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

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'Leave God Out of It'

The cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, and their compatriots in other parts of the world, who lost their lives for daring to laugh at holy cows, are martyrs to the cause of humour.

In the Era of the Neo-Fascist, Neo-liberal Coalition

In a peculiar re-enactment of the fascist past, sections of the Indian intellectual community are displaying a horrifying moral ambiguity in their slow drift into a system that typifi es a dangerous and opportunist liaison between the forces of unrestrained market economy (thriving under the global order of neo-liberalism) and unabated religious nationalist authoritarianism (consolidating itself under the neo-fascist canopy of the Sangh Parivar).

Hanoi (1965-68), Gaza (2014)

The parallels between Hanoi (1965-68) and Gaza (2014) are chilling. Yet, while the Vietnamese liberation fighters, through similar trials and tribulations, could emerge victorious after two decades of fighting (1950-70), why are the Palestinian liberation fighters, with an equally heroic record of struggles and sacrifices spanning more than four decades of armed struggle (from the 1960s till now), still limping towards their goal of a homeland, suffering disastrous defeats at every stage?

The 'Discreet Charm' of the BJP

With the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Sangh parivar's poster boy in power at the centre, India seems to be heading for a political order in which the social psyche will be marked by the following three traits: (i) thick-skinned insensitivity to problems that are outside one's own domain of immediate, or group interests; (ii) herd mentality of sticking together to defend those interests through a variety of mental shortcuts; and (iii) smooth-skinned hypocrisy to demonstrate one's respectability.

Latin American Marxist Perspectives

José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology edited and translated by Harry E Vanden and Marc Becker (Kharagpur: Cornerstone Publications), 2013; pp 320, Rs 200.

The Resistible Rise of Narendra Modi

A rereading of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (1941) and Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here (1935) is helpful in understanding the social psyche in India today that is being moulded by Narendra Modi and is greasing his - and his party's - path to power. It can happen here.

Why Is the Left More Divided Than the Right?

Apart from their ability to change regimes at their will in the postcolonial nation states, rightist forces have also managed to keep their partners together. In contrast, the left has miserably failed to keep its ranks together. But the contest between the left and right, whether at the ideological plane or at the level of practice, is rooted in an uneven playing field where the odds have always been stacked in favour of the right.

Gandhi's Flexible Non-Violence

David Hardiman’s account of his transition from baptism in Subaltern Studies during 1970-80 to his conversion to Gandhian studies in the early 2000s (“Towards a History of Non-violent Resistance”, EPW, 8 June 2013) makes for interesting reading.

Labouring for Freedom

Human Bondage: Tracing its Roots in India by Lakshmidhar Mishra (New Delhi: Sage), 2011; pp xix + 487, Rs 1,500.

The Left and Political Islam

Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights by Meredith Tax (New York: Centre for Secular Space), 2013; pp 123, $10.

Cleanse the Judiciary

Some judges in both India’s high courts and the Supreme Court are behaving like the fundamentalist mullahs who claim to be above law and issue “fatwas” commanding their followers to behead Muslim dissidents (for example, the threat ag

India's 'Revanchist' Cities

The "revanchist city" expresses a race/class/religious/gender hostility felt by sections of citizens against their neighbours. In almost all the major capitals and metropolises - cutting across developing and developed nations - there is an increasing onslaught on immigrants, marginalised slum-dwellers, religious minorities and women. In India as well, there is an increasing tendency to demonise the religious and ethnic minorities living in its metropolises, and showing an intolerance of different cultural lifestyles.

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