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The Freedom Issue

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Out of Socialist Delhi

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The Freedom Issue 2016: Editor's Note

FIRST THE COW jihad. Blessed are the nations where animal welfare is nothing short of civilisational ethos. Cursed are the nations where the animal instincts of man kill the ‘lesser man’ in the name…

Independence of the Mind

SEVEN DECADES IS a long time. Surely long enough for anyone of that age to look back at their childhood with a measure of detachment. Yet, as we approach the seventieth year of India’s independence,…

Pakistan Without Tears

“Pakistan is like Israel, an ideological state. Take out Judaism from Israel and it will collapse like a house of cards. Take Islam out of Pakistan and make it a secular state: it would collapse” –…

The Sacred Thread

RADICAL POLITICAL thinking is more often the byproduct of a crisis rather than its cause. In Europe, it was several centuries of traumatic social upheaval that produced the brilliant run of thinkers…

Out of Socialist Delhi

MY FIRST REAL encounter with Delhi was in the winter of 1966-67 when the family chose it as a holiday destination. I understand that my parents had taken me to Delhi once earlier, when we stayed with…

The Un-Indian Civil Service

‘THE AGA KHAN,’ the College of Heralds in London once noted, ‘is held by his followers to be a direct descendant of God. English Dukes take precedence.’ The British ruled nineteenth century India…

The Lost Chapter of Gorata

THE DATE 15 AUGUST 1947 seems only vaguely relevant in Bidar, one of three districts in north-eastern Karnataka that had to wait a tumultuous year and a month longer to be integrated into Independent…

Author of Atmospherics

AUTHORS TO be dwellers of the mind and wanderers of the world. The great authors, at least. And Amitav Ghosh certainly fills both boxes. To see him in the precincts of the stately Rashtrapati Bhavan…

It’s Actually Easy to Love...

BEGAN ONE morning many years ago. Rina decided to put out a bowl of water on the windowsill of our bedroom for the noisy pigeons who woke us up at the crack of dawn. Soon we had so many birds sitting…

Written in Stone

EYES PEELED FOR the slightest glint of light reflected by a flashpoint event that took place under extreme pressure long years ago, your correspondent descends on Diamond City Surat for an overnight…