Betwixt and Between: Reflections on the Partition

Zamindar combines her fieldwork with impressive archival scholarship conducted mainly in Delhi and Karachi, trawling through unnoticed government records, accounts by contemporaries, of nationalists and contemporary newspapers such as the Jang using some of its perspicacious cartoons.

It’s 2022,France is dominated by Islam, but how did this happen?

“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom” — Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America.   In the mid-twentieth century, while much of the decolonised world was enduring momentous social, economic and political change, the spirit of freedom in the developed West […]

Dreaming of a place called home

It is difficult to obliterate the memory of Kashmiri Pandits who fell victim to violence. Although their blood has dried, their screams, cries and lost laughter continue to resonate in the hearts and minds of those who lived to tell their story. The accounts of those who survived – or, were born after – are […]

How Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s most famous poem came to be written

As the horror of partition gradually receded over the ensuing months, peace returned and poets picked up their pens once again. All of them wanted to express in their own words the sentiments of their fellow Pakistanis. Most of these poems proved transitory but in the ones that have been preserved, there is a reflection […]

From book to film, William Dalrymple’s ‘The White-Mughal’ disrupts the standard narrative

William Dalrymple’s landmark 2002 book White Mughals is, now, at long last, a film near you. Sunil Khilnani many years ago unfairly dismissed Dalrymple’s writing as “Bollywood history”; but one of the chief virtues of White Mughals is precisely its cinematic vividness, a quality that clearly recommended it to Hollywood producers when it was announced, […]

The Half Mother

In ‘The Half Mother’, the debut novel of Shahnaz Bashir, the author incomparably attempts to address the pain, agony and violence Kashmiris are suffering since late 1990’s. He beautifully narrates the tale of pain of Haleema, a resident of Natipora Srinagar, after her only son disappears. The ‘Half Mother’, Haleema, abandoned by her husband after […]

An Intimate View of Pakistan,From Bhutto to Zia,Musharraf to Sharif

One of the books that I have waited the longest to read is Baar-i-Shanasaee (The Burden of Association in English doesn’t quite do justice to the evocative, aesthetic title in Urdu) by Ambassador Karamatullah Khan Ghori. I couldn’t get hold of the book by the seasoned Pakistani diplomat — and an accomplished writer and poet […]

Following the Silk Roads

Within two months of their seizure of Palmyra, in Syria, the militant Islamic State group (IS) had demolished both the Temple of Baalshamin and the Temple of Bel, leaving little of the city’s world heritage standing by the end of August 2015. Palmyra was a world heritage site, scattered with the architectural remains of the […]

A Hizmet Approach to Rooting out Violent Extremism

The violent extremist ideology cannot be rooted out until an effective, coherent, comprehensive and well-reasoned counter-narrative is evolved. For that, all the theological, religious, political, historical, instrumental and socio-psychological underpinnings of the global jihadism have to be counter-argued and dismantled. “A Hizmet Approach to Rooting out Violent Extremism” by Ozcan Keles and Ismail Mesut Sezgin […]

In 1962, India,US were close to becoming allies against China

For many years there’s been a story floating around that in 1962, when the Chinese invasion was into its fourth unstoppable week, the Indian government panicked completely and wrote to the US government pleading for mind-boggling supplies of armaments – including several squadrons of the latest US fighter aircraft and bombers. I heard this story […]