Shadow Power

BOOK REVIEW [First published in Biblio – A Review of Books dated Jan.-Mar. 2019] On January 26, 2019, India observed its 70th year as a constitutional republic. The country celebrated the Constitution of India as a document that empowers Indian citizens to chart their own path to progress, in which their rights (‘Fundamental Rights’) are upheldContinue reading “Shadow Power”

A divided bench

Taking up ten forgotten cases, a writer explains how the judiciary in India has at times been ‘more executive-minded than the executive’ [Book Review first published in The Hindu ] At a time when faith in the independence of the judiciary in India has diminished, Chintan Chandrachud provides us with a historical perspective on theContinue reading “A divided bench”

A critical appraisal of India’s Maoist uprising

[First published in The Hindu dated 11/11/17] Fifty years after India’s first Naxalite uprising, the Maoist movement today has nearly disintegrated, with several movement leaders now dead, arrested or having surrendered. Ajay Gudavarthy’s edited collection of essays raises the vital question at this juncture: Is violence necessary for revolutionary change in a democracy? While notContinue reading “A critical appraisal of India’s Maoist uprising”

Another freedom struggle

[First published in Biblio – A Review of Books dated Jul.-Sep. 2018] It is ordinary people who often make history yet historians typically focus only on the victors and the leaders associated with popular social mobilisations. That is the reason why Magsaysay Award-winning social activist Aruna Roy decided to narrate the story of how ordinaryContinue reading “Another freedom struggle”

Rights to the forest

[First published in The Hindu dated 15/4/17] Rights to the forest have been among the most contested subjects since colonial times. In Democracy in the Woods: Environmental Conservation and Social Justice in India, Tanzania and Mexico, Prakash Kashwan uses a comparative political analysis approach to show how India, Tanzania and Mexico, with their varied forestland regimes, haveContinue reading “Rights to the forest”