Mumbai 11/26

December 15th, 2008

Violence, publicity, and sovereignty

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Today we are once more at a time when lawless violence proliferates and territorial boundaries are infringed upon, when state leaders invoke “non-state actors” and argue for the need to respond in kind. Are new political formations taking shape in our midst, even as we defend the old order?

December 12th, 2008

Attacking Mumbai

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Whatever the global elements involved in these brutal events, from militant methods to media coverage, crucial is the fact that they were plugged into a local history of religious violence in Mumbai and elsewhere in the country, if only to scramble and so utterly transform this past.

December 9th, 2008

Jihad, fitna, and Muslims in Mumbai

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While the dichotomy of “moderate” Muslims and “extremists” is prevalent in many media representations, this binary hides more than it reveals.

December 7th, 2008

Is Mumbai’s resilience endlessly renewable?

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I grew up in Bombay (now Mumbai) in the 1950s and early 1960s. I spoke Tamil with my mother, a combination of English and Tamil with my siblings and my father, and various brands of Gujarati, Marathi and Hindi with friends, domestic helpers, neighbors, bureaucrats and shopkeepers. [...]

December 5th, 2008

Restore us to fire

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The leitmotif of old Bombay is its diversity. Populations with varied beliefs and languages were agglomerated by the British into an ever growing city, first as a trading post which then slowly transformed into an industrial and financial powerhouse. [...]

December 4th, 2008

The death of secular India is greatly exaggerated

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As the citizens of this vast metropolis seek to restore some semblance of normalcy to their lives, it is important to probe the possible reasons for this horrific episode and explore its ramifications for the future of India’s plural, democratic and secular state. [...]

December 4th, 2008

Reflections on the future of Indian democracy

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It is difficult to be completely impersonal about what happened in Mumbai last week. Some friends lost their near and dear ones to the mindless bullets of murderous terrorists. [...]