Weekend reads:

  1. “If businessmen become MPs and MLAs, MPs and MLAs (even ministers) also become businessmen,” says Christophe Jaffrelot in Indian Express. “As a result, the functioning of the state is affected. Why should rulers make hospitals, schools and the police work if they have invested in clinics, private schools and security firms?”
  2. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah seemed to believe that the great matter they needed, they believed, was available within,” writes Shekhar Gupta in the Print. But, all capital is limited. The Modi government exhausted its intellectual capital by its third year .”
  3. Somesh Jha in the Business Standard reports that the government has yet again changed how it is counting new jobs, by now including even those who quit a previous one and joined a new workplace as an “added job”.
  4. Ashwaq Masoodi in Mint speaks to women in villages of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh about navigating sexual desire and seeking pleasure amidst prejudices of gender, caste and class.
  5. In February, Priya Seth and Dushyant Sharma met on Tinder. A few months later, Sharma was dead and Seth had been put in jail, accused of murdering him. Snigdha Poonam in the Hindustan Times traces the thread.
  6. “Andaleeb Wajid’s absorbing portraits of the inner lives of Indian women – aged 15-70 –should have made her a household name, but for now Wajid is probably the most prolific Indian author you may not have heard of,” writes Priya Ramani in Mint.
  7. “For some, traditionally, the diary was a place to record the uneventfulness of their lives, while for others it was a portrait of an abyss they stared into,” writes Keerthik Sasidharan in the Hindu. “Irrespective, for most diligent diary writers, it was a companion, an addiction, a paramour that listened to one’s confessionals with the patience of a saint.”
  8. “Why activism got no specific term to name it in Hindi remains an interesting question, writes Krishna Kumar in the Indian Express. “One answer is that Hindi covers a wider social terrain than English does. In this vaster social landscape, the state remains distant. It is perceived essentially as an apparatus meant for the exercise of power, by those placed within it. Activists who deal with that apparatus and endure its crude, often wanton moves, are seen in the Hindi-educated strata of society as social workers. For them, terms like “samajik karyakarta” suffice. When they agitate, they become ‘andolankari’.”
  9. “Ghomeshi has been developing empathy primarily for the accused,” writes Jia Tolentino in the New Yorker. “He and Hockenberry, and the otherwise left-leaning magazines that published them, are helping to establish a liberal men’s-rights discourse in which all the old and terrible structures of male supremacy are rebuilt, coated with a veneer of independent thinking, and fronted by a tactical insistence that everyone involved has the utmost respect for women, is absolutely on the side of equality, and is just asking the complicated questions that must be asked.”
  10. In the New York Times, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti trace the story of Russia’s efforts to subvert the 2016 election in the United States, and where the investigation into that case now stands.