Politics

How the Destruction of Babri Masjid Birthed the New India

December 6, 2023

One hundred thousand devout Hindus poured into the Indian holy city of Ayodhya on the brisk morning of December 6, 1992. They gathered in front of the Babri Masjid, a mosque that had stood in Ayodhya since the 16th century, ostensibly for a religious ceremony. And yet, anyone witnessing the scene could sense the volatility … Read More

How The Democratic Party Hijacked Black Lives Matter

December 10, 2020

In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, human rights activist  Malcolm X voiced his deep-seated distrust of  what he referred to as a faction of the “white liberal”: “The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance … Read More

“A Burning” Is a Political Thriller With a Social Conscience

August 26, 2020

Megha Majumdar’s A Burning, set in and around Kolkata, couldn’t be more topical. Moving with the inevitability of parable, it lacerates the Hindu right-wing by following violence until it reaches its logical endpoint. In A Burning, Jivan, a young Muslim woman, is thrown into jail for her alleged role in a terror attack. Lovely, a … Read More

Progressive Hinduism and a New Movement Against Poverty

June 26, 2018

Fifty years ago this month, a movement for economic justice built upon racial solidarity was brought to a halt in the US national capital of Washington DC. That movement was the Poor People’s Campaign, created by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in December 1967. In the wake of the civil rights victories of the mid-60s, … Read More

Why Did Jagmeet Singh Avoid a Loaded Question About Sikh Nationalism?

January 21, 2018

Jagmeet Singh just got engaged and the hype is making me go back to one very telling conversation. “Just think about this,” my dad told me, as he texted me the link to Jagmeet Singh’s bizarre interview with Terry Milewski. I am Canadian by birth, Punjabi Sikh by ethnicity, American by naturalization, and socialist by … Read More

Mayor Ravi Bhalla Declares Hoboken “Fair and Welcoming City”

January 5, 2018

Ravi Bhalla, the first Sikh man to become a mayor in New Jersey, was sworn into his new position as mayor of Hoboken on New Year’s Day. His first action as mayor was to declare Hoboken a “fair and welcoming city” by executive order. While the declaration shies away from the word “sanctuary,” perhaps in … Read More

Why You Should Be Worried About Ajit Pai

December 3, 2017

Ajit Pai, the  new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in the US, is the first Indian-American to hold the chairmanship. But before you get excited about the representation of minorities in federal leadership positions, it’s worth learning what Pai actually stands for, and what changes he is trying to bring to the ways we … Read More

Faceless Racists Are Worried About Asians Taking over Edison, New Jersey

November 4, 2017

Local elections can get ugly, but Edison, New Jersey’s school board elections just took it to the next level. This week, an anonymous campaign mailer appeared in residents’ mailboxes proclaiming, “Make Edison Great Again.” What is keeping Edison from being great already? All the Asians, apparently. Some mysterious concerned citizens of Edison took it upon … Read More

Mistaken Facts

October 23, 2017

Sometime in the 1970s, my father shook hands with Indira Gandhi, and she told him and a whole cohort of restless young men like him that their services were needed for the greater good of Asian solidarity. Then she loaded them all onto a plane. I don’t bother anymore to ascertain the truth of this … Read More

Hindu Nationalists Call Taj Mahal “Blot on Indian Culture”

October 19, 2017

Hindu nationalists are up to their fascist antics yet again, this time in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) in India. Sangeet Som, a lawmaker from the the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed at a political rally on October 16th that the revered Taj Mahal was a “blot on Indian culture” built by depraved … Read More

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