OP-EDS

Triple talaq: Goodbye and good riddance
September 06, 2017 , , ,

  As usual, India′s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his opinion known on Twitter: the Supreme Court's decision was "historic", granting equality to Muslim women and sending a powerful message for their empowerment. In an eagerly awaited ruling, the Supreme Court found that the widespread practice among India's Muslims of "triple talaq" (talaq-e-biddat) violates the constitution....

Continue reading →

India: The Perils of Digital Transformation
May 22, 2017 , , ,

For India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 2017 began with a disappointment: Both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank corrected their economic outlook for India – in one case from projected 7.6% of GDP growth to 6.6%, in the other from 7.6% to 7%. The institutes justified the downgrades with the aftershocks of demonetization. Prime Minister Modi’s surprise de...

Continue reading →

India’s Noxious Cow Politics
April 24, 2017 , , , ,

In early April, a mob lynched 55-year-old dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. A video of the crime went viral and fanned an emotional political debate. The killing of Mr. Khan is the sixth fatality since 2015 of a Muslim man subjected to such vigilante “justice.” Cow vigilantism, as assaults against those dealing commercially with the animals are cal...

Continue reading →

How India Copes with Demonetization
November 28, 2016 , , , ,

The assessments could hardly be more divergent. One side says India’s currency reform is a stroke of genius. It is a surgical strike by Narendra Modi which dries out the morass of the black economy overnight. Noble intentions perhaps For the opponents of this reform measure, the sudden invalidation of huge amounts of paper money is a source of pain and misery. It is also a threat to economic g...

Continue reading →

Trouncing Triple Talaq
October 12, 2016 , , , , , , ,

The message is clear: The Indian government is calling on the Supreme Court to declare the practice of "divorce by repudiation" – known as talaq – and polygamy unconstitutional. This landmark decision on a central issue relating to the family law of the Muslim minority brings a dispute that has been simmering for decades, indeed since the founding of the Republic, to a crucial turning p...

Continue reading →

India’s Smart Cities: A Vision Without Base
September 15, 2016 , , , ,

For reasons of protocol, John Kerry likes to be on time. During his recent visit to India, the U.S. Secretary of State had to apologize for being late more than once. Heavy monsoon rains had flooded the roads. The autocade of the American VIP also got stuck in massive traffic jams. “I don’t know how you all got here…by boats or amphibious vehicles?” Kerry asked his hosts jokingly ...

Continue reading →

Pakistan’s Shrinking Liberal Minority
June 06, 2016 , , , , , ,

I just got back to New Delhi from a week-long visit to Pakistan. Going from India to Pakistan, for me, is always an adventure. In this commentary, however, I will not talk about the intricacies of Indo-Pakistan relations. This is about my encounters with Pakistani liberals and those professing to be liberals – and my perspectives on liberalism in the strategically located (and predomina...

Continue reading →

India and the Threat of Islamist Terrorism
January 24, 2016 , , , , ,

Hardly a day passes without a new “Islamist” terror attack somewhere in the world. The violence has long since metastasized from its original Near Eastern flash points to Western urban centers. The terrorists’ targets lie in Europe, Africa and also Asia, as the recent attack in Indonesia shows. India, too, has experienced a rising fear of terrorism, although the perception of an imminent...

Continue reading →

Why India Needs More Freedom
December 06, 2015 , , , ,

The hot-button word of Indian politics these days is tolerance. For weeks, the controversy about the state of tolerance in the nation has dominated public debates. There is a clash between two narratives, with few moderating voices. The dispute is highly ideological and also partisan. One camp, call them the apologists, downplays the acts of violence against members of minorities. They are typi...

Continue reading →

India’s Political Climate Is Getting Tenser
November 03, 2015 , , , ,

To what degree are tolerance and freedom of expression in India endangered? Not a day passes without reports in newspapers about protests of concerned Indians who worry about the state of human rights and the secular order in the world’s biggest democracy. At the forefront of the protest movement are members of the country’s vast intellectual elite. Anxiety about a sneaking erosion of...

Continue reading →