The politics of strength

On social media, PM Modi continues to follow all those who sent some highly abusive tweets to critics, including the person who addressed some particularly vile comments about the slain Gauri Lankesh. His defenders have argued that the act of following a person cannot be construed as support for that person’s opinions, and point to… Read more »

The alcohol genie

The Supreme Court has clarified its order on banning liquour sale within 500m on highways, and many parts of India are sighing with relief. That such a ruling caused such anxiety is a sign of the role alcohol has come to play in our lives today. Social legitimacy of alcohol has increased significantly and the… Read more »

Privacy as human impulse?

A big victory was won privacy some weeks back. Some important principles governing the issue have been articulated, but it remains to be seen as to what kind of implications this judgment will set off. As an issue privacy and the question of data and its use gets two very different kind of reactions. There… Read more »

The age of the private army

The mayhem unleashed by the supporters of Ram Rahim is an emphatic reminder of how a parallel structure is building legitimacy, and finding ways of challenging the state with impunity. What we saw in Panchkula and elsewhere was a surrender to a force that had no official standing, but was able to cause carnage without… Read more »

The things that don’t change: The oldness of new India?

For the first time in the last few months, the government seems to be losing control over the political narrative. A series of different events has forced this change of emphasis, away from the usual discussions that begin with the cow and end with JNU. Denied this comfort zone, where the governments and its supporters… Read more »

Going medieval, worldwide?

It has become a ritual of sorts. Wake up every morning to track the fall-out from the latest abomination from the House of Donald Trump. He rarely disappoints, if that is the word one is looking for. One begins virtually every day this way- going through the torrent of inanities, absurdities, delusional ramblings that brim… Read more »