Inherent fault-lines in the new reservation policy

Lack of education apart, the latest reservation for the ‘backward’ may, above all, be proof that our legislators continue to struggle with ideological constructs that are both anachronistic and debunked. Allow me to explain. On January 14, 2019, the Central Government notified the 103rd constitutional amendment which confers States with…

Why the dance bar ban had to go

Fifteen years after the Maharashtra government decided it wanted its bar girls to dance no more, the recent decision of the Supreme Court in Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association v State of Maharashtra has delivered the reassuring message that liberal winds continue to blow through the fair corridors of the Supreme Court.…

Dangers of Internet: What is Fake News?

When journalist-turned-politician S Ve Shekhar casually forwarded a social media post suggesting that women journalists needed to sleep with their bosses to keep their jobs, he found himself accused of crimes under Sections 504 (Provoking Breach of Peace), 505 (Public Mischief) and 509 (Insulting the Modesty of a Woman) of…

Triple Whammy

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, reminds me of the doggerel about the Chaubay who went on to become a “Chhabbe” but came back a Dubey! There is grotesque irony in the idea that a law designed to provide security to Muslim women within marriage hastens…

Triple Equality before God

Judges often confront colliding ideologies with the law standing on one side, religion on the other and human empathy in the middle. In 2014, an 18 year old Muslim eloped with a 15 year old and married her. The girl’s mother filed a case of kidnapping, rape and sexual assault.…

Invisible Elephant in the Court Room

If you live long enough, you come to realize that today’s outrageous is next week’s new normal. Like 18 hour power outages, people can get used to almost anything. Eleven years ago, Praveen Babi, the iconic Bollywood heroine of my generation died leaving much of what she owned to charity.…