A day after Rahul Gandhi exulted he would happily be prime minister if someone offered him the job, his party lost the elections in Karnataka.
MONDAY marked the 27th anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, a sombre day for India and for the family. Rahul Gandhi recalled how his father cautioned against hate because it becomes a prison for those that carry it in the heart. It’s a useful thought to embrace for a people riven by irrational and hateful ideas […]
Why did Modi’s supporters suddenly find Jinnah’s portrait disagreeable in the students’ union hall of AMU?
YOU could have spotted, as I did, Mohammad Ali Jinnah in an official portrait at the Indian Muslim League’s headquarters in Kerala in the 1990s. I’m not sure if the picture is still around after the party split down the middle, subsequently. Asked to comment on a political ally’s seemingly awkward connection in an […]
There are some obvious similarities and some very crucial differences between the Korean Peninsula and South Asia.
WE’LL destroy you. We’ll rain fire and fury on you. We will talk to you. We look forward to talking to you. We have forced you to talk to us. Let the opponents go on with their hundred emotional somersaults. The important thing is to remain sensible, preferably with a smile, while doing your own […]
What is the strategic selflessness that Mayawati has displayed which can be of interest to liberals and democrats in India and Pakistan?
Jawed Naqvi MAYAWATI is an Indian politician but she has a great message for Pakistan. Why? She has an excellent idea for all troubled democracies, not the least her very own India. Mayawati leads one of India’s most economically exploited and socially abused communities of the erstwhile outcastes, the Dalits. With her base in the […]
The tribal communities in India are fighting a desperate battle for survival against a predatory state backed by big money.
YET again they were singing and reciting Faiz. Elsewhere they perhaps do the same with Sri Sri, Kazi Nazrul, Pash, Robin Ngangom or other revolutionary versifiers in different Indian languages. An announcement at the Delhi meeting said there could be no genuine protest without Faiz, which is true. There is hardly a meeting of […]
What seems distant or remote could be the trigger for what passes for domestic turbulence.
IF one were to anchor a TV programme with the archival revelation that it was Benazir Bhutto who introduced Theresa May’s husband to the future British prime minister at an Oxford reunion ball in 1976, many of us would perhaps happily spend a lot of our precious time glued to the looped and re-looped discussion. […]
The questioning spirit has been so bludgeoned that people have given up the old habit of asking simple questions.
WAS Yuri Gagarin your hero, as he was to my generation? If so, you would remember how a competitive Kennedy sought to airbrush his feat, goading American space scientists to catch up with the communists. The rivalry led to Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon but even that landmark event could not stop religious clerics […]
Literary references abound describing the stifled plight of 19th-century upper-caste women who lived encaged in sprawling havelis.
“AND underneath her wimple/She has curlers in her hair/ I even heard her singing in the abbey.” The Maria song from Sound of Music — way before historian Ramachandra Guha unveiled his lurking contempt for the Muslim burqa — described one of several ways a woman could deal with impositions inflicted by religion and tradition, […]
The men and women who fought and died for a homeland were also fighting to honour Bulleh Shah, Kabir, Namdev and Ravidas.
AS liberal dreamers go on the back foot in India and Pakistan, having reneged on their promise to deliver an open, equal and just society, it may not be unwise to probe other like-minded people. The Dalits and the powerful middle- caste Yadavs have shown the way in Uttar Pradesh by abandoning their traditional aloofness […]
Both features — secularism and socialism — are anathema to the dominant merchant classes.
THIS has been a week of mixed intellectual fortunes for me thanks to the range of dramatis personae that were on view. Professor Romila Thapar on TV gave a scholarly interview anchored on her new book Indian Cultures as Heritage: Contemporary Pasts. The book, although I’ve not yet read it, sounds promising as all Thapar […]