Intolerance insurance

Markets in everything* If the Indian government is failing to clamp down on competitive intolerance, the film and insurance industries have devised their own solution: Politics and public sentiment, Bollywood has learned the hard way, can wind it at the box-office. With community protest increasingly becoming part of the noise accompanying a film release, the … Continue reading “Intolerance insurance”

My op-ed in Mail Today: Free speech checks intolerance

Mr Thackeray’s actions are an opportunity to understand how competitive intolerance might be defeated Excerpts from my op-ed piece in today’s Mail Today: The state itself —and increasingly under the UPA government — has, in addition to caving in to intolerance, frequently indulged in unnecessary conscience-keeping that is at once laughable and abominable. Raj Thackeray … Continue reading “My op-ed in Mail Today: Free speech checks intolerance”

My op-ed in Mint : Entitlement, Intolerance & Violence

Three beasts that the political class rides—and would do well to get off My op-ed in Mint today points out the damage that the entitlement economy, competitive intolerance and returns to violence are causing. It draws on some of the earlier posts on this blog on the subject. Excerpts: The political exploitation of ethnic, caste … Continue reading “My op-ed in Mint : Entitlement, Intolerance & Violence”

The empowerment of intolerance

The laws that impinge on fundamental rights are also those that empower the intolerant N R Narayana Murthy has done a lot more for the nation and the people than many of the vociferous politicians who called for him to be expelled from Karnataka state for his remarks on the national anthem. Sachin Tendulkar did … Continue reading “The empowerment of intolerance”

Three thoughts for the Republic

On standing to reason, avoiding more moral panic and guarding against coercive majoritarianism For quiet contemplation on Republic Day: Our Republic is founded on Reason Of course, government and citizens must uphold the Constitution and live by its lights. That said, every law, every statute and every clause is and ought to be subject to … Continue reading “Three thoughts for the Republic”

On coercive majoritarianism

Why it is not about mere “intolerance” Some of the most important issues in Indian political discourse are confused by wrong language: we either misuse certain terms or just frame the issues in inappropriate words. Secularism and communalism are instances of the former. The contemporary debate over “intolerance” is an example of the latter. Acts … Continue reading “On coercive majoritarianism”

Three thoughts on Independence Day

On society, its attitudes and a mantra for improvement For quiet contemplation on Independence Day: – Why Tagore said India’s problem is not spiritual, but social: It is our disorganized society which prevents our ideas and activities from being broad, the narrower self from being merged into or sacrificed for the sake of the greater—and … Continue reading “Three thoughts on Independence Day”

On free speech and national security

Blocks, bans and censorship no longer work This is the unedited draft of my guest column in this week’s India Today. Let us not underestimate the importance and the challenge of maintaining public safety and national security in a diverse, heterogenous society undergoing rapid change. Over the last three decades, riding furiously on the politics … Continue reading “On free speech and national security”