THOMAS BLOM HANSEN is one of the world’s foremost scholars of Hindu nationalism. Which is why his books continue to generate tremendous interest among academics and non-academics alike. His latest one, The Law of Force: The Violent Heart of Indian Politics (Aleph; 176 pages; Rs 499), which released recently and traces the chequered history of political violence … Continue reading Thomas Blom Hansen’s new book looks at RSS goals vs Constitutional rights
An alumnus of the University of Cambridge, Dr Radha Kumar’s specialisations include ethnic conflicts, peace studies and conflict resolution. She had served as an interlocutor appointed by the Government for Jammu and Kashmir from 2010 to 2011, and has worked in various parts of the world to bring peace to troubled areas. The 66-year-old author, feminist and academic has … Continue reading ‘We Will See Redoubled Efforts at Infiltration, Recruitment and Weaponisation of Militants’
Tushar A. Gandhi, the great-grandson of the Mahatma, is the author of the nearly 1000-page volume titled Let’s Kill Gandhi! A Chronicle of His Last Days, The Conspiracy, Murder Investigation and Trial. It is a product of years of exhaustive research into the previous attempts on Gandhi’s life starting from 1934 by Hindu fanatics and his assassination on January … Continue reading ‘Savarkar escaped because nobody probed how Godse got an Italian revolver from a Gwalior dealer’
PAWAN KUMAR BANSAL is dapper, sharp and warm. As I walk into his home in the sweltering heat of Chandigarh, soft drinks are served immediately, but the Congress veteran and former Union minister must leave for a function and a party meeting soon thereafter. Yet, he doesn’t sound one bit like a man in a … Continue reading Civic issues dominate the national poll debate in Chandigarh
IN BALLIA, KNOWN for its links to India’s freedom struggle and various melas, a strange morning ritual along narrow village roads stuns you. Men are seen taking their pigs out for a walk, waving canes, as if herding sheep that need to graze or walking dogs that must attend their call of nature. Here in the … Continue reading Eastern Uttar Pradesh: Will It Make or Break BJP in the 2019 Election?
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
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
IN THE SCORCHING afternoon of May 7th, speakers at what students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) now call the ‘protest site’ close to Baab-e-Syed, the imposing gateway to its 450-acre campus, hold a crowd rapt with couplets, snappy one-liners and fiery protest speeches. The punishing sun does nothing to deter the eloquence and humour of … Continue reading Assertions of Religious Identity Versus Sectarian Politics in Aligarh Muslim University
Outside AKG Bhavan, the CPM’s headquarters in Delhi’s Gole Market area, barricades are in place with armed policemen on duty. India’s biggest Communist party in mainstream politics has been at the receiving end of violent protests in the past few years by rival political parties, especially Hindu nationalists, some of whom had barged in, fulminated … Continue reading Can the Indian Left Reinvent Itself?