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#flashreads for free speech:

Free speech primer: a user’s guide

Prem Panicker and Nisha Susan asked me to do this for Yahoo! India; it’s a compilation of the work done by many other people, writers, lawyers and activists, on free speech issues in India over the years. Read the primer here: How to Fight Censorship and Remain Free One of the earliest references to the […]

Speaking Volumes: A is for Apple: what college won’t teach you

(Published in the Business Standard, April 30, 2013)   Back in my day, which was of course when dinosaurs roamed the earth, Delhi University suffered from a serious case of envy.  It had the St Stephens’ versus Hindu battles, the dazzling brilliance of the Kirori Mal dramatic society, the nerdy appeal of Sri Venkateswara, the […]

Speaking Volumes: Anthropology

    How to write about the poor:   He knows he won’t get very far if he thinks about them as “the poor”, or as “them”. The reader will sense the impenetrable barrier between him and his subjects, and an acute reader will feel the clunkiness of the dialogue he put into their mouths. […]

Speaking Volumes: Invitations to a Hanging

(Published in the Business Standard, 12 February, 2012)     Not so long ago, the streets of Delhi echoed with the cries of “Phansi do! Phansi do!” Teenagers as young as 17 and 18 called for death to rapists, holding up hand-drawn posters that showed shaky, childishly scrawled gallows.   It is so easy to bring […]

Executing The Neighbour

(Published in The Hindu, December 20, 2012)   Like so many other men and women in Delhi, my friends and I kept a quiet, helpless vigil on Tuesday night for the young 23-year-old woman in Safdarjung hospital. All day long, on TV, in private conversations, on social media, the demand for justice was voiced, with […]

Writers, October: Ismat Chughtai

The Lihaf trial, from The Journal of Urdu Studies: http://www.urdustudies.com/pdf/15/28naqviExerpt.pdf  “There was a big crowd in the court. Several people had advised us to offer our apologies to the judge, even offering to pay the fines on our behalf. The proceedings had lost some of their verve, the witnesses who were called in to prove that “Lihaaf” was […]

Journal: Kitabkhana on the Nobel

From the vaults: Kitabkhana, Hurree Babu’s old blog, in 2005 on how the Nobel Literature laureate is chosen. This is always a difficult decision: “Vargas Llosa?” “Na, too famous…” “Kundera?” “Na, it’ll look like we’re bowing down to the pressure exerted by a reading public incredulous that we hadn’t given it to him before.” “Okay, […]

All creatures great and small

(This post was sparked by a story in The New York Times on the stray dog “menace” in India; and by reading Jai Arjun’s post on human cruelty/ indifference towards animals.) Naming the problem: Stray dog populations have risen in India over the last few years; as the population rises, some urban and rural areas […]

All creatures great and small

(This post was sparked by a story in The New York Times on the stray dog “menace” in India; and by reading Jai Arjun’s post on human cruelty/ indifference towards animals.) Naming the problem: Stray dog populations have risen in India over the last few years; as the population rises, some urban and rural areas […]

Shiny new website…

…over at nilanjanaroy.com. It is Kolynos Kleen, Kolynos Bright, Kolynos Super Sparkling White: go visit. Thank you :)

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