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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Alok Rai

Alok Rai

The writer taught in the department of English, Delhi University.

To interpret widespread condemnation in Hathras case as evidence of conspiracy requires genius
Tue, Oct 13, 2020

“Conspiracy” is the oxygen that keeps bankrupt regimes alive. Minus that, what one confronts is a miscellany of horrors, lies and incompetence.

Indian inflection of herd immunity’ has deep cultural roots
Mon, Jun 15, 2020

In its corona version, poor are infected in sufficient numbers to produce immunity which accrues to those who have done nothing to earn it.

As former CJI accepts RS berth, let’s say it again: Judges are not law, but its creatures
Thu, Mar 26, 2020

The dignity of the Law is not a matter of concern merely to judges — though I believe it should be a matter of concern to them, too.

Govt’s assurance on CAA-NRC-NPR ignores a basic moral principle: Humanity, humaneness begin with empathy
Wed, Mar 04, 2020

It is a concern for the rights of others that makes us human, humane beings. So, honourable (and dishonourable) apologists, please desist — I speak not merely although my rights are unaffected, but even because my rights are unaffected.

Azaadi is a dangerous word
Fri, Jan 03, 2020

Our language is tainted and crippled by being pressed into the service of inhumanity.

A call to honour
Sun, Dec 29, 2019

Reflections on the Republic at 70

House for History
Sat, Aug 03, 2019

Despite the centrality of the question of privilege, Anand Bhawan, the Gandhi residence in Allahabad, was also the place where the most influential vision of India’s modernity — and socialism — was born

A climate of impunity emboldens the perpetrators of public murder to post real-time videos online.
Tue, Jul 02, 2019

Hate has consequences. And those who propagate and promote that hate must bear responsibility for its entirely predictable consequences.

Let me count the ways
Mon, Jun 17, 2019

Girish Karnad’s phenomenal creativity was fuelled by the fact that he tapped into several different linguistic traditions, contexts and resonances.

In praise of khichdi or, as the general election draws closer, in defence of politics
Tue, Mar 26, 2019

Political parties will — and should — continue to compete, and jostle, and clamour, and do all the messy things that are internal to the practice of democracy. Provided that the one self-proclaimed “nationalist” party is not allowed to shut down politics altogether.

Forgetting partition, remembering partition
Sat, Mar 23, 2019

This memoir of a displaced person is not Krishna Sobti’s finest work, but it reminds us that ironically, the business of Partition is, indeed, unfinished and ongoing

A Study in Legacy
Sat, Feb 23, 2019

The colonial English idea of the canon, applied to Hindi at a time when Dalit and feminist literature challenge its unity.

Violence, theirs and ours
Fri, Nov 30, 2018

‘Terror’ is an artifact of the theory of terrorism, a way of interpreting things in the world. Our eager embrace of the theory of ‘terrorism’ is deeply suspect

Imaginary homelands
Mon, Nov 05, 2018

Allahabad was the name of an aspiration to independent, secular, cosmopolitan modernity — a hope, a sensibility. Prayagraj is a pernicious, hurtful fiction

The spy who wasn’t
Thu, Sep 20, 2018

Nambi Narayanan’s acquittal raises a crucial question: Who is responsible for the evils of the state?

The native colonial
Mon, Aug 20, 2018

V S Naipaul gave writers in once-colonised countries confidence. But he also exonerated colonialism.

The soundtrack of democracy
Thu, Aug 02, 2018

Supreme Court order on Jantar Mantar frames an often-ignored reality: Protest is a part of polity and the inconvenience it causes an affirmation of our common humanity.

Blame the hat
Wed, Jun 14, 2017

General Bipin Rawat has been far too eloquent on matters he ought to be quiet about. He did sound silly while elaborating on ways to deal with the Kashmir issue.

Eye 2017
All About My Motherland
Sun, May 21, 2017

The evolution of our country's identity from the unifying mother of yore to the strict father of contemporary nationalist times.

Orwell, again
Mon, Feb 20, 2017

But Trump’s America is a latecomer. It has much to learn from Vishwaguru India.

We live with violent opposites, nuance is dead, so is dissent
Wed, Jan 04, 2017

The farce of TV “debates” shows us in the grip of matched opposites, good versus evil, black versus white. There is little civilised discourse. No question is open. This is the age of the slogan — and outright violence.

Silence, surgery in progress
Fri, Oct 21, 2016

There are great advantages of redefining military action as surgery — for one, it mobilises the rhetoric of health.

Unbecoming Gurgaon
Mon, May 02, 2016

‘Gurugram’ is the symptom of a disease which generates a striving to return to some previous perfection.

An ominous operetta
Tue, Feb 16, 2016

The alarming, exponential reach of the ‘anti-national’ can find you out in the most unexpected places.

Class, without consciousness
Sat, Aug 01, 2015

A book on the fabled Allahabad University takes shelter in the romantic distortions of nostalgia when faced with the present.