Every Indian head of Government faces the problem of how to match performance with articulation. Narendra Modi came to power articulating a resounding ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy which he continued to articulate, once telling the Nepali Prime Minister that Nepal is at the very top of India’s neighbourhood first policy.
My fortnightly letter to you today will be a brief one, but I am attaching to it a note which is for the present incom¬plete. I may add to it later. It represents really some kind of loud thinking on my part and an attempt to clarify my own mind. I am venturing to share this with you.
One of the main challenges the institutions of Indian democracy are facing is the decline of the liberal professions. Journalists, lawyers, professors were supposed to be the front line of the army fighting for the rights of the governed. Today, they are seen more as collaborators of the governors. Why that is so is the subject matter of a separate debate.
Striking Women is a well-researched reexamination of two strikes in the United Kingdom (UK) that saw the mobilization of migrant South Asian women workers against highly exploitative and racially structured low-paying jobs, which have been overcrowded by a predominantly female labour force.
Tamil Nadu is seen as a model state that combined growth and development with inclusiveness. The State’s policy initiatives were critiqued by the Right for the populist schemes and neglect of fiscal prudence and by the Left for prioritization of populism over structural changes like land reforms. Such critiques notwithstanding, the State has done better in basic development indicators, an outcome of an efficient and inclusive delivery of social sector schemes…
In 1944 Karl Polanyi wrote The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. Polanyi was born into a well-heeled Jewish family in Austria and grew up in Hungary, where for a brief while, he was a local political leader active in the Radical Citizens’ Party. He is best known for his work as an economic historian.
Rudrangshu Mukherjee’s Twilight Falls On Liberalism, as the name suggests, diagnoses the present political conjuncture—from Trump to Brexit and Modi—as one where liberal ideas such as freedom, tolerance and fellow feeling ‘seem to be under a shadow’ ( p. ix). However, he immediately qualifies this to argue that liberalism has always been beset with contradictions in theory…
Saifuddin Soz hit the national limelight when his lone vote in the Lok Sabha brought down the Vajpayee II government. In 1999, the late Prime Minister Vajpayee was into the thirteen month of his second stint—the earlier one in 1996 being aborted in a mere thirteen days. Vajpayee’s coalition lost the No Confidence Motion in April 1999 by the narrowest margin possible of one vote…
The Valley of Kashmir arouses a peculiar interest as a land of almost mythic and mysterious beauty and, since the end of colonialism in South Asia, as a space of violence. This imagination has taken further root since 1989 following the emergence of an insurgency and a movement for independence in Kashmir and from India and the drastic militarization of life by the Indian state.
Kashmir, an idyllic haven in the foothills of the Himalayas, is a space in which conflicting discourses have been written and read. Cultural notions of Kashmiris in image and word have been reconstructed, I believe, to emphasize the bias that reinforces the propagandist agenda of the hegemonic powers involved in the Kashmir dispute, India and Pakistan.
The Partition of India in 1947 was supposed to forever settle the Hindu-Muslim question. Yet, pick up any newspaper today, turn on the television, browse the Internet, one aspect is clear: as a nation we have not learnt the lessons from the greatest tragedy of the subcontinent…
This volume is a festschrift to Peter Robb for his contribution to the cholarship on the history of South Asia. Robb who retired from SOAS was a cherished mentor and colleague, and this book, the culmination of a remarkable collaborative effort, is testament to that fact. The range of subjects on which Robb has written is truly impressive and stretches from the sturdy realm of agrarian history to ruminations on memory, history and identity in colonial and postcolonial India.
We have in recent years come across a spate of publications relating Archaeology to Religion, be it Buddhism or Brahmanical, and Archaeology of Buddhism has particularly been studied. I can immediately refer to a recently published collection of essays edited by Sanjay Garg called Archaeology of Buddhism…
Iconic heritage structures such as the Qutb Minar,..
Manan Ahmed Asif has written aprovocative, though eminently readable, book challenging settled historiographies on Muslim origins in South Asia. ‘Beginnings are a seductive necessity… for the modern nation, the romance of origins and the gravitas of a unique genealogy are imperative,’ Asif declares unambiguously in the opening pages of the book.
A Gluten Free Life:My Celiac Story lives up to its title. It is the story of Jeeva and her life as a celiac. Anyone from an urban, metropolitan background can relate to the story. In an easygoing narrative, she brings forth the issues persons diagnosed with celiac would encounter.
If a baby is born small and thin, you would want to feed it so it would catch up to a more normal size, right?
In the annals of Indian cricket writing, autobiographies or authorized biographies of cricketers have tended to be boring and boastful accounts. Former cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar’s Imperfect is not one of these. It has two essential qualities—honesty and self-criticism.
I consider myself a lucky person to have grown up in one of those rare towns of North India where the Indian Coffee House survives and flourishes. The Indian Coffee House, which is a worker run cooperative, still functions in about twenty cities of India and has most of its branches in the State of Kerala.
Thanjavur’s Gilded Gods is a beautifully illustrated volume on the Thanjavur and its allied…