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 …

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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 …

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 …

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. …