Categories for Articles

The Sinner and the Saint

This essay in the history of ideas traces the trajectory of Islamic militancy and its implications for modern politics, including the so‑called global war on terror, nicknamed GWOT by the author. Written from a South Asian perspective, it is a healthy antidote to the instrumentalist discourse that addresses the issue from the standpoint of Western… View Article

Our Fractured Conscience

Is it of the very essence of truth to be impotent and of the very essence of power to be deceitful? And what kind of reality does truth possess if it is powerless in the public realm? : Hannah Arendt, in Truth and Politics Public opinion is now debating the death penalty awarded to Afzal Guru in… View Article

Out of the Shadow

The Great War and Modern Memory, by Paul Fussell is one of the most profound books of the twentieth century. Written in 1975, it reviews the literature and sensibilities produced by the First World War, that cost nearly 20 million lives. It tells us urgent truths about modernity’s obsession with territorial boundaries, enemies and ‘selfless’… View Article

A White Line and A Mosque

In the year of grace 1989 I visited the Wagah border with a friend. It was evening, time for the lowering of flags, for the BSF and Pakistan Rangers to perform their beautifully choreographed ceremony with goose-steps and challenging gestures. I saw coolies, uniformed men and tourists look at each other with friendly curiosity, children… View Article

Some Reflections on Possible NGO Interventions in Situations of Conflict: The Experience of the Violent

India is a country that is seen, by and large, to have retained a kind of overall stability since it became independent in 1947. Although the moment of independence itself was marked by large-scale horrific violence that left nearly a million dead and hundreds of thousands of others permanently scarred, the country has not been… View Article

Speaking Peace: An Introduction

For more than a decade now, women in Kashmir have been caught in the grip of a conflict which, over the years, has rapidly turned into a conflict between militant forces fighting for self determination or separation for the state of Kashmir, and the Indian government’s security forces who are pitted against them. There are… View Article

Workshop on Gandhian thought and Constructive Activityin Contemporary Gujarat

Centre for Social Studies, Surat 17-18 July 2004 When Gandhi returned from South Africa in the early part of the 20th century and took over the leadership of the anti-colonial struggle, his ideals of freedom were unique and original. He saw the social life of the country mired in deep evils. Hence, he gave priority to… View Article

Family chronicles

The tragedy of the Partition can be revisited from many prisms. The most common is the brutal violence and displacement that shaped the formation of India and Pakistan. In this article I will not address that aspect; instead I want to try and sketch an anecdotal history by dwelling on incidents in my family which,… View Article

A house divided for Mrs and Mr

An article on Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill in the Tribun A house divided for Mrs and Mr Are women recognised as equal actors inside the institution of marriage? Success of the new Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, which ensures half a share for woman in her husband’s residential property depends on how this question is answered… View Article

The Return of the Dead

The brutal gunning down of the chief of the banned Ranvir Sena, Brahmeshwar Singh ‘Mukhiya’, in broad daylight in Ara on June 1 is being seen as linked to the April 2012 acquittal of 23 Bathani Tola massacre convicts by the Patna high court. The Mukhiya — one of the main accused among them —… View Article