ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

CommentarySubscribe to Commentary

Right to Protest

Flagrant violations by the state of the right to free speech and expression in India tend to be met with silence or half-hearted protests. However, in 2016, the Supreme Court sent a clear message that any irresponsible exercise of the state’s power to restrict protestors’ right to free speech and expression willattract legal consequences and not just censure. This decision is likely to be a landmark in constitutional actions against the state in the context of the right to protest and corresponding limits on state action.

Right to Information Constricted

The Girish Ramchandra Deshpande judgment has had the effect of amending the Right to Information Act. The denying of personal information in this case under the RTI Act is contrary to the law and constricts the fundamental right of citizens far beyond what is permitted in Article 19(2). If steps are not taken to correct this, a major objective of the RTI Act, to curb corruption and wrongdoing, will be impeded.

Rethinking Regional Planning

As India urbanises, every city and town should brace itself for growth. Each such city or town will look for precedents in the country and planning models to emulate. One such will inevitably be Mumbai. So we need to assess Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s Draft Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Plan 2016–36, and see it not just in relation to its area of concern, but also in the context of wider application as an aspirational model.

Caste Conflict in Maharashtra

The demand by Marathas to repeal the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, as voiced strongly in the recent Maratha agitations, is critically analysed.

What Next for Zimbabwe?

Robert Mugabe stepped down as President of Zimbabwe after pressure from the Zimbabwean army and parliament. Mugabe was a popular leader, but his reign was marked by brutal suppression, ethnic and racial violence, and widespread corruption. The new President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was with Mugabe throughout, promises to provide an alternative future for Zimbabwe.

WTO and Food Security

At the forthcoming World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Argentina, the global community must address real subsidies in agriculture rather than a theoretical construct on the measure of support that also includes impacts of subsidies in rich countries and the tariffs that are duly allowed.

Ashram Schools: Need for a New Approach

Incidents of rape, sexual abuse, and deaths of children persist in ashram shalas even more than a year after these were reported in these schools. The recurrence of such heinous acts underscores the lawlessness and impunity that prevail within tribal education programmes. A field study conducted in various ashram shalas in Maharashtra, analyses their conditions, and makes recommendations for future improvements.

Judicial Reform vs Adjudication of Personal Law

A keen understanding of the intricacies of the procedural aspect of personal law and internal hierarchies/fissures within the community in question need to guide our vision of judicial reforms. Considering the bias that exists in terms of class, caste, gender and religion in the implementation of law, one wonders what would be the real gains of bringing personal law more and more within the purview of the policing system. This article looks at cases brought by Muslim women to the Kanpur darul qaza seeking maintenance and/or divorce and finds that these women do not lack agency. They also approach different legal forums to resolve their personal and domestic issues.

All That He Wanted Was to Make That Film

Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro went so far beyond ha-ha funny that it became, rather like the pivotal moment in its plot, some kind of instant snapshot of Bombay and the India, of that time. It captured something so gruesome that laughter became almost a last-resort action.

View from the Ground: Gujarat Elections Defy Easy Predictions

The results of the Gujarat assembly elections are definitely not a foregone conclusion, especially for the Bharatiya Janata Party. This article takes a nuanced look at the factors that will affect the final outcome on 18 December even as it carries voices at the ground level in the state in the run-up to the polls on 9 and 14 December.

The Courage to Challenge the Nuclear World Order

In July 2017, 122 countries adopted the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. To mark this historic achievement, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, in recognition of its work over the past decade to make this treaty possible. This article reflects on the nuclear disarmament activism that led up to the formation of ICAN and the new treaty, and the challenges this now poses to the nuclear weapon states.

Assam’s Population Policy, 2017

Assam’s 2017 Population and Women Empowerment Policy claims to have as its focusthe inclusive and sustainablewell-being of its population, rather than population control. However, it displays an overriding concern with population “explosion,” exaggerates the actual increase in numbers, and is suggestive of a targeted approach.

Pages

Back to Top