ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Selective Responses

Indian liberals cannot be selectively loud in one case of fundamentalism and whisper in another as is shown by their response to the ban on Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses and that on Rohinton Mistry's Such a Long Journey.

Thinking of Surve

Narayan Surve was a "people's poet" who was a shade romantic about his faith in communist ideology. His romanticism carried within it the principle of Karuna. The pain of the exploited life and the exploitative society was there forever present in his writing.

Pride and Prejudice in Maratha Country

Indians are great champions of banning anything and everything. Why is it that we prefer prohibition and vandalism to a frontal and intellectual attack on the book or work of art in question? There is a peculiar kind of rebelliousness that has no use for academics and is yet ready to sit in judgment on what is right and wrong in academics, literature, journalism and the like.

Coalition of the Hard and Soft

India's politicians have figured out that coalition politics can not only be played out but also played with and lately, that is what all of them are doing.

The A B (or C) of Literature

The annual Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in Pune has a long history going back to the early 2oth century. The events surrounding the 83rd sammelan, held last month, when Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan and actor Amitabh Bachchan were to share the stage were farcical. The chief minister simply failed to realise that sharing a stage with someone you disagree with is, in the ultimate analysis, a very small matter.

The Decaying Words?

There was a time when India was a champion of independent foreign policy. That was the meaning of various formulations that were current in Nehru's days. Indira Gandhi knew how to handle the US and its allies. All those formulations are dead and forgotten. Shashi Tharoor and all the bright boys of the Ministry of External Affairs are certain that they will have nothing to do with the decaying words of the bygone era.

Awards for the Asking?

While Indian elites hanker after recognition from the American dominated world, we have debased our own awards. They are now often given for services rendered to the powers that be. What does this hankering tell us about ourselves?

Correct Lines and the Unfurled Flag

It is usually the State - at times the media - that indulges in censorship. In the world of Marathi theatre and films, however, censorship is currently invisible and non-official, and carried out with a zeal that is totally independent of the State or religious philosophies.

Thou Shall Not Forget Thy Duty

The Indian people have been miles ahead of the Bollywood boys or media savvy purandhrees in fulfilling their democratic duties as far as voting is concerned. Who are these glamour boys and girls to educate or sit in judgment on them?

The Dargah of Rehman Baba

The Taliban has destroyed the Dargah of Rehman Baba on the grounds that women visit it and offer their prayers there. Closer home an ignoramus called Mutalik dictates to all Hindus what Hinduism should be. This Hinduism, it would seem, includes beating up women in the name of "our culture". How long are we to continue to suffer the destruction of the culture and traditions of south Asia's two most prominent religions?

Vanar Sene, Muthalik, etc

In the reams and reams expended on criticising Pramod Muthalik, the Sree Ram Sene and their ilk for their attacks on women, we do not see that the Muthalik kind of defence of Indian "culture" is the result of our incomplete modernisation. This is what Muthalik's violence, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's tacit acquiescence with such behaviour and Union Women's Affairs Minister Renuka Choudhary's response all share in common.

Under American Aegis?

In the realm of foreign policy, the Indian elite have surrendered the initiative to Washington. For them, it must be a peaceful south Asia under the American aegis. Everybody from the Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party is for an American south Asia.


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