Minding Their Business: The unfinished battle for sex workers’ rights | The Caravan
“There were breathtaking signs in that heady era, when India was celebrating 50 years of independence and a new millennium shone ahead, that a revolution was underway for the country’s sex workers.”

The seditious blood trail, Delhi to Bastar | The Asian Age
“The addiction of the Narendra Modi government — and its thuggish sympathisers amongst lawyers and police — to vilifying, beating and labelling their opponents as “seditionists” is nakedly on display in New Delhi these days.”

Unfree, unjust India | The Asian Age
“Our political class…has conspired as one to corrupt the criminal justice system into a system of oppression.”

Why does India still punish adults for their choice of desire and love? | The Times of India
“Add to this the indisputable fact that young Indians want freedom of every kind, from the prosaic to the profound — whether it is the freedom to dress sexily, to watch porn, to have full sexual lives, to marry whomever they want — and there is reason for hope.”

Going against the tide of history | The Hindu
“Had the Supreme Court’s ruling reinstating Section 377 been delivered in 1986, the year I moved back to India after completing graduate studies in the United States, I would not have been surprised at all.”

Sex can be work | Asian Age
“The irresponsible fiction that Indian sex workers are hapless dupes of traffickers who need to be rescued has gripped many quarters.

War on drugs | Asian Age
“It is no wonder that Mr Annan writes despairingly, “I believe that drugs have destroyed many lives, but wrong government policies have destroyed many more.”

AIDS Sutra – Sutras on AIDS in India | The Lancet
In this anthology, 16 noted Indian writers turn their skills to shedding light on India’s AIDS epidemic.

A chance to fix the fight against Aids | Guardian Unlimited
To improve prevention, HIV/Aids organisations must roll back George Bush’s demonising of sex workers and drug users.

Lessons from a poor little VIP constituency | The Indian Express
Rural India is in crisis because its needs have been grossly neglected by government after government, writes Siddharth Dube.

The poor little VVIP constituencies | The Indian Express
If all that has been attempted in Amethi and even Andipatti is not enough, what more is needed to ensure progress in reducing poverty and other deprivations across rural India, asks Siddharth Dube.

Incredible India – The dark reality | International Herald Tribune
The government’s latest survey of living standards reports that the number of extremely poor Indians, those chronically unable to consume even the minimum calories needed for full functioning, is an astonishing 301 million, just 19 million less than in 1983. At this rate, it would take India 300 years to lift all its people out of even the most extreme levels of poverty.

Exploiting Poverty; Bleak Forecast for India | The Times of India
INDIA will enter the next millennium with the largest mass of deeply impoverished people of any country, some 350-500 million persons. This is an extraordinary human tragedy given the scale, intensity and life-long length of their suffering. But even more tragic is the certainty that a half-century or even a century later, India will still remain the land of mass poverty.

India’s Tragic Destiny |The Washington Post
Jawaharlal Nehru once hauntingly described India’s poor as “this naked, hungry mass.” Despite a half-century of democracy, steady economic growth and constitutional commitment to welfare goals, India’s poor are still naked and hungry.

Bringing UNAids to book | Guardian Unlimited
All in all, a UN programme – whose raison d’etre should have been to be a watchdog holding all actors to the highest standards of what works against Aids – has failed to safeguard the interests, or to demonstrably put forward the felt needs and demands of those populations being most severely devastated by this pandemic.

Sex work is no crime | The Times of India
At a conceptual level, the issue is this: why should any consensual sexual activity between adults — heterosexual, same sex, in exchange for money, within marriage or outside of it — be viewed within a criminal framework at all? The keywords here are ‘consent’ and ‘adult’.

The Global Challenge of HIV/AIDS | Before the US Congressional Human Rights Caucus
A Critical Analysis of the Emerging Threats from the Spread of HIV/AIDS in China, India and Russia and an Update on the African Pandemic.

Fact and fiction about AIDS | The Hindu
AIDS now kills about three lakh Indian adults each year. This is roughly 15 times the number of people killed in the Gujarat earthquake. And in the past 15 years, since HIV first surfaced in India, some 20 lakh to 25 lakh Indians have died of AIDS, that’s a 100 or more Gujarat earthquakes.

A nation in denial | Indian Express
The official view is that we are a uniquely moral society, literally that Indians don’t have sex. Virtually every Indian political leader, bureaucrat and opinion-maker whom I have interviewed or talked to about HIV/AIDS has asserted this as an unquestionable truth.

India’s AIDS Explosion | The Washington Post
Despite a decade of record economic growth in India, poverty and tragedy remain as commonplace as ever. A mounting HIV-AIDS epidemic is increasingly to blame. More than 2 million adults have died of AIDS, overwhelmingly in the country’s most dynamic states.