INSPIRATION AND HUMILITY IN THE MIDDLE OF INDIA

Okay, I am happy to admit it up-front: before I was invited to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival – JLF – (note: not ‘literary’, not ‘writers’) in India I had never even heard of it. I assumed that it was probably some modest local event, spiced up a little by bringing in some foreign authors to add… Read more »

Closing Debate: Do Liberals Stifle Debate?

Kapil Sibal, Makarand R. Paranjape, Mihir Swarup Sharma, Sagarika Ghose, Salman Khurshid, Sonal Mansingh, Hardeep Singh Puri and Vikram Sampath moderated by Sreenivasan Jain Once relegated to the fringes, political debate and discussion have entered the mainstream consciousness. Though it may seem like there’s never been a time like this to broaden your horizons and… Read more »

The Jewish Novel

André Aciman, Simon Sebag Montefiore, and Tova Reich in conversation with Zachary Leader Presented by Dainik Bhaskar.com Charbagh The Jewish diaspora have carved out a unique identity for themselves over the centuries, which has allowed for the creation of some truly unique voices and narratives. Expert proponents of these voices gathered for an illuminating and… Read more »

IDEA OF INDIA PART 4 – Spoken Word History

Of all the great civilizations of the ancient world (Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China), India has arguably had the most difficult time separating fact from fiction in the historical record. The reason for this is probably due to the lack of written records for most of India’s history. After the collapse of the Indus Valley… Read more »

IDEA OF INDIA PART 3 – Aryavarta and the Idea of a Glorious Past

It is a common feature of human societies to venerate particular periods of their history. Almost all major cultures hark back to some Golden Age, when their ancestors lived as physical, mental, and moral exemplars of their society’s core values. For many devout Hindus in India today, that Golden Age was the Vedic era, which… Read more »

THE IDEA OF INDIA

If you want to be accurate to the point of being pedantic; the idea of India began 70 million years ago when a chunk of the Earth’s crust broke off from the southern supercontinent of Gondwanaland and moved rapidly (by plate tectonic standards) towards Eurasia, colliding around 50 million years ago to create the Himalaya… Read more »

The Spinner of Tales

The Char Bagh venue was overflowing even before the bestselling Indian novelist and columnist, Chetan Bhagat, stepped on stage to a rousing cheer. Meru Gokhale, Editor-in-chief of Penguin Random House, asked Bhagat how he became a writer. He replied that he had always been fond of writing and of entertaining people. At first, he did the ‘correct middle-class thing’ by… Read more »