Researcher, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi
Angshuman Choudhury is a Researcher at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi. He specialises in issues of terrorism, counterterrorism, localised insurgencies, and peace processes. He is also a freelance journalist, photographer, and filmmaker. Angshuman holds a Masters in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding from Durham University (UK).
We must be careful of how we set the discourse on the Orlando massacre. Very evidently, Omar Mateen wasn't the simple Kalashnikov-toting, vest-wearing Muslim terrorist that most of us are familiar with. While the dominant narrative serves to highlight the proliferating global appeal of the Islamic State's virulent ideology, it not only subdues a vital discussion on Mateen's chequered personal history but also conveniently diverts the popular narrative from the stark reality of the severe discrimination and bigotry that the queer community confronts on an everyday basis.
Indians are watching in great confusion and mild disbelief as two political dramas unfold. A core issue -- that of 'accountability' -- is being deliberately and methodically slow-cooked into tender pieces of public morality for the media and citizenry to relish. First, the Chief Minister of Delhi's insistence on a full public disclosure of the Prime Minister's academic qualifications. Second, the ruling party is perseveringly filibustering Parliament sessions to yell over a major corruption scandal by the Congress. Are these issues really 'political' in nature?