Articles by: Hiren Gohain

Justice in Crisis – 2

Justice in Crisis – 2

       It is good that the CJI has reminded a foreign audience abroad that the judiciary is committed to the constitution and its values,and not to any government creating havoc by flaunting its banner.In another recent function here a Supreme Court Judge has expressed his unhappiness at the media criticism of the different verdicts of the courts in different cases.[Read More…]

by 04/07/2022 0 comments India
Justice in Crisis

Justice in Crisis

It is rather ironic that at a time when the CJI is addressing students at New York on democracy and senior Justice of Supreme Court D.Y.Chandrachud is speaking at King’s College,Cambridge on human rights and civil liberties,a vacation bench of SC here has administered an unexpected and rather uncalled-for blow to noted human rights activist Teesta Setalvad,prompting Gujarat Police and[Read More…]

by 28/06/2022 0 comments India
The Nation And Its Constituents

The Nation And Its Constituents

Thousands of youths upon the streets.Mainly but not exclusively BJP-ruled states. On their faces a burning desire to avenge a wrong.But not necessarily a maniacal rage with indiscriminate targets.Buses and trains in flames.Youths storming at everything associated with government with sticks and pelting stones at police.Police trying desperately to stem the tide.Lathi-charges and in one incident bullets. Frightening and disturbing[Read More…]

by 20/06/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Public Interest And Courts

Public Interest And Courts

I propose to deal with two entirely different issues under the same rubric,as one daily comes under an avalanche of news,a benumbing mixture of sheer frippery and disturbing political trends.Are we drifting towards a dangerous period of violent anarchy and brutal mind-boggling repression? First the daily inflow of one more senior and influential leader of the main opposition party deserting[Read More…]

by 15/06/2022 Comments are Disabled India
He Who Rides a Tiger

He Who Rides a Tiger

There is a Bengali saying,”He who rides a tiger cannot dismount”.This would seem to apply to the entrenched political lobby which have been seeking assiduously to undermine the country’s constitution by burrowing into it and weakening it from within. The recent rather strict action taken against a national spokesperson of the ruling party,though nine days after her offending remarks,and only[Read More…]

by 11/06/2022 Comments are Disabled India
A New Surgical Strike

A New Surgical Strike

Our leaders seem fascinated by the phrase ‘surgical strike’,like a child with a new toy playing with it any number of times.The suddenness that takes the target by surprise,the abruptness and the concentrated force that overwhelms resistance,all combine to put the party using it under a spell. The detoxification of Congress heritage in the state is the field where the[Read More…]

by 07/06/2022 1 comment India
Constitution and the Nation

Constitution and the Nation

Rahul Gandhi is being barracked by the saffron camp for saying the constitution does not mention the word ‘nation’.They argue the Preamble does so clearly.But no constitution in the world talks about any ‘nation’. Constitutions talk about the structure and powers of the State and the rights of the people.They are rendered necessary by the urge and need to eliminate[Read More…]

by 02/06/2022 1 comment India
A Bomb or a Damp Squib?

A Bomb or a Damp Squib?

A few days back,a story jointly authored by The Wire journalist Sangeeta Pisharoty Barua and the online Assamese newsportal Cross Currents created a sensation in Assam and elsewhere.The report states that during the first onset of COVID 19 then Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma claimed that he was the only minister of any state government to have ordered PPE[Read More…]

by 30/05/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Mosques and Shrines: Helmsman Beware

Mosques and Shrines: Helmsman Beware

During the heyday of the Non-co-operation Movement led by Gandhijee,the firebrand Bengali rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam wrote a poem where he held out a warning to the leaders.He was aware of rising Hindu-Muslim tensions and growing indiscipline among its ranks.The title and the first line of the poem is :”Beware helmsman!”,obviously addressing the leaders of the movement. I have[Read More…]

by 17/05/2022 Comments are Disabled India
A Multiple Emergency

A Multiple Emergency

I think we are in the midst of an undeclared multiple emergency that is flattening all our familiar signposts in every sphere of public life.Mere refutation of the prolific lies and recourse to conventional remedies seem no longer of any avail.Included of course is the alarming fact that most of the institutions guarding the public interest have been totally disarmed.There[Read More…]

by 13/05/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Pitfalls of Positivist Scholarship

Pitfalls of Positivist Scholarship

There is near-consensus in the academia that facts and facts alone are sovereign in research,and theories are suspect.This does not prevent reputed scholars to author huge times on ‘the end of ideology’,’the clash of civilizations’,’the mind of Islam’, ‘the fading of the American dream’,and so on.Nevertheless the insistence is reiterated ad nauseam. It is especially when someone writes something that[Read More…]

by 30/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Book Review
Re-arrest of Jignesh Mevani is a mockery of law

Re-arrest of Jignesh Mevani is a mockery of law

It is disgusting that the day Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani got bail at the CJM’s court,he was re-arrested on patently trumped-up charges of obstructing police officers from carrying out their duties and ‘outraging the modesty of a woman police officer’ by a police team from a different district of Assam. In both these cases the police are obviously the sole[Read More…]

by 26/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Enemy in disguise

Enemy in disguise

One disturbing and intriguing aspect of current opposition politics is the persistent illusion that but for a few exceptions it is business as usual in politics.It is not.There is a vast,far-reaching but insidious and unobtrusive plan at work to change the character of the state.The campaign is two-pronged,both from the level of the state and the level of popular mobilization.Every[Read More…]

by 25/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Jignesh Mewani should be released immediately

Jignesh Mewani should be released immediately

I am immensely and most disagreeably surprised by the excessive action of the Assam Police in arresting legislator Jignesh Mewani from far-off Gujarat for a bitter critical comment on the Prime Minister on the complaint of someone from Assam. The complainant may have the highest regard for the Prime Minister.But others are within their rights to hold and air a[Read More…]

by 22/04/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Darkness of Daylight

Darkness of Daylight

Recent reports on Gautam Navlakha’s appeal to change his jail term when the case just drags on on health grounds once again revive nagging doubts on the fabulous Maoist conspiracy case against a miscellaneous group of lawyers,social activists and human rights workers on the basis of documents allegedly retrieved from the laptop of some of the accused.The case is hanging[Read More…]

by 07/04/2022 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Twilight of Ideas

Twilight of Ideas

This article owes nothing to philosopher Nietzsche except a faint echo of the title of his celebrated work,TWILIGHT OF THE GODS,suggesting a similar crisis and detour of European spiritual culture as its icons were getting brittle after reigning supreme for a century. Nietzsche promises to go to them with a hammer.I have no such pretensions.I am only referring to the[Read More…]

by 21/03/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Dimming of Footlights

Dimming of Footlights

There it is and it cannot be wished away.The Congress has come a cropper for the THIRD time,and someone must take responsibility for it. We have heard for the third time the tired plea that the people’s verdict had been accepted with humility. Some noted commentators have said that Rahul Gandhi et al must now leave politics and retire to[Read More…]

by 14/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
On Current Changes In Toponymy

On Current Changes In Toponymy

This unfamiliar term means ‘Scence of Place Names’ and traces origins and histories of place-names.The current saffron craze for changes in place-names purportedly associated with Muslim rule actually plays havoc with Toponymy,and by association,with history Originating in a thirst for revenge against alleged ‘historical wrongs/injustices’, this mania actually sins against history.Colonial rulers sometimes failed to pronounce native names correctly,and changed[Read More…]

by 01/03/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Destruction of a Small Nationality

Destruction of a Small Nationality

Reports say some authority in central(union) government had rejected the tableaux from three states for the Republic Day parade.What does the republic stand for? Not a centralized state,but as CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury had insisted in Parliament during the first Modi government ‘a union of states’.He had invoked the Constitution.But leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley had promptly retorted that[Read More…]

by 22/02/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Destruction of JNU

Destruction of JNU

      Everything that reminds people of Nehru’s legacy is being smashed.Along with it the ideas of democracy and all-round development he espoused so tenaciously. Now there is no need to put him on a pedestal and burn incense to his memory.He had his faults,but he had been practically the founder of modern Indian democracy as we know it[Read More…]

by 09/02/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Rahul Gandhi and Our Constitution

Rahul Gandhi and Our Constitution

The initial remarks in Rahul Gandhi’s speech in Parliament the motion of thanks to the President’s speech have provoked a storm of abuse from BJP ranks within and outside the house.The matter needs some scrutiny. Gandhi said the Constitution does not mention the nation. Quite so. But I believe no constitution in the world actually mentions the nation.It is usually[Read More…]

by 06/02/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Socialism And The Individual

Socialism And The Individual

I do not find Vijay Parshad’s idea of the place of the individual in socialism very convincing.Though I salute the strength and courage of his conviction in the world-wide fight against imperialism it does not seem he has spared much thought for this crucial question.This hesitancy and silence marked all previous revolutionary leaders with possible exception in Che Guevara.All of[Read More…]

by 01/02/2022 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
In The Trail Of Conspiracy

In The Trail Of Conspiracy

Poring over Appu Suresh and Priyanka Kotamraju’s THE MURDERER.THE MONARCH AND THE FAKIR(Harper Collins) at a stretch I have just finished reading it.The story has its own interest and the authors have brought to light things that can never be evaded now.Savarkar and his associates can no longer be simply absolved of guilt as has so far been done.The Prince[Read More…]

by 29/01/2022 Comments are Disabled Book Review
Fables And Fantasies

Fables And Fantasies

These days one wakes up every morning to headlines about fresh ravages of COVID-19 and one more scandalous attempt by the government at the Centre to re-fashion history and public memory. There are certain common threads to the latter campaign. For one the desperate attempt to sift and sweep out the great contribution of Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National[Read More…]

by 25/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Auguries of Ruin

Auguries of Ruin

The juvenile remoulding of symbols by quenching the flames of the Amar Jawan Jyoti flame and magically merging the dead flame with one in the National War Memorial has caused widespread disgust.In the favourite tactic of surgical strikes the act had been neither in public demand nor anticipated.The logic barely stands scrutiny. Sure the dead in the First ever World[Read More…]

by 22/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Domesticating Dissent

Domesticating Dissent

These days there is a lot of enthusiasm in progressive liberal circles about the powerful presence of dissent in Indian traditional thought.Accompanied by head-shaking about the pernicious effect of Anglophilia and dominance of the Engish language in academic circles. Inordinately nettled at the saffron camp’s repression of liberal thinking in the name of pristine Indian tradition and at its hostile[Read More…]

by 19/01/2022 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Rule of Law Vs Rule of Laws

Rule of Law Vs Rule of Laws

There is now a real hunt for coining ever new terms for new upsetting phenomena in society and politics,such as finer terms to denote different degrees of authoritarianism in stead of seeing as a whole the concerted and unremitting campaign to turn the state into a full-fledged fascist state. On the other hand there is a reluctance to examine the[Read More…]

by 14/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Journalism in Existential Crisis

Journalism in Existential Crisis

When the Wire and Cross-current broke the news of the Assam Chief Minister’s family having been involved in a landscam in three different areas of the state,turning govt. land allotted for charitable purposes into real estate with majority shares under their belt,everyone expected the popular press here to raise a huge furore.The report pinpointed the location,the specific category of the[Read More…]

by 01/01/2022 Comments are Disabled India
Pegasus Trail -2

Pegasus Trail -2

With due deference to prominent social activists and shapers of public opinion Venkatesh Narayan and Sandeep Pandey, and their insistence on the urgency and immediacy of the issue of freedom of expression,I would still like to propose that the right to privacy is of not less importance.After all freedom is indivisible as I had urged about three years back in[Read More…]

by 23/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Pegasus Trail

The Pegasus Trail

The Supreme Court in its historic judgment on the Pegasus scandal memorably castigated the government and formed a committee under its own watch to enquire into the alleged grave state violation of the precious right to privacy of citizens.The honourable court had also apparently prohibited any other agency from enquiring into it.Recently the commission led by Ret.Justice of SC Madan[Read More…]

by 20/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
An Historic Juncture

An Historic Juncture

The Prime Minister’s holy dip in the Ganga is no longer a private affair,but a state event reported on the media with plenty of fanfare.Twelve Chief Ministers from states have been called in to follow his lead.Like an emperor commanding his satraps to demonstrate their loyalty to him by taking subsidiary parts in the sacred ablutions. This is in stark[Read More…]

by 16/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Elephant In The Room

Elephant In The Room

The Indian elite is given to thinking of the Constitution as some sort of a sacred emblem, and believes that none will dare commit sacrilege against it.But the constitution,however noble a document,is made by people,and it has to be protected by people from damage and danger.When one reads that an MP of the governing party has proposed in parliament alteration[Read More…]

by 06/12/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Our present constitutional crisis

Our present constitutional crisis

Historian Marc Bloch talks of a ‘Longue Duree'( long or protracted time) to describe an historical period where inherent contradictions of a socio-cultural system develop slowly,giving it almost a stagnant look.It can be characterized by certain common features. I think the term may be applied also to a crisis,like our present constitutional crisis. CJI Ramana, yearns to tread the long[Read More…]

by 29/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Nehru And History

Nehru And History

Nehru is now the favourite punching bag for all who call for change.Time was when he was nothing short of a demi-god.But now there has been such a volley of attacks on him as would seem to demand consigning him to the scrap-heap.As though he is guilty of all mishaps that have befallen us. But such demands are somewhat dubious[Read More…]

by 25/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
A Turning Point in Sight?

A Turning Point in Sight?

Like many others I also scanned closely the video of the Prime Minister making the ‘historic’ announcement on the farm bills. But I did not find a speck of sincere contrition and remorse in it.His eyes distant and his tone studiedly lofty,he was expressing a strategic and perhaps temporary withdrawal.Explaining the repeal as a failure to convince a minority of[Read More…]

by 22/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Nativist Drama

Nativist Drama

The Assam Human Rights Commission closed on 10.3.2021 the case filed by Hirak Jyoti Bora,former General Secretary,Cotton College Students’ Union and now a member of the Assamese nationalist party AJP ,against the allegedly unprovoked police firing during the night of 12 December 2019 in Assam that had killed Sam Stafford and four other youthful protesters against the passing of CAA.[Read More…]

by 14/11/2021 Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Assam: Discourse of Disinheritance

Assam: Discourse of Disinheritance

For the last five years or so heated discussion on violence committed on minorities in Assam has risen to such a fever-pitch that any plea for a reasonable assessment of the Assamese concerns has been virtually ruled out of court.The Assamese,or a section of them,have been grave violators of human rights.But that by itself should not justify ruling out any[Read More…]

by 06/11/2021 Comments are Disabled India
To Rein In Flying Horse

To Rein In Flying Horse

The recent in the face bluster of the Centre that it need not always obey the verdict of the SC carried a disturbing undertone of menace.As if it will be infra dig for the SC to compel the Centre to comply with its orders.Treason,to put it starkly. But in democracy such obedience to constituted authority is the rule,as in its[Read More…]

by 29/10/2021 Comments are Disabled India
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 Comments are Disabled 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 Comments are Disabled 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