The places of Worship Act 1991, decoloniality and indigenous rights

The Daily Guardian

The Bhoomi Pujan for the proposed Shri Ram Temple in Ayodhya is scheduled to take place in five days, marking the culmination of a five-century old indigenous movement to reclaim a site which is of both religious and civilizational importance…

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The deep-seated coloniality in the Indian legal system

The Daily Guardian

Last week, this author had the occasion to take part in a virtual panel discussion on the intersection between faith and law organised by the department of law of a Pune-based institution. The specific theme of the discussion was the continued relevance of the Bombay High Court’s well-known and widely debated judgement in The State of Bombay v. Narasu Appa Mali (1951)…

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Addressing transgenerational trauma through history education

The Daily Guardian

Two days ago, legendary West Indian cricketer Michael Holding delivered a powerful message on the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter movement which has taken the United States of America by storm and has started a global conversation on racism, in particular with respect to the stereotypes associated with members of the African community in predominantly White countries. While there are several relevant threads from an Indian perspective to pull from Holding’s heartfelt and deeply emotional message, following are the excerpts which this author wishes to focus on for the purpose of this piece…

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Bharat, China and civilisational conviction

The Daily Guardian

From the first week of May this year, the Sino-Bharat standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh has hogged the news cycle despite the Covid-19 pandemic and, perhaps, rightly so. While experts on the subject are better placed to comment on the goings-on at the border, this author is interested in the big picture significance…

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India that is Bharat

The Daily Guardian

In the previous piece, this author had contended that the use of (a) “ancient land” to refer to this country in the Objectives Resolution of January 22, 1947 by the Constituent Assembly, and (b) “Bharat” in Article 1 as a synonym for “India”, was proof that the framers of the Constitution were conscious of the civilizational heritage and legacy of the Republic of India/Bharat…

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Bharat: An Indic Civilisation State

The Daily Guardian

In the last piece, this author had presented a broad summary of historian Radhakumud Mookerji’s book The Fundamental Unity of India to understand how indigenous scholarly voices, which existed well before 1947, saw Bharat. In reading and interpreting works of history, it is critical to understand that history has always been a fertile battleground…

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The Rediscovery of Bharat

The Daily Guardian

In the previous piece in this series, this author had promised to examine the narrative presented by Indic voices in relation to the indigenous identity of Bharat and its fundamental unity as the basis of its statehood, and contrast it with the treatment of such voices by the colonisers as well as the colonialised native elite. One such Indic voice, whose scholarly works mandate reading by everyone who is interested in Indian history is the legendary historian Radhakumud Mookerji …

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Restoring the Indigenous Gaze

The Daily Guardian

Be it an individual or a people, neither must cede or surrender to an external entity the inherent and hence fundamental right to self-definition or self-determination. To give up this most intimate form of agency is to externalise the locus of one’s consciousness and its most tangible product–a crystallised identity. This alienation then takes a life of its own and is extremely difficult to reverse and reclaim …

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