/Tag: Mahatma Gandhi

The Rise And Fall Of The Term ‘Harijan’


The Telegraph

In his 1984 book The Untouchable as Himself, the anthropologist R. S. Khare speaks of the derision with which Dalits viewed the term ‘Harijan’, popularized by Mahatma Gandhi. Khare quotes a Chamar reformer in Lucknow as telling him: ‘Harijan means what we can never be allowed to become by the caste Hindu, and what we may [...]

When Eleven Women Of Bengal Took On Gandhi


The Telegraph

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, all [...]

By |2017-03-04T22:19:55+00:00January 7th, 2017|Categories: History, Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , |

Can Hindu Liberals Criticise Muslim Bigots


The Telegraph

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, ‘to [...]

By |2016-04-10T21:57:43+00:00January 23rd, 2016|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , |

Searching For Saints In Songs And Pictures


Hindustan Times

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 years [...]

Patriarchy & Prejudice


The Telegraph

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 denied [...]

A Year A Londoner


The Telegraph

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 interesting [...]

By |2012-08-06T20:16:53+00:00July 28th, 2012|Categories: Culture|Tags: , , , , , |

Indians Great Greater Greatest?


The Hindu

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 19th [...]

A PATRIARCH FOR THE NATION – DEBATE


The Telegraph

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; it [...]

A QUESTION OF ENGLISH


The Telegraph

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 always [...]

THE REAL OFFENDERS


Hindustan Times

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, who [...]