Weekend Reads:

  1. Saritha S Balan in the Newsminute finds Keralites cautiously celebrating Onam, as their state begins the long process of rebuilding after the devastating floods of the last two weeks.
  2. A clutch of reporters from Mint tell stories of “heroism, courage, empathy, common sense, quick thinking – and, above all, humanity” from Kerala.
  3. “Why is Kerala’s proactive response to the floods so sharply different from the passive victimhood that mostly characterises the flood-affected in the rest of India?” writes TK Arun in the Economic Times. “The answer lies not in the state’s superior level of literacy, but in the political empowerment of the people over generations.”
  4. “While we chase growth at any price, we need to factor in the ecological costs and plan our development accordingly,” writes Soumya Sarkar in the Hindu. “The lives of millions cannot be held hostage to ecological mismanagement. Howmany more catastrophes like Kerala do we have to endure to come to our senses?”
  5. Rashmi Rajput and Johnson TA in the Indian Express look at the six recent arrests by Maharashtra Police and the CBI, which point to fringe Hindu radical groups that are linked to the murders of Gauri Lankesh and Narendra Dabholkar.
  6. Income inequality in India is not a figment of our imagination. It was already bad, writes Praveen Chakravarty in the Hindustan Times, and it’s getting worse.
  7. Rohini Mohan in Harper’s tells the story of how polarised religious politics turns into violence in India.
  8. “In a way, Ratnam articulates the one thing we often forget: Being in love guarantees that you’re stripped of ‘free will’ and choice. If the film says anything, it’s that there’s nothing romantic about love.” Poulomi Das writes in Arre about Dil Se... which came out 20 years ago.
  9. “Another one jokes that perhaps the tiger doesn’t have its name in the NRC. ‘Maybe the tiger is Bangladeshi that’s why the government is not paying attention.’ Everyone cackles. After which she says, ‘But we are fed up now. Does a human have to die for the government to do something?’” Tora Agarwala writes in the Indian Express about a tiger in Assam that has killed 39 animals belonging to people, leaving residents on edge.
  10. “Those who have lived their entire lives in functioning democracies may find it hard to grasp how easily minds can be won over to the totalitarian dark side,” writes Uki Goni in the New York Review of Books. “We assume such a passage would require slow, laborious persuasion. It does not. The transition from day to night is bewilderingly swift. Despite what many assume, civilized coexistence in a culture of tolerance is not always the norm, or even universally desired. Democracy is a hard-won, easily rolled back state of affairs from which many secretly yearn to be released.”

The Big Scroll

Read all of Scroll’s coverage of the Kerala and Kodagu floods here. A few pieces are below: