China / 25.07.2009

China has a problem in Tibet. What can South Asians learn from it? A lot, if we want and can keep our prejudices out of the way. Reflect on the following: There is no enemy country intervening in Tibet. There are no militants infiltrating from across international borders into Tibet. There are no Muslims in Tibet. There are no rogue leaders in Tibet. China has poured immense amount of development money into Tibet. And yet, there is a problem in Tibet. Why? Is it because Tibetans are ignorant, ungrateful and unaware of what is good for them?
Education / 16.05.2009

The first part of this thought experiment was intended to test if my perception of the ‘Other’ was a reflection of nothing more than my own prejudices. It had me revisit repeatedly the same set of objects arranged in different ways to see how my reactions varied in response to the arrangements. In the second part of the experiment I want to see the picture from the other end. This time I imagine myself to be a member of the set of objects and try to sense how I would feel in the various scenarios. The setting is still the same – a classroom of children being visited by an outsider.
Ghalib / 03.10.2008

Justice delayed is justice denied: ham ne maanaa kih taghaaful nah karoge lekin khaak ho jaaeNge ham tum ko khabar hote tak we accept that you will not show negligence, but we will become dust by the time of the news reaching you In the conventional reading, the lover (ham) is addressing the beloved (tum) and a number of ways of interpreting the text are possible as described by Frances Pritchett in A Desertful of Roses. We will transpose the domain of the verse and let ham represent the citizen and tum the state. What does that yield us? Well, for one, we can explore the entire gamut of the relationship between the citizen and the state in South Asia in modern times. Does the citizen (really) believe that the state acts in his or her interest? Does the citizen believe that the state knows what his or her interests really are? Does the citizen...