Weekend Reads

  1. Rukmini S writes in Mint about why India remains a pandemic epicentre for the coronavirus, on track to overtake the United States, despite an early lockdown.
  2. Adrija Bose tells the story, for News18, about how school girls in an Uttar Pradesh village stopped child marriages during the epidemic.
  3. “Google trend data for about a week at that time in Tamil Nadu established that except on the day of Sridevi’s death, the number of searches on Syria’s humanitarian crisis was higher than the number of searches on the actor,” writes Kavita Muralidharan for Newslaundry on the state’s different media consumption trends. “Incidentally smaller towns and villages showed greater interest in Syria than the major cities.”
  4. “Compare it to the national stage, and the similarities are uncanny of a ruling party delivering indifferent governance, but remaining politically dominant because of the lack of a strong Opposition which can’t really go beyond its traditional, shrinking, base of voters. Will Bihar reinforce or break the cycle?” asks “Chanakya”, previewing the upcoming state elections for the Hindustan Times.
  5. Ankur Pathak in the Huffington Post speaks to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra about Rang De Basanti, his movie about dissent that made a huge splash when it came out in 2005 – and what it would mean to try and make a movie like that today.
  6. A much-criticised and praised piece by Yogendra Yadav in the Print argues that Umar Khalid’s arrest shuts a democratic option for a generation of Indian Muslims.
  7. Meanwhile, Vakasha Sachdev says in the Quint that regardless of the facts of the case, Umar Khalid is going to be in jail for a long time because of the draconian UAPA law.
  8. “It is much more likely that life in 2021, especially in the first half of the year, will need to look much like life does now. Those who think that we have just a few more months of pain to endure will need to adjust their expectations. Those thinking that school this fall will be a one-off, that we will be back to normal next year, let alone next semester, may be in for a rude awakening,” writes Aaron E Carrol in the New York Times.
  9. Emily Ratajkowski writes a searing essay for the Cut about what it is like to see “men, some of whom I knew intimately and others I’d never met, debating who owned an image of me”.
  10. “As it turns out, constructing and distributing a vaccine may solve a set of political and economic problems while also creating a set of new ones,” writes Adam Tooze in Foreign Policy. “We imagined that an effective inoculation would be a cause of celebration. It may turn out to be a symbol of global injustice and a trigger for grievance across the world.”