Review: The Past as Present by Romila Thapar

For those who believe that the lone founders of ‘Indian civilization’ were the Aryans or that the Indian past was singular and exclusive in character, Romila Thapar’s latest book The Past as Present, is a must read. Because Thapar, in her highly readable yet profound essays, logically demolishes distorted historical arguments, showing readers how and…

Bodoland Violence: Will we ever learn?

Ethnic and communal violence has struck Assam, with all its stark ugliness, once again. What occurred in 2012, has returned, quite shamelessly, this month. Muslims of Bengali origin have been mercilessly targeted—with more than 30 persons killed in two days—and mudslinging has continued ever since, unabated. Media reports have said that the non-Bodo organisations in…

Why Jaatishwar is an important watch

Whenever we try to define our inclusion into a particular culture, what we are faced with, other than sorting out our belongingness to multiple identities in a plural society, are questions- questions on an authentic inclusion, questions on how to define who is, in this case, a Bengali. Are they, who were born with Bengali…

The Peripheral People in Delhi

Nido Taniam, a 20-year-old boy from the North Eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, had a trendy haircut—long auburn hair, all spiked up. He was a student at a private university in Jalandhar. Like most people from the North East, Taniam had an East Asian appearance—especially single-fold eyelids—and  loved music. His dad is a Member of…

Anny’s story

At a construction site in Adyar dust billows from a concrete mixer and creates grey smog across the premises. A multi-storeyed building is being erected here. There is a constant cacophony. A spade strenuously scratches the ground to pick up the last traces of cement. Another brick gets laid on an unfinished wall. Two women…

Queen is anything but a ‘women’s liberation’ film

The recently released Queen, directed by Vikas Bahl and starring Kangana Ranaut, has captured the buzz in social media—some say it’s refreshing, while others tend to like it for celebrating the joys of a single life. Others like it for its self-rediscovery theme while some think that Kangana’s otherwise lacklustre career might shift gears after…

Majuli’s Sorrow

Doesn’t it send chills up your spine to even imagine how life would have been like if you had to sleep every night with the fear that the next morning, your house and the land beneath it could just be swept away by the mighty Brahmaputra?  Imagine living when everything- settlement, financial stability, occupation and…