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.
Ashutosh Varshney writes: Processions rarely connected to riots are now being used for creating them. The religious neutrality of the government in several states is rapidly eroding
Ashutosh Varshney writes: Though minority rights are enshrined in India’s Constitution, election victories can now be used to create laws, or government policies that begin to attack precisely those rights.
Ashutosh Varshney writes: What we are witnessing today is a full-blown national rebellion against a mighty neighbour bent upon bullying and subjugating
Writer Salman Rushdie on locating himself through his novels, Pakistan’s strategic importance to the Taliban and why the religious imagination is unappealing to him
Ashutosh Varshney writes: The politics of Hindu nationalists is threatening to create a Jim Crow India in BJP-ruled territories. What race was to the American South, ethnicised religion is to Hindu nationalists
Ashutosh Varshney writes: Democracy and human rights will continue to be key drivers, but economic tools and diplomacy will be the main methods for achieving these goals, not military power.
Ashutosh Varshney writes: A definition centred on being Hindu and Hindi-speaking threatens to override a superordinate civic identity underlined by the Constitution.
Ashutosh Varshney, Amit Ahuja write: Whether or not a democratic government can bring joy and happiness, one of its key responsibilities is to prevent mass suffering, or alleviate its severity.
Mao was unmoved by the mass suffering caused by The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution because, for him, it was superseded by national glory. Something similar is playing out in India
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.
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.
While the economics of the three reforms is not faultless, let us note that some of the proposed steps go in the right direction.
Ashutosh Varshney writes: Donald Trump's rise was a negation of egalitarian trends of five decades. He has 48 per cent of popular vote.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Centre faces classic dilemma civil disobedience unfailingly poses: Whether or not it cracks down, protests will grow
A fusion of law and exclusivist ideology is in the making. Brute arithmetic is being used for majoritarian ends.
Political power is bringing about an ideological re-orientation in the players which may or may not endure
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.
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.