In my current pre-occupations with the depressing state of world affairs, the arrival of a book, Firaq Gorakhpuri: The Poet of Pain and Ecstasy, for review, provided relief. The author, Ajai Mansingh claims to be a relative of Firaq. This intrigued me. Raghupati Sahai ‘Firaq’, was a straightforward […]
Indian scholars tend to brush over Gandhi’s racist attitudes and ignore the resistance of the Africans to white settlers in South Africa
This year’s Man Booker shortlist, just announced, features two Britons, two Americans, one Jamaican and a Nigerian (four men and two women) and has been applauded for its diversity. Some of those considered frontrunners – such as Pulitzer winner Marilynne Robinson and former winner Anne Enright – were overtaken […]
In her first foray into translation, Justice Prabha Sridevan has brought R. Chudamani’s ordinary heroines to an English-speaking audience.
What is the RSS’s idea of “Indian culture” and when did Hinduism and its diverse and fluid iterations fructify into “Hindutva”? Akshaya Mukul’s book on the Gita Press provides some important answers.
Seema Alavi’s book is a potent antidote to the widespread but ill-informed media narrative about Muslim resistance to forces of modernity and globalisation.
Anand Ranganathan is frank about the devastating effects of counter-insurgency operations on the lives and homes of the people whom the army was meant to be protecting.
Who and what are marriage and sex for? Whose practices and which ways of talking to god can count as religion?
In this review essay, timed for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Tibetan Autonomous Region on September 1, 1965, Manoj Joshi looks at the recent history of Tibet and China, and the role India and US played from the sidelines
Harsh Mander’s new book is a compelling and readable work that exposes the rigid inequalities of New India
Cruelty, his most famous work, Tamas tells us, is not an extraordinary emotion. It comes naturally to us. That is why humanity needs to always be on its toes, on eternal alert.
Born on August 15, 1915, the author, scriptwriter and non-conformist continues to confound us a century later
Nico Slate provides a fascinating analysis of the Calcutta-born Cedric Dover, an early theorist of race and race relations
Avirook Sen’s book handily hollows out the reader’s confidence in the state’s fact-finding in the murder case. Sadly, it offers little of substance to take its place.
While many may associate the tactic of the hunger strike with the “nonviolent” resistance of Gandhi, most hunger strikers considered their fasting to be just as violent as guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings
The authors of a new book stick their necks out and list the 50 best classic songs of Hindi cinema.
American and Soviet negotiators sat down in New York in January 1963 to hash out a nuclear test ban treaty in secret. Months after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the superpowers needed to reassert their flagging leadership. They billed a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty (CTBT) as a means […]
Kashmir’s first-ever graphic novelist talks about his book and what life was like in the state in the troubled 1990s
New Delhi: The formal release on Friday of Modi’s World: Expanding India’s Sphere of Influence, the new book by strategic affairs analyst C. Raja Mohan ignited a sharp debate over whether the foreign policy pursued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi really marks a dramatic break with the past or has merely […]
What international law tells us about how a guerrilla army should legitimately fight a technologically superior opponent, employing justifiable and proportionate means and tactics
The seeds planted during Partition have borne deadly fruit for decades, and show no signs of dying out. Hajari’s account of the seminal period from 1946 to 1948 is redolent with resonances when read today.
Just as the US does not fully understand the complexity of the region, China’s leaders are neglecting how this complexity will necessarily limit their power, and probably inspire resistance that diminishes Chinese power overall
Two recent books on the Chinese absorption of Tibet have received little attention in India although they have interesting revelations to make on the recent history of the region
An account of Indian television that is overly influenced by big industry players like Star.
1. Lingering doubts over growth stats The controversy that started with the release of the new series of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) about six months back refuses to die down. While many critics have noted the fact that the new, higher growth rate is not consistent with other underlying […]
New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah shouted at the then RAW Chief A S Dulat for “hours together” during their meeting after the erstwhile BJP-led government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee decided to release three hardcore militants in exchange for the freedom of the passengers of the […]
A sense of solidarity between ruler and administration was being sought, and one imagines that Ashoka’s message was necessitated by problems specific to Kalinga.
An extract from ‘Memories of a Father’, a book by T.V. Eachara Warrier, a professor of Hindi in Kerala whose son disappeared after being arrested during the Emergency
The powerful Indian Prime Minister brought ‘poverty’ centre-stage, but her rule was responsible for setting off the decline of institutions
Rajeev Sharma has received hate mail too but believes those who sent him such messages ‘cannot belong to any religion, because no religion in the world is opposed to peace’
For those of us who have grown up in the Ahmedabad before the collapse of the mills, before the advent of the nouveau riche who now guide or bully the city, Amrita Shah’s lyrical book only reflects the changing tides of the last four decades.
Some of the hostile reaction to ‘Poetry of the Taliban’ makes it clear that any attempt to humanize the militant is likely to be condemned as a way of “sympathising” with his cause.
With Flood of Fire Amitav Ghosh brings a historical saga to a purposeful close
The first time Amitav Ghosh and Shivshankar Menon shared a platform was when they wrote pieces for the launch of The Wire. On Wednesday, they came together to discuss Ghosh’s Flood of Fire before a packed audience in Delhi.
Compared to north Indian states, Kerala and Tamil Nadu aren’t growing much faster than others. They are growing just as well as others but with fewer babies.
When the President promulgates an ordinance, he or she exercises intermediate legislative power. Ordinances lack the qualities that give Acts of Parliament elevated status. Returning an ordinance repeatedly may well be justified.
Samaddar’s thesis that care must extend beyond individual and family to state and society is extremely significant for there will be a considerable percentage of older people suffering from various forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s.
Seven days after Krishna died, one of my friends paid me a condolence visit. After the customary inquiries she said, “After all, is it not better that Krishnadi died, she was suffering so much?” I protested.
If ‘you haven’t heard of Nambisan’s name before, it’s because unlike some of us, Vijay never learnt to attend the right literature festivals, make the right noises and kiss the right asses.
Dilip Hiro’s new book is highly readable and entertaining but it only reinforces, rather than adds to, the prevailing wisdom about the state of India-Pakistan relations.