Weekend Reads:

  1. Ian Marlow and Vrishti Beniwal in Bloomberg explain how despite “Make in India” and the world’s biggest mobile phone factory, India’s domestic manufacturing is still struggling.
  2. In an excerpt in The Wire from his upcoming book, Karan Thapar tries to explain why Narendra Modi walked out of an interview with him in 2007, and why the Bharatiya Janata Party now shuns him.
  3. Smita Nair, a crime reporter and one of the lead researchers on Netflix’s Sacred Games, tells the tale of how in Mumbai’s police stations, everyone is a character, and the city a story.
  4. “So, on every Saturday and select school holidays, dressed in jersey colours inspired by squads around the world, the “babies” play ball,” writes Silvester Phanbuh in the Indian Express, writing about Meghalaya’s “baby football league.” “The Baby League has 12 teams: Wahlakhiat Bulls, Nongthymmai Scorpions, JNS Jaguars, among others. Apart from their assigned animal icons, team names include the school, institution or locations they represent.”
  5. “Despite these elitist tendencies, in the ’70 elections and perhaps in 2008 we clearly saw that, when given a chance, the Pakistani people freely voted for their own representatives,” writes Kamran Asdar Ali in Dawn. “The political task may be to deepen the democratic impulse that is present in Pakistan’s populace, rather than disrespect them. Further, in all cases, the leadership of these parties tend to forget that whenever they have trusted non-civilian forces to assist them into power, they have always been betrayed.”
  6. Esha Roy in the Indian Express tells the story of all that it takes to keep Darjeeling’s “toy train” running.
  7. EPW Engage assembles a reading list on the question of: If Smart Cities exclude the vulnerable, who are they smart for?
  8. “We might never get clear evidence that Trump made a secret deal with the Kremlin,” writes Blake Hounshell in Politico. “It would be great to see his tax returns, and perhaps Mueller has evidence of private collusion that we have yet to see. These details matter. But in a larger sense, everything we need to know about Trump’s strange relationship with Russia is already out in the open. As The Donald himself might say, there’s something going on.”
  9. David E Sanger and Matthew Rosenberg write in the New York Times on how Donald Trump, despite clear indications that Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in America’s election, has tried to muddle the message.
  10. “Perhaps more than anything else, what has sucked all of the joy out of the social internet in its current form is its exhortation to be useful,” writes Helena Fitzgerald in The Verge. “We have arrived at a version where everything seems to be just another version of LinkedIn. Every online space is supposed to get you a job or a partner or a stronger personal brand so you can accomplish the big, public-record goals of life. The public marketplace is everywhere. It’s an interactive and immersive CV, an archive. It all counts, and it all matters.”