Desperately seeking Shah Rukh – India’s lonely young women

By Basile Boulay

Have you ever heard about Shah Rukh Khan? If you are based in the Indian subcontinent or the Gulf countries, to name just a few, the question may have been the silliest you have heard so far this year. Obviously, you know him. But many of us may still raise our eyebrows at the question. No, never heard of him. To cut a long story short, Shah Rukh Khan is one of the most, if not the most, successful living legend of Bollywood cinema, with a career spanning three decades. In a country where cinema has always performed a very distinctive social role in shaping expectations and values while providing a unique escape from dire realities to many, Shah Rukh’s figure is unique in India.  Continue reading “Desperately seeking Shah Rukh – India’s lonely young women”

State and Development: What Has Changed in India?

By Anthony P. D’Costa

Lately the Indian state under the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP or Indian People’s Party) has attracted a lot of attention. Aside from its divisive, populist Hindu-chauvinist politics, the government under Modi has unleashed an array of programs and projects, ostensibly designed to lead to a “new” united and prosperous India. Alas, the Citizenship Amendment Act, the poorly thought-out demonetization program, and the draconian nationwide lockdown during the corona virus pandemic did not unite India or make it prosperous. Continue reading “State and Development: What Has Changed in India?”

Hidden Hands of the City: How the Pandemic Unveiled the Systematic Neglect of Indian Migrant Workers

By Nitya Rao, Ayesha Pattnaik, Arundhita Bhanjdeo and Nivedita Narain

India’s national lockdown announced on March 24th, 2020 came into force 12 hours later. Within a few days, the big story emerging from across Indian cities was of inter-state migrant workers, stranded in cities without work, money or food. With no public transport, many started walking hundreds of kilometres to their homes. Those who stayed, exhausted their savings and were further sucked into debt. The lockdown drew attention to the invisibility of migrant workers in the policy space, and the systematic neglect of their basic rights: at origin, in transit and at destination. Continue reading “Hidden Hands of the City: How the Pandemic Unveiled the Systematic Neglect of Indian Migrant Workers”