Tridip Suhrud: ‘Did Gandhi fear a violent death? No. He feared a purposeless death’

Tridip Suhrud, 52, is a multilingual scholar and translator renowned as an authority on Gandhi and his intellectual tradition. While he was director of Sabarmati Ashram, he had helped create the Gandhi Heritage Portal, a free digital archive running into over 1.4 million pages. Armed with knowledge of all three languages in which Gandhi wrote, … Continue reading Tridip Suhrud: ‘Did Gandhi fear a violent death? No. He feared a purposeless death’

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How Vajpayee Straddled Two Worlds and Made Hindutva Palatable to the Masses

They say Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the right man in the wrong party. He wasn’t. Academics and independent political analysts such as Robin Jeffrey and Vajpayee’s contemporaries in politics remember him in the 1960s as a young, firebrand leader of the Hindutva cause, someone capable of the most offensive of anti-Muslim statements. A man groomed in the … Continue reading How Vajpayee Straddled Two Worlds and Made Hindutva Palatable to the Masses

Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1924-2018): The Beloved

On a deserted street outside Ahdoos Hotel in curfew-bound Srinagar on that distant afternoon of August 2016 from where I was heading towards Press Enclave, an elderly gentleman in a skullcap approached me, almost blocking my way, and began to talk animatedly in Hindi and English. He didn’t introduce himself, but I didn’t panic because … Continue reading Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1924-2018): The Beloved

“I Had to Understand Gandhi Myself” — In Conversation with Tushar, the Great-Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi

INSIDE HIS SPARTAN Mumbai home on the second floor of an ageing building with narrow, dark staircases and walls with peeling plaster that remind one of Fassbinder movies that portrayed life in post-World War Germany, Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of the Mahatma, looks out of place. For a man of his size, bearing and composure, dressed … Continue reading “I Had to Understand Gandhi Myself” — In Conversation with Tushar, the Great-Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi

Wounded Soldiers from Civil War-Ravaged Yemen Get a Healing Touch in India

IN 2015, MOHAMMED Omer Mohsin was conscripted, trained and sent to fight a bloody war by his army within a matter of weeks. Everything happened in a flash. Then a lanky 20-year-old interested in football, math and Islamic studies, his circumstances began to change rapidly. It was unsettling, the way his country transformed overnight. From … Continue reading Wounded Soldiers from Civil War-Ravaged Yemen Get a Healing Touch in India

“Voters Are Intelligent Enough to Distinguish Between Politicians and Football” — In Conversation with Simon Kuper

SIMON KUPER IS one of the world’s most renowned football writers. A widely read Financial Times columnist, Kuper, who co-authored Soccernomics with sports economist Stefan Szymanski, had been working on region-specific editions of their best-selling work. Recently, they came out with a revised edition of the book, drawing upon new market inputs and data. The 48-year-old Uganda-born British writer, … Continue reading “Voters Are Intelligent Enough to Distinguish Between Politicians and Football” — In Conversation with Simon Kuper

Blackmail and Rape Charges Shake Up the Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala

EARLIER THIS MONTH, an ‘affidavit’ of rather scandalous proportions was leaked to a section of the media in Kerala. It contained salacious and incriminating details by a woman, a member of the close-knit Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, confessing sexual relations with four priests of the congregation. Let aside the fact that the document—which the husband … Continue reading Blackmail and Rape Charges Shake Up the Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala

Kerala’s Popular Culture Has Abetted Misogyny in Life and Politics

WHAT IS IT ABOUT the Malayali male that attracts equal parts respect and scorn? Normally, expectations from Kerala, a state that enjoys high social indicators, some of which are on par with Nordic countries, are that it is a fairer and far more egalitarian society compared with the rest of India. The sex ratio, the … Continue reading Kerala’s Popular Culture Has Abetted Misogyny in Life and Politics

WhatsApp Will Replace Facebook as the Online Battlefield in Elections 2019

DIVYA SPANDANA HAS fans requesting selfies with her wherever she goes. This actor-turned politician from Karnataka who now heads the social-media division of the Congress party obliges such entreaties as if by force of habit. When she sits back to chat, she says she is saddled with work, and it shows: in between sentences, she … Continue reading WhatsApp Will Replace Facebook as the Online Battlefield in Elections 2019

This District in Maharashtra Is Being Buffeted By a New Wave of Islamist Radicalisation

ON QUILA ROAD in the Bir area of Beed in central Maharashtra, a number of star-and- crescent flags on electricity poles flutter in the morning wind as burkha-clad women walk past, chaperoning their children to school, and men, mostly wearing skull caps, ride motorbikes, slowing down every few moments to give strangers hostile stares. There are … Continue reading This District in Maharashtra Is Being Buffeted By a New Wave of Islamist Radicalisation