Blogs

The Tongues We Speak In

This month began with a set of diktats by the Prime Minister and the government that were in keeping with a long tradition of linguistic chauvinism of the Hindu Right in India.  These involved replacing English with Hindi in official communications, removing proficiency in the former as a requirement in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations; there was even a suggestion that Hindi as a preferred language of use of official account

The Editors' Blog: An Introduction

Visitors to epw.in would have been noticing a number of changes on the site since late 2012.

Kartar Singh (1959)

While Indian cinema of 1950s is mostly blank on the subject of Partition, poet Saifuddin Saif’s Kartar Singh (1959), a Punjabi film from Pakistan is perhaps the best specimen in which we can see the way Partition was explored in moving pictures by a generation that had been recently and directly impacted by the events of 1947.

Sex and Those Oh So Elusive "Indian Values"

Open Letter to Dr Harsh Vardhan

Dear Dr Harsh Vardhan,

Rock and Roti

The other day we watched the four part mini series production of Hanif Kureishi’s novel, the Buddha of Surburbia.  It is a wonderful screen adaptation of that novella about two generations of south Asians negotiating their pasts and futures, their possibilities which abound, and their limitations which are all over and around. There are familiar tropes:  of fathers and sons inhabiting different cultural orbits. Of arranged marriages and corner shops. But there is more. A good writer, Milan Kundera once said, is above all, an honest writer.

Last Man in Tower

"We are all in it together for the taste of it, for the fun of it,

Campa Orange flavor, all the flavor of fun!"

Social Protests vs Moral Panics

The question of what arouses outrage or “moral panics” in societies is a fascinating one. In Jamaica, members of a powerful Evangelical Christian fundamentalist lobby group have decided to rally their troops in a crusade against the University of the West Indies because the contract of one of their members as head of an organisation named CHART (Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network) has been terminated.

Electoral Politics in Urban India

The results of 16th Lok Sabha elections somehow pose a serious challenge to the conventional distinction between urban and rural Indian voting behaviour. The assumption that urban India attracts more towards sophisticated and mature issues (such as political stability of the governments, growth of the economy, urbanisation and so on) while rural India gets trapped in emotional issues and votes on caste/religious lines, turned out to be rather irrelevant this time.

What is an electoral wave?

Is it appropriate to describe Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory in the recent Lok Sabha polls as an outcome of an electoral wave? There are two explanations to this question. The pro-Modi explanation, which draws its inspiration from the media-centric Modi campaign, focuses on BJP’s electoral performance - number of seats won by the party,  BJP’s spread across India, its increasing social base etc -- to suggest that Narendra Modi’s charm as a leader transformed him into a political phenomenon and paved the way for BJP’s impressive victory.

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