’S GLOBAL IMAGE VICTORY

Arjun Appadorai

 

It is highly likely that Narendra Modi will be handed another term as prime minister on May 23, even if the Bharatiya Janata Party takes a few losses here and there. If, by some unlikely chance, he loses, he has already established a global presence as a bold, imaginative and popular leader, a tribute to the democratic voice of India’s people. Read more…

MORE THAN EVMS, IT IS ‘THE HINDU MIND’ WHICH HAS BEEN EFFECTIVELY RIGGED

Apoorvanand

 

Modi has become confident that the Hindu mind has been vulgarised and become so spiritually hollow that even a crudity like his Kedarnath yatra can pass off as a religious expedition. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: MAKING ECONOMICS MORE ACCESSIBLE

Rahul De

 

Economics of Real-Life: A New Exposition by C T Kurien, New Delhi: Academic Foundation, 2018; pp 249, ? 995 (hardcover). Read more…

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