An election in Matsura


By Shivam Vij for The Caravan, 1 August 2010

It’s early February in Matsura Gram Panchayat in Rajasthan’s Dholpur district. The Matsura Panchayat, a collection of 11 rural settlements, is holding a historic election. Its 2,700 voters are about to elect their sarpanch. Panchayat sarpanches, in a few states also called panchayat presidents, are the leaders of the smallest administrative units of the decentralised democracy. Continue reading “An election in Matsura”

The dubious arguments for India’s ban on gay sex

For The New Yorker’s News Desk blog, 15 December 2013

When the Supreme Court of India ruled on Wednesday that it would reverse the decision of a lower court and uphold the constitutionality of a law that effectively criminalizes homosexuality, there was widespread shock. Most observers had assumed that the justices would endorse an earlier ruling of the Delhi High Court that had determined, in 2009, that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code—which proscribes “unnatural offenses”—did not apply to sexual relations between consenting adults. But a look back at the arguments presented in the case, which took place last year, makes it clear that upholding the law was, in fact, the likely verdict. Continue reading “The dubious arguments for India’s ban on gay sex”