Category Archives: View from Abroad

Victory in Delhi

Badri Raina

guest-contributorThe performance of the  Aam  Aadmi Party  in  the  just concluded  Assembly elections in the Capital  city of India has been, however you look at it, a phenomenal event, and very likely a watershed departure in the political culture of Indian democracy.  Indeed, India’s Left parties must wonder at the circumstance that where they have failed election after election to make a dent in Delhi’s  hitherto customary two-party political structure, a fledgling new force should have out of nowhere succeeded with the aplomb it has the very first time it chose to wet its feet.

This for the reason that  the credibility of its appeal did not remain limited to the yuppie sections of metropolitan society but, indeed, penetrated to sections of the hoi polloi who have traditionally belonged to a habitual Congress party vote-bank.   In that sense, pundits who had imagined that the campaign of the AAP would not cut across classes have been proved wrong.  One reason why Narendra Modi’s trumpeted interventions in Delhi fell equally flat—notice that the vote-share of the BJP, instead of sky-rocketing owing to the Modi infusion, has actually gone down to its lowest ever in the Capital—has been that many falanges of the petty bourgeois class, for example, auto drivers, switched to  the Kejriwal persona that seemed palpably more intimate   and more  quotidian in its temperament and quality of touch. Continue reading

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Against their will

By Zubeida Mustafa

The ugly tradition of protecting honour by killing and violating women is not limited to Pakistan. Girls from Pakistan living in the UK have been forced into marriages with cousins back home to protect honour, writes Zubeida Mustafa

Five years ago 19-year-old Rukhsana Naz was strangled to death by her brother while her mother held her down by her feet. This happened in Britain, the country Naz’s parents had migrated to from Pakistan and where she had been born and bred. The murdered girl’s crime? She had “shamed her family.” First she had refused to stay in marriage to the man in Pakistan whom she had been wedded to when she was 16. Second, she had decided to return to the man she loved.
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