Weekend Reads

  1. The Indian government put forward five models for how many deaths have been averted during its long, draconian lockdown, but didn’t reveal the mathematics behind them. The Indian Scientists Response to Covid-19 collective offers a more conservative estimate in the Indian Express, and explains the working behind it.
  2. “The question boils down to how our parliamentarians view themselves,” writes MR Madhavan regarding the lack of activity by Parliament in the middle of this crisis, in the Hindu: “If they think that they are sentinels of the people, they should find a way to perform their constitutional duties.”
  3. India has generally failed to connect with “middle powers” like Australia, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy team has begun to address, writes C Raja Mohan in the Indian Express.
  4. “The act of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan singing Hamsadhvani at a Rama Navami concert in Bangalore’s Fort High School in 1956 brings and blends together many languages, religions, regions, political regimes, musical traditions, and architectural styles,” writes Ramachandra Guha in the Telegraph. “It is a glorious tribute to the cultural diversity of our country and our civilisation. And incidentally a gorgeous piece of music too.”
  5. It might be dangerous for India to directly take on China, writes Pranab Dhal Samanta in the Economic Times, but “India cannot afford to be a bystander”.
  6. Prime Minister Narendra “Modi has himself to blame for this state of affairs,” writes Brahma Chellaney for Project Syndicate. “With his excessive personalisation of policy and stubborn strategic naiveté, he has shown himself not as the diplomatically deft strongman he purports to be, but as a kind of Indian Neville Chamberlain.”
  7. “From asking a Muslim panellist whether he wanted to marry four times to declaring that Muslims were not ‘civilisationally evolved’, Times Now’s dog-whistling had it all.” Meghnad S writes about how the pro-government TV channel found a way to use Black Lives Matter to target Muslims.
  8. Gargi Raval and Ankush Bandhopadhyay write for Article 14 about the long legal battle that lies ahead for the Gujarat editor who wrote a political story that upset the state’s authorities.
  9. Anne Applebaum in the Atlantic has a long, compelling essay on the history of “collaborators” in the West – those who decided ultimately to shed their principles and work with authoritarian leaders – and offers this past as a perspective on the Republicans who don’t question US President Donald Trump’s excesses today.
  10. Vox’s Ezra Klein speaks to author Ta-Nehisi Coates about why he is hopeful at this moment, even as the United States is convulsed with multiple crises.