articles by Jyoti Punwani

India

Love jihad and the law: How can marriage be solely for the purpose of conversion?

BJP CMs have declared their intention to enact laws against this practice but the fear of physical harm has failed to deter young women from marrying out of choice

India

Aghast at the Babri Masjid verdict, I apologise to the thousands whose lives were ruined, and bemoan the debasement of an ancient religion, writes Jyoti Punwani

The apology is to the thousands whose lives were ruined by the movement to demolish Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid and build a Ram Mandir at the very spot where it stood

India

Triumphalism of Ayodhya coverage masked pain of India's largest minority, but hope persists that secularism will outlast hate

In the run-up to the grand ceremony, there was no acknowledgement of the destruction of lives of fellow citizens, neither by the constitutional Head of State, nor by the ruling party, nor the Opposition, not even by the media

India

'Take care while making arrests': Delhi Police advisory to riots investigators echoes politics of Hindu privilege

The order has generated much outrage across the country. But for Mumbaikars, the Delhi Police’s 'advice' only evokes a sense of déjà vu.

India

Jayaraj and Fenix killings: Torture, intimidation, encounters are an old Tamil Nadu police tradition

The recent intimidation by the police of a magistrate investigating the custodial killings of Jayaraj and Fenix, brings back memories of similar menacing conduct by the same force

Politics

The home minister's detractors are wrong; Amit Shah was as busy as ever during the lockdown, doing what he does best

Home Minister Amit Shah has been seen on the front page of newspapers after a significant gap of time. He is back to doing what he revels in: campaigning for elections. And he’s doing it in his typical no-holds-barred style. No expenses barred either.

Politics

Prompt arrests in Palghar incident show state govts can always act fast to counter communalism if they want to

From 2015, 45 Muslims have been lynched by mobs, yet neither did any government functionary expressed any concern like they did in the Palghar incident nor did any government felt obliged to immediately arrest the culprits or suspend the policemen who allowed them to be lynched

India

Delhi can learn from Mumbai's violent history: Communal riots follow a classic pattern of provocation, reaction and police inaction

The Delhi riot is following the classic communal riot pattern. First, the Hindutva leaders try to provoke Muslims. Muslims react violently. Then the police descend on the scene, often helping the rioters. At the end of the riot, you have more Muslims killed, more Muslim properties destroyed, and more Muslims arrested than Hindus.

India

In Bulandshahr, the message to families who paid 'damages' for CAA protests is clear: Cough up and you'll face no harassment

The Bulandshahr villagers probably thought giving the money on their own would be a way of avoiding the inconvenience and worse, the ignominy of appearing in court repeatedly to prove that they hadn’t destroyed the property

India

'Thank you, Uddhavji': Exuberance of Mumbai's CAA protest showed why city's Muslims are welcoming of the 'new' Sena

If the BJP creates communal trouble in Mumbai, Muslims know they won’t be at the undependable mercies of the Congress-NCP. The Sena knows how to handle the BJP, they say: lohe ko loha hi kaat sakta hai.

India

Ayodhya verdict: Supreme Court would have done well to revisit Gujarat HC's 'rebuild mosques' order post-2002 violence

The Supreme Court describes the demolition of the Babri Masjid as an "egregious violation of the rule of law". Had it wanted to do justice for those wronged by this crime, it could have done two things: Ensure punishment of those guilty and restore the destroyed place of worship

India

'Unhappy, but resigned': Ayodhya judgment is not 'justice', say Mumbai Sunni leaders; scholars say can't trust a court which favours 'faith over merit'

Unhappy but resigned. That was the mood of three well-known Sunni leaders and Islamic scholars in Mumbai, after the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya land dispute case. The highest court had let them down, they felt.

Politics

Bhima Koregaon Dalits united against BJP, divided over choice in polls; elders back Congress, youth prefer Prakash Ambedkar

Dalit activist Milind Bhawar, who helped many victims file affidavits before the commission, agrees. "Prakash Ambedkar's contribution to the Commission has been zero

Politics

LK Advani led BJP's Hindu nationalism movement in 80s, 90s; espousing diversity today won't erase his past

LK Advani was the driving force behind the BJP's Indian nationalism and Hindutva concepts. Today, when he reminds the party about the BJP's 'respect' for 'diversity' and 'freedom of choice', does he expect them — or us — to believe him?

India

Hindu Mahasabha recreates Mahatma Gandhi's assassination: Is media coverage of such events doing more harm than good?

The media might not have spread the clip on social media, but it was definitely responsible for bringing the mock assassination of Gandhi into millions of homes all through the day.

India

Renaming India's history: Yogi Adityanath's selective obliteration of past surpasses deeds of post-Partition Pakistan

That’s the worldview of Adityanath, who famously declared that the Taj Mahal is not part of his heritage. Or of Raj Thackeray, who in 2009 ordered all shops that had the name 'Karachi' in it to drop it. Leaders like these, and we have a surfeit of them today, are no different from the residents of the new state of Pakistan, who, 71 years ago, couldn’t bear to have in their city, a garden named after “the enemy’s deity.”

Politics

Asaduddin Owaisi demolishes chances of broad anti-BJP alliance in Maharashtra with diatribe against Congress

In his half-hour speech, Asaduddin Owaisi spent far more time lashing out at the Congress than at the ruling party in the state and the Centre.

India

Triple talaq: With SC taking up plea, will Muslim women’s demand be fulfilled?

The current triple talaq case can’t be viewed as a sudden phenomenon of Muslim women rushing to court

India

Haji Ali Dargah case: Bombay HC judgement breaks male appropriation of religion

Once again, the judiciary has stood up for women. The Bombay High Court judgment upholding the right of women devotees to go right up to the sanctum sanctorum of the city’s popular Haji Ali Dargah is a valuable enunciation of fundamental rights of women vis-a-vis the rules laid down by male custodians of religion.