articles by Ajaz Ashraf

Politics

Congress' decision to go solo in upcoming Assembly polls will help party ascertain its position, size up likely allies for 2019

Congress did not concede to Mayawati’s demands because it would have conveyed the impression that it lacks the confidence to win on its own in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh even with the BJP encumbered by 15 years of anti-incumbency

India

Gujarat migrant exodus: Alpesh Thakor fishing in troubled waters stirred by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani

The violent targetting of migrant labours from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in Gujarat is illustrative of the inimical trend in Indian politics to construct the outsider. Rupani's legislative proposal is a spurious attempt at allaying the unfounded fears of Gujaratis that outsiders are depriving them of their jobs. Yet it subtly serves the purpose of constructing the outsider as Gujarat's bane.

India

Gandhi Jayanti: As nation prepares to mark 150 years of the Mahatma, let's not forget his darkest hour

Gandhi's zest for life began to ebb in the weeks following his arrival in Delhi on 9 September, 1947 from Calcutta. Delhi was a shock to him.

India

Teen Murti Bhavan row: Manmohan has good reason to suspect Modi govt's revisionist agenda for Nehru Memorial

Given Nehru’s contribution to the freedom movement, his erudition and engagement with history, it was only befitting that on his death the Teen Murti complex should have been turned into a museum. It was also decided to build on its campus a library, a go-to resource centre for anyone researching modern Indian history.

long-reads

Life after death: What drives the decision to donate one's body for the benefit of science?

Cremation and burial scarcely ever involve a human choice. By contrast, a person wishing to donate his or her body to a medical college has to make that choice in their lifetime.

India

Independence Day 2018 celebrations: What does 15 August mean for Hindu radicals?

On India's 72nd Independence Day, the only section of people who seem independent are the radical Hindu groups: They recognise no authority, bristle at the control imposed on them and feel they have no obligation to others

Politics

No-confidence motion: In rousing Parliament speech, Rahul Gandhi has won perception battle for Rahul Gandhi

If Rahul Gandhi has managed an image makeover for himself, it was not just because of theatrics or fluency of speech or hurling of allegations.

Politics

Going by BJP's attack on Rahul Gandhi for Muslim remark, we're in for divisive, vicious 2019 poll campaign

Nirmala Sitharaman accused Rahul Gandhi of playing the religion card for the 2019 elections, while Prakash Javadekar blamed Congress for Partition. And it's like to get worse

World

Irony of fast food at FIFA World Cup: McDonald's sponsors Player Mascots to promote healthy living, but what about trans fats?

Eat, play and be healthy — that's the message McDonald's wants to convey. And therein lies the irony. Around the world, for nearly two decades, medical and dietary experts have flagged fast-food for its inimical impact on health.

India

Emergency anniversary: Support from a servile middle class allows authoritarian regimes to take hold of India

The 43rd anniversary of the imposition of the Emergency has spawned two parallel narratives, both suffering from the drawback of exclusively linking the authoritarian tendency in India to the personality of the prime minister helming the nation at a point of time.

Politics

CMs back Arvind Kejriwal against L-G: Fears of risk to federalism from BJP unite Opposition sans Congress

HD Kumaraswany's move to back AAP was surprising as the Congress — its ally in Karnataka — does not support the party's demands in Delhi.

Politics

Rallying behind Arvind Kejriwal's Delhi government is Congress' chance to show it cares for federalism

To persuade the people of their intent, the disparate Opposition parties, wishing to unite on a common platform, should rally behind Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government in its bruising battle against the Lieutenant Governor, who’s the Centre's representative in the city-state.

India

At RSS HQ in Nagpur, Pranab Mukherjee played it safe with speech, barely ventured beyond philosophical cliches

Former president Pranab Mukherjee's speech at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh headquarters in Nagpur has been resoundingly applauded largely because we either do not read history or are forgetful of it

Politics

Kairana bypoll results 2018: Coming together of Jats and Muslims suggests communalism can only be pushed so far

With jats voting with Muslims for RLD's Tabassum Hasan, the Kairana by election results marks a substantial pushback against the everyday communalism in Uttar Pradesh

Politics

Congress debacle in Karnataka polls 2018: Rahul Gandhi should remember imitating Narendra Modi won't help him defeat BJP

Karnataka Assembly election results have been of little relief to the Congress. It has neither provided it the opportunity to create a new narrative nor given a victory to its president, Rahul Gandhi, that he could cite it as a shining example of his leadership qualities.

Politics

RLD gives Tabassum Hasan ticket for Kairana LS bypolls: How Muslim-Jat equations may evolve ahead of 2019

The emerging anti-BJP front has fielded a Muslim, Tabassum Hasan, in the by-election to the Kairana Lok Sabha constituency

Politics

Manohar Lal Khattar's namaz remark shows majoritarianism going beserk, must be opposed by all right-thinking folks

Manohar Lal Khattar doesn’t know that the Friday prayer is to be performed in a congregation, no doubt to build a sense of community that, theoretically, recognises equality of all.

India

BR Ambedkar feels more relevant to most Indians than MK Gandhi, as response to leaders' birth anniversaries shows

Public response to their birth anniversaries on 14 April and 2 October shows Ambedkar today influences the hearts, and thoughts, and actions, of far more Indians than Gandhi does

Politics

Ram Vilas Paswan and his five-year-itch: Ahead of 2019, India's most reliable weathervane could prove tricky for BJP

Not for nothing then, Paswan is touted as India's most reliable weathervane, for the alliance which he joins almost always emerges as the winner.

India

Dalits will not bite BJP's outreach bait: Inter-dining was a powerful trope decades ago, they've seen through it

Narendra Modi's measures to woo Dalits infantilise them. He presumes Dalits are still stuck in the past and will feel assured and charmed at having a BJP leader spend a night or two in their village and break bread with them