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.…

Who’s afraid of sovereign Snoopers?

Should the government be allowed to spy on its citizens? Less than three months after the Supreme Court cut the ever-proliferating Aadhaar card down to size, individual privacy has taken another body blow. On December 20, 2018, the Ministry of Home Affairs conferred powers under the IT Act 2000 to…

Bury this ‘bekaar’ Aadhaar

After 38 days of hearings over 4 months in what was the second longest case to be argued in India’s constitution history, the Supreme Court finally reserved judgment in the Aadhaar case on May 9, 2018. It may be several weeks before judgement is delivered but already, it is clear…

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…

Why India can’t afford Rohingya refugees

George Bush once quipped that India lived in a very dangerous neighbourhood. He failed to add that moral ambiguity was consequently built into its foreign policy. The Rohingya refugee crisis is only the latest example of this inescapable reality. Not that Rohingya ‘crisis’ is new. The Rohingyas are 100 per…