Weekend Reads

  1. “How does [India] stay true to its greatest strength, its political identity as a liberal, pluralistic democracy?” asks Pratap Bhanu Mehta in the Indian Express. “How did India, in its quest for global prestige, manage to lose its own neighbourhood? Our major vulnerabilities are all at home, and so are the solutions.”
  2. Manu Sebastian on LiveLaw raises crucial questions about the magistrate in the horrific Jayaraj-Bennix custodial death case in Tamil Nadu.
  3. Megha Kaveri on The Newsminute puts together a timeline of the events leading up to the Jayaraj-Bennix custodial death and the unanswered questions that emerge from it.
  4. Arun Janardhanan in the Indian Express also offers some context to the case, in which police were taking revenge on Jayaraj for allegedly making critical remarks about a police patrol team demanding shopkeepers should shut down early for lockdown.
  5. “In violation of the law, the constitutional right to fair trial and a landmark 40-year-old Supreme-Court decision, Indian trial courts impose death sentences based on brutality of crimes, without considering individual circumstance, reform or suitability of life imprisonment,” writes Neetika Vishwanath on Article 14. “These are the findings of analysis of all capital punishments pronounced by trial courts in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra over a 16-year period.”
  6. After turning their backs on migrants during the lockdown, Ajeet Mahale and KV Aditya Bharadwaj in the Hindu write about how cities now want the migrant workers back.
  7. “It is absolutely unethical to have stocks lying in public godowns while people are going hungry,” writes Dipa Sinha in the Indian Express. “Currently, there are more than 100 million tonnes in the FCI godowns, more than enough to meet the present NFSA requirements for a year.”
  8. “Mrs Gandhi imposed the Emergency with a sledgehammer,” writes Coomi Kapoor in the Indian Express. “But dictatorships can also creep in slowly, silently and insidiously, without any formal announcement. A dangerous pandemic has weakened the institutions tasked with upholding the Constitution. The Covid crisis can also provide a screen to keep reality from the public gaze and assist rulers in arming themselves with more powers.”
  9. “Upon first glance, I can’t tell how this recipe differs from a fricasseed chicken,” writes Nishant Batsa for Contingent magazine. But it’s there: “an ounce of Turmerick [turmeric], a large spoonful of ginger and beaten pepper”. What makes this curry in an Indian way is not the chicken or the cream, but these three spices taken mixed together and served. Before spicy came spice: the history of curry before Columbus is a history of spice.
  10. “Farhan Virk is a household name in Pakistan’s Twittersphere,” Hasham Cheema reports on a Pakistan troll army for Al Jazeera. “He is one of the country’s most controversial political influencers and claims he can make any hashtag trend nationally. A hyper-nationalist believed by many to be a state-sponsored troll, Virk commands Team Imran Khan, a Twitter army of more than 1,000 volunteers.When India-Pakistan tensions flare, Virk mounts an online attack.”