Why This Revival Of Hindu Chauvinism?, Hindustan Times [Sunday, July 2nd, 2017]

Some years ago, I was at a literary meeting in Bhubaneshwar. Odia had just been declared the sixth classical language in India, after Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. My scholarly hosts were naturally delighted; one taking particular pleasure in imagining how President Pranab Mukherjee felt when he signed the relevant file, since his mother [...]

 
 
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  The Government Of-By-And For The Slogan, Hindustan Times [Saturday, March 26th, 2016]

At its recent meeting, the National Executive of the Bharatiya Janata Party passed a political resolution, a passage of which read: ‘Our Constitution describes India as Bharat also, [hence] refusal to chant victory to Bharat is tantamount to disrespect to our Constitution itself. Bharat Mata ki Jai is not merely a slogan. It was a [...]

 
 
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  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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  Nehru’s Nationalism – and Ours, The Telegraph [Saturday, November 16th, 2013]

One of the books I read as a boy was the autobiography of the mountaineer Tenzing Norgay. I grew up in Dehradun, in a home with fine views of the lower Himalaya. From the nearby hill station of Mussoorie—which we visited often—one could see the great snow peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Bandar Poonch. [...]

 
 
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  WHO IS A PATRIOT? , The Telegraph [Saturday, May 12th, 2007]

The novelist U. R. Anantha Murthy has long objected to the characterization of the Sangh Parivar as the ‘saffron brigade’. Saffron is a beautiful colour, the colour of renunciation, worn by monks and others of great and good character. Why should we cede it so easily to a bunch of bigots? To me, at any [...]

 
 
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  WHERE LEFT MEETS RIGHT, The Telegraph [Saturday, April 30th, 2005]

Earlier this year, I was at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, where I had been asked to given an after-dinner talk to the students. I reached ten minutes before schedule, so my hosts took me for a coffee while the audience was being rustled up. While we drank the coffee, at a modest [...]

 
 
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