Thursday, April 23, 2009

Links ...

  1. Mukul Kesavan takes on the silly notion that "the current Lok Sabha elections are best seen as the aggregate of two dozen and more provincial elections." A parochial election?:

    If the turnout of voters doesn’t drop in Maoist areas, that can be counted as a victory for electoral democracy. If state-sponsored vigilantism in the shape of the Salwa Judum, invented by the Congress and embraced by the BJP, finds endorsement in these elections and encourages these parties to fight insurgencies elsewhere with paid vigilantes, the idea of the rule of law will have suffered a massive defeat. If Telangana votes for politicians committed to the separation of that region from Andhra Pradesh, we might learn something about the validity of language as the basis of political identity.

    To imagine that these are local or provincial issues is silly. ...

  2. Prithviraj Datta, a doctoral candidate in political theory at Harvard, argues against allowing expat Indians to vote in Indian elections.

    ... the political needs of the resident are very distinct from those of the expat. Residents, quite obviously, are subject entirely to the demands and the authority of the Indian State. Their political grievances can only be redressed by the Indian State, through its various forms and agencies. To them, therefore, the vote is an essential means of ensuring that their views are heard, their interests represented.

    This is not true of expats, however. Their daily lives are not mediated to the same degree by the Indian State. The sources of their most immediate political grievances are likely not to lie within the Indian State, but rather in the countries in which they reside as foreign nationals. To allow expats to vote as members of the constituencies to which they belonged while they were in India thus does violence to the notion of local representation.

  3. 3 Quarks Daily features a Meena Kandasamy poem, "Reverence: Nuisance"

  4. George Scialabba: Justice: A Syllabus.

  5. Now that we live in the age of Google Profile Results, how can you manage your reputation online? I like one of the suggested methods: "Ms. Allison also changed her last name, which is another way to clean your Web footprint as is using a middle initial." [Link via Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam]

  6. Miracle at Louisville: PhD degree in one semester.