India’s threats to Amazon serve to only expose our own insecurities

India's External Affairs Minister (EAM), Sushma Swaraj recently broke new ground. Amazon Canada was selling a doormat that was designed to look like India's national flag. As soon as a Twitter user pointed this out to her, Sushma Swaraj responded with three tweets. With these three tweets, India's EAM lived up to her reputation of … Continue reading India’s threats to Amazon serve to only expose our own insecurities

Notebandi & its woes: Why we must protest the narrative of ‘normalisation’

A slightly different version of this column appeared first on Catch News on 13/1/17 *** It is now well over fifty days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 500 and 1000 rupee notes were no longer legal tender – a policy popularly known as ‘demonetisation’. In the new year, economists, bankers and accountants are busy … Continue reading Notebandi & its woes: Why we must protest the narrative of ‘normalisation’

Non-authoritarian states can practise ‘everyday authoritarianism’ too

Cornell University’s Tom Pepinsky has a terrific post on how everyday authoritarianism can be boring and even tolerable. He uses the example of Malaysia and draws lessons for the US. Pepinsky concludes with this: “The fantasy of authoritarianism distracts Americans from the mundane ways in which the mechanisms of political competition and checks and balances … Continue reading Non-authoritarian states can practise ‘everyday authoritarianism’ too

In 2016, Narendra Modi expanded the remit of the coercive state

Towards the end of 2015, reflecting on what determines the size of the state, I came up with these three broad categories. At the end of 2016, with a hindsight view of ‘demonetisation gone wrong’, I revisit that concept. These three categories describe the nature of engagement the state seeks with particular areas of policy. … Continue reading In 2016, Narendra Modi expanded the remit of the coercive state