In a freewheeling conversation with Siddharth Varadarajan, the celebrated historian discusses the place of nationalism in contemporary Indian politics, the role of the media and of the public intellectual
Does the story of the Indian railways really stop at presenting a fact file of imperial patronage?
The Sangh’s concerted campaign of anti-Muslim prejudice aims to completely marginalise the community in the public sphere.
“Our right to free speech and expression is not a gift or a privilege that the government bestows on us; it is our right.”
Universities exist for the sake of free inquiry and uninhibited debate. If that’s not what they are doing, they may as well cease to be.
Proponents of inward-looking politics have demonstrated an impressive capacity to exploit the globalisation of the political sphere.
When Balraj Sahni spoke truth to power.
Defence policy in India should not be seen as the final ‘good’ that nobody can disagree with.
There is a historical explanation for the appropriation of music and performance practices as part of the nationalist project in both India and Pakistan.
‘There are 25 crore Muslims in the country, where will you fling them? If you throw them in the ocean, it will dry up; if you think of burying them, there won’t be enough land for it. The only solution is that you embrace them.’
A free-flowing conversation on the peculiarities of Indian nationalism, its changing forms and more.
Going by Mohan Bhagwat’s logic, everyone in Kazakhstan would have to be a nomad because that’s what Kazakh means. And Pakistanis would all be, by definition, pure.
On the anniversary of Afzal Guru’s hanging return questions that have remained unanswered, questions that we refuse to face.
The Pope of Physics, by Bettina Hoerlin and Gino Segrè, is an informative biography of Fermi that also manages to deepen the sense of quiet mystery surrounding the legendary physicist.
What the home ministry’s new guidelines on how the disabled must show their respect for the national anthem tell us about the politics of pure nationalism.
In 1950, soon after India became a republic, a question was raised in Parliament: “Will the minister of home affairs be pleased to share what are the national anthems of India?” In the wake of independence with the process of nation building just having begun, the phrasing of […]
The famous story of a group of schoolboys trapped on an island is more than a little reminiscent of the real world right now.
The Supreme Court order encroaches on the functions of the executive and legislature, bypassing the checks-and-balances system enshrined in the constitution.
For some judges, substance is inversely proportional to verbosity. If this trend is not stopped, Indian jurisprudence will permanently suffer.
If nationalism, the way its sternest adherents argue, is a deep and overwhelming sentiment, then why do we need a disciplining machine to enforce that sentiment in us?
Terror management theory posits that people are inclined to be divided and hostile in the face of a perceived existential threat.
The rise of nationalism in rich countries poses a worrying challenge to migrants fleeing wars, UN refugee chief Grandi said on Sunday.
President Obama warned against a rise in nationalism and said a backlash against globalisation had stoked populist movements at home and abroad.
ISRO scientists have separately claimed that data from a CartoSat satellite was used to assist with the surgical strikes and that they invented the lightest material ever. Why were these claims made?
Gautam Gambhir’s stand shouldn’t surprise us: he openly identifies himself with a political party that espouses hostility towards Pakistan, and has been an outspoken supporter of the current finance minister.
As the national anthem played across his team’s pre-season fixtures, Kaepernick has chosen to sit through it to protest what is slowly becoming an American nightmare.
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.
We have reached a stage where a Hindu’s nationalism is never in doubt even if he debunks the Constitution, glorifies Gandhi’s assassin and mourns India’s independence; but a Muslim or Christian’s person’s nationalism is always suspect.
The consistent doublespeak, especially on tricky issues, poses a Herculean challenge for the party to shed its old image and emerge as a modern, soft right-wing party.
It is easier to be united in outrage against a singular, spectacularly brutal act of violence than against the normalised, everyday violence of the state anywhere in the world.
In a remarkable coincidence, irrefutable evidence of ‘the RSS connection’ with Gandhi’s assassination surfaced in recent years – just as it was about to claim the Gandhian heritage.
Sadanand Menon is one of the authors of a new collection of essays published by Aleph, “On Nationalism”.
P.S. Jaya painted herself black and roamed Kochi’s streets for 150 days – bringing the public face-to-face with their prejudices and sparking a critical debate on her ‘Artivism.’
The dance is one among a few cultural objects today – like Ganesh Utsav, the thickening sindoor that women display, freshly minted greetings like ‘Jai Shri Krishna’, bhajan sandhyas – being deployed.
In the diverse iterations of Iqbal’s iconic ‘Sare jahan se achha’ in Urdu poetry, varied understandings of ‘Hindustan’ manifest – but none are narrowly chauvinist.
The nation is its own enemy when it thwarts the blossoming of radical diversity – and tragically, this is what the Brexit promises for Britain.
Is Mata associated with particular cultures and religions or is Mata a secular conception, making it possible for people of diverse religions, who call themselves Indian, to pay obeisance to the nation as motherland?
Those who care nothing for political horse-trading may say, “It’s just a horse.” And Shaktiman will remain just a horse if we don’t use this incident to look at the awful state of animal-welfare affairs.
While a government might yearn for approval, it is a huge stretch for it to regard all criticism as ‘anti-national’ activity. It is a desperate cry for immortality in the face of existential threat. It is a sure signal of distress.
Freedom Under Fire: Beaten Up for Not Saying Bharat Mata; Professor Suspended; Kanhaiya Talk Stopped
A round-up of news, mostly bad but some good, on the rights front from India.