A fortnightly column reflecting on chapters of the political past that are relevant today.
“My belief in socialism comes out of my belief in human beings.”
Critical decolonisation means accepting risk of error. It means considering whether indigenous knowledge systems might contain truths that Western science hasn’t accessed.
Remember the Dead; Fight for the Living – International Workers’ Memorial Day.
Even when differences prevail, it is difficult to escape Marx and all his ideas.
If our research halls become empty, if no young mind comes to us to discuss books and ideas, the job that we do as teachers in a research university loses its charm and meaning.
The popular upsurge of the late 1960s, while spectacular, had many paradoxes, and eventually was stymied by the bind of a universal ‘line’ and the parliamentary framework of rule.
When political sensibility degenerates into political indoctrination, studentship receives a severe blow. Growth stops, the mind becomes closed, rigid, deterministic and hence, violent.
In the face of new social conservatism drawing from militant nationalism and global capitalism, Gandhi’s philosophy may hold lessons even for his left-Ambedkarite critics.
With our freedoms coming under attack, we have arrived at a time when it is crucial for scholars and academics to prove their relevance to the people and show them they are on the same side.
The End of History and The Clash of Civilizations were maps, meant to explain the world. They emphasised the inevitable progress of liberal democracy and the irreducible nature of hostilities based on “civilisations”, aspects that events have shown are less important than political movements, nation-building projects and institutional alliances.
As long as the Indian nation ignores the injustices it has perpetrated from the very beginnings of its existence, freedom will continue to mean nothing but the celebration of a date.
Sam Miller talks about his latest book, Once Upon A Time in India: The Marvellous Adventures of Captain Corcoran, the first-ever translation into English of the raucous 1867 French classic.
Ajay Skaria talks about his new book, Unconditional Equality: Gandhi’s Religion of Resistance.
Four hundred years after his death, the extraordinary global attention given to Shakespeare not only retrieves the past but traces how historical inscriptions of feeling states have shaped modern consciousness.