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Shed partisanship, reach out to the best minds

RAMACHANDRA GUHA Years ago, working in the archives in New Delhi, I came across a brief, handwritten, letter from Jawaharlal Nehru to C Rajagopalachari. It was dated July 30, 1947, and it read: “My dear Rajaji, This is to remind you that you have to approach Shanmukham Chetty – this must be done soon. I have seen Ambedkar and he …

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The shepherds who became kings

TENSING RODRIGUES There is no denying that the sense in which the term ksatriya has been conventionally used is very different from the sense in which we use it. Conventionally ksatriya signifies the warrior community – the second occupational category in the caturvarn vyavastha; the kings are supposed to be of ksatriya lineage. We have used the term to designate …

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Why pigeons are special

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi While we all know that crows are very bright, few people know about the abilities and intelligence of the pigeon. Pigeons can multitask – do more jobs at the same time – than humans. In an experiment by scientists at Ruhr -Universitat Bochum, test groups of humans and pigeons were trained to do jobs like pressing a …

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Finding a balance in the fight against Covid-19

KARAN THAPAR I believe that free speech is the defining characteristic of a democracy. It even precedes the right to remove a government. And to be truly meaningful, free speech cannot exclude morally disturbing issues. They may be troubling, even unsettling, but ignoring them won’t make them disappear, whilst if we choose to maintain silence we will diminish our discussions …

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Bollywood stares at dry summer

The Covid-19 outbreak has meant that life has come to a halt. And India’s Hindi film industry is likely to face huge losses as a result Monika Rawal Kukreja With large parts of the world in lockdown and the global economy sinking on account of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, India’s Hindi entertainment industry — one of the biggest in …

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A Lifetime In A Week

By Ajay Kumar Former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson had famously said that a week is a long time in politics. In the life of an “expat” in Goa, 69 and a diabetic, a week is a life time. This time, last Sunday, we were on the edge of despair. Vegetables were running out;  social media was suggesting foraging in …

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India’s callousness towards war prisoners

KARAN THAPAR Prepare yourselves for a bit of a shock and it has nothing to do with the coronavirus. But it is, nonetheless, distressing. As many as 83 Indian soldiers are said to be in Pakistani captivity, some from as far back as the 1965 and 1971 wars, and it appears successive governments have either forgotten about them or not …

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Bovine tuberculosis: A growing threat

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), a cattle disease, is a major public health threat. It is transmitted within herds by inhalation of infected aerosol droplets from infected cattle. Despite the considerable economic costs, and zoonotic risk, India still does not have any accurate estimates. No surveillance, no checking systems and absolutely no national disease control programmes. Not even the …

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Covid-19 will alter Indian political life

CHANAKYA The coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) has the potential of not just redefining the rules and the balance of power in the international system, but altering the contours of Indian political life. The scale of the pandemic, the national lockdown, the economic crisis it has already generated, and the fact that every citizen – irrespective of class, caste, geography, gender, age, …

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The formation of kumlbi and Deccan ksatriya

TENSING RODRIGUES Urali kuruman and melakudiya seem to be the specimen of two broad communities produced by the fusion of native Indian and Near Eastern (Iranian) ancestries. Urali kuruman are a sub-group of the bigger community of kuruman, kurumba or kuruba, which belong to an almost pan-Indian community, which we have called the kur community; to which the kumlbi too …

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