Modi’s Rise, Freedom’s Fall

BY CHANDRAHAS CHOUDHURY Here are three strange but instructive instances of pride, pique and prejudice in modern India at different levels of state and society. To some Indians, they could represent the might and glory of the newly assertive motherland; to others of a perhaps more paranoid bent, they might indicate a creeping new culture […]

Don’t Forget to Write

BY PAULO COELHO “There are two types of writers: those who make you think and those who make you dream” says Brian Aldiss, who made me dream for such a long time with his science-fiction books. In principle I believe that every human being on this planet has at least one good story to tell […]

Pak Petrified by Medusa’s Head

 BY S IFTIKHAR MURSHED The leaders of the country have seen the head of Medusa in a mirror and fear has transformed them into stone. This is the impact the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has had on the nation. Ordinary people – men, women and children – have writhed under the tyranny of its despotism which has […]

Israeli Right’s Craft to Protect Settlements

BY URI AVNERI It has always been a secret ambition of mine to have a bagatz ruling bearing my name. Bagatz is the Hebrew acronym for “High Court of Justice”, the Israeli equivalent of a constitutional court. It plays a very important role in Israeli public life. Having a ground-breaking Supreme Court decision named after you confers a […]

Global Disparities

BY SYED MUHAMMAD ALI It doesn’t take a poverty specialist to realise that the world in the 21st century remains plagued by disturbing disparities. Some basic statistical comparisons do, however, help illustrate this point. Consider, for instance, the fact that the richest 85 people on the globe now control as much wealth as the poorest […]

Big Money and Campaign Funding

BY JOHN SPRITZLER Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Constitutional scholar (like President Obama once was), is leading a march against corruption, by which he means the inordinate influence of Big Money on Congress. In an interview to Bill Moyers, Lessig says: “The solution is to change the way we fund elections by supporting small dollar-funded elections […]

In Defence of the Offensive

BY VASUNDHARA SIRNATE In Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, the main protagonist, Guy Montag, is a “fireman” whose task is to burn all books. Set in a fictional town in the American Mid-West, Fahrenheit 451 is about a society where “firemen” hunt people who hide books, raze their houses and burn all literature. Out of curiosity, one […]

Abu Muslim—rise of Abbasids

Golden Mein Khorasan based Abu Muslims was too deft a planner to miss capitalizing on the governance deficits of Omayyad caliphs in the dying days of the dynastic caliphate. Marwan-II, the last of Omayyads facing heavy odds and taking on his adversaries gamely in some sectors had nevertheless a stretched out front to face. He […]

Bharat rat(na) race

By Dr N. Janardhan A few weeks ago Sachin Tendulkar ‘controversially’ became the youngest and first sportsperson to be formally decorated with India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. Since 1954, the official criterion for conferring this coveted award was the “highest degree of national service”, which included artistic, literary, and scientific achievements, as well […]

Clean Chit to Modi Reeks of Guilt

Manoj Mitta’s analysis exposes a regulated drift in the Gujarat investigation, which the Indian media has studiedly chosen to ignore, even when put down in hard print        BY AJAZ ASHRAF  Once you complete reading Manoj Mitta’s breathtaking investigative book, The Fiction of Fact-Finding; Modi & Godhra, you are likely to wonder about the priorities of […]