AN ELEVEN OF THEIR OWN, The Telegraph [Saturday, March 20th, 2004]

My favourite cricketing story, patriots will be pained to hear, has a Pakistani playing the lead role. Not against India, though, but against the West Indies. On a hot day in Bridgetown many years ago, Hanif Mohammad was battling to save a Test match. Among those watching him keep out the likes of Roy Gilchrist [...]

 
 
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  HINDU POPES, The Telegraph [Saturday, March 6th, 2004]

When the Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992, a prominent Mahant of Ayodhya called it the first step in making the town the ‘Vatican of the Hindus’. I was recently reminded of that statement, while reading the Oxford historian R.W. Southern’s classic Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages. This book skilfully [...]

 
 
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  COMPOSING A CULTURE, The Hindu [Sunday, February 15th, 2004]

Writers in Kannada have won seven Jnanpith awards, a record equalled only by one other language, Hindi. But then there are many more speakers of Hindi. And of the seven Kannada awardees three did not even grow up speaking that language. Thus D. R. Bendre’s mother tongue was Marathi. Masti Venkateswara Iyengar’s first language was [...]

 
 
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  HINDI CHAUVINISM, The Hindu [Sunday, January 18th, 2004]

I have recently been reading the debates of the Constituent Assembly of India. These are a treasure-trove; invaluable to the scholar, but also well worth reading by the citizen. Among the topics debated by the Assembly were federalism, minority rights, preventive detection—topics that were contentious then, and continue to be contentious now. However, by far [...]

 
 
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