What’s Next for Indians Living Under Modi?

Modi’s individual popularity had seen a surge despite declining support for his lawmakers and policies. His ‘earthliness’, a carefully crafted image that contrasts with the elite, English-speaking opposition in the centre-left Congress Party, continued to make him a favourite of the aspiring middle classes, who identify with his rags-to-riches story to the extent that it managed to overshadow glaring unemployment figures (the highest in 45 years) and a spiralling farming crisis, which brought thousands of farmers onto the streets in protest last year.

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#MeToo in India: Speaking up against non-sexual harassment should be the next logical step for the movement

My mother, one of India’s first women cops, often tells me, “You are lucky. Things were harder when we were young.”

I am not sure if I am lucky at all. At best, I find myself hanging in the middle of nowhere. My mother’s generation at least had the hope of a change. And I am supposed to be the change. But am I?

So much has changed in India since my mother stepped out to work. But two things have remained unchanged — women’s lives and empowerment, and how the men control it.

In her time, it was controlled by her male relatives. In my time, it’s controlled by random males. 

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The Poet Has Left the Room

Bhattacharya’s most iconic poem, written in Bengali, “This Valley of Death is Not Mine,” is a chilling reminder of the way cycles of democracy, interspersed with periods of absolute fascism, both feed off each other. He knew fascism would raise its ugly head in his country again. He was absolutely certain. The poem—written in early 1990s— reverberates with echoes of this new India. No other poem has been or would be able to capture the helplessness and anger of seeing our country slip into the hands of traders of hate.

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School Has Been a Right for Girls in India Since 2009. So Why Aren’t They Going?

“My brother and sister are very small. My grandmother is old and ill. If I don’t help my mother, she will not be able to manage especially during harvest season when she goes to the fields at 4 am to help my father,” Neha tells me.

It will be a decade in August since the Indian Parliament passed the Act. In 2010, when the act was implemented, TIME asked: “School is a Right, But Will Indian Girls Be Able to Go?” The skepticism was hidden in the question. The skepticism is now a fact, backed by statistics.

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Will downtrodden farmers decide Modi’s fate?

On the outskirts of the village of Deora, in the drought-affected Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state with a population of over 200 million, lies a large excavation, covered with drying, overgrown vegetation.

‘This is a pond. Can you see any water? This was dug to benefit us during droughts. But it has been dry for over three years now. No one really cares. We have complained enough. Not a single engineer has come to check this out,’ says Chiranjilal, a local farmer. ‘There’s no future for farmers in this country.’

The 72-year-old says his entire family has migrated to Delhi in search of better livelihoods. But he stayed back.

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