Weekend reads

  1. US-Taliban engagement in Afghanistan has emboldened groups like Jaish and Lashkar-e-Taiba. The jihadist project has also been helped by the political vacuum in Kashmir, argues Nirupama Subramanian in the Indian Express in the aftermath of the deadly attacks that killed 40 CRPF men. 
  2.    The Hindutva proposition is that an aggressive assertion  of the collective Hindu identity is an essential precondition for India’s development. This is a point that pro-market supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi self-deceptively overlooked ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, writes Varghese K George in The Hindu. 
  3.   The year 2019 marks the golden jubilee of Apollo 11 mission by NASA that put Neil Armstrong on the moon. But the legacy of one of its most celebrated scientists who built rockets for the Nazi regime during the war remains controversial.   
  4.   In the Mint, Sudipto Mundle writes that reviving the Inter-States Council, a forum for states to solve problems between them, is the only real way to address conflicts of state interests. 
  5.   Emerging Asia’s two biggest economies are unambiguously juicing activity. Not only did India lower interest rates on February 7, the central bank adjusted its bias to convey there are more in the tank. China has reached for fiscal and monetary tool kits with cuts in taxes and bank reserve requirements. It is time others followed, argues Daniel Moss in Bloomberg Quint. 
  6. The understanding of gender in the United States has changed in ways unimagined either by the suffragists who first drafted an equal rights amendment when women won the vote a century ago or the backers of the equal rights amendments a half-century later. A real push for this amendment now might affect the treatment of trans people and who is legally seen as a man or a woman, writes Susan Chira in theNew York Times.
  7.   From Winston Churchill to the Nazis, anticommunists have long blamed the spread of socialism on Jews. With the Left again on the rise, the antisemitic trope of “Judeo-Bolshevism” is back, says Ellen Engelstad and Mimir Kristjansson in Jacobin. 
  8. In The Walrus, Kate Harris explains why we should stop looking for exotic, “untouched destinations” for travel. The impact on such tourism is profound on the locals. 
  9.   In this classic essay about a classic American art form, legendary screenwriter Daniel Fuchs reflects on his lifetime learning the trade.  
  10. Dan Mallory, who writes under the name A J Finn, went to number 1 with his début thriller, “The Woman in the Window.” His life contains even stranger twists, writes Ian Parker in New Yorker.