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

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The Last Polymath

Benedict Anderson was among the most influential intellectuals of our times. His seminal book Imagined Communities has changed the way the world understands nationalism and the nation state. Its influence permeates across disciplines and beyond the academia. Yet, Imagined Communities was only one part, even if the most visible, of Anderson's intellectual travels and engagements. A personal account of Anderson--the scholar, the traveller and the raconteur.

'We Oppose the Death Penalty'

We, concerned citizens and organisations from different walks of life and with different world views, are united in opposing the death penalty and ­demanding its repeal in India. Though meant only for the rarest of rare crimes, the death penalty is widely being applied to an ever-increasing array...

A Proposal for a Tagore University in the Liberal Arts

In 2010, the then minister for human resource development ( HRD ), Kapil Sibal, announced that the Government proposed to set up 14 “innovation universities”. In March 2011, the writers of the present note were asked by the HRD ministry to serve on a committee for one of these proposed universities...

Democracy and Violence in India and Beyond

India and Sri Lanka are the two Asian nations with a long, continuous history of regular, multiparty, elections. Interestingly, both countries have witnessed a long-standing insurgency, that of the Kashmiris in India and of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. In both countries, peace and stability in most of the nation have coexisted uneasily with struggle and strife along the borderlands. This paradox is at the heart of this essay, which uses the juxtaposition of democracy and violence in south Asia to complicate our understanding of political ideas which had their origins in (and are still frequently identified with) the west.

The Brilliance and Dogmatism of Hobsbawm

Eric Hobsbawm was a pioneer in introducing new methods and perspectives in the historian's craft and breaking the bounds of the discipline. His intellectual contributions to our understanding of the world, even in contexts far removed from what he studied and wrote about, are exceptional. However, his academic brilliance was scarred by his unquestioning loyalty to the Communist Party of Great Britain, which made him compromise academically when writing on the history of the 20th century. Yet, despite this fl aw, his intellectual achievements are staggering.

Tapas Majumdar

Although I never met Tapas Majumdar, I enjoyed reading his essays in The Telegraph in recent years, and had, when living in Delhi in the 1990s, befriended his friend and student Narindar Singh. The obituaries in the EPW (13 November) draw attention to Majumdar’s qualities as a scholar and human...

Killing of Adivasis in Chhattisgarh

We are deeply saddened at the indiscriminate killing of 18 adivasis in Kottaguda Panchayat of Bijapur district as part of the security force’s combing operations. Even if they were attending a Maoist meeting, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) should not have opened fire so carelessly knowing...

Maoist Intimidation

LETTERS Issn 0012-9976 Ever since the first issue in 1966, EPW has been India’s premier journal for comment on current affairs and research in the social sciences. It succeeded Economic Weekly (1949-1965), which was launched and shepherded by Sachin Chaudhuri, who was also the founder-editor of EPW...

An Asian Clash of Civilisations? Revisiting the Sino-Indian Conflict of 1962

Nearly 50 years ago, India and China met in a brief, bloody border clash. This essay analyses that conflict in terms of its impact on the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru. It explains the roots of Nehru's interest in China, his hopes for relations between the two new nations, the origins of the border dispute, and its escalation into a full-fledged war. Nehru's policies are assessed from the viewpoint of his critics and admirers. The deeper structural reasons for the conflict between India and China are analysed. Finally, the essay also speaks to the shadow cast by the war of 1962 on the geopolitics of the present day.

Suresh Tendulkar on Cricket

The tributes to Suresh Tendulkar by his former colleagues and students (EPW, 6 August 2011) justly stress his scholarly rigour, his meticulous teaching methods, his personal integrity and humility, and his deep if understated patriotism. To these noble – and notable – qualities let me add two...

Supreme Court on Salwa Judum

We warmly welcome the order by justices Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar of the Supreme Court, passed on 5 July 2011, directing the state of Chhattisgarh to stop using special police officers (SPOs) in counter-insurgency operations, disarm them and stop supporting vigilante movements by any name. We...

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