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Friday, February 26, 2021

Ashutosh Varshney

The writer is Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences at Brown University, where he also directs the Center for Contemporary South Asia at the Watson Institute. He is a contributing editor for The Indian Express.

India’s democratic exceptionalism is now withering away. The impact is also external
Tue, Feb 23, 2021

A democracy which speaks with one voice, which elevates citizen duties over citizen rights, which privileges obedience over freedom, which uses fear to instil ideological uniformity, which weakens checks on executive power, is a contradiction in terms.

When history is written, US courts may be singled out for protecting nation’s election integrity
Sat, Jan 09, 2021

Ashutosh Varshney writes: When the history of this period is written, America’s courts might be singled out as the institution that protected the nation’s election integrity.

Govt needs to ready solutions that will facilitate agrarian transition without hurting farmers
Wed, Dec 16, 2020

While the economics of the three reforms is not faultless, let us note that some of the proposed steps go in the right direction.

US Election 2020 shows a deeply divided nation
Fri, Nov 06, 2020

Ashutosh Varshney writes: Donald Trump's rise was a negation of egalitarian trends of five decades. He has 48 per cent of popular vote.

Unless Joe Biden wins big, America stares at a constitutional crisis
Fri, Oct 30, 2020

If Trump is ahead on November 3, legal and political manoeuvres are quite possible. Only a Biden victory that night, not one after the full count, can preempt such possibilities.

Institutional oddities of US polity mean Trump could win an election he lost
Mon, Oct 05, 2020

In Trump’s America, dog whistles have become bull horns. Those groups that wish to preempt a dystopia have a huge task ahead of them. How Trump’s illness will affect the emerging lines of the political battle is unpredictable at this stage.

The black part of Kamala Harris’s identity is bound to be bigger, but the Indian part will not be suppressed
Thu, Aug 20, 2020

The logic of demography and identity, an inescapable part of democratic politics, shows why the Kamala Harris candidacy is generating excitement. It is aimed at a multiracial America. It is a 21st century American reality Trump is trying to suppress.

Hindu nationalism, White supremacism threaten to morally impoverish the two democracies
Mon, Jul 06, 2020

After the mid 20th century, a democracy is not a proper democracy unless it safeguards minorities. And if the minorities are also poor, the protection becomes even more necessary.

It is not simply the death of a black man, but yet another moment of truth for America
Wed, Jun 03, 2020

In a country claiming to be the first in the world to be founded on equality, why have black lives been so cheap? Can black Americans ever be treated with equality and dignity, instead of being brutalised?

The new capitalism: In the foreseeable future, politics will drive economic policies, not market-based rationality
Mon, May 04, 2020

We should not only expect that labour flows will now be more strictly regulated than before. But also more than ever before in recent decades, Western investors will also have to factor in political risks in their investment decision-making.

How we define and categorise the Delhi violence matters
Mon, Mar 02, 2020

India’s citizenry is well and truly into a battle for constitutional values, which must be fought, most of all, with non-violent determination and vigour.

If Modi government violently cracks down, anti-CAA protests will engulf more of India
Tue, Jan 28, 2020

Centre faces classic dilemma civil disobedience unfailingly poses: Whether or not it cracks down, protests will grow

Recent exclusionary steps can only bring India’s international image down
Mon, Dec 16, 2019

A fusion of law and exclusivist ideology is in the making. Brute arithmetic is being used for majoritarian ends.

If Shiv Sena wishes to remain in power, it can’t return to full-blooded Hindutva
Mon, Dec 09, 2019

Political power is bringing about an ideological re-orientation in the players which may or may not endure

A temple on contested site of mosque’s destruction departs from judicial counter-majoritarianism
Thu, Nov 14, 2019

If Hindu consolidation goes further, Muslims will become electorally even more irrelevant. We can’t still be sure this would happen. But even if Hindu electoral consolidation remains at the current level, India’s Muslims would need the judiciary’s counter-majoritarianism to safeguard their interests.

For Modi, Houston guaranteed a huge turnout of Indian Americans. Trump may need them to win Texas in 2020
Sat, Oct 05, 2019

Indian Americans are perhaps not more than 4,00,000 in number, but if Texas becomes a “swing” or “battleground” state, ready for a political flip, even such small numbers might ultimately matter.

By numbers alone
Sat, Aug 17, 2019

The change in Jammu and Kashmir’s constitutional status is democratic only in one sense — it had a parliamentary majority. But democracy is much more than that.

Democratic ambivalence
Sat, Aug 03, 2019

Modi, Trump and Bolsonaro are great election winners, but their stance on civil liberties is seen as questionable.

Transfiguring India
Mon, May 27, 2019

Are we on the path to a Hindu Rashtra? Much will depend on how the electoral verdict is read by the victor

Travelling East UP
Thu, May 16, 2019

Almost as a cliché, but a true one, and not trivially so, human warmth and courtesy, as in so many parts of India, make up for the harsh landscape of East UP.

Caste and religion still form the bedrock of people’s political understanding in Uttar Pradesh
Thu, May 16, 2019

In Uttar Pradesh, one can speak of two sub-waves, one among the upper castes, and another sweeping through the Dalit-Muslim-Yadav communities. The BJP is the primary beneficiary of the former, and the SP-BSP-RLD Mahagathbandhan of the latter.

2019 and populism
Sat, Apr 06, 2019

There is large support for anti-elitist politics in India, but it is not uniformly spread out.

National security will compete with unemployment, farm distress as a critical election issue
Thu, Feb 28, 2019

The size of the middle class, timing of the current India-Pakistan clashes, and the nature of the regime in Delhi will shape the narrative in days to come.

View from city’s margins
Tue, Jan 22, 2019

Among urban poor, demonetisation has taken an untold toll. Government schemes are a mixed blessing

Taming hubris
Fri, Dec 14, 2018

BJP has work to do to take back narrative — assembly results raise questions on governance record, temple