The ‘I’ in Eve – Arundhati Subramaniam

The ‘I’ in Eve (Written for The Hindu  on April 30, 2016) Why should women artistes be apologetic about the use of the first person singular in prose and poetry? At a recent literature fest, a young woman poet prefaced her reading with the breathless apology: “I still use the pronoun, ‘I’. But as I mature, […]

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The Lore of Renuka – Devdutt Pattanaik

The Lore of Renuka (Written for mid-day  on April 22, 2012)     A sacred narrative needs to be distinguished from a parable (story with moral ending), a fable (story with animals that express human emotions), history (reportage of an actual event), or literature (an individual’s fantasy that seeks to entertain or provoke thought). The sacred […]

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Set Kanhaiya Free, Dissent is not Anti – National – Shashi Tharoor

Set Kanhaiya Free, Dissent is not Anti – National (Written for on February 24, 2016)   A great deal has already been written about the arrest of JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and the ensuing national uproar. But the drama highlights a broader danger: the growing evidence that the BJP is orchestrating a deliberate and strategic […]

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Dear Kanhaiya Kumar – Kiran Nagarkar

Dear Kanhaiya Kumar (Written for on March 16, 2016)     Post Script This is first time I am starting a letter with a Post Script instead of ending with one. Dear Kanhaiya Kumar, I finished this letter to you on Monday night and must confess that not even in my worst-case scenario had I ever […]

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Lounging About – Sam Cutler

LOUNGING ABOUT It’s important to be lazy ! To make room in one’s life for periods of laziness .. not weeks or months (necessarily) but at the very least happy little blobs of time that are sufficient to allow one to be thoroughly ‘idle’. The Western world is obsessed with endless toil, Henry Ford’s “going and doing”, and (it […]

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Evelyn Waugh : 50 years on – Nicholas Shakespeare

Evelyn Waugh: 50 years on   In 1933, a group of naked Amazonian Indians who had never before seen a white man encountered a young traveller from North London wrapped in a red blanket, lame in both feet, and covered from head to toe in insect bites. Their thoughts are not recorded by the Englishman, […]

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Rituals of Writing – Amitava Kumar

Rituals of Writing (Written for Hindustan Times  for May 3rd, 2015) I am writing this on a train. It is dark outside, the dark window reflecting the interior of the bright-lit train car, the beige plastic seats, the metal overhead racks. I can see in the dark glass the girl on the seat across from me. […]

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The sanctioned, sleeping beauties awake – Manjeet Kripalani

The sanctioned, sleeping beauties awake (Written for Gateway House  on June 2nd, 2016) There is something about American sanctions on countries. They are thorough. They are brutal. They strangle the financial system and beggar the population, demonise the leadership, provoke capital and elite flight, and entrench the very regimes they are trying to punish. Yet, they […]

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A conundrum called Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India – Kiran Nagarkar

A conundrum called Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India. Kiran Nagarkar (Written for Sueddeutsche Zeitung)   Let me start with an anecdote. Just a few months after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India, I got an invitation from the German Ambassador in India to meet Mr Steinmeier, the German Foreign Minister who was […]

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The cause of Problems – Ramachandra Guha

The cause of problems – What some Kashmiris owe other Kashmiris (Written for The Telegraph on September 3rd, 2016)   I was reading a recent interview with Adonis, the great Syrian poet who is frequently mentioned as a contender for the Nobel Prize in literature. Asked about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in West Asia, and the […]

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Too Many Mistakes – Ramachandra Guha

Too many mistakes – What the rest of India owes Kashmir and Kashmiris (Written for The Telegraph on September 2nd, 2016)   In the late summer and early autumn of 2010, the valley of Kashmir was gripped with protest, discontent, violence and suffering, just as it is now. In August 2010, when the troubles had entered their […]

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