Dr. Soundarya Chidambaram
Postdoctoral scholar at Johns Hopkins University
I am a visiting postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. I specialise in comparative politics and political economy with a regional focus on India. I am currently in India on a Senior Research Fellowship 2014-15 from the American Institute of Indian Studies to pursue ethnographic research on my new project titled “Can the Urban Poor speak? The role of Community-based Organisations in institutionalising citizen participation in urban slums”. My PhD dissertation titled "Welfare, Patronage, and the Rise of Hindu Nationalism in India's Urban Slums" received the Henry R. Spencer Award for Best Dissertation 2011-12, awarded by the Political Science Department at Ohio State University. In my spare time I like training to run a 5K, making green smoothies that taste better than they look, and gently steering my husband away from watching bad movies on Friday night.
What really has people all riled up is the ad's emphasis on freedom concerning sexual choices, and what is being seen as a blatant, morally corrupt promotion of adultery and promiscuity. Let's get to the biggest objection first. The brouhaha is over whether Deepika Padukone thinks it is all right for women to cheat on their husbands.
Populist promises such as free wi-fi and CCTVs might have made for catchy campaign slogans, but these mean little to the weary urban poor electorate in Delhi that has consistently experienced only neglect and misgovernance. The AAP's election manifesto certainly set the bar high, but Delhi is a hard city to govern. It is a confusing maze of local municipal bodies, state-level departments and autonomous agencies.
11/02/2015 8:51 AM IST
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