ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Paradoxes of Vandalism

The whole episode of vandalism of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune recently tried to wipe out a tradition of alternative history which began with Phule and reached its zenith with Rajwade, Ketkar and Shejwalkar. It is a pity that no analysis of these incidents has sought to focus on this issue.

Going to Ruin with Empire?

Even before the trial of Saddam has begun the American president has started discussing the sentence the deposed Iraqi president should get. The neo-conservatives who dominate the power lobbies in Washington do not seem to mind such blatant interference in the legal system of another sovereign state. But then Americans think that all empires except its own are evil.

Not Much of a Controversy

Most protesters against censorship are rather selective in their approach. They let some forms or instances of censorship go unattacked. But there is a further question. Can we subordinate the question of violence arising as a reaction to a book or a film or a play to the question of freedom of expression? Everyone interested in the arts and apprehensive about the state of the arts and of freedom in the country has to pose and answer this question.

Packages and Peace

Talks between India and Pakistan should begin and begin early. The two countries are at a point in history where they might well discover that going under with or without Kashmir is unlikely to lead them to a particularly bright future.

The Real Point of the Business

You cannot refuse to eat out of American hands, whatever they might choose to feed you. They know what is good for you. If they think that Iraqi oil should be their property or the property of some oil transnational, you should agree readily. If you did not, the Americans would try and bomb you out of existence.

The Missed Centenary of Balaji Huddar

Maharashtra evidently does not need its heroes. The birth centenary of Gopal Mukund Huddar has come and gone with scarcely anyone remembering him. From being a 'sarkaryawaha' of the RSS, Huddar went on to fight in the Spanish civil war and join the Communist Party of India. He ended up being not entirely acceptable to both the worlds he traversed. But that does not matter in the final analysis. In our dismal and post-ideological times the memory of somebody like Huddar can keep the principle of hope alive.

Of Potential, Actual and Possible Enemies

India and China cannot hope to strike it big in terms of cooperation unless they agree on what constitutes India and China - which is not the same thing as the detailed working out of the border. China should at least be prepared to respect the status quo in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. There is no reason why it cannot do so, since it obviously has no intention of trying to change the status quo.

On Management of Culture and Things Like That

There are two major bodies mainly of writers and theatre people to 'manage' the affairs relating to literature and theatre in the land of the Marathas. It is less than clear what exactly these organisations do. The net result is that the establishment seems to rule supreme.

Do It Dignity, Man!

It was the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav and the RJD of Laloo Prasad Yadav that were responsible for the tragic denouement of the Women's Representation Bill. It is difficult to see why the left and democratic forces let these two Yadavas get away with downright feudal attitudes.

Politics of and in Literature

The National Board of Secondary Education has obviously not heard of Premchand and so when it found that a book by him had been prescribed for one of its courses, it promptly had it removed. But when writers are unconcerned about what murky deals are struck in connection with a 'vishwa' conference of and in their own language, they should not be surprised at what has happened to the Premchand text.

Nuclear Weapons and the Begging Bowl

The so-called liberal view of nuclear programmes and proliferation is hopelessly out of touch with reality. It is also completely non-political. It looks at nuclear weapons as weapons. Kim Jong-II of North Korea has exploded these myths. For him nuclear power is a political weapon and he intends to use it as such.

Narendra's Victory

The BJP seems to have seen the weaknesses of the secular parties and is determined to take every advantage of them. The greatest of these weaknesses is the inability to devise a new discourse.

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