BJP Hopes Reservations to Economically Weaker Sections Will Help Retain Its Core Vote Base

SENIOR DELHI-BASED LAWYER Indra Sawhney is amused that her name has become part of India’s legal lore and that a case she fought decades ago keeps coming up whenever there is any talk of affirmative action. “So long as there is a reservation system in the country, I am sure my name will keep surfacing,” … Continue reading BJP Hopes Reservations to Economically Weaker Sections Will Help Retain Its Core Vote Base

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Kerala’s Popular Culture Has Abetted Misogyny in Life and Politics

WHAT IS IT ABOUT the Malayali male that attracts equal parts respect and scorn? Normally, expectations from Kerala, a state that enjoys high social indicators, some of which are on par with Nordic countries, are that it is a fairer and far more egalitarian society compared with the rest of India. The sex ratio, the … Continue reading Kerala’s Popular Culture Has Abetted Misogyny in Life and Politics

How Modi Tapped the Wrath of ‘Lower’ OBCs for Political Mileage

INSIDE UTTAR PRADESH’S Jaunpur town, not far from its landmark 16th century Shahi Bridge on the river Gomti, RK Maurya runs a teashop that sells hot samosas and excessively sweetened tea. He does brisk business, assisted by two young adults, and saves enough money to send his son to an English-medium school with the hope that the … Continue reading How Modi Tapped the Wrath of ‘Lower’ OBCs for Political Mileage

Caste Politics: The Disillusionment Behind the Dalit Resurgence

FILMMAKER STALIN K’S AWARD-WINNING 2007 documentary on untouchability, India Untouched, features a Varanasi priest, Batuprasad Sharma Shatri, who declares animatedly before the camera that only animals use intelligence while human beings fall back on ancient textbooks for answers about life. “Therefore, I believe in caste and untouchability,” he announces with a melodramatic flourish, dismissing the … Continue reading Caste Politics: The Disillusionment Behind the Dalit Resurgence