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

Articles by Vinay LalSubscribe to Vinay Lal

The Killer as Auteur

Cho Seung-Hui's cold-blooded shooting down of several of his fellow students and professors speaks to certain issues that have come to constitute in certain respects the quality of American life today: the nature of freedom, the persistence of loneliness amidst intimacy, and the overarching importance attached to "image", thanks to the power of visual technology.

Documentary Phenomenon

The renaissance of documentary filmmaking in the US is a hopeful sign that politics may yet have something of a future in a country dominated by dreary and mind-numbing discussions of the presence or lack of what is called the bipartisan spirit.

Rwanda and the Desperation of France

There is ample evidence of French culpability in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Yet, France acts as a model guardian of human values on the pretext that the exercise of France's civilising mission has sometimes compelled it to discipline recalcitrant natives for their own good.

Sen, Argumentative Indians and Bengali Modernity

Considering the public profile of Amartya Sen, his domination of the public space of enlightened liberalism and the veneration in which he is held by educated Indians, it becomes all the more imperative to subject his work and intellectual views to a rigorous examination. Alas, Suman Ghosh's documentary film, Amartya Sen: A Life Re-examined, does no such thing.

The Dead in Iraq and the War of Numbers

Two different studies on mortality in Iraq after the 2003 US invasion - by Iraq Body Count and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health - provide vastly different assessments.

Civilisational Dialogues

Civilisational Dialogues Talking India: Ashis Nandy in Conversation with Ramin Jahanbegloo; Oxford University Press, Delhi, 2006; VINAY LAL At a time when India and Iran are mentioned together as countries whose nuclear aspirations have gained the ear of the world, Talking India furnishes a salutary reminder of other conversations that can take place between ancient civilisations and of the rich history, now only occasionally remembered, of the intellectual, cultural and political exchanges between India and Iran. In 1989, explains Ramin Jahanbegloo, one of Iran

The End of What?

The End of What? Fukuyama

Multiculturalism at Risk

The unique Malaysian experiment in multiculturalism is increasingly at risk today. Policies of the state are being consciously framed to favour the Malay-speaking population. Concomitantly, minorities, including Indian Hindus, find their cultural and social identity under threat in the name of development.

Terror at the Academy's Gate

Intellectuals are largely the world?s conscience-keepers, but the precipitous decline of the university into both self-censorship and a false patriotism is a worrying sign of the creeping influence of authoritarianism on institutions of state and civil society in the US.

Fences and Xenophobes

Participants of a recent poll conducted on the issue of illegal immigrants in America wanted "tougher enforcement" of the law to keep them out. But the unprecedented gathering and marches of immigrants and their supporters across the country show unequivocally that there exist competing interests on the issue.

New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina caused widespread damage in New Orleans, a city immortalised for the music it gave birth to, but the tragedy that has since ensued, is much greater. Not only has the administration at every level failed to extend adequate and timely assistance, there is every likelihood that a chosen group of Bush supporters will profit from the policy corrections expected to follow in the wake of Katrina.

Enduring Mythography of American Justice

Instances over the last few months, wherein perpetrators of racial crimes have been brought to justice decades after the crime was committed, constitute attempts to 'showcase' the enduring American commitment to justice and fairness. Ironically, such attempts to resurrect the myth of the American justice coincide with increasing reportage of atrocities committed by the American military.


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