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Adrija Roychowdhury

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Adrija is senior sub-editor, Indian Express. She mainly writes on History and world politics. Follow her on Twitter @AdrijaRoychow

‘There are 600 potentially endangered languages in India… each dead language takes away a culture system’
Wed, Feb 21, 2018

In the interview, Ganesh Devy spoke about the dying and dead languages of India, how some languages gain popularity while others remain marginalised, and the impact of colonisation on the language system of India.

Bahubali Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav: Here is the history of the Jain festival PM Modi attended today
Mon, Feb 19, 2018

Though the Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony is widely known to be a mark of Jain religiosity, it is also historically believed to be a moment when political leadership has been involved in the event and also when social reforms were carried out in Karnataka.

‘Subhas Chandra Bose’s case needs closure, daughter wants remains laid to rest in India’
Wed, Feb 14, 2018

Laid to rest: The controversy over Subhas Chandra Bose’s death: Author of new book on Netaji says only daughter has locus in the case, not extended family

Valentine’s Day special: Rekhti, Urdu odes to lesbian love that were suppressed in Awadh
Wed, Feb 14, 2018

The poets were male, but both the speaker and the subject were female. It reflected a world inhabited by women but more importantly, though, it gave voice to love and desire within the world of women.

#GenderAnd: When women count. Can data alone drive policy?
Thu, Feb 08, 2018

Data can be sexist, missing women & girls entirely, or undervaluing their contributions.

Manikarnika controversy: A legendary queen and her fictional depiction in a banned book
Mon, Feb 19, 2018

The main objection is against an apparent depiction of the queen as represented in a book written by the London-based author, Jaishree Misra called ‘Rani’ which was banned in Uttar Pradesh in 2008 by the then Mayawati-led government.

From ‘near autocracy’ to democracy: A brief history of crisis in Maldives
Mon, Feb 05, 2018

The current crisis faced by president Abdulla Yameen needs to be located in context of the short history of the Maldives where democracy has been on shaky grounds ever since it set itself loose from the clutches of the British Protectorate in 1965.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Alauddin Khalji versus the Alauddin Khalji of history
Sat, Feb 03, 2018

Khalji is the valiant hero in the chronicles written by the poet Amir Khusrao, the ruthless oppressor in the Rajput annals and the villainous descendant of Muslim invaders in nationalist historiography of independent India.

Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination as art: The many shades of death
Wed, Jan 31, 2018

Historian Sumathi Ramaswamy's ongoing project studies in great detail the way in which visual and material culture has kept alive the dying moment of the Mahatma.

Hindi in Tamil Nadu: Stalin warns of ‘1965-like situation’, here is what the DMK chief means
Sun, Jan 28, 2018

When Stalin indicated to the possibility of a 1965-type stir, he was referring to one of the most powerful movements in support of Tamil linguistic pride in the state's history.

Republic Day: How and why it is celebrated in other countries
Fri, Jan 26, 2018

Republic Day: While for some countries, republic day is the moment at which the country in its current form was founded, there are others who commemorate it as the day on which a significant change took place in the governance of the country.

Amrit Kaur: The princess turned Gandhian who fought Nehru on women’s political participation
Wed, Jan 24, 2018

#GenderAnd: Many of the 15 women who drafted the Indian Constitution did not support reservation for women.

‘Aziz Ansari, we modern, financially independent women are no longer guardians of male honour’
Wed, Jan 17, 2018

Grace was clearly disappointed not just with Ansari’s entitled behaviour, but also with the fact that he portrayed himself as a believer in gender equality with the Times Up pin at the Golden Globes.

For the first Indian Jews, assimilation in Israel was not easy
Tue, Jan 16, 2018

Post 1948, India-Israel relations have been affected not just by the Jews who made India their home, but also those who went to Israel with India in their hearts.

World Book Fair 2018: Ahmadiyya Muslims are here not to sell books but to spread a message
Wed, Jan 10, 2018

Often considered as heretics by fellow Muslims, the Ahmadiyyas face persecution in large parts of South Asia.

Delhi Book Fair reads a chapter on environment in Vedic culture, Sanskrit literature
Mon, Jan 08, 2018

While seminars, films and talks on environmental science are part of the week long fair, the focus on ancient Indian culture, particularly, as sketched out in Sanskrit and Vedic literature is hard to miss.

World Book Fair 2018 turns the page — for environment
Mon, Jan 08, 2018

“The entire world is concerned about climate change. The Delhi smog made us realise it was particularly important for the city to become aware of environmental issues..." says Baldeo Bhai Sharma, chairman of the organising body, the National Book Trust.

Battle of Koregaon: Why the Dalits hate Peshwas and celebrate this British ‘victory’
Wed, Jan 03, 2018

The Battle of Koregaon has continued to shape the community’s collective sense of history and pride of a time when their gallantry had brought down the much hated Peshwa rule in western India.

Secularism: Why Nehru dropped and Indira inserted the S-word in the Constitution
Wed, Dec 27, 2017

Ironically though, it was Nehru along with the chairman of the drafting committee of the constitution, B R Ambedkar, who were also most opposed to the idea of including the word ‘secular’ in the preamble of the constitution.

Christmas special: How the earliest Christians of India absorbed Hindu traditions
Mon, Dec 25, 2017

By the time the Portuguese arrived in India in the fifteenth century, the earliest group of Christians in India had already been exposed to thirteen centuries of Indian religious traditions, which were bound to be absorbed by them.

Butterfly politics and the culture of change
Thu, Dec 21, 2017

#GenderAnd Catharine MacKinnon on institutional mechansims, social change, power politics

Gujarat Assembly Elections: Is this the era of caste politics 2.0?
Tue, Dec 19, 2017

The election campaign of this year was surprisingly dominated, not so much by the narrative of development, nor that of Hindutva. The issue of the Patidars had a stark visibility, with the community leader Hardik Patel taking centre stage.

The Lingayat sect: Why Hindu and why not Hindu?
Thu, Dec 14, 2017

The Lingayats emerged as a reactionary force against Hinduism in the twelfth century. While it rejected most of the broad Hindu traditions, it also assimilated aspects of it, making the demand for a separate religious status a rather complicated affair.

Jerusalem: A tale of three cities…one Jewish, one Christian and one Muslim
Mon, Dec 11, 2017

The dispute over Jerusalem runs much deeper, going back thousands of years when the territory was dethroned and claimed over and again by different communities and subcommunities, all in the name of God.

Between the right and left, a history of Ayodhya
Wed, Dec 06, 2017

For almost a decade before the Babri Masjid was demolished, Ayodhya had become a site of intense debate regarding what should be considered the truest history of the place.

Writing the past: History as she said and he said
Tue, Dec 19, 2017

GenderAnd Culture: Do men and women see and write history differently?

Padmavati: How a Sufi text for Rajput kings became a tool of nationalism
Fri, Nov 17, 2017

It is necessary to read the 'Padmavat' focusing on the time and social order in which it was composed and then analyse the corruption in interpretation it has gone through to finally become an episode of Rajput and Hindu pride.

Jawaharlal Nehru, the historian who wrote about the past for the love of his daughter’s future
Tue, Nov 14, 2017

Nehru as a historian was at one level the curious philosopher trying to seek answers of the human present and future, and at another level, he was also the loving father who wished to present his daughter more than just good wishes on her thirteenth birthday.

How the Russian revolution ignited the first sparks of communism in India
Sun, Nov 12, 2017

When the Bolshevik party led by V I Lenin overthrew the Czarist monarchy and declared the formation of the first socialist state, the colonial world was particularly impressed by the brazenness of the act.

In Saudi Arabia’s present upheaval are echoes from its history
Tue, Nov 07, 2017

In order to better understand the kingdom’s latest face-off with its people, we need to reflect upon a long past of internal and external conflicts that affected the state boiling down to the recent event of naming of Prince Salman as crown prince.

I am the khichdi, and this is my moment of glory
Thu, Nov 02, 2017

The Khichdi Story: From the high peaks of Himalayas to the serene backwaters of Kerala I withstood your constant demands for moulding me as per your needs. As you battled each other in the name of caste and religion, I stood there sternly uniting you as the one-pot meal suited for all.

How Vallabhbhai Patel, V P Menon and Mountbatten unified India
Tue, Oct 31, 2017

If Patel was the one who laid out the initial framework for persuading the princes to join, it was his secretary, V.P. Menon, who did the actual groundwork of coaxing them. The final touch in the process was applied by the Viceroy Lord Mountbatten.

Tracking the fourth bullet that has given new life to Mahatma Gandhi murder case
Fri, Oct 27, 2017

Seven decades after the probe into Gandhi's murder and the subsequent execution of the accused, a new petition has been filed in the Supreme Court of India challenging many facts in the case.

Fact checking BJP’s Kummanam Rajasekharan: Was the Malabar rebellion a case of Jihad?
Thu, Oct 12, 2017

The Malabar rebellion, also known popularly as the Moplah rebellion, was an armed revolt staged by the Mappila Muslims of Kerala against the British authorities and their Hindu allies in 1921.

When slaves ended up ruling Delhi: The case of Mamluk dynasty
Mon, Oct 09, 2017

The most interesting case of the history of slavery in India is that of social mobility inherent in the institution as practised in many parts of the country, so much so that some of these slaves went on to become rulers, administrating over vast populations.

Five instances why Lal Bahadur Shastri is the most modest prime minister India has ever seen
Tue, Oct 03, 2017

Reportedly, when Lal Bahadur Shastri passed away in 1966 he had no house on his name, nor any land in his possession.