Amid a late afternoon pitter-patter of a monsoon downpour, which came after a long, bewildering summer wait, I reached for an Oxford Classics copy of War and Peace by Tolstoy, whose doctrine of non-resistance is said to have influenced Gandhi. The characters of Pierre, Andrew, Natasha, Nicholas and Mary hadn’t changed – they can’t – from my previous reading years ago, but my appreciation of them had. How would Tolstoy have shaped them had War and Peace been set in contemporary today? Read more

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My singular mission during an extensive trip to Pakistan was to get under the skin of the people I met, know what they thought about India and the current raft of India-Pak bonhomie. Read more

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What could be the single-most profound fallout of the September 2001 attacks, or 9/11, ten years on? It is the surreal state of permanent war, intermittent peace. In a way, the events wiped out the last remaining vestiges of universal innocence. Read more

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Osama bin Laden’s death must be weighted against what conditioned – and continues to condition — global jihad. Or else, America’s jubilation over the death of its Most Wanted may be short-lived. Read more

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Can we understand and react to global terror without ‘essentialising’ Islam itself i.e. without treating as absolute notions, such as ‘Islam cannot be practised without harming those who don’t’? Read more

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In medicine, the goal is either to cure a disease completely or prevent it altogether. A third option is to keep incurable ailments, such as chronic arthritis, within manageable limits with a ‘maintenance dose’. Read more

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