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The meaning of ‘one nation’ push

Chanakya From the ramparts of the Red Fort, this Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that with the end of Article 370 and 35A, every Indian could now be proud of having “One nation, One Constitution”. The underlying logic was straightforward. These provisions had given Jammu and Kashmir a special status, its residents special privileges, and restricted the applicability …

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Humans and other species: more alike than you think

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Are all beings the same? Yes, the human, the hammerhead worm, oyster, chicken, and the shark: all of us have the same emotions, fears, lusts, and intelligence. Yet, the human eats some, kills some for sport, uses some to wear as accessories, and destroys some as pests. The human is the ultimate cannibal: eating his own kind, …

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Indian Musicality

Sudhirendar Sharma In popular Indian cinema, lyrics are to music what the heart is to the body; they help in creating a distinctive narrative, some conventions of which have been carried over from the early talkies era. Over the decades, songs have acquired a musical grammar of their own that helps build an emotional chord with listeners, both on and …

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Patronage, philanthropy, and music

Luis Dias The ‘Ode to Joy’ theme from the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is arguably the most recognisable western classical music tune in the world. Young children taking up an instrument will soon learn to pick out its notes. It has snuck into elevators, hotel lobbies, ringtones and ‘your-call-is-important-to-us’ music. Its music is synonymous with the fall of the …

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The Jaina Paradox

TENSING RODRIGUES We have said earlier that the entire ‘belt’ of ports in Komkan, which replaced Kathiyavad, is strewn with Jaina, Buddhist, and Siva related archaeological remains and cultural influence. And we have taken that as a strong evidence of the movement of kathiyavadi ksatriya into Komkan. The logic behind it may not be immediately obvious. It helps if we …

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Weakening of federalism

Mark Tully The manner in which the changes in the status of Kashmir have been brought about raises questions about Indian federalism. What should the relationship be between states and the Union? In establishing that relationship, the Constituent Assembly had to balance between creating a Union with the power to hold the country together in uncertain times, and providing diverse …

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Emulating the past

Ramachandra Guha There are three incontrovertible facts about the modern history of Kashmir. First, Pakistan has consistently promoted violence and terror in the Valley, and in other parts of India as well (using Kashmir as an excuse). Second, those who presume to lead the Kashmiris have shown no sign of remorse or atonement for the ethnic cleansing of the Pandits …

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Goa: the lay of the land

Frederick Noronha When something goes drastically wrong with the weather, when our towns and villages start to get flooded at unprecedented levels, and when our ecology comes under pressure, it’s clearly time to rethink our priorities and approaches. Statistics tell us Goa has improved by leaps and bounds over the past six or so decades. But there is another side …

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An arbitrary language

Karan Thapar “What is the meaning of a word?” Ludwig Wittgenstein once asked Karl Popper. He must have had English in mind because in that wondrous language, not only can words mean the opposite of what you thought they did, but the same word can be used to mean several different things. This is what makes English so delightful, but …

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When meat meets meth

MANEKA SANJAY GANDHI Some time ago I wrote an article about the cocktail of drugs in meat in India. One of the drugs that I mentioned was Ractopamine. Ractopamine is a feed additive, to promote muscle growth and less fat in animals raised for their meat. It increases the weight in spite of giving 10 per cent less food. Ractopamine …

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