/Politics and Current Affairs

Politics and Current Affairs reproduces writings on secularism, majoritarianism, diversity, and other contentious themes in contemporary India.

THE SOCIOLOGY OF SUICIDE


The Telegraph

Karnataka has a large number of privately run medical and engineering colleges, to which flock students from all over the country. They come in the summer, when, for days upon end, their anxieties and hopes are splashed over the front pages of the newspapers in Bangalore. Every year, two kinds of stories make most of the [...]

By |2011-10-07T22:24:25+00:00August 21st, 2004|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , |

EDUCATING OUR WOMEN


The Telegraph

Some years ago, while working on a history of cricket in India, I was reading issues of a now defunct newspaper called the Bombay Sentinel. It took time to get to the sports pages, for they were at the end, and one was prone to get diverted by the other stories on the way. Searching for [...]

A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES


The Telegraph

Bangalore voted on Sunday the 20th of April, the first round of polling. Anticipating crowds in the morning, my wife and I went to the neighbourhood booth in the afternoon. Outside, the names of the candidates were pasted on the walls. There were a dozen candidates in all but here, as in many other parts of [...]

A SALUTE TO SMALLER STATES


The Hindu

Kavalam Madhavan Pannikar was one of the more interesting characters of twentieth-century India. He was a well regarded novelist in his native Malayalam, and an influential historian in English. Perhaps the best known of his books is Asia and Western Dominance, which dealt with what he termed ‘the Vasco Da Gama epoch of Asian history’. As [...]

THE FAMILY BUSINESS


The Telegraph

The poet Dom Moraes has written of how, fresh from Oxford, he went to call on India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru liked young writers, and this one had come with good credentials; he was the son of one of India’s leading editors, and had won a sheaf of literary prizes himself. The conversation was [...]

HINDU POPES


The Telegraph

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 sets [...]

RECONCILING THE NAGAS


The Telegraph

Since its birth, the Indian nation-state has been challenged by rebellion and insurgency. In the late forties it was the Communist Party of India, who launched a countrywide insurrection claiming that the freedom we got from the British was false (in their evocatively pernicious slogan, ‘Ye Azadi Jhoota Hai!’). In the fifties, it was the Dravidians [...]

By |2011-10-07T22:22:28+00:00December 13th, 2003|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , , , , |

THE LOCALITY AND THE NATION


The Hindu

On Independence Day this year I was driving from Bangalore to the small temple town of Melkote. At traffic lights within the city we were hailed by vendors selling the National Flag. When we got to the highway, we passed boys on motor bikes waving the tiranga jhanda. Clearly, the Supreme Court order allowing private citizens [...]

PUBLIC-SPIRITED INDIANS


The Hindu

Recently, in the course of a single week, I met two Indians of very different professional and personal backgrounds, yet commited to the same goal—getting all of India’s children into school. Jean Dreze is an economist of Belgian extraction, who has lived in this country for more than two decades. He took his Ph D at [...]