The ‘Prince’ of Arcot can’t be sued

For calling himself the ‘Prince’ of Arcot A personality, styling himself the “Prince of Arcot” was recently in the news for launching the latest salvo in the game of competitive intolerance. He played a role in getting the police to shut down an exhibition showing the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s intolerant policies against his subjects. It … Continue reading “The ‘Prince’ of Arcot can’t be sued”

Three thoughts for the Republic

On justice, trade for security and ending competitive intolerance For reflection on Republic Day: No turns in justice; Security lies in trade; on putting an end to competitive intolerance; Related Links: Three thoughts on Independence Day 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 & on Republic Day 2007, 2006, 2005

The Taslima Nasreen opportunity

Taslima Nasreen presents India with an opportunity to exorcise the demons of its past and lay them to rest. It is in India’s interest to remain (yes, remain) bastion for tolerance in the region. Ensuring her physical protection, for the duration of her stay in India, is thus of utmost and immediate importance. For if the Indian government demonstrates that it is willing to unequivocally and unapologetically protect her, it is possible to stem the slide down the slippery slope.

The Great Leap Backward (2)

From a crisis of selection to a national crisis The events in Punjab, where a stand-off between a heterodox Sikh sect and the orthodox clergy has led to violence and tension, and in Rajasthan, where a stand-off between two communities has led to a violence and a political crisis should provide a wake-up call for … Continue reading “The Great Leap Backward (2)”

Sunday Levity: Banning inter-generational romance

The onward march of competitive intolerance (absurdity, actually) Congress party members in Uttar Pradesh state are scared. That partly explains why they are calling for a ban on an Amitabh Bachchan movie. Not merely because Bachchan is joined at the hips with the Samajwadi Party’s Amar Singh, but because the movie is against, well, Indian … Continue reading “Sunday Levity: Banning inter-generational romance”

Good censors are hard to find

Freeman Dyson on John Milton on how free enquiry offers the best protection for society Writing in the January/February 2007 issue of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Freeman Dyson argues that a more open world is a safer world. His criticism of the fundamental problem with censorship—relevant in the context of India’s growing rot of … Continue reading “Good censors are hard to find”

Foreign Policy Naifs (Barbara Crossette edition)

An unflattering assessment of India does not change the geopolitical rationale behind US-India relations The United States and India have very little in common, argues Barbara Crossette on Foreign Policy magazine’s website, and a lot that could pull them apart. It’s a fallacious argument and fails international relations 101: because relations between states are determined by … Continue reading “Foreign Policy Naifs (Barbara Crossette edition)”

Of undeserved respect

Thin-skinned Indians In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins writes: A widespread assumption, which nearly everybody in our society accepts — the non-religious included — is that religious faith is especially vulnerable to offence and should be protected by an abnormally thick wall of respect, in a different class from the respect that any human being … Continue reading “Of undeserved respect”

In defence of the right not to sing Vande Mataram

Organised religion should leave it to individuals to decide on organised patriotism It is undoubtable that the fatwa against the singing of Vande Mataram (via DesiPundit) by Muslim clerics in Hyderabad is motivated by, and is a manifestation of, the phenomenon of competitive intolerance that has found purchase in contemporary India. It is inexplicable why … Continue reading “In defence of the right not to sing Vande Mataram