Traveling With Tagore, Penguin Classics [Wednesday, April 15th, 2015]

Rammohan Roy was able to assimilate the ideals of Europe so completely because he was not overwhelmed by them; there was no poverty or weakness on his side. He had ground of his own on which he could take his stand and where he could secure his acquisitions. The true wealth of India was not [...]

 
 
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  FOREIGN CERTIFICATES, The Hindu [Sunday, January 4th, 2009]

I recently wrote a piece in a Delhi magazine about a Bangalore-based holy man lobbying for the Nobel Peace Prize. Among the mails I received was one which enclosed, as proof of the holy man’s holiness, the English translation of an article in an obscure Finnish weekly which praised him and his works. My article [...]

 
 
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  MYTHS AND BORDERS, The Hindu [Sunday, August 17th, 2008]

Foreign dignitaries who come to India almost always fly in to the nation’s capital, New Delhi. In April 2005, however, the Prime Minister of the Peoples’ Republic of China chose first to visit my home town, Bangalore. The Chinese Ambassador to India explained this reversal of procedure by saying that now ‘the “B” of business [...]

 
 
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  THE LETTERS OF A LONELY MAN, The Hindu [Sunday, February 18th, 2007]

I have been reading the letters of Macaulay, these printed in a handsome volume published a hundred years ago, and edited by his nephew George Otto Trevelyan. Some forty pages of this book excerpt the letters he wrote to his family and friends from India. It was in June 1834 that Macaulay arrived in the [...]

 
 
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  STUNG BY THE WEST, The Telegraph [Saturday, April 2nd, 2005]

Back in the 1850s, Karl Marx wrote a series of essays on the results of British rule in India. These essays were marked by an ambivalence that was uncharacteristic as well as profound. On the one hand, Marx saw that the British had come to the sub-continent to dominate and exploit, objectives that were deeply [...]

 
 
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  TWO BROWN SAHIBS, The Hindu [Sunday, December 19th, 2004]

In the days when V. S. Naipaul could still bring himself to praise somebody else, he wrote of C. L. R. James’s Beyond a Boundary that it gave ‘a base and solidity to West Indian literary endeavour’. James’s opus, he remarked, was ‘one of the finest and most finished books to come out of the [...]

 
 
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