1. Story Time in Kerala

    Story Time in Kerala

    On a warm evening in 1972, when I was five years old and living in a village by the sea—Puthenthope in Thiruvananthapuram—I accompanied my cousin to our village library. The librarian gave me a nice smile and took me to the old wooden shelves where the children's books were stacked. As I quickly glanced through them my eyes rested on an oddly shaped book—Vaalameen Chirikkunnu (The Vaala Fish Laughs). The book was the Malayalam translation of a Soviet folktale, fabulously illustrated and pr..
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  2. An India without the Left?

    An India without the Left?

    To understand the Left’s central role, one has to take stock of the mass mobilisations to highlight injustice and inequity One out of every two Indians goes to bed hungry at night. That’s almost 700 million Indians. The number comes from McKinsey. But you don’t need a consultant to tell you about the distress in India. It is evident on our streets and in our fields. Agrarian distress (amplified by the suicide of farmers) and urban distress (illustrated by the growth of slums) have become ..
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  3. Letter from the LeftWord Editors

    Letter from the LeftWord Editors

    Dear Friends, We are writing to you as India prepares to vote. By all accounts, this promises to be an enormously consequential election. Both of us – in our individual capacities – signed a letter from more than 200 writers that is motivated by the attacks on writers and artists, filmmakers and musicians. Many of our friends and colleagues have been hounded by fanatical sections that believe that the destruction of reason is a price worth paying for their ascent to power. We signed this ..
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  4. 'The RSS - A Menace to India': Hamid Ansari's speech at the book launch

    'The RSS - A Menace to India': Hamid Ansari's speech at the book launch

    Mr Noorani is nothing if not prolific. Here we have another tome of over 500 pages with its contents diligently distilled. It is also timely. The typicality of the RSS as a subject of study is evident. This is the second volume on it in English to be published in eight months. The first was an updated version of an earlier work by Walter Anderson and Shridhar Damle. It sought to test a set of prepositions by using a case-study approach of the organization and its network of affiliates emanating..
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  5. Our Marie Kondo book lists: Vijay Prashad and Sudhanva Deshpande

    Our Marie Kondo book lists: Vijay Prashad and Sudhanva Deshpande

    Marie Kondo, the Japanese television star of Tiding Up with Marie Kondo (Netflix), wrote in her book The Changing Magic of Tidying Up – ‘I now keep my collection of books to about thirty volumes at any one time’. The phrase was misquoted on social media, as if she had implied that one should only have thirty books. That was not what she wrote. But it got us thinking: what are the thirty books that have most influenced us?There’s the perennial ‘desert island’ challenge. What is the on..
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