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Sunday, August 09, 2020

Adrija Roychowdhury


Adrija writes long, researched features on history, world and national politics, as well as social issues. Follow her on Twitter @AdrijaRoychow

Lessons from 1918 Spanish flu: When mask laws triggered protests in US
Sun, Aug 09, 2020

Then, as today, an intense debate had ensued over the utility and convenience of wearing masks. Citizens neglected the ordinance, showed defiance, and some also organised protests.

‘Hindu revivalism?’: Why Jawaharlal Nehru disapproved Rajendra Prasad’s presence at Somnath temple inauguration
Wed, Aug 05, 2020

While the President disregarded the advice of the prime minister and went ahead with the inauguration ceremony, he was sure to emphasise on the Gandhian ideal of inter-faith harmony in his speech at Somnath

Why Sanskrit has strong links to European languages and what it learnt in India
Mon, Aug 03, 2020

Newer scholarship has shown that even though Sanskrit did indeed share a common ancestral homeland with European and Iranian languages, it had also borrowed quite a bit from pre-existing Indian languages in India.

From samosas to Fado music, an online initiative is celebrating everything creole in India
Wed, Jul 29, 2020

In an attempt to celebrate the remarkable cultural interchanges in creolised cultures, through discussions and performances, Ananya Jahanara Kabir and Ari Gautier have launched an online initiative, ‘Le thinnai kreyol’.

Explained: What new research on smallpox tells us about its origins
Tue, Jul 28, 2020

Until now, the earliest confirmed case of the disease was found in the mummified remains of a 17th-century Lithuanian child, even though written records suggest that it is much older.

From Manusmriti to Indian Matchmaking, tracing the roots of arranged marriages
Sun, Jul 26, 2020

Sociologists agree that the arranged marriage system is drawn from the idea of maintaining caste purity. At the same time, the concept of arranged marriage was also deeply rooted in political and economic necessities.

Important for Tablighi Jamaat to speak on issues of Islamic interests: Author of new book
Wed, Jul 22, 2020

"Tablighi Jamaat congregation followed rules… till its first suspected Covid-19 case," says Ziya Us Salam.

Masjid Mubarak Begum: The story behind ‘Rundi ki masjid’, built by an ambitious Mughal concubine
Wed, Jul 22, 2020

Though there are quite a few mosques and other architectural gems built by Mughal women dotting the landscape of Shahjahanabad, the Masjid Mubarak Begum is the only one that boasts to have been created by the Indian ‘begum’ of a British Resident.

Before Comet Neowise, when these celestial visitations were seen as harbingers of doom
Thu, Jul 23, 2020

The Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that comets could be used to forecast draught, earthquakes, and prodigious rains.

Seven years of #BlackLivesMatter: Culmination of over a century of protests
Wed, Jul 15, 2020

The Black Lives Matter movement, which completes seven years this July, needs to be understood as the continuation of a long journey of fervent struggles that the Black community has undertaken in the USA.

Explained: How a rape convict’s appeal has resulted in big legal victory for native Americans
Mon, Jul 13, 2020

The 5-4 decision in McGirt vs Oklahoma is seen as a momentous victory of the native tribes of America who have for long been campaigning for their territorial sovereignty and treaty obligations for promises made by the white settlers of America two centuries ago.

A giant cross in Baltistan sheds new light on Pakistan’s Christian past
Thu, Jul 09, 2020

Researchers say the discovery of the cross established important information on the presence of Christianity in northern Pakistan, before the advent of the colonial forces.

Hamilton: Why the much-loved Broadway musical is under attack
Mon, Jul 13, 2020

In the context of the ongoing protests against the assault and murder of George Floyd, Alexander Hamilton is being seen in a new light. Here's why

Explained: Why a capital ‘B’ in ‘Black’ is culmination of very long journey
Sat, Jul 04, 2020

The debate over capitalising ‘Black’ is nothing new. It has its historical roots that go way back to the late 19th century when the question of how to most appropriately address Black people in print had first arisen.

How Bombay plague resulted in the Epidemic Act and triggered a sense of nationalist resistance
Tue, Jun 30, 2020

The most far-reaching impact of the plague was upon the political atmosphere of the country. It had also become a pretext for an assault on the rising political consciousness among Indians in the early 20th century.

Keeping Nizamuddin Basti safe with masks that spread light on our heritage
Mon, Jun 29, 2020

The masks stitched by women of the Insha-e-Noor collective are placed in the community toilets, schools, and the community centre for anybody to take… almost everyone stepping out in the neighbourhood seems to sport one

Daulat Beg Oldie: A strategic post named after the spot where a sultan died
Fri, Jun 26, 2020

Daulat Beg Oldie is a name hard to forget. A quick examination of the etymology reveals the rather exotic origins of the name, translated from Turkic as ‘the spot where the rich man died’.

‘Era of militancy produced a distrust far more pervasive and lasting than the bloody events of 1947’: Authors Inderjit Singh Jaijee and Dona Suri
Mon, Jun 22, 2020

In six chapters, the authors dig out minute details of how the state’s economy, politics, culture, and psychology have been impacted by Operation Blue Star, and its selective historicisation. In an email interview, the authors speak about some of the findings in their book.

When fear leads to faith: The disease Gods of India
Mon, Jun 22, 2020

Resorting to faith in times of distress has been an inherent human reaction since the beginning of civilisation. In India worship of Goddess Hariti, Sitala, Ola Bibi has been prevalent to ward off diseases.

Why Ladakh matters to India, China: history, geography, and strategy
Fri, Jun 19, 2020

What is it about this cold, dry, high altitude territory with its extremely scarce vegetation that makes it a point of disagreement between India and China?

Robert Clive: An ‘unstable sociopath and a racist’, hated both in India and England
Sat, Jun 13, 2020

Author William Dalrymple explains no one in the 18th century would have dreamt of putting up a statue for Robert Clive; the idea came up only in the early 1900s

Explained: Why has Edward Colston become a target of anti-racism protests?
Mon, Jun 22, 2020

During the period of Edward Colston's involvement with RAC till 1692, the company is believed to have transported about 84,000 slaves, out of which close to 20,000 are known to have died.

From Meluha to Hindustan, the many names of India and Bharat
Sun, Jun 07, 2020

Several nomenclatures have been applied across different points in time, and from multiple socio-political points of view, to describe the geographical entity or parts of it that we now know as India.

In Vietnam’s Shiva Linga discovery, more validation of a ‘Farther India’ past
Thu, Jun 04, 2020

The My Son temple complex where the Shiv lingam has been discovered, is one among the many archaeological remnants in Southeast Asia that are testimony to the strong cultural, linguistic, and religious links that have existed with India since the beginning of the Christian era.

‘Madrasas have to strike a balance between sacred and secular… latter cannot be an afterthought in education’
Mon, Jun 01, 2020

In an interview with Adrija Roychowdhury, authors Ziya Us Salam and Mohammad Aslam Parvaiz elaborate how madrasas have forgotten their golden past and reduced themselves to producing first generation learners