The recent violence in Kashmir has dealt a great deal of damage to the gains made there in recent years. In this and the next blog post (will be up soon), I encapsulate a summary of the main events concerning Kashmir, and also an attempt at making a timeline of recent events there. Main events … Continue reading Kashmir as it stands today – I
In another move by the government to show its doing something about the pressing inequities in society, the Home Ministry has proposed framing stricter laws to rein in Khap Panchayats and their extra-constitutional activities. The issue simply put, is: will stricter laws help in ensuring that the laws of the state are applicable to Khap … Continue reading Do strict laws really help when nobody enforces them?
Various anecdotal evidences from peers and one's own experiences reinforce impressions of Delhi's transition to a "world-class" city without the transition to world-class systems. One aspect of this is simply how extreme the difference between the purchasing power of those at the top and bottom of the economic pyramid is. However, when one hears reports … Continue reading Commonwealth Games II: Delhi’s War on Beggars
Media coverage on crime is heavily skewed in favour of reporting urban crime as opposed to rural, or caste-based crime. Though we occasionally hear reports of honour killings, or entire community households being burnt down, they are reported more as examples of a malaise afflicting society. This malaise itself is not talked about. This post … Continue reading Survey on SC/ST Atrocities: The Crimes we never talk about
Khap Panchayats have been in the news recently. Following the conviction of some members for killing a couple who married against the wishes of the Panchayat, leaders of various Khap Panchayats have sounded a defiant note and want changes in marriage laws. This post tries to look at the validity of their claim. First, a … Continue reading Khap Panchayats: Krap or dangerously reasonable
A recent article in Foreign Policy Magazine titled 'The World's Most Inappropriate Government Agencies' lists the Backward Classes Bureau as one the world's most inappropriate government agencies. The body is separate from the National Commission for Backward Classes, and implements schemes for Backward Classes. Other such bodies in other countries include: 1. The KGB in … Continue reading India No. 1on “The World’s Most Inappropriate Government Agencies”
I had written a couple of posts (Bestseller I and Bestseller II) on a High Court judgement banning a book spewing anti-muslim propaganda. In today's Indian Express, Pratap Bhanu Mehta discusses the judgement in a larger piece on religious freedom and freedom of expression: "...courts have been unduly squeamish about protecting free expression. This squeamishness … Continue reading Bestseller III: Update on Bestseller spewing anti-Muslim Propaganda
An article in Foreign policy highlights how contractors behind schedule are taking advantage of lax labor laws and coercing their employees to bring their children to work alongside them, promising payments of bread and milk. The article makes the following points: 1. India has very weak enforcement of child labour laws. In fact, it is preferable … Continue reading Commonwealth games: Child Labour galore
The government has asked ministries for feedback on the implementation of the Ranganath Mishra Commission Reforms (Govt eliciting views of ministries on Ranganath Misra report). The ministries have been asked to report whether there are 'insurmountable difficulties' in giving identified minorities adequate reservation. I had posted a piece on the subject some time earlier. Please read … Continue reading Update on reservation for Minorities: Ranganath Mishra Committee Report
Yesterday I posted a piece on a judgement of the Bombay High Court banning a book. I had mentioned the facts of the book and the main points raised by the author of the book. Today, I am quoting the main points of the court's judgement. After that I argue that banning books on sensitive … Continue reading Bestseller II: How scholarly are our courts?
I recently saw a judgement of the Bombay High Court (RV Bhasin v. State of Maharashtra, January 6, 2010) on censorship of a book. The judgement is important as it deals with our freedom of speech and expression. A book was banned by the government through an official Notification in 2003. Normally, any story about … Continue reading Bestseller spewing anti-muslim propaganda banned
Recently, The Ranganath Mishra Commission (National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities) Report (RMC) was tabled in Parliament. One of the most talked about issues discussed in the report was that of reservation for minorities. That is neither the majority, nor the substance of the Report, as an op-ed in Indian Express also points out. … Continue reading Ranganath Mishra: Mandal II? Not Really