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Chapter 9         Fact and Feeling   “I’ll be down in a minute,” Harold said. The bellboy lifted Harold’s suitcase and backed out the door. Harold cast a last lingering look around the room. The poignant combination of light and wood left him with a dull ache. He traced...

Chapter 8            The Same and the Different   In the candlelight, the Sanskrit form of “Sahityashastra” glowed back at Harold from the first page. The volume’s dimensions indicated that it must have been transcribed in British times, probably in the late 1800s. He wondered at its solitary...

Chapter 7            The Presence of the Past    On this lazy morning, Harold put down his copy of “Ayodhya and Beyond” on the wooden table beside him. He sprawled back in his ornate medieval chair, took a deep breath, and viewed the restored room reflectively. Restoration, he...

Let us put the big question on the table. Modern democracy as a form of governance has evolved following the emergence of the belief that “all men are created equal.”  How do we look at Indian democracy in this context? Do Indians believe today that all...

One thing sometimes does lead to another. Our post on Milton and Ghalib has culminated in a partnership with the blog Mehr-i-Niimroz (the noonday sun). Every week or so we will together select a couplet from Ghalib: Mehr-i-Niimroz will provide a translation and commentary; The...

Chapter 6         The Terrain of Interpretation  6.1 In September, Harold packed his bags for Grindelwald and India. He’d failed to accomplish much over the summer, though Harold was by now better acquainted with the literature surrounding the Sahityashastra. Asha had agreed to help. After Ajit’s death, it...

Ardeshir Cowasjee is the doyen of Pakistani opinion-makers having been around forever as the leading light of Dawn. For many years now, with great regularity, Mr. Cowasjee has been making a seemingly provocative statement on behalf of Mr. Jinnah. For some reason, this statement has...

Chapter 5            The Idea of the Postmodern 5.1 The room—one of the many informal meeting areas in the offices of ZEC, a Palo Alto software company—was a long and narrow rectangle. Its new carpet gave the place a buoyant look. The wide windows let in washes of...

The BBC is doing a fine job in India reporting events that compel readers to think about the broader implications of the story. We had earlier picked up a story about the threat by purists to mixed religious communities. The post (Hindu-Muslim or Muslim-Hindu?) has become...