Why the 377 verdict probably made sense to those who handed it down

Originally published on Firstpost on December 29, 2013.

On December 11, 2013, like many others around the world, I was struck by the news that enjoying bodily intimacy for people of the same biological sex is once again a criminal offence in India, even between consenting adults. This, after the Supreme Court decision that set aside a previous Delhi High Court judgment reading down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The Supreme Court’s reasoning was, for me, the dystopian version of Proust’s madeleine: the bitter bite that took me back to forgotten days as a law student. Read more

Folk Economics are Obscuring the Immigration Debate

Originally published on Shifting Grounds on December 4, 2013.

It’s Saturday morning, and I am flipping through the pages of a tired copy of the Guardian I found on a table. As I skim through it, I end up in the letters section, which today bears the title ‘Difficult decisions on immigration’.  There, I am met with the views of what Nigel Farage would probably dub ‘decent, sensible’ people, grappling with folk economics to justify measures to restrict immigration. Read more


Originally published on Motherland in November 2013. Co-authored with Janice Pariat.

On an evening like many others, we are at my aunt’s home for dinner with the family. It’s a large house in an increasingly wealthy neighbourhood in Shillong, the hill-station capital of Meghalaya. The living room is a shrine to upper-middle-class aspirations. Wood-panelled and warmed by a fire, it’s fitted with plush, upholstered sofas, a Raj-era upright piano from H. Hobbs & Co., souvenirs from trips abroad, as well as bric-a-brac bought from various stalls at the International Shillong Trade Fair that comes to town every year. Read more