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

M S PrabhakaraSubscribe to M S Prabhakara

Goodbye, Mr Ambassador!

Like old generals and classic jeans, the Ambassador, the venerable symbol of automotive nirvana for a generation of Indians, will not die but only fade away.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

In death Nelson Mandela is undergoing a droll kind of transformation. A revolutionary fighter who led an armed struggle against the apartheid regime became towards the end of his life a universally beloved, almost cuddly, icon of peace and reconciliation. It is true that Mandela mellowed towards the end of his life, evident in what one saw of him in photographs. But the fi re never died, except to the extent that the body itself was losing its vigour. Mandela himself took pains to deny that he was a "saint".

The State, the Nation and the World in Kannada Imagination

Listening to the Loom: Essays on Literature, Politics and Violence by D R Nagaraj; edited with an Introduction by Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi (Ranikhet: Permanent Black), 2012; pp xiii + 365; Rs 750.

Hindus, Muslims: Unique Each in Their Own Way

Though not always in harmony, Hindus and Muslims have for centuries lived together all over this country. While in some cases the people are ghettoised, and the ghettoisation within and among the various Hindu castes and outcastes has been historically and socially institutionalised, Hindus and...

Memoirs of a 'White Who Crossed the Line'

The Final Prize: My Life in the Anti-apartheid Struggle by Norman Levy (Cape Town: South African History Online), 2011; pp 478, Rands 275.

Forgetting a Day of Shame

Perhaps this is a sign of the times; for the first time as I can recall in nearly 20 years, the anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992 went unnoticed by most newspapers this year. The usual practice till recently was for the newspapers to have a brief backgrounder...

Unending Tragedy

Stateless in South Asia: The Chakmas between Bangladesh and India by Deepak K Singh (Delhi: Sage), 2009; pp xxiii+289, Rs 695.

Azaadi Is Not the Only Way

Is azaadi the only way for the unending violence, the pain and alienation in Jammu and Kashmir, specifically in the Kashmir Valley, to come to an end? Every time the peak in the rage and violence appears to have reached, there is another outrage, rape, killing or whatever provides the fuel for a...

Making Unpersons of Tribal People

When did the word “tribal” which is a very precise adjective become a generalised noun? I cite below the latest instance of such peculiar usage where the word is further modified to a plural noun from a Letter to Editor (“Condemnation of Maoist Violence”) in EPW (22 May 2010). It is unfortunate that...

Threatening the Media

In their zeal to suppress “Maoist” activities, the authorities in Karnataka are targeting a media that is only performing its duties by carrying reports of such activities. A “police notice” served by the offi ce of the deputy superintendent of police, Shimoga, on Rahul Belagali, a reporter with...

Prospects for Peace in Assam

Now that some of the senior leaders of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom are back in Assam and in prison, what are the chances that they will reconsider their stated uncompromising positions on Swadhin Asom? There are many imponderables that the arrested leaders have to confront: their ability to carry the rank and file (even if the powerful military chief has shown hints of a rethink), ULFA's links with other separatist groups, the position of the leaders who were arrested earlier and of other groups drawn to the idea of an "independent" Assam. At the same time there are other factors at play which could "wonderfully concentrate the minds" of the ULFA leaders on a settlement with the government of India.

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