Articles by: Hiren Gohain

Astride on a Winged Horse

Astride on a Winged Horse

Whatever has happened to Pegasus,the winged horse? The SC had put a simple question to the government’s counsel if it used it on certain citizens who can by no means be considered security threats.The government just refused to respond any way,leaving everybody on tenterhooks. Nothing has since been heard about it. Meanwhile reports say the Israeli government is in secret[Read More…]

by 25/10/2021 0 comments India
New Light On Savarkar?

New Light On Savarkar?

Recently during a book-launch RSS supremo Mohan Bagavat is reported to have regretted that Savarkar has been the victim of an historical conspiracy of sorts.He warned that next,Swami Vivekananda may come in for similar villification.Apparently both are in the same league in his opinion.’Guruji’ Golwalkar had also written in his WE OR OUR NATIONHOOD DEFINED about the exceptional logical clarity[Read More…]

by 14/10/2021 0 comments India
Crisis, Reason And Concord: Review Of Amartya Sen’s Memoir “Home in the World”

Crisis, Reason And Concord: Review Of Amartya Sen’s Memoir “Home in the World”

Review of Amartya Sen’s Memoir “HOME IN THE WORLD”,Penguin Random House,2021 Amartya Sen is rightly regarded as the iconic liberal democrat of our time,combining as he does a deep-seated commitment to fundamental civil rights with an unwavering passion for social justice,advocated with serene rationality unfailingly courteous to people holding different views.The only condition he lays down is that such views[Read More…]

by 09/10/2021 Comments are Disabled Book Review
Farmers’ Protest: A Short Note on Justice

Farmers’ Protest: A Short Note on Justice

Ashish Tripathi writing in DECCAN HERALD(October 4) has quoted an SC bench hearing a case against farmers’ protest objecting that it impedes the public’s freedom of movement by blocking roads.The bench made two observations.First since the laws have been stayed there was no reason for protests to continue. Secondly,the validity of the laws will be tested and decided at the[Read More…]

by 04/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Assam: Final Solutions

Assam: Final Solutions

People squirm in unease when I refer to the legacy of Nazism while discussing present proponents of Hindutva.But once one sets aside quibbles the mindset of both camps cannot fail to strike one with their remarkable likeness. The fundamental generic unity lies in their deep discomfort with any strand of thought,culture or language that does not agree with their paradigm[Read More…]

by 25/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Atrocity as Mode of Governance

Atrocity as Mode of Governance

Even a couple of days before it hapless Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, or anybody outside a charmed circle,had any idea that they will be set upon by hordes of murderers and hate=filled fanatics. Secrecy and suddenness are the basic elements of such mass assaults on life and property of victims of pogroms. Secrecy is no longer so important as[Read More…]

by 25/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Opposition Unity: Will they, won’t they?

Opposition Unity: Will they, won’t they?

The second half of the thirties for the Weimar Republic in Germany was marked by both aspirations and apprehensions.The rise of the Nazis,with the connivance at their political thuggery by the police,did arouse anxiety,but Hitler as yet had not earned his evil charisma.The largest group in parliament were the Social Democrats,who were denounced as ‘social fascists’ simply for not joining[Read More…]

by 22/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Pegasus and Fables of National Security

Pegasus and Fables of National Security

Government pleads in Supreme Court  in defence of its stubborn refusal to disclose if it has used Pegasus spyware against civilian targets,that terrorists might disappear from the radar if the answer is made public.But the moment it became known that it could be used against suspected terrorists,they would have taken prompt  precaution to disable the spyware or dive deeper into[Read More…]

by 16/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Land to Tycoons

Land to Tycoons

Himanta Biswa Sharma,the much-toasted chief minister of Assam, has announced with trademark fanfare that thirty years after the last land-settlement survey he is launching a new land-survey to precisely demarcate,and record the land-rights of Assam with the latest, most modern equipment.There will be no more middle-men in business.Every owner of land will be in undisturbed possession of his land,he thunders,and[Read More…]

by 09/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Jalianwala Bag: Heritage re-made

Jalianwala Bag: Heritage re-made

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi calls it an ‘insult to the nation.CPI(M) general secretary describes it as “an attempt to erase all traces of British atrocities in India”.It is both and much,much more.It is a shocking yet dead pan attempt to change the very meaning of India’s freedom movement.As objective observers and analysts of colonialism and imperialism have repeatedly underlined, all[Read More…]

by 02/09/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Law and Order Tumbling Down?

Law and Order Tumbling Down?

Radical social critics often complain bitterly that the invocation of law and order is a fiction that merely upholds the legitimacy of propertied classes. The common man,who suffers most from the unequal rights under this system,whether in the hands of the police or in the callousness of bureaucracy,or for that matter,’the law’s delay’ in Hamlet’s monologue,tries ineffectually to escape its[Read More…]

by 28/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Financial Profligacy in the Making?

Financial Profligacy in the Making?

The plan to marketise the vast infrastructure architecture of the country on the stock market for a windfall gain of Rs.6 lakh crore for the government has predictably agitated the opposition as it amounts to gambling with the ‘family silver’.I have no intention to pose as an expert in public finance as I have not even elementary knowledge of the[Read More…]

by 25/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Nehru Reconsidered

Nehru Reconsidered

Nehru in retrospect certainly does not shine as brightly as he did during his lifetime.But the image has not dimmed as much as much as his detractors would like.There is a much more clear-headed perception of his weaknesses and failures,but also a willingness to make due allowance for the mistakes unavoidable in his pioneering leadership in a long march on[Read More…]

by 20/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Haziness of Transparency

The Haziness of Transparency

With substsantive politics,which has serious concern with the economy having been quietly shelved,and now being shaped by masters of global finance in the shadows, politics has steadily turned into a noisy theatre.A few decent politicians are still struggling against the current.But the pull of the current seems simply overwhelming.One is disquietened by shows like passionate protests verging on violence and[Read More…]

by 12/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Re-making of the Mahatma

Re-making of the Mahatma

Noted Assamese poet Nabakanta Barua wrote a famous poem decades ago, with the title that translates into English as ‘There was a river here’. It describes in pretty ominous and disturbing words how the desert creeps in with slow invincibility.I used to nurse a feeling of dislike and disdain for it as it seemed to bracket out human agency. But[Read More…]

by 10/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Vaccine Blues

Vaccine Blues

There are several reports in the press here in Assam that in several rural regions people queuing up from daybreak for the jab were told that the vaccine stock was exhausted after three or four hours.Incensed they created a huge ruckus,and at times vandalised the vaccine centre and attacked the staff.A friend from the countryside told me on phone that[Read More…]

by 07/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
How History Is Weaponised

How History Is Weaponised

Five hundred years ago,Francis Bacon wrote in his pithy way,”Revenge is a kind of wild justice.” Surely it gets wilder if you stretch your vendetta to a thousand years past.This is what we can conclude from what our External Affairs Minister said in a colloquiam to a fairly bland remark of Anthony Blinken,US secretary of state. S.Jaishankar,who had been a[Read More…]

by 01/08/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Pegasus: On the Trail of a Flying Horse

Pegasus: On the Trail of a Flying Horse

I have been persuaded by Noam Chomsky’s luminous and lucid insight that the politics we are familiar with simply befogs and obfuscates simple moral questions of right or wrong,just or unjust,good or evil.The questions that the Pegasus controversy raises are also basically moral ones,if you clean up all the usual confusing clutter. This is dismissed by vested and extremely partisan[Read More…]

by 29/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Deconstructing Assam – Mizoram Border Clash

Deconstructing Assam – Mizoram Border Clash

Most people in India do not know that the majority of the states in Northeast India were once part of the undivided province of Assam during Brtish colonial rule. Several of them also happen to be in the most earth-quake prone zone(zone 5) of the world.But the gruesome recent violence at Assam-Mizo border also forces us to recognize it as[Read More…]

by 27/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A Question of Strategy – Farmers Stir and Its Foes

A Question of Strategy – Farmers Stir and Its Foes

I don’t remember where exactly I read the story of the APMC Mandis falling apart in certain regions not immediately involved in the farmers’ stir.I hope fervently it is one of the shoals of fake stories swirling around in the ocean of Internet.But if true I think it should ring alarm bells in the leading circles of the mammoth farmers’[Read More…]

by 25/07/2021 1 comment India
Tibet and Xinjiyang: Cultural Revolution From Above

Tibet and Xinjiyang: Cultural Revolution From Above

Left-inclined people in India are usually left in a twilight between belief and scepticism when faced with conflicting reports on affairs in Tibet and Xin Jiyang from Western and Chinese sources. Western sources dwell on massive social and cultural oppression attempting to recast by force the native identities of the peoples of these two regions.But Chinese sources trot out impressive-sounding[Read More…]

by 24/07/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Pegasus: Mumbo Jumbo Will Voodoo You!

Pegasus: Mumbo Jumbo Will Voodoo You!

In my early youth when the sheer magic of sound, rhythm and verbal atmospherics casts a spell on you,I remember having been captivated by a now-forgotten poem by the American poet Vachel Lindsay.It used stereotypes of Africa as a land of black magic in incantatory verse to evoke a feeling of dread of unknown mysteries.Named ‘Congo’,it used the words used[Read More…]

by 22/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Hands Off Cuba!

Hands Off Cuba!

It was not fire-breathing communists but Jawaharlal Nehru who took the initiative to recognize Cuba at a time when Western powers were bristling with frustrated rage against the tiny island-country only thirty and odd miles from the American coast.Because Nehru saw the Cuban revolution as part of the national liberation movement that roused people against suffocating colonial and imperialist dominance[Read More…]

by 15/07/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Hindutva and Culture

Hindutva and Culture

Terry Eagleton argues in his rollicking way that there is actually little to put your finger on when high-minded scholars talk about culture in hushed tones these days.He thinks the term stands in when proponents of modernity make a futile search for a transcendental purpose displaced from religion to maje sense of life.Religion was failing to provide a framework for[Read More…]

by 13/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Judiciary On Trial

Judiciary On Trial

Justice must have a heart.It cannot be just an arena for legal pedantry and fireworks,though that unfortunately has been the case since the rise of Rhetoric in ancient Greece.If one does not FEEL the pain,suffering and loss an injustice causes,the outward demeanour of calm objectivity makes little sense.CJI Ramana had inspired some hope that we have left behind the long[Read More…]

by 09/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Whither Congress?

Whither Congress?

Some observers like us have been saying in the face of much mistrust that without Congress in the team no coalition for a national opposition can really take off.But we too have been shaken by the continued stasis of the party.In states this has led to a strange inertia punctuated by quiet departures from time to time of one or[Read More…]

by 04/07/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Spectre of Opposition Unity

The Spectre of Opposition Unity

How,or indeed why, should parties that are bitterly opposed to each other,and come election time jump at each other’s throat, are toying with the idea of of coming together,is a much discussed topic in the press today.First thing to say is,of course,that we live in very very different times.We are enjoined by circumstances to unite in order to defend something[Read More…]

by 26/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The UAPA Noose

The UAPA Noose

It is now out in the open.There seems to be quite a lot of dissatisfaction in the higher judiciary about the burden placed on their shoulders by the rising number of UAPA cases.The phrasing of the act is so wide and sweeping that it gives a government powers to practically put under arrest and detain anyone it finds inconvenient or[Read More…]

by 21/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
India At The Crossroads

India At The Crossroads

The cat is out of the bag at last.Kapil Sibal is one of the twenty-three dissidents who wrote a letter to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi pleading for organisational reforms leading to the installation of an elected president in place of one who was alleged to have inherited it.He was indirectly blaming the latter for the poll disasters Congress suffered.He[Read More…]

by 17/06/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Strawman on Target: Misplaced Criticism of NRC – Part II

Strawman on Target: Misplaced Criticism of NRC – Part II

The Foreigners’ Tribunals of Assam were first constituted around 1965,when the first alarm was raised about massive infiltration of foreigners from East Pakistan(now Bangladesh) and the Border Police were ordered to detect and deport them.The fact that the British had promoted an influx of migrants amounting to ten lakhs or more every decade and the notion that Assam had plenty[Read More…]

by 16/09/2019 Comments are Disabled India
Strawman on Target: Reply to Critics of NRC – Part I

Strawman on Target: Reply to Critics of NRC – Part I

So Messrs Angshuman Choudhuri and Suraj Gogoi are at it again———aiming pot shots at me while passing over or trivializing the main argument and point of view. Worse,their diatribe is assuming an increasingly personal tone and turning the debate into a squabble.Hence this is going to be my last and final attempt to clear up the confusion born of lack[Read More…]

by 15/09/2019 Comments are Disabled India