Divisive Duo (August 13, 2021)


Book Review

Book Review: M. Hamid Ansari's "By Many a Happy Accident" is more than just an autobiography

Former Vice President M. Hamid Ansari’s autobiography is more than just memoirs: it consists of reflections of a multifaceted personality and records that will serve as source material for historians.

COVID-19 in India: Fourth ICMR survey results show 67.6 per cent seropositivity

The results of the fourth nationwide ICMR survey show unprecedented levels of SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence while the rate of vaccination in India continues to be far below the level needed to vaccinate the entire adult population by the end of 2021.
Sangh Parivar's pre-election communal agenda

BJP scripts devious election strategies

The BJP, buffeted by growing criticism of its failures on the economic and public health fronts and the setback caused by the surveillance scandal, takes recourse to its time-tested divisive agenda to win the next round of Assembly elections in States crucial to its political future.

Of policy & prejudice in Uttar Pradesh's population control bill

Divya Trivedi Cover Story
Public health specialists feel Uttar Pradesh’s Population Bill proposing a two-child norm will have a serious impact on women belonging to marginalised communities and their reproductive rights, especially in the absence of basic infrastructure facilities, gender-sensitive labour laws and access to health care services.
West Bengal violence

Charge of bias against NHRC in West Bengal

While highlighting the undeniable culture of political clashes in West Bengal, the NHRC’s report on the violence following the Assembly election in the State has also raised questions on the Commission’s own neutrality.

Clamour in Karnataka

Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed Cover Story
TWO days after the Uttar Pradesh government unveiled its population policy on July 11, C.T. Ravi, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and ...
Delimitation exercise

Motives behind the Union government’s delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir under suspicion

Anando Bhakto Cover Story
As the Union government goes ahead with its delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir, there is a near consensus among the people that it may be aimed at isolating and disempowering Muslims and depriving them of their political voice.

Modi government's decision to privatise United India Insurance indicates terrible consequences for general insurance sector

V. Sridhar Economy
The Modi government’s move to privatise a public sector general insurance company, threatens to undo years of progress that nationalisation initiated 50 years ago.

The Nobel laureate Venki Ramakrishnan discusses COVID-19, vaccinations, science education in India, among other things

Jipson John Jitheesh P.M. Science & Technology
Interview with Venki Ramakrishnan, structural biologist and a winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Interview: Akhilesh Yadav

‘People have seen through these pathetic communalisation exercises’

Interview with Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party president, in the early stages of the campaign for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.
Muslim population in India

The propaganda in India that Muslims will outnumber Hindus by 2035 is governed by prejudice, not facts

Ziya Us Salam Cover Story
The propaganda by Hindutva groups that Muslims will outnumber Hindus is just another attempt at polarisation with an eye on the elections. Facts show that the Muslim population growth rate in the country has been declining.
Population policy

Politics dominates the proposed two-child norm in Uttar Pradesh

T.K. Rajalakshmi Cover Story
The proposed two-child norm in Uttar Pradesh goes against the grain of the National Population Policy. But the agenda seems to be about targeting a community, especially before elections.

NEET: Rajan Committee submits report, ball in Tamil Nadu government’s court

With the A.K. Rajan Committee constituted to study the impact of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test on socially backward students submitting its report, the onus is now on the State government to get exemption for Tamil Nadu from the pre-medical entrance examination.
Assam Population policy

Assam moots polarising cattle and population policies

By implementing the two-child norm strictly and seeking to regulate beef consumption through a new Bill, the BJP government in Assam entrenches itself in the Sangh Parivar’s anti-minority ideology.

Case studies from Aajeevika’s field sites

The Nation
Case Study 1: Women breadwinnersBefore COVID-19, Sudevi used to supplement her husband’s income with home-based jobs in Ahmedabad. Now, as with many ...
United States

Latin America to Africa to Asia: U.S. military might on display through global military and naval exercises

Vijay Prashad World Affairs
Whether it is the “freedom of navigation” missions alongside the Chinese coastline or military exercises such as Tradewinds and African Lion, the U.S. force projection far from its own coastline is now a given fact.

As the Taliban gains ground, the U.S. makes a hasty exit from Afghanistan ahead of the September 11 deadline

John Cherian World Affairs
The last batch of the U.S. troops makes a quick exit from the Bagram base near Kabul much ahead of the September 11 deadline, marking the end of a 20-year occupation amid the advance of the Taliban across the country.

What triggered the Cuban crisis

John Cherian World Affairs
The protests in Cuba were triggered by the economic downturn and facilitated to a great extent by the United States government and the influential anti-Cuba lobby in Florida.

Frayed labour laws in Surat's power looms

Non-compliance with labour laws by employers and the absence of any rigorous monitoring mechanism leave the migrant workers in Surat’s power looms vulnerable to exploitation and without any cushion to fall back on in times of emergencies such as the pandemic still raging.

Terror before elections: a pattern

Anando Bhakto Cover Story
In recent years, there seems to be a pattern of elections being preceded by terror attacks, providing a perfect pretext to the government to go on an overdrive of ultranationalism.

Judicial disgrace: Fawning judges

A.G. Noorani The Nation
Justice Arun Mishra’s fulsome praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a public function does not augur well for the independence of the judiciary.
Uniform Civil Code

Politics around the uniform civil code

Ziya Us Salam Cover Story
The uniform civil code seems to be back in the country’s political discourse as elections approach in Uttar Pradesh and as always the issue serves as a polarising weapon at the hands of the Hindu right wing.

Communalising history textbooks

R. Mahalakshmi Cover Story
The recent as well as past attacks on history textbooks, with those engaged in distorting Indian history seeking to use textbooks to push their political agenda of creating a Hindu nation, is a curious inversion of reality.
Interview: Dr T.V. Sekher

Dr T.V. Sekher: ‘Socio-economic empowerment is more effective in regulating fertility’

Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed Cover Story
Interview with Dr T.V. Sekher, Professor, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai.
Migrant labourers' woes

Migrant labourers: Tunnel-visioned relief from govt

Loss of livelihood and the lack of social protection and adequate relief responses have devastated millions of working poor. The state must now look beyond providing them short-term relief and help them survive the long-term economic shock of the current crisis and safeguard them against future emergencies.
Migrant labourers' woes

Government’s ad hoc response to the migrant crisis did not take into account the reality of their lives

The sudden lockdown announced in March 2020 exposed how precarious the lives of millions of migrant workers across India are and made it clear that they have remained invisible in the policy discourse. The Central government’s response to the crisis of reconceptualising its PMGKY scheme and relying on existing social welfare schemes does not address the challenges of the affected population.

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