Troubled Land

The dominant scholarship on India’s North East is focused on the study of militancy and violence in the region. The concern of scholars, by and large, has been to understand and explain the conditions, circumstances and background driving the agendas of local identity movements, their grievances leading to radicalization in the public sphere, and the politics of militancy and their outcomes (Baruah 2005; Misra 2000; Hazarika 1994; Nag 1990).

Conundrum of Liberalism in Indian History

Christopher Bayly’s new book, Recover ring Liberties: Indian Thought in in the Age of Liberalism and Empire, traces the history of political thought in India with a specific focus on liberalism. Bayly attempts to trace the lineages of liberal political language in the Indian subcontinent from the beginning of the nineteenth century with Rammohan Roy to the middle of the twentieth.

Pleasures and Profundity of Food

As summer looms upon us, a Gujarati friend living in Calcutta becomes more and more disgruntled. Her plaint is the lack of kesri ker no ras (aam ras or mango pulp) in her city. Upon a suggestion that she purchase mangoes and make it at home, came a most painful shriek: you don’t understand! In Gujarat right now, everyone is talking mango, buying mango, selling mango, cooking mango.

Even as Delhi has been celebrating the centenary of its restoration as capital of India, a proud fragment of its built heritage and history, it is fitting that we re-member the doyen of Delhi’s lived cultural heritage, Amir Khusrau (1238-1325), the most loved acolyte of the great sufi divine, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya who, like his master, lies buried in Nizamuddin.

Poet and essayist W.H. Auden once remarked that every autobiography is concerned with two characters, ‘a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self’. Vinod Mehta’s literary self-portrait Lucknow Boy fits the description quite well. Only that in this memoir the two characters never appear together, at least not on the same page.