It will get an earlier test, though, with a legal battle that will start in Osaka this week.
Taiki Masuda, a 29-year-old tattoo artist, is going to court Wednesday to fight a $3,000 fine that was imposed on him two years ago when police raided his studio. They relied on a 14-year-old regulation originally intended specifically to regulate cosmetic tattooing, such as creating permanent eyebrows, which stipulated that only licensed health-care providers could do such work.”
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Caste Lives On, And On
Prayaag Akbar | Aeon
“The varna system, ordained in ancient India, has diminished relevance today. More pertinent economically, and socially, is the division between high-castes (the top three groups) and low-castes (Shudras and, after a further cleavage, untouchable communities). Still, whether via Vedic scripture or Dumont, the varna pyramid is what most people think of when considering caste. Importantly, in independent India, in what seems like an act of collective self-deception, this pyramid hierarchy is also popularly seen as containing the limits of caste. Flatten the pyramid, and caste will end. Education, republicanism, industrialization, modernization—each has been portrayed as the agent that will bring about this flattening, finally ridding the Indian subcontinent of caste divisions.
Yet every Indian knows that there is another aspect to caste: jaat, or jati. Jati is the caste identity that every Indian is born with, the multifarious groupings of clans, tribes, communities and religions that comprise Indian society. Each jati is typically associated with a traditional job function, and some jatis are defined by religious variation or linguistic groupings. Jati is not limited to Hindus: Indian Muslims, Sikhs and Christians all hold to age-old sectarian identities, with prescribed rules and customs analogous to jati, within their larger belief system. Indian society is divided into thousands of these endogamous kinship groups, no one is sure how many. The bigger jatis are further subdivided, in accordance with observable differences in custom and rule. A Hindu’s jati prescribes the rules and rituals of life: the foods they can eat, whom they can marry and socially interact with, where and how they pray. When the Portuguese wayfarers ventured inland from the Western coast, it is the numerous social divisions that jati mandates that would have reminded them of casta. Endogamy, chief among them.”
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The Rise and Fall of Erdoganocracy
Burak Kadercan | War on the Rocks
“However, how he achieved his final victory, and the political environment over which he will rule as the ‘one man’ for the foreseeable future, suggests that Erdogan’s grip on power will be increasingly shaky. In order to ‘win,’ Erdogan pushed his hand too hard, contributing to the long-term structural challenges Turkey faced way before his time. Good or bad, Erdogan broke the ‘old’ Turkey to build a new one in his image. The problem is that he probably broke it a little too much. Rebuilding a stable and strong ‘new’ Turkey out of the broken, or even shattered, pieces will prove to be an overwhelming task, even for a skillful Machiavellian like Erdogan. His final victory will haunt him and his regime in the long run. Ironically, his own victory may eventually defeat Erdogan.”