When gossip and rumour surround the appointment of judges

By KRISHN KAUSHIK | 24 July 2014
The corridors of the Supreme Court in central Delhi are possibly thicker with gossip than those of any other institution in the capital. This gossip usually springs from information exchanged between judges and senior lawyers, often furtively, and not always on the court premises. Information then trickles down to juniors, the clerks of these judges and lawyers, and, finally, to journalists, and the stray dogs outside the compound.

The problem with Narendra Modi’s overtures to China

By Debasish Roy Chowdhury | 23 July 2014
In his meeting with Xi Jinping in Brazil on the sidelines of the BRICS summit, Narendra Modi last week impressed on the Chinese president the need to “amicably resolve the boundary question.” Yet only the week before, Arun Jaitley had ruled out declassifying the Henderson Brooks-Bhagat Report (HBBR) on the 1962 war, the memories of which still plague our relations with our giant neighbour. It is difficult to see how the prime minister’s stated end game is compatible with the defence minister’s resistance to talk about the past.

Why even right-wing intellectuals should be concerned about the Sangh’s influence

By HARTOSH SINGH BAL | 21 July 2014
A recent report on Hindu nationalism in the United States included information on the expansion of the Sangh Parivar’s Ekal Vidyalaya network of schools in India. The report generated the kind of activity that has become usual on Twitter, with many questioning its claim that the schools were indoctrinating children into the ways of Hindutva, and many insisting that there was little basis for alarm about their spread.

Why sex determination tests in athletics are flawed

By RAKESH KALSHIAN | 18 July 2014
On 27 June this year, an 18-year-old sprinter was subjected to a test to determine the level of androgens—masculinising hormones that include testosterone—in her body. On 16 July, the Sports Authority of India announced that they had barred her from competing as a woman. SAI’s press release on the issue stated that “Preliminary investigations indicate that the athlete is not fit for participation in a female event due to female hyperandrogenism.”

The accusations against the BJP’s new president

By POORNIMA JOSHI | 9 July 2014
Two months after steering the BJP to a colossal electoral victory in Uttar Pradesh—key to their majority in the Lok Sabha—Narendra Modi’s close confidante, Amit Shah, was appointed BJP president today, succeeding Rajnath Singh who held the post for the past two years. Shah’s career has always been closely linked to that of Modi’s, though he largely worked in the shadows while Modi grew increasingly prominent. His appointment as BJP president suggests that Modi, through Shah, now controls both the government and the party they belong to.

When the Palestinian football team fought for a place in the 2014 World Cup

By James Montague | 9 July 2014
On 3 July 2011, the Palestinian football team played Afghanistan in the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium in the West Bank. It was their first ever World Cup qualification match on home soil and was watched by a “raucous 10,000-strong crowd,” as the writer James Montague, who was present, notes in his book Thirty One Nil—On the Road with Football’s Outsiders. The match was both about pride and about politics: as Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association, told Montague, “I think having a home pitch recognised by FIFA is proof that statehood is possible.” In this extract, Montague relives the match, and the fleeting World Cup aspirations of the Palestinian team, and other teams from strife-torn nations.
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