Tag: Indian writing

  • Our Freedoms: an anthology of stories, essays and poems on liberty

    Our Freedoms: an anthology of stories, essays and poems on liberty

    Buy Our Freedoms at Juggernaut “With the idea of freedom becoming a distant memory with each passing day, it is difficult to describe the tenor of disquieting times like this. The recently-published anthology Our Freedoms does just that while amplifying voices that hope to make India’s constitutional morality unfailingly stronger. Edited by columnist Nilanjana S. Roy, […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Unfree – what to expect next

    This week’s column will absolutely not sound the alarm on free speech and the future of India’s liberal democracy. That would be like standing up at the RK Puram intersection and announcing that the air in Delhi feels a trifle murky these days. Instead, this column will point out gently that democracy is not an […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The Empire’s outdated laws

    Speaking Volumes: The Empire’s outdated laws

    July is a humid month in Calcutta, and it was sweltering in the Calcutta Supreme Court when The Reverend James Long was indicted “for the publication of various libels in a pamphlet known as the Nil-Durpan”.   As the publisher of Dinbandhu Mitra’s play, Long, an Irish Anglican priest, was fined and briefly jailed in […]

  • Speaking Volumes: What India was reading in 1947

    Speaking Volumes: What India was reading in 1947

      As 1947 began, Geeta Dutt sang Mera Sunder Sapna Beet Gaya across North Indian cinema theatres – the film was Do Bhai, the posters showing two brothers separated by the figure of a woman, her face disturbed, one brother looking down in sadness, the other staring out of the frame. Audiences also loved Nasir […]

  • Translations: Pyre, by Perumal Murugan

    Translations: Pyre, by Perumal Murugan

    “The mob was frantic with delays and would hear to nothing but burning at the stake.” In 1899, newspapers in Florida reported the lynching of Sam Holt, a black man who was tortured, mutilated and burned in front of 2,000 people. In 1997, almost exactly a century later, 58 Dalits were massacred in the village […]

  • The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize: shortlists from 2008

    The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize: shortlists from 2008

    The prize was set up to “encourage authors from the subcontinent” in honour of Shakti Bhatt, writer and editor of Bracket Books, who passed away after a brief illness on March 31, 2007, at the age of 26. For authors, this is a very special prize — because it’s the only Indian prize for first […]

  • Nervous Throat-Clearing

    Nervous Throat-Clearing

    Much to my own surprise, I have finished writing a book. Perhaps some people’s surprise is greater than mine, and that would be the very patient editors at HarperCollins India who suggested some five years ago that I should make a collection of my book columns. I started to collect my book columns and got […]

  • Booklove: The Shadow Lines and Tridib’s Gastric

    (Written on Monday, Sept 16; published in the Business Standard, Sept 2013) The most famous passage in Amitav Ghosh’s The Shadow Lines, 25 years old this year, is the one where the narrator discovers the limitations of borders and boundaries. All it takes to challenge his understanding of nations and frontiers is a pair of […]

  • Booklove: Behramji Malabari, Traveller to the Exotic West

    Booklove: Behramji Malabari, Traveller to the Exotic West

    From Punch: Sky signs of London, 1890s. (A shorter version of this was published in the Business Standard, August 13, 2013) It would take an intrepid novelist to invent the life of Behramji Malabari, whose 160th birth anniversary falls in 2013. My own imagination quails at the thought of creating a formidable Hindu reformer who […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The Emergency’s Children

    Speaking Volumes: The Emergency’s Children

      Memory is malleable, and tyrannical: because what you remember is so vivid, you forget how easily memory can be reshaped. Most of the Uruguayian writer Eduardo Galeano’s work has been a reminder of alternate, forgotten histories.   His new book, Children of the Days, is a calendar of human history, with brief entries for […]