ENVISIONING INDIA’S FUTURE: AN INTRODUCTION

Bookshelf

August 30, 2018 Editor 0

Each passing day provides us appalling and tragic evidence of shackled humanity and incurable traumas. Does the future mean more of the same? In this collection of essays editors Kothari and Joy bring together themes of alternative futures, traces of which were and are, already upon us. Their Introduction maps out the visions of possible futures and redemptive choices.…[Read More]…

‘ON THE SPIRES OF OUR BREATH’

Literary Trails

June 15, 2018 Editor 0

Scholar, translator, essayist multilingual poet Riyaz Latif is too modest when he informs the reader that his poem “Transience” that appeared in the original in Urdu in 1994 and which he translated himself might seem dated with its reference to Glasnost, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Bosnia. Not for us it isn’t!
…[Read More]…

Tagore and Gandhi Rare pic

VISIONS FROM A ‘CULTURE OF CONVERSATION’

Between The Lines

May 30, 2018 Editor 0

May 7 marked Rabindranath Tagore’s 157th birth anniversary. Celebrations were held not just in India but in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well, two countries that historically and culturally may have had affinities with India but that also have strong ‘nationalist’ sentiments couching grievances that have erupted time and again or mutely underlined their interactions with ‘big brother’ India in the recent past. So how was it that Tagore, India’s ‘national’ poet was feted in both countries? …[Read More]…

THE CAGING OF ART

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May 14, 2018 Editor 0

TM Krishna is no cloistered musician happy to rest on his laurels and fame as a Karnatik music exponent. He is a public intellectual who engages with issues in a way that most classical musicians would shy away from.

THE LURE OF FUNDAMENTALISM

Between The Lines

April 30, 2018 Editor 0

What makes the human mind susceptible to the lure of fundamentalism? Salman Akhtar addressed this question in his lecture more than a decade ago. His “psychoanalytical perspective” could have been written for the seductive power of right-wing politics sweeping across geographies.…[Read More]…

Sheikh Ark

TEARING UP A COMPOSITE CULTURE

Between The Lines

March 31, 2018 Editor 0

In our mutual animosities we deliberately ignore the influences of Tughlak, Khalji, Lodi dynasties and the Moghuls on the evolution of our composite culture, or try to reduce it to a monolithic or ‘pure’ one. So wrote Asghar Ali Engineer a decade ago. His words still resonate. …[Read More]…

Andal-book-cover

TRANSLATING HER GARLANDS

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March 15, 2018 Editor 0

Priya Sarukkai Chabria talks with Mrinalini Harchandrai about her obsession with Andal’s poetry that led to a unique translation project with Ravi Shankar. “Sangam poetics” allows her to offer multiple versions of the goddess-poet’s songs of sacred-erotic love.…[Read More]…

MIRTH AND THE DUST-CLOUD: REMEMBERING VARIS ALVI

Personal Notes

March 15, 2018 Editor 0

“At this inevitable parting, how does one invoke reminiscences of that vivacious vitality that was Varis Alvi (Vāriṡ ʿAlavī)? There is a singular incongruity in referring to him in the past tense, for it would be in keeping with him to persevere unwaveringly in our dimension”, says poet Riyaz Latif in his “requiem for a friend.” …[Read More]…

MAQUETTES OF MUD AND SHRAPNEL

Between The Lines

February 15, 2018 Editor 0

In “Against the Frame” his first collection of poetry, Azad Ashim Sharma explores the horrors of on-going conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, their blood-soaked histories, arbitrary geographies on those “washed up as human contraband” and quotidian xenophobia in the metropolis. …[Read More]…

RECALLING THE MORAL QUEST

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January 20, 2018 Editor 0

In his work on the absence of moral sensibilities in education, Avijit Pathak meditates on its impact on young minds as rampant consumerism and competition turn students into mere commodities themselves. He is not a pessimist though and suggests ways to a moral recovery. The Introduction from the book outlines the universe of the problematic. …[Read More]…

Students in Sriniagar PTI Photo

A KASHMIRI EDUCATION

Personal Notes

December 30, 2017 Editor 0

A college started in the ‘Widow’s Palace’ altered a whole society’s perspective on women; then, everything fell apart—in the crosshairs of sectarian violence. Neerja Mattoo traces the rise and fall of women empowerment and a syncretic culture in in Kashmir.…[Read More]…

Pavement Dwelling photo

THE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND

Literary Trails

December 18, 2017 Editor 0

A harrowing tale of deprivation, suffering and the search for love among the wretched of an Indian urbanscape. Noted Marathi dalit writer Baburao Bagul captures the entire range of human emotions in this story of one freezing night in the city’s lowest depths…[Read More]…

Image of Dark River

TRUTH IN THE ABYSS OF FREEDOM

Personal Notes

November 15, 2017 Editor 0

To succumb to slavish complicity with the princes of the world for some crumbs or to stand firm for Truth and Justice–that choice involves the decision of existence with no soft option. And truth,born in tragic thought in the abyss of freedom articulated through poetry, art philosophy must be sought for that infinite contestation with the hegemonic powers in place, says Saitya Brata Das.…[Read More]…

Kali Image

PSYCHE AND LURE OF FASCISM

Between The Lines

October 30, 2017 Editor 1

Fascism can creep into any society where it finds resonance in the individual psyche. In this essay, Rakesh Shukla explores aspects of mainstream Hindu male psyche that makes it vulnerable to the temptations of fascism-fundamentalism. In the process he serves up an implicit critique of the progressive-liberal movement’s inability to meaningfully confront such tendencies as are increasingly evident in India today. …[Read More]…