What Do We Deserve?
Of particular relevance to market-based societies is the question, ‘What do we deserve?’ For our learning, natural talents, and labor, what rewards and entitlements can we fairly claim?

On Public Corruption in India
With findings from corruption research, Anna Hazare and his team, the Jan Lokpal Bill, and the anti-corruption movement.

Herodotus, the Iliad, and 9/11
A look at some curious parallels between the wars of the post-9/11 decade and the Trojan War as Herodotus saw it.

Decolonizing My Mind
On the politics surrounding the arrival and the spread of English in the colonies and the peculiar world of the Indian writer in English.

Revisiting the Idea of India
A review of The Indian Ideology by Perry Anderson, focusing on Indian nationalism from the colonial era to the present.

   Part 1: Gandhi, early Indian nationalism

   Part 2: Nehru, Partition, the nation state

The Revenge of the East?
A review of Pankaj Mishra's "From the Ruins of Empire: The intellectuals who remade Asia."

War and the American Republic
With the end of combat operations in Iraq, a fresh look under the hood of American jingoism.

Being Liberal in a Plural World
In the absence of a consensus on the ‘truly universal’ values of liberalism, and hence rights—whether on empirical or practical grounds—how, and on what basis, should I as a liberal act in the world?

America, the Cold War, and the Taliban
The roots of transnational Islamic terrorism lie not so much in culture and the Qur’an as in politics and the conduct of the Cold War in Afghanistan.

On Caste Privilege
Much has been written about the unearned privilege of race and gender. What does the privilege of caste look like in Indian society? How and why has caste been politicized?

The Dance of Indian Democracy
Why did democracy take root in India against all odds? What are its distinguishing features? Six decades later, how close is it to Ambedkar's inspiring vision of democracy?

The Minangkabau: Mixing Islam and Matriarchy
This matriarchal society of Muslims in Indonesia reminds us that religion and culture are never cut from whole cloth.

Indians Abroad: A Story from Trinidad
A brief history of the Indian diaspora in Trinidad—today over half-a-million strong—from the colonial era to the present.

The Bhagavad Gita Revisited
Why the Bhagavad Gita is an overrated text with a deplorable morality at its core. Part 1 is on the Gita’s historical and literary context. Part 2 is the textual critique.

   Part 1 (The Appetizer)

   Part 2 (The Main Course)

Just Not Cricket
In a recent cricket match played between India and Australia in Sydney, the Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh was accused of hurling a racist insult at Andrew Symonds ...

The Blight of Hindustan
The Indian caste system continues to mystify outsiders. Here is a brisk overview of its origins, spread, and some historical attitudes and debates.

Indigenous Aryans?
Few topics in ancient history are as disputed today as the role of Indo-Aryans in ancient Indiadisputed not in the echelons of scholarship committed to facts and the dialectical process, but by a powerful religious, nationalistic, or otherwise misguided brand of historiography.

Beyond Hope and Change
Two eager contestants, tooting their horns and dissing each other. The media readying us for fireworks, sharp attacks, a "do or die" fight. Showdown in Texas is how CNN bills the live event.

The Politics of God
In response to 9/11 and the alarming role of evangelical Christianity in US politics, a host of loud atheistic voices have emerged. Most belong to concerned citizens driven by their secular ideals...

How Terrorism Works
Experts on Islamic terrorism are now everywhere, spouting wisdom on countless media outlets and blogs. Most of them ... reflexively summon their gut to explain what turns Muslims into terrorists.

The Pakistan Puzzle
On August 14th this year, Pakistan completed 60 years as an independent country. In these 60 years, the state of Pakistan has endured, but doubts about it still persist — it has been called a failed state and a rogue state.

From the Outside, Looking In
Speaking of Muslims as fanatics and terrorists is not even considered bad manners; it’s seen as a comic expression of the truth. Suggesting that it might be a bit more complicated—that it’s ridiculous and hateful to so simplify a group.

Joothan: A Dalit's Life
Joothan by Omprakash Valmiki is a deeply affecting memoir of growing up achoot (‘untouchable’) starting in the 1950s outside a typical village in Uttar Pradesh, India.

The True Cost of Our Gadgets
The next time we whip out our Blackberries, cell phones, gaming consoles, iPods, and laptops, we would do well to remember their true cost, beyond what we paid for them at the store. Each of these gadgets use an ore called coltan.

The Tragedy of the Congo
The history of European colonialism is replete with examples of extreme cruelty. The decimation of the American Indians in South America and the United States is but one example. What was done to the natives of Africa is no less barbarous.

The Eichmann Within
Hannah Arendt's landmark Eichmann in Jerusalem documents the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi nabbed by the Israeli secret police in Argentina and brought to Jerusalem, where he was tried and executed.

Democracy in Athens
The liberal-popular and the conservative-aristocratic emerged as the two dominant factions in Athenian democracy. The spirit of the agon (competition), fame, glory.

Gandhi's "Inconsistent Pacifism"
The Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize committee made a rare and candid admission: "Our record is far from perfect … not giving Mahatma Gandhi the Nobel Prize was the biggest omission."

Ghost Town in the Levant
Quneitra was once a bustling town in the Golan Heights and southwestern Syria's administrative capital with a population of 37,000. The word 'Quneitra' derives from Qantara, or 'bridge', between Syria, Lebanon, Jordan.

Land of the Free?
Which country has the highest incarceration rate in the world? The United States of course. The prison population in the US has more than quadrupled in the last quarter century. Some 2.2 million are behind bars.

On Patriotism
Recent years have seen a surge in "patriotic feeling" across the US. One expression of this is the flag, which is now routinely seen on cars, shop fronts, windows, roofs, even jacket lapels.


Designed in collaboration with Vitalect, Inc.