How to Get Away with Any Kind of Reporting in India

What follows is a response, partly visceral, to NYT’s piece How To Get Away With Murder in Small-Town India by its India bureau chief Ellen Barry, this week. It isn’t a personal attack on Ellen Barry. The piece is very well written and would hold for me as a sample of impactful writing,  It is also […]

Workers of the world can’t unite: May Day in neo-liberal times

Walking with workers on May Day morning was a humbling experience. Workers’ unions from various establishments across the state showed up for May Day rally at the Town Hall yesterday. I was also filling up the last of my field trips for masters’ thesis. So, this also comes from my field notes. The roads in […]

Reading Foucault & thinking college activism

This has been in the making for several years now – trying to identify the causal chain from ideas to action, especially since the first reading of Foucault. The ongoing trouble in colleges and universities of Delhi presents a case to reflect upon this causal chain. There comes a phase in student life when encounters […]

When bad guys get elected

Here is a quick take on the electoral process prompted by a twitter conversation with a friend. This first appeared on Lokniti blog. This polemical piece is a consequence of a twitter conversation with another MPP grad (@suhasd1988) on an article in NYT by Maskin and Sen that he shared. The authors explain how a […]

Explorations in Marxist social theory & a book review

This one will be a longer post than usual, but delights me especially because I could manage to get a somewhat minimal sense of the range of thoughts and ideas in the Marxist lineage, which has been a long going effort. The post includes a discussion of a clutch of the thinkers in a rather […]

Knowledge of the past before us – History & Methodology

(For Isha) This morning, Romila Thapar, Professor Emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University delivered a talk on Knowledge of the past before us, at IISc. Having bought her recently published book The Past as Present: Forging Contemporary Identities Through History I was interested in her views on the methodological aspects of knowledge production. Also, that she […]

Awadh Punch: India’s Charlie Hebdo of Past

This was brewing for sometime now, with last evening’s conversation with an art historian bringing it all to a churn. Turns out that her father wrote for the legendary Awadh Punch, a satirical Urdu weekly published from Lucknow, which began in 1877. It was edited by Munshi Sajjad Hussain. Recollecting stories of the post-independence days in India, […]

Right to Information: What has it changed in India?

From its early origin as a mass movement in a Rajasthan village in 1996 to a countrywide struggle for a Right to Information (RTI) Act which was passed in 2005, it has led to interesting and peculiar consequences to governance and bureaucracy in India. The current and earlier debates around RTI suggests that it has […]

Engaging Modern Indian Political Thought – A discussion

‘The problem with Indian scholarship is that it lacks a robust, critical biographical tradition’ – This remark was made by historian Ramachandra Guha who spoke at the university this week on modern Indian political thought. It is striking because I have often felt the absence of scholarship on several forgotten heroes of Indian independence as well […]

On a lesser hero of Indian Politics – Lohia and Caste in Indian Politics

The following is a review of political thoughts and writings of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia who happens to be a lesser known figure of Indian independence movement and of the political transformation that unfolded in the 1950-70 period. Lohia’s vision of egalitarian politics appears to be a case of lost opportunity for Indian politics and […]