Free India was born in a tumult of religious hatred. This, and the fact that this country is home to followers of almost every major religion, persuaded members of the Constituent Assembly to exercise great care to protect the freedom of religious belief in the Constitution.
The fractures around the fault-lines of ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ in India have again threatened to surface after the release of the 2011 religious census results.
Three merciless rapes of small children within a week in the country’s national capital, followed by the gruesome burning alive of two children in a village in Faridabad, have once again raised, with painful urgency, the question of how we can make the world safer for disadvantaged and defenceless young children.
We often assume that our greatest dangers are from strangers on dark streets or from violent men who might break into our houses.
A dominant feature of the first year of Narendra Modi’s leadership is the quiet dismantling of India’s imperfectly realised framework of welfare and rights, covertly, by stealth.
The picture of rural Indian life today that emerges from what is probably the world’s largest study ever of household deprivation is sobering and sombre.
It is troubling that the Centre has displayed a casual disregard for laws and court rulings that create a framework of statutory social rights for protecting the vulnerable.
Two most formidable challenges that will engage the peoples and governments of all countries on the planet during the 21st century will be the ways in which they handle inequality and deal with diversity. Historically, India has culturally sanctioned inequalities of gender, caste and class more than any other ancient civilisation.
School textbooks in recent decades have frequently become battlegrounds for ideological contestation in India. Most textbook wars are to advance majoritarian perspectives on history and culture.
The country is both riveted and moved by the extraordinary outpouring of public support, solidarity and goodwill by ordinary people for young IAS officer DK Ravi, found hanging from the ceiling fan in his official apartment.