In River of Life, River of Death, Victor Mallet largely interrogates the core question as to why devout Indians, who revere the Ganga, are so comfortable with the river’s terrible pollution.
Omair Ahmad is Books Editor at The Wire. His last novel, Jimmy the Terrorist, was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and won the Crossword Award. His last book was a political history of Bhutan and the eastern Himalayan region. He is concurrently the Managing Editor, South Asia, at The Third Pole. You can find him on twitter at @omairtahmad.
Visibility has plummeted, a health emergency has been declared, schools shut down and various regional level governments are quarrelling with each other.
Tamil author and scholar Perumal Murugan talks about the importance of translations, the role of Sahitya Akademi and his return to writing in a conversation with The Wire’s books editor Omair Ahmad.
‘The Year of the Hawks’, Kanwaljit Deol’s telling of 1980s Punjab, brings out the dynamics of the state and power very well.
The idea of individual liberty has barely had a look in among the various “solutions” we have been sold as freedom.
In All the worlds between, an enaction of a collaboration between sets of Indian and Irish poets results in an interplay of themes that we may have never considered we shared.
Without understanding the context of words such as Wahhabi, Salafi and Takfiri, reportage on Islamic militancy may obscure more than it reveals.
If we are to find our way out of the dystopia we inhabit, we must look to other imaginings. Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World have drawn for us only a canvas of despair.
Indian historical fiction comes into its own with Devi Yesodharan’s Empire, a gripping novel of war, intrigue and adventure set in the 11th century Chola empire.
In conversation with Priyanka Pathak-Narain, the author of ‘Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev’, about Ramdev’s rags-to-riches story, the recent injunction on her book and more.
In conversation with Priyanka Pathak-Narain about her research into the rise of Ramdev, India’s surprising godman-tycoon.
‘India Dissents’, edited by Ashok Vajpeyi, leaves you with thoughts that make you understand the value of Indian citizenship.
Today, as two Asian powers face off with Bhutan at the centre of this delicate situation, the outcome will show whether the Asian century has a chance to be a peaceful one, or whether it will replay the violence of the colonial period.
Freny Manecksha’s Behold, I Shine: Narratives of Kashmir’s Women and Children brings women and their challenges to the front and centre, bringing the reader into the very home of Kashmiris.
India has a paltry water transportation system due to practical and policy difficulties, but trade with Bangladesh may open up avenues.
As India’s economy continues to grow without the adequate number of jobs in the formal sector, the state of exclusion that the vast majority of the country lives in is unlikely to ease.
Unable to answer questions about why children knew the names of lord Ram’s brothers and Jesus’s mother but not the Prophet’s mother, Anita Nair decided to try and learn – and tell – such tales in her new book Muezza and Baby Jaan.
In conversation with Kallol Bhattacherjee on what distinguishes present-day Afghanistan from the 1980s, how India compares to China on engagement with the US on Afghanistan-Pakistan and more.
The success of the new Wonder Woman film, based on an iconic feminist character, only highlights how few strong women roles existed in fantasy literature of the past, although this is fast changing.
The repression and rigging of 1987 proved to many Kashmiris that the freedoms promised to them under the Indian constitution would be violated, not defended. Till today, 1987 continues to repeat itself.
“I will write in the same way in which I lived through all of this: carrying myself with enormous, infinite grace.”
In conversation with philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo on his new book, the process of ‘decivilisation’ and where we go from here.
In conversation with The Wire, Dhirendra Jha talks about his book Shadow Armies: Fringe Organisations and Foot Soldiers of Hindutva.
In conversation with Anirudh Krishna, whose research has focused on poor communities and individuals in developing countries.
As scientists prepare for IPCC’s sixth assessment report, they want more systematic information on the Himalayas and the rivers that flow down from there.
Today, it is hard to see India standing up for any values at all. The reasons, as Menon wrote so perceptively in his essay on Sri Lanka, have to do with “internal politics”.
Prakash Kashwan’s Democracy in the Woods: Environmental Conservation and Social Justice in India, Tanzania, and Mexico shows, choosing between land rights of the peasants and forest dwellers and environmental sustainability is a false choice.
If religious belief is not malleable to reason, then there can be no rational discussion between, or about, religious stories, because you cannot communicate unless you become the other.
Vappala Balachandran speaks to The Wire about his book ‘A Life in Shadow: The Secret Story of ACN Nambiar’.
Water sharing between India and Pakistan was less about economics or ecology but far more about politics, argues the author of ‘Indus Divided: India, Pakistan and the River Basin Dispute’.
Based out of Tromso in Norway, Vikram Goel has been travelling to Antarctica to study glaciers, which may have lessons for the Himalayas.
Like Weber before him, Shadi Hamid attributes more importance to religious denomination than material conditions as a factor for liberalism and democracy in ‘Islamic Exceptionalism’.
‘The Story of Secularism’ is a great introduction to a complex topic and a good way for young readers to start thinking about a difficult subject.
In conversation with Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger, on liberal democracy, fascism, faith and where to find hope in such times.
In ‘Political Tolerance in the Global South: Images of India, Pakistan and Uganda’, Sten Widmalm has provided much-needed and rarely available data on how people view the political “other”.
Two RSS ideologues, who have no works of literature to their name, are set to take the stage at the Jaipur Literature Festival. But why is no one speaking up against it?
As 2016 draws to an end, we do not truly understand why people believe what it is that they believe, but the stories that they tell themselves give meaning to their lives, and they will not let them go lightly.
As the World Bank announces a pause in its two concurrent processes of dispute resolution, India sees it as a success, while the Pakistan government has not reacted officially
Kendzior’s collected essays, ‘The View From Flyover Country’, condemns a system so blind to its own faults that it punishes people as “failures” for playing in a game that is rigged against them.
A book on Israel’s success in water management deliberately ignores the brutal military reality of water conquest, while another by a Palestinian journalist during the Israeli Operation Protective Edge in 2014, can only see the harm