On the afternoon of December 15, when Aysha Renna and her university buddies decided to join the march organised by students and locals near Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Delhi, to protest the new Citizenship law, little did she realise that she would shortly be catapulted to national fame for her defiance and courage in the … Continue reading “I Will Do It Again If I Have to”: the Poster Girl of Jamia Protests
STUDENTS OF THE late 1960s and 1970s had a lot to protest about, and they did. In the process, many of them acquired a halo. Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Tariq Ali were some of them. Some others did not become famous student leaders, but they, too, were seen as part of a generation that became synonymous … Continue reading Is Campus Activism Losing Its Sting?
WHAT STRIKES YOU first about this book is author Shuja Nawaz’s extensive global network and his access to people and documents—those that matter both in the US and Pakistan, countries he calls his two homelands. He started writing The Battle for Pakistan: The Bitter US Friendship and a Tough Neighbourhood (Vintage; 400 pages; Rs 799) in 2008 … Continue reading An Insider’s Perspective on Strained US-Pakistan ties and Challenges for India’s Hostile Neighbour
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
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 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?
INSTITUTIONS OR THOSE at the helm of prestigious government agencies going rogue has time and again put the Narendra Modi Government in a bad spot. A number of judges of the Supreme Court of India rising in revolt against the Chief Justice and hogging news headlines was an unprecedented event in the history of Indian … Continue reading India’s Institutions Are Crumbling Due to Excessive Political and Corporate Meddling
IN THE BASEMENT of a residential building in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, a heavyset, middle-aged man is seated in a chair, watchful and slightly tense. He is multi-tasking as his team of 70-odd volunteers clicks away at computers, creating content and editing videos. They send slogans, promos and other material to the BJP … Continue reading Shivraj Singh Chouhan Faces His Toughest Election Yet
SHAKTI SINHA IS in office as early as 8.30 in the morning and soon he is snowed in with back-to-back meetings. A seasoned bureaucrat who is remembered mostly for his days as private secretary to the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he takes the hectic routine in his stride. And when he meets you, … Continue reading The Legacy War at Teen Murti Between Nehru’s Fans and Foes