Our journeys as separate nations — India and Pakistan — are seeded in the subtlest of ironies. Our founding father Mahatma Gandhi was the most devout of Hindus and yet he dreamt of a secular India. Pakistan’s Mohammed Ali Jinnah, while being a non-practising Muslim who loved his ham and wine, came to found a non-secular religious State. Read more
Five decades or so after it saw the light of day, the Indian Constitution towers like a monolith over our vast, undulated political landscape, holding us together and reining us in as we tend to stray.
Just a few months ago, we were puzzling over where we were headed. Our shared destinies increasingly looked irreconcilable. Our common goalposts appeared to be shifting apart by miles before the light suddenly dawned in the form the Election 2009 results. Read more
Make-believe worlds are dangerous places. They are built on myths. Myths always eclipse truths out. The just-concluded elections to the Lok Sabha have yet again punctured this great myth called the Muslim vote.
Rather than being credited for their overwhelming participation in the democratic process, the fact that Muslims tend to vote in large numbers is sometimes held against them. This saddens me. Read more
Pope Benedict XVI is touring the Holy Land and on Saturday dropped in at Amman’s Al-Hussein mosque, Jordan’s largest.
The Pope hit the nail on its head: it is not religion, he said, but the manipulation of religion for political ends that is instigating rifts between communities.
I told you so. Read more
This is an impossibly incongruous array of great men: Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther, Muhammad, Saint Paul and William Shakespeare.
Now, who is the greatest of them all?