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Category Archives: India

‘Coalgate’: corruption, an honest bureaucrat and a deeper malaise in India

Nayanika Mathur, University of Cambridge “Corruption. It’s like a demon sitting on my brain and eating it with a fork and knife.” So bemoans a character in the novelist Aravind Adiga’s Between the Assasinations set in India. While it is commonplace and easy to bemoan the pervasiveness of corruption in India, it is harder to […]

23 August 2016
Rhinos or Bangladeshis? The Paranoid Style of the Hindu Right

My Historian colleagues assure me that conspiracy theories run high around the time of revolutions. Going by the feverish profusion of conspiracy theories in India currently, they must also exponentially multiply just before national elections. Another day I will write of the comical and, probably, more-or-less harmless ones. Right now I want to focus on […]

31 March 2014
The Eating of Humans

The other day, through a randomly speculative Google search, Hugo and I came across this blog entry on black babies serving as bait for alligators in the American South. The phrase ‘alligator bait’ that now operates as a racist slur refers to the purported stealing of black babies by whites in order to use them as bait to catch […]

28 June 2013
Death by Conspiracy

After almost a decade-long lull in state executions in India, two followed in quick succession recently. Both the capital punishments were handed out by the Supreme Court of India on the legal charge of “conspiracy”. The first “conspirator” to be executed was Mohammed Ajmal Kasab in November 2012. Kasab was the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 […]

10 May 2013