Weekend reads

  1. The Election Commission has been seeking the Supreme Court’s aid to stem criminalisation of politics. However, the court’s verdict last week, which asserted that politicians cannot be disqualified from contesting till they are convicted, falls short in the quest to clean up a criminalised system, argues former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi in Indian Express. 
  2. The Supreme Court’s decision last week to decriminalise adultery is a step in the right direction, says Shonottra Kumar in The Hindu. 
  3. Tomorrow, using the consolidated fund as a fig leaf, virtually any legislation can be introduced as a money bill, writes Suhrith Parthasarthy in Hindustan Times on the Aadhaar judgement of the Supreme Court that upheld the passing of the Aadhaar Act as a money bill in the Parliament. 
  4. Men like Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee now accused of sexual harassment, who run the show have no special qualities or insights that should oblige us to put up with their bullshit. They would hate for us to realise that, opines Meagan Day in Jacobin. 
  5. In the Caravan, Maneka Rao reports on the 19-year long quest of Union Minister Maneka Gandhi to stop use of life-saving drug oxytocin without any scientific basis. 
  6. A meticulous analysis of online activity during the 2016 campaign makes a powerful case that targeted cyberattacks by hackers and trolls were decisive in helping Donald Trump win the presidency. Jane Mayer in New Yorker narrates the story of how Russia undermined elections in the world’s most powerful democracy.   
  7. South Africa’s Constitutional court on September 21 legalised the use of marijuana, claiming that jailing a person for holding marijuana in private is a violation of right to privacy. In The Citizen, Anine Kriegler explains the implication of this verdict. 
  8.   For decades, the medical community has ignored mountains of evidence to wage a cruel and futile war on fat people, poisoning public perception and ruining millions of lives, writes Michael Hobbes in Huffington Post. 
  9.   Three decades after Salman Rushdie’s novel ignited Muslim fury and shook the world, we hae yet to learn the right lessons, argues Kenan Malik in Guardian. 
  10. In the Dawn, AG Noorani writes on how India’s federalism was undermined by prime ministers who wanted to control chief ministers from the Opposition.