Fazal Gafoor is a ‘cosmopolitan’, if you apply the great thinker Benedict Anderson’s definition of the term. He speaks multiple languages, having been to primary school in Edinburgh where his mother and he had accompanied his father who had moved to the Scottish capital from Kerala to pursue studies in the 1950s. While Gafoor was … Continue reading Banning burqas in MES isn’t just tough, it is dangerous for its president Dr Fazal Gafoor
KHALEED RASHEED FARANGI MAHLI, one of Lucknow’s prominent clerics, has a message for the people of his community this election: go out and vote in large numbers. Self-confessedly averse to interfering in politics, Farangi Mahli, a religious scholar of Farangi Mahal, an area near Chowk in Uttar Pradesh’s capital city that had in the past … Continue reading Inside the Mind of the Indian Muslim Voter
Gordon Weiss, a former senior United Nations official and chronicler of the last phase of the war between the Sinhalese-dominated government forces and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, says he is deeply shocked by the enormity of deaths and the extent of planning that went behind multiple terror blasts that ripped through the island … Continue reading Sri Lankan blasts unprecedented in scale, coordination: Ex-UN official and author
Dr Suelette Dreyfus is an author who co-wrote a best-selling book with Julian Assange, titled Underground, a 500-page volume on the lives of young hackers of the 1980s and the 1990s (which includes Assange himself). She has been closely associated with Assange since then. She tells Open in an interview that Assange’s contribution to journalism has been enormous. Dreyfus … Continue reading Defend Assange to Save Journalism
ON APRIL 2ND, JUST BEFORE noon at 24 Akbar Road, headquarters of the Congress party in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi looked like a well-rested runner ready for an ultra-marathon. Except, he was not in sports gear, but a set of white, spotless kurta-pyjamas. But then, two years ago on a poll trail in Chotila, a temple-town … Continue reading Rahul Gandhi: The Angry Debunker
DAILY-WAGE LABOURER Kinker Chandra Das from Kaikala village of Hooghly district in West Bengal is tight-lipped about his political affinities. The middle-aged man treats the question of whom he would vote for in the 2019 election as though it is a brutal assault on his privacy. He raises his eyebrows in disbelief. He isn’t ready … Continue reading Will its Hindu revivalist past haunt West Bengal’s future?
Gilles Verniers, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ashoka University and co-director at its Trivedi Centre for Political Data, spoke to Open's Executive Editor Ullekh NP on dominant ideas in India's 2019 election campaign. How attractive do you think is national security as a slogan (like corruption, dictatorial tendencies, etc) in an Indian election? National … Continue reading ‘Pulwama Attack and India’s Response Not Indefinite Substitute for All Other Issues Voters Care About’
ON JANUARY 1ST, 2014, when Arvind Kejriwal took oath of office as Chief Minister of Delhi from a bursting-at-the-seams Ramlila Maidan instead of Raj Bhavan with all his typical dramatic flourish, it was a historic moment for Indian democracy. We had a chief minister who used public transport to work and even to his swearing-in, … Continue reading Why Congress Wants to Fight the Lok Sabha Polls Alone from Delhi Sans AAP
ON FEBRUARY 27TH, WHEN PAKISTAN used US-made, agile, new F-16 aircraft to unsuccessfully bomb Indian military facilities in Kashmir, American President Donald Trump was away in Hotel Metropole in Hanoi, Vietnam, to hold parleys with the recalcitrant North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, offering to make the East Asian country an “economic powerhouse” if it became … Continue reading The Fog of War: Amid Pre-Poll Sloganeering, Modi Takes On Pakistan
IN BALLIA, KNOWN for its links to India’s freedom struggle and various melas, a strange morning ritual along narrow village roads stuns you. Men are seen taking their pigs out for a walk, waving canes, as if herding sheep that need to graze or walking dogs that must attend their call of nature. Here in the … Continue reading Eastern Uttar Pradesh: Will It Make or Break BJP in the 2019 Election?