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.

Articles By Ashutosh Varshney

A temple on contested site of mosque’s destruction departs from judicial counter-majoritarianism

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

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

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

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

Transfiguring India

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taming hubris

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

Midterm elections: A bruised Trump

The next two years of his presidency have now run into democratically created counter-power.

A new RSS?

It’s unlikely, given the deep tension between RSS philosophy and individual freedoms and rights.

‘A battle between Hindutva and Hinduism is coming’

In a wide-ranging conversation, Walter Andersen speaks of the changing nature of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, how it was influenced by its different sarsangchalaks and the challenges that lie ahead of the organisation

Grime Beneath the Glitter

James Crabtree argues that India’s living out the same gilded age that America did in the 1800s — where corruption swirls under a shiny surface.

Is China meritocratic?

Its examination system is famous for its rigour, but its quota system gives preference to the privileged

Why did China agree to Wuhan?

Anything which arrests India’s potential drift towards the US and its allies is good for China.

Liberals and nationalism

They disapprove of Hindu nationalism, but support the constitutionally consecrated view of the nation

Denying Nehru his due

Were ancient Indian polities democratic, democracy thus representing India’s enduring culture? And what was Jawahar Lal Nehru’s role in institutionalising democracy?

What Gujarat means

If the Congress needs to worry about its urban base, the BJP has to work on a rural message