How to pandemic-proof a Hindu (or any other) pilgrimage

by Rashmee

Posted on April 24, 2021


/ FAITH, HOPE… One of my grandmothers died after contracting small pox at the Kumbh Mela less than a hundred years ago. Her husband, my grandfather, had already passed, so my father was left an orphan. He went on to become a doctor, both his profession and his personal story making him sceptical of large … Continue reading “How to pandemic-proof a Hindu (or any other) pilgrimage”

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A manifesto for lost liberals?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 15, 2019


Every lost liberal, defeated by the Indian election result and the Hindu nationalists’ emphatic win, should read sociology professor Avijit Pathak’s piece in The Wire. (Click here or just read the blog below. It has the highlights of Professor Pathak’s argument). Professor Pathak makes an important concession: “In contemporary India, no concept has created more … Continue reading “A manifesto for lost liberals?”

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Sunrise in the east?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 22, 2019


China’s infrastructure projects have been heavily scrutinized by the West and eastern competitors such as India, but much less attention has been paid to its attempt to shift the centre of gravity to all of Asia. Last week (May 15, President Xi Jinping hosted the inaugural Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations and in the … Continue reading “Sunrise in the east?”

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Indians once voted for a TV Sita. So, Ukrainians pick a TV president

by Rashmee

Posted on April 22, 2019


The last time I saw a credulous electorate embrace a television character as legislator was when Indians voted for Sita, wife of the Hindu god Ram. She drew reverence on the campaign trail. Many people seemed to believe she was invested with some of the aura of the character she portrayed. Both Sita – Deepika … Continue reading “Indians once voted for a TV Sita. So, Ukrainians pick a TV president”

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Birtherism reborn as Hindu? Narendra Modi’s BJP takes lessons from Donald Trump

by Rashmee

Posted on December 5, 2017


The argument over Rahul Gandhi’s Hindu-ness sounds a bit like the debate over Barack Obama’s American-ness. More to the point, birthright. ** Does Mr Gandhi have the right to claim Hindu heritage when his mother is genetically European? ** Did Mr Obama have the right to claim American authenticity despite being visibly black? Both questions … Continue reading “Birtherism reborn as Hindu? Narendra Modi’s BJP takes lessons from Donald Trump”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK