When Eleven Women Of Bengal Took On Gandhi, The Telegraph [Saturday, January 7th, 2017]

While working in the archives of the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, I came across a fascinating letter to Gandhi, sent by eleven young women of Calcutta. The letter was undated, but it appeared to have been written in January 1939. It was addressed to ‘Most revered Mahatmaji’, and was signed individually by the eleven women, [...]

 
 
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  Can Hindu Liberals Criticise Muslim Bigots, The Telegraph [Saturday, January 23rd, 2016]

In March 1937, Mahatma Gandhi published an article entitled ‘Need for Tolerance’. This was in response to a letter he had received from a Muslim friend. This man, a liberal and sceptic, wondered why, when referring to the Prophet Muhammad or the Koran, Gandhi never analysed them critically. ‘I am at a loss’, he wrote, [...]

 
 
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  Searching For Saints In Songs And Pictures, Hindustan Times [Sunday, January 3rd, 2016]

I have a decent head for names, dates, places, events, but can remember few snatches of poetry. Truth be told, there are only two pieces of verse that I have committed to memory. Both are very short. The first is this Kabir doha that I learnt in my junior school in Uttar Pradesh some fifty [...]

 
 
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  Patriarchy & Prejudice, The Telegraph [Saturday, February 16th, 2013]

Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men. Joseph Conrad India’s two main religions, Hinduism and Islam, are both deeply patriarchal. Their scriptures and their historical practice have relegated women to an inferior status. Women were not allowed to assume positions of power and authority. Women were [...]

 
 
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  A Year A Londoner, The Telegraph [Saturday, July 28th, 2012]

On the last day of June, I went to the nearest branch of the NatWest Bank and paid the sum of 43 pounds and ninety-four pence, this being the money I owed to the Westminster City Council. With that act I formally ended a year as a bona fide, tax paying, resident of the most [...]

 
 
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  Indians Great Greater Greatest?, The Hindu [Saturday, July 21st, 2012]

I… Nations need heroes, but the construction of a national pantheon is rarely straightforward or uncontested. Consider the debate in the United States about which faces should adorn the national currency. The founding figures of American Independence—Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, Madison, and Franklin—are all represented on the dollar bill, albeit on different denominations. So are the [...]

 
 
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  A PATRIARCH FOR THE NATION – DEBATE, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 27th, 2011]

Debating Anna Hazare On the 27th of August, the Telegraph newspaper published an article on Anna Hazare by Ramachandra Guha under the title A PATRIARCH FOR THE NATION?. The article sparked a debate between the author and the social worker Lalit Uniyal. The debate is reproduced below, for several reasons. The dialogue is without artifice; [...]

 
 
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  A QUESTION OF ENGLISH, The Telegraph [Thursday, May 5th, 2011]

In 1905 and 1906, Mohandas Gandhi, his wife, and their children shared a home in Johannesburg with an English couple, Henry and Millie Polak. Later, writing of their life together, Gandhi recalled that ‘Polak and I had often very heated discussions about the desirability or otherwise of giving the children an English education. It has [...]

 
 
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  THE REAL OFFENDERS, Hindustan Times [Wednesday, April 6th, 2011]

Narendra Modi may never have banned Joseph Lelyveld’s The Great Soul had the books editor of the Wall Street Journal been as discerning as his counterpart in the New York Times. The Manhattan dailies carried reviews on the same weekend, but these could not have been more different in style or substance. The Times reviewer, [...]

 
 
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  GIVING AND GAINING, Hindustan Times [Sunday, December 12th, 2010]

Arguably the most important crucible of Indian nationalism was the ashram run by Mahatma Gandhi in Ahmedabad from 1915 to 1930. It was here that the programmes for the major satyagrahas were designed, and the activists and social workers who led those satyagrahas trained. Gandhian ideas of non-violence, the upliftment of women, Hindu-Muslim harmony, and [...]

 
 
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