Ayyappa: Ascetic extraordinaire

The 50-odd day Mandala Puja at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, climax of 41-day long austerities by devotees who piously trek barefoot through Pampa forest to reach the shrine, has currently become a spiritual obstacle course for the faithful who have to suffer shabby sabotage by the State government that has ruthlessly … Read More

In the Dragon’s embrace

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s failure to renegotiate parts of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during his visit to Beijing (Nov. 1-5) affirms President Xi Jinping’s inflexible commitment to making China a leading world power by 2049, the centenary of communist rule. The Border & Road Initiative (B&RI) and military … Read More

Plagiarism with Pride

Sometime on November 1, 2018 it was brought to my notice that Anand Kumar, a market research consultant, had tweeted his review of journalist Hemant Sharma’s book, Yudh Mein Ayodhya, wherein Kumar asserted that one chapter, Sangharsh, appeared to be a verbatim translation of Dr. Meenakshi Jain’s Rama & Ayodhya … Read More

Sabarimala: Rights, Ecology, Righteousness

Concerted attempts by mischievous non-believers to defile the Sabarimala precincts and undermine its hallowed traditions highlight the urgent necessity to recover Hindu temples from government control and uphold dharma as understood and practiced by believers. With each passing day it is becoming obvious that the majority decision of the Supreme … Read More

Sabarimala: Justice downsizes Divinity

Its inclusive character notwithstanding, Sabarimala has several characteristics consistent with a denominational temple and should have been spared the humiliation that is currently agitating Ayyappaswami devotees across the country. In hundreds of Ayyappa temples, devotees are welcomed without distinction of gender, jati or even creed. At Sabarimala, Ayyappa, born from … Read More

Hedgewar: A native vision of nationhood

Hindu rashtra (nation) is not rajya (state), though critics try to obfuscate the issue. A state is a politico-legal entity; a nation is a civilisational, cultural, and psychological entity, generally identified with an ancient or distinct geography linked to its people. Hindus form the bedrock and mainstream of the Indian … Read More

Hindu-ness is the essence of India

On a day when the Union Government coincidentally passed an ordinance criminalising the practice of triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat), providing relief to thousands of Muslim women living in fear of instant talaq and homelessness, and inching the country towards greater equality in civil laws, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghachalak Mohan … Read More

Monsanto pigeons come home to roost

Once the bully on the block, Monsanto is on the run. Environmentalists will recall the early years of genetically modified (GM) crops when wind pollination contaminated the crops of traditional farmers and the company forced victim-farmers to pay for patent infringement, an atrocity upheld by the US judicial system until … Read More

Transforming the educational firmament

On the education beat, one recalls an overwhelming sense of fatigue while covering events at which India pledged, with obvious insincerity, to achieve the universal goals of education for all by year X, ad infinitum. No one wanted to address the known obstacles. First, the absence of adequate investment to … Read More

Atal to Modi: Amazing continuity

When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was finally elected for a full tenure in 1999, his detractors began to acknowledge his virtues (liberal, poet, orator, consensus builder) and denigrate his party and parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Yet the slogan, ‘right man in the wrong party’, was inaccurate as Vajpayee founded … Read More