Weekend Reads

  1. Roshan Kishore in Mint looks at the numbers and concludes that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s electoral invincibility is overblown, at least as far as historical trends go.
  2. “Mr. Modi’s rule represents the most devastating, and perhaps final, defeat of India’s noble postcolonial ambition to create a moral world order,” writes Pankaj Mishra in the New York Times. “It turns out that the racist imperialism Du Bois despised can resurrect itself even among its former victims: There can be English rule without the Englishman.”
  3. Ajay Saini in the Hindu tells the story of a convict who escaped a penal settlement in the Andaman Islands and ended up in a battle between the Andamanese and the British that would push a tribe to extinction.
  4. “To infer from this that the prime minister of India was sarcastically trolling its vice-president on this solemn valedictory occasion was unwarranted,” writes Mukul Kesavan in the Telegraph. “No prime minister would do that. It wasn’t vyang that moved Modi, but afsos. The prime minister spoke in sorrow, not in anger.”
  5. Daksh Panwar and Nitin Sharma of the Indian Express visit “small homes and swelling cricket academies” in Punjab where Harmanpreet Kaur’s star turn at the cricket World Cup is inspiring many more young women.
  6. Is our freedom only for a few, only to be expressed in increasingly narrow ways, bounded on all sides by fear, asks Omair Ahmad in Blink.
  7. “America was created by true believers and passionate dreamers, and by hucksters and their suckers, which made America successful – but also by a people uniquely susceptible to fantasy, as epitomized by everything from Salem’s hunting witches to Joseph Smith’s creating Mormonism, from P. T. Barnum to speaking in tongues, from Hollywood to Scientology to conspiracy theories, from Walt Disney to Billy Graham to Ronald Reagan to Oprah Winfrey to Trump,” writes Kurt Andersen in the Atlantic.
  8. Amee Misra in Mint offers a glance at what it is actually like to work with the “steel frame” that is the Indian government.
  9. Sagar in the Caravan tells the story of a Dalit professor who was denied a promotion in Jawaharlal Nehru University, a space where many forms of “sophisticated discrimination” thrive.
  10. “I’m sick of talking about this horrifying reality like we’re litigating the dynamics of a middle school lunchroom,” writes Lauren Duca in Teen Vogue. “The public forum is increasingly being conducted online, and it’s about time we acknowledge that social media is a place where women are systematically silenced.”