Weekend reads

  1. The Modi government has added an insidious dimension to the state’s nexus with big capital, says Pratap Bhanu Mehta in the Indian Express. 
  2. Those making threats to Malayalam writer S Hareesh, who has now suspended the serialisation his novel in a magazine,  will continue to drag out the issue as long as possible, says the Tamil writer Perumal Murugan in The Hindu. In 2015, when faced with similar mob threats, Perumal Murugan declared that the creator in him had died.
  3. With the Union government planning to make child sexual abuse a gender-neutral crime, Namita Bhandare in the Hindustan Times says it is also time to start talking about adult male rape survivors and laws to protect them. 
  4. In Mint, Manu S Pillai recalls the events of July, 1910, when VD Savarkar, the Hindutva ideologue, plunged into the Mediterranean Sea in a bid to escape British custody, unleashing a heated debate about international law in France.   
  5. Numbers cannot nail every nuance of a decision, argues Subrata Chakraborty in BusinessLine. Generating insight is an inherently human trait. 
  6. The arguments made in support of banning the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple are analysed by Mihira Sood in the Leaflet. Among other things, she suggests striking down claims that ask for the specific needs of the deity in question to be kept in mind.
  7.   The Democrats can make a successful run by opposing the corrosion of institutions by Donald Trump, writes Bret Stephens in the New York Times. But they need to stop predicting crazy economic and military disasters that no one will believe. 
  8.   With bots, fake news, and an angry right-wing flank, Twitter is crashing against the limits of ideological neutrality, reports Jacob Silverman in Longreads. 
  9.   In her fight to end sexual abuse, an Olympic champion is challenging the very institutions she led to glory. Mina Kimes in ESPN on the gritty gymnast Aly Raisman.   
  10. As online streaming services force video rental shops to shut, the human interaction that can be the best part of visiting the video store is perishing. Justin Heckert in The Ringer writes about the colorful people, the jokes, the laughs, and the delightful camaraderie of discovering a shared favourite film at the checkout counter.