sanjay.kumar

Sanjay Kumar

The author is a New Delhi based journalist covering South Asian and international politics. He tweets as @destinydefier (twitter.com/destinydefier).

India and Pakistan need to win peace, not arguments

Following the scrapping of Article 370 of the Indian constitution by the Indian government on Monday, there is a sense of déjà vu among the ruling party, a strong section of the majoritarian community and a section of the media. They are rejoicing that the ‘Kashmir problem,’ a legacy of history, has been ‘resolved’ once and for all by discarding the legislature since it was a hindrance in the final integration of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK). The problem with this argument is that it disregards history, ignores the larger reality of geo-politics and completely discards the political aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Can ...

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It’s not Jadhav who is in prison; the subcontinent is the prisoner of paranoia

If anyone thought that India and Pakistan’s reaction would have been different had the verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case been different than what it is, then they are being delusional about the postmodern history of the Indian subcontinent. We are now conditioned to react without thinking. Both of us derive pleasure in humiliating each other – be it on the sports field or in the arena of politics. Newspapers on both sides of the border painted their pages with the titles that suited their national interests. Indian media celebrated the verdict in the same way they did when Prime Minister Narendra Modi ...

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Old Modi, New India

It seems that the United States (US) has ruffled a few Indian feathers by calling out the rise in Hindu extremism in India. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a distinguished gathering in New Delhi that India should stand for religious freedom. He stated that, “India is the birthplace of four major world religions. Let’s stand up together in defence of religious freedom for all, let us speak out in favour of those rights, for whenever we do compromise those rights, the world is worse off.” WATCH | "Let's stand up together in defence of religious freedom for all," ...

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Modi says ‘Hindus cannot be terrorists’ – so what does that make Godse then?

‘Hindus can never be terrorists,’ and ‘Hindus are not beef eaters’. India’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) , and its patron Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), are very vehement when it comes to defending these two statements. They can even incite a lynch mob to prove their point. But why do they say that a Hindu can never be a terrorist? The BJP’s idea of India is a majoritarian state where the Hindu way of life takes precedence over all other faiths. In their worldview, it is important to clearly demarcate the Hindus from Muslims. It is sine qua non ...

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Voting for Modi again? 6 questions every Indian should ask

With India now fully in election mode, only one question reigns supreme in the minds of the people of India as well as the world: should Narendra Modi become the Indian prime minister again? Has he ushered in the “ache din” (good days) he promised five years ago? This question is polarising India. It is, however, a valid question. This is a man who came to power in 2014 with a promise to usher in a new era of development, coined a popular new slogan “sabka saath, sabka vikas” (collective effort, development for all), assured the nation he would address the ...

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Muslims in India today are revisiting the same fears as they did in 1947

The strength of a democracy is measured by the way it protects its weak, marginalised and minorities. After Partition in 1947, one big challenge before India was how to assuage the fears of the Muslim minority about their well-being in India. Bridging religious faultlines was part of the nation-building process. The government, civil society, film industry, media, and even on an individual level, a large section of the society created an ecosystem where secularism and liberalism were promoted unabashedly. This ecosystem and way of life have been largely sustaining India for the last seven decades. Three generations later, Muslims in India are ...

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A militarised media and the dangers it poses to India’s ‘democracy’

Media is the new military in India today. TV stations are barracks and war rooms, where the discussions are not based on news but give pointers on how to wage war and defeat the enemy nation. Narendra Modi-ruled India is run by a militarised media that broadcasts not news but only jingoism and war hysteria. This has become the language of a large chunk of Indian media that had never demonstrated such blatant anti-minority, anti-Kashmiri, anti-secular and liberal bias. A systematic demonisation of Muslims, Kashmiris and sane voices in India has started after the Pulwama terror attack that claimed more than ...

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Modi was all set to win the upcoming elections. Enters Priyanka Gandhi

Politics is the prisoner of context and timing. The entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into mainstream politics in India comes at a time when Indian politics senses a new opportunity that is beyond the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With the main opposition Congress winning three important regional elections recently, the party sees a beginning of a new momentum which has been missing ever since its worst ever performance in the last General Elections in 2014. The victory in the regional elections consolidates the positions of the party president, Rahul Gandhi, and also heralds him as a prominent face of the ...

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After Trump’s Cambridge Analytica, Modi brings India’s first ‘WhatsApp Election’

What happens when those responsible for spreading propaganda and lies end up becoming the rulers? The lies become institutionalised. Modern India has never witnessed a propaganda onslaught of the sort that it is experiencing just before the general elections that are scheduled to take place between April and May of this year. We have moved far beyond old school newspapers and other such forms of print media. We now resort to electronic media and online platforms to wage war against our political opponents. This war has now even started invading our private spaces. The commonly-used WhatsApp messenger has become the latest ...

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By not supporting women trying to enter Sabarimala, the BJP proved their ‘gender justice’ stance is a lie

Historically speaking, faith has always been a victim of politics. However, the protests that are currently being held regarding the entry of women in the Sabarimala temple in the South Indian state of Kerala don’t particularly have to do with faith; they have more to do with politics. For centuries, devotees believed that the presiding deity of the ancient temple, Lord Ayyappa, is celibate, and the entry of ‘fertile’ women would violate the Lord’s celibacy. Young women were therefore denied entry into the temple, while only women above the age of 50 could visit. As far as men are concerned, a ...

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